Apple and Microsoft Living in Supply Chain Harmony

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Some of the most compelling tech news used to come from conversations or comparisons between the late Steve Jobs, former CEO of Apple and Bill Gates, former CEO of Microsoft.  They each offered a stark contrast to the other as two colossal tech giants competing voraciously for the same client mind share and wallet.  Elegant product designs marketed wonderfully for the graphics and education industry with an intuitive interface vs. tech savvy business productivity tools that just worked once configured for your business complexity.  Both companies leveraged their positions magnificently into two customer camps; the Apple world not yielding to the PC world; the Apple iOS at a standoff with Microsoft Windows.  The convergence of Apple and Microsoft platforms could only live in harmony through disruptive forces.


Apple advanced as the iTouch, iPhone and iPad grabbed the hearts, minds and wallets of the consumer device and gadget world, Steve Job’s vision brought music, phone, email, texts, voice, calendar, speed, simple design, simple setup, simple to use … into one intuitive device.  Meanwhile Bill Gates had set Microsoft on a course to build great technology for enterprise businesses with Microsoft Exchange Server, SQL Server and Windows Server along with a broad set of Microsoft Dynamics ERP platforms featuring AX, NAV, GP and SL.  These ERP platform are enhanced by a Supply Chain suite of Gold Certified ISV’s (Independent Software Vendors) whom offer enhancements to EDI, Warehouse Management (Appolis Inc.), Demand Planning, Tax and Document Management, e-Commerce and Order Entry.


As often is the case, this harmony arose from disruption.  It started in the Apple store.  What many did not see coming was a convergence of technology from these juggernaut companies, that when combined, bring us previously unrecognized supply chain solutions.  We saw how easily Clients could transact returns and make new purchases with the power of an iTouch with a scanning boot and a credit card swipe – DISRUPTION!  This is a simple, elegant and affordable technology deployment that fits the supply chain application in the most efficient way.  How is this different from most supply chains being managed today?  It starts with an order, demand needs to be fulfilled, automation of inventory tracking from the pick to the pack and the ship!  A CHANGING PARADIGM – not all supply chain devices need to be built for extreme conditions!  These consumer based devices utilizing cellular and WiFi have proven to be useful in business applications such as supply chain and inventory management causing a unintended shift … almost overnight!

 Fast forward to today, and you can see how major corporations are adopting Apple devices to help them drive supply chain efficiency from the likes of Lowes in environments much more rugged than we ever expected!  And now the Microsoft Dynamics customer base is rapidly adopting this elegant, intuitive and powerful Apple platform.  One company leading Microsoft Dynamics Supply Chain adoption is Appolis.  Appolis’ recently introduced WithoutWire™ (WoW) iOS Edition for Warehouse Management, is built completely on the Microsoft technology stack of Microsoft SQL Server 2012, Windows Server 2012, SQL Server Reporting Services, and Microsoft .NET with a seamless integration to traditional rugged mobile handheld computers, iTouch/iPhone/iPads or a combination of both.  This allows a mix between devices to optimize the performance of each work task.  You need speed and a short learning curve for Cycle Counts and Picking – Apple semi-rugged iDevices are the winner.  You need protection from extreme temperatures, extremely dusty environments and long range scanning for Put-away and Replenishment - Windows Embedded (Windows Mobile) rugged is our recommendation.  Optimize cost, performance and ultimately your Supply Chain ROI through the convergence of Apple and Microsoft … living in supply chain harmony.

 If you would like more examples of how clients are enjoying the harmony and combined benefits of Microsoft and Apple supply chain technology, please visit us at

 By Steve Dwyer, Vice President, Appolis Inc,


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