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Today is a another exciting day for the team at Fully Managed®: we announced full support for Apple solutions within our managed services (technology support, management, monitoring, and strategy) and professional services (project and consulting services) teams. I wanted to add a little colour to press release, perhaps answering the question “Why?” in a bit more depth. We even made a little 60 second video, in case that’s all you have time for right now.
Over the past several years, we have been seeing an increasing demand for Apple and Mac OS X solutions within the business networking environments we support. We have seen an explosion in Apple’s mobile devices into the enterprise, with iPhone and iPad leading the pack. This is driving clients whose desktops have traditionally been 100% Windows-based to start asking the question: could I use one of those beautiful looking MacBook or iMac devices with our Windows-based back-end infrastructure? I will try to shed some light on why this question makes most IT professionals with a Windows background cringe.
Until recently, we have done our best to steer clear of Mac OS X in the networks we support due to the perception that there were compatibility issues when interfacing an Apple computer with a Microsoft Windows back-end. While there were (and will continue to be) some complexities involved in doing this – i.e. you need to know what you’re doing – it’s been possible to create a seamless hybrid Windows/Mac network for many years. Luckily, it’s become even easier in the last year due to some key improvements with Mac OS X Lion and the release of Microsoft Office 2011 for Mac. Translation: it’s possible, and actually very exciting, to create seamlessly-integrated Windows and Apple environments.
Those clients with a passion for all things Apple may ask, why Microsoft? I absolutely love that question! Microsoft delivers amazing, innovative, integrated, industry defining technology solutions. Have they made mistakes? Certainly. Vista (cough, choke). However, Microsoft is here to stay and in fact the company is on the verge of something incredible with Office 365 – which works beautifully on a Mac, by the way. From the desktop perspective, few can deny the rock-solid experience delivered by Windows 7 (though I’m sure some will try), and Windows 8 will raise the bar again. From the server perspective, and this is a bold statement, there is no operating system on the planet that competes with Windows Server 2008 R2. It has become the de facto standard – an incredibly powerful, secure, flexible and easy-to-use operating system that delivers the majority of information we access on a daily basis.
Over the past several years, we have worked closely with Luis and his team at Monkey Mac to provide “best effort” support to our clients having mixed Windows / MacOS environments. We’ve also been a great partner to Monkey Mac, handing over any opportunities we received to provide IT support for predominantly Mac environments. While this relationship has been working well, our clients want more: faster, more comprehensive, more integrated services. As a result, and after much consideration, we reached the conclusion that it would be best to have Luis and Monkey Mac join the Fully Managed® family. Translation: we are driven by our clients, and the demand is there, so we’re going “all in”.
The result is that over the next three months, we will be fully integrating MacOS and iOS device support into our managed services offering and cross-training our entire Mission Control team (thankfully, Luis happens to be an Apple Certified Trainer as well!). Ultimately, this will enable us to provide the same fast, friendly, reliable service we always have, regardless of whether you are on a Mac or a PC. We’ve also got some amazing, cool, impressive technology we’ll be unleashing soon for those clients who do have Apple devices in their network. stay tuned for that. Finally, to those of you joining us from the Apple camp, I salute you. We believe in choice, we believe in best-in-class, we believe in creating an experience. Thank you for reading…