TweetFollow Us on Twitter

In The Trenches

Volume Number: 21 (2005)
Issue Number: 11
Column Tag: Programming

In The Trenches

Talking With One Man on the Front Lines of Mac IT

by Michael R. Harvey

First in a New Monthly Series!

Ever been to Macworld, WWDC, MacRetreats, or an Apple Certified Training course. If the answer is yes, then chances are you have met Schoun Regan. Author of the Mac OS X Server Visual Quick Pro guide from Peachpit Press, editor for most of the Apple Pro Training series books focusing on Mac OS X and Mac OS X Server, Schoun is one of the most powerful forces behind technical training and Mac OS X in the industry today. The list of people he calls his colleagues is a veritable who's who of the Mac OS X high end consulting community. His ideas about the merging of training and consulting surrounding Mac OS X have been accepted by many who listen to him speak, hire his company to develop courseware, or have them consult on deployments of Mac OS X and Mac OS X Server. Arguably, he has been associated with training and Apple operating system software for about as long as the Macintosh has been around. We recently had the chance to sit down with Schoun and get his take on the current state, and future direction, of Macintosh in the enterprise.

MacTech: Where did you get your start in the IT business, and how long have you been at it?

Schoun Regan: I started out at Goodyear Research, where they were testing the strength and elasticity of tire materials. We were able to play with all sorts of dangerous equipment, data collection cards, IBM-XTs, Token Ring networks, AppleTalk, and Novell. It was a blast. After ten years supporting scientists, chemists, and engineers there, I moved on, earned one of the first ACT certifications, and established The Mac Trainers, and later ITInstruction.com. I have taught, and supported Mac OS X/Server installations all over the country, and speak at many Macintosh related events throughout the year.

MT: Apple has been making serious inroads into the enterprise computing space over the last few years. How do you think they got to where they are now?

SR: Hard work and innovation. The engineers started understanding the importance of integration with other platforms. They are starting to listen more, and great things are happening because of that. Take Access Control Lists in Tiger, for example. The big things get the headlines, but it's the little things that administrators deal with every day that change their minds. Take a look at http://www.apple.com/server/documentation. Over 1200 pages of detailed documentation on Mac OS X Server, FREE. The Mac OS X Server team is headed up by some very forward thinking people, and it shows. Apple Certified Training courses also help to spread the news that Apple is a player in this market.

MT: What were some of the challenges they had to overcome to get where they are today?

SR: Myopic mindsets with regard to Mac OS X Server had to go, and it did very quickly. Another issue they had to change was customer impressions. For a Fortune 500 company administrator to say, "We'll never have Macs in our company", is indicative of the larger problem of insular thinking. Apple's sales force is working diligently to alter that perception. It's a tough road with plenty of closed doors displaying "No Solicitors" signs. But those at Apple persevere. I recently spoke to a person who left Sun computing and they remarked his Apple SE seemed genuinely happy to go above and beyond the call of duty. There are not so much technical challenges as personnel challenges. The team heading up Sales, especially for Enterprise, is outstanding. I would attribute a significant change in customer mentality towards Mac OS X to these people.

MT: So how do companies make the switch, on an Enterprise level, so to speak?

SR: It's not a simple process. Getting the buy-in of the department manager or CIO is a great start. You have a section of the administrative world that still sees Macs plus AppleTalk multiplied by messy networks equals "we don't understand them". I once told the CIO of a company, when speaking about Apple entering the larger business markets, "Apple does not deserve my loyalty, but they have earned my respect." Someone needs to be in front of these administrators and let them know that Mac OS X Server is here to stay. It's interesting to see their response when shown what Mac OS X and Mac OS X Server can do. The market is ripe for a change, and Apple knows this. You have to more hardware and more staff ensures job security. Mac OS X Servers are a great start. Laptops and Mac OS X desktops can come later. Selling the hardware is only part of the solution. For someone to change over, a long-term plan must be in place meeting the criteria I spoke of earlier.

MT: What do you see as the bumps on the road to getting there?

SR: I would guess that the percentage of sales of Xserve and Xserve RAIDs cannot come close to iPod sales. However, you have the opportunity to grow other aspects of the business off sales of Mac OS X Server related products; training, repair kits, extended warranties, solutions, etc. When servers go in, Mac OS X soon follows. Ergo, listening to customers about issues surrounding Mac OS X Server should be taken seriously. Security is an enormous factor. Apple has fantastic security architecture. Do we see that in Apple's marketing literature or on the web site? Apple has an Active Directory plug-in allowing Mac OS X to integrate seamlessly with an Active Directory domain. Why this is not promoted better in Windows based PC magazines and web sites is beyond me.

MT: So, let's say you are king of the world; what would you have Apple do to improve their position in large scale IT departments?

SR: Fully support the extended schema by both offering phone support and training to allow easier integration of Windows clients. Packet signing and other similar services that Active Directory offers to its clients. Spend the money and purchase Thursby Software outright. I know that's a Microsoftee thing to do, but they have exactly what Apple needs, and they'll gain some talent found nowhere else in the industry. Develop WWTC, a World Wide Technical Conference. This can encompass WWDC, the World Wide Developer Conference and WWIT, a World Wide Information Technology Conference. I'd love to head that up. With the move to Intel, both aspects of this transition should be explored. This conference would take the IT world by storm.

MT:What is your perception of Apples move to the Intel processor? Good move or bad?

SR: Heh. Buy Apple stock.

MT: Thanks for taking the time do talk with us.

SR: My pleasure. I think this type of forum is productive. There are many Macintosh IT professionals out there, and I know many of them. You should hear some of the things they have to say.

MT: Cool. Want a job?

SR: (laughs)

Editor's note: Shortly after this interview, we actually did offer Schoun the job. Beginning with the December issue of MacTech, each month Schoun will be interviewing a Mac IT manager, and sharing with you their strategies for dealing with their most pressing issues. Be looking for "In The Trenches" each month in MacTech!!


"Honest to God, no s#@&, there I was." Thus begins the story of Reviews Editor Michael R. Harvey, a man who only wishes he could have slept his way to the top. From his humble beginnings as a helicopter crew chief in the U.S. Army, serving in both the Panama invasion and the first Gulf War, to UC Santa Barbara, earning a B.S. in Aquatic Biology, he gained his Mac experience in various places. From his early super hero days as the computer go to geek in freshman dorm, on to several positions in the undergrad labs on campus and with various consulting firms, to his current secret identity as the Senior Systems Technician at the Ventura County Star newspaper. Add to that other early jobs as a pizza delivery boy, and bouncer, and Michael was perfectly poised to take the Reviews Editor job in July 2002, wrangling both writers and vendors into line to be able to bring to you reviews of cool, and yes, even useful, products (even penning a few choice pieces himself). You're welcome. Contact him at reviews@mactech.com

 
AAPL
$98.15
Apple Inc.
-0.23
MSFT
$43.58
Microsoft Corpora
-0.31
GOOG
$587.42
Google Inc.
+1.81

MacTech Search:
Community Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Knock 1.1.7 - Unlock your Mac by knockin...
Knock is a faster, safer way to sign in. You keep your iPhone with you all the time. Now you can use it as a password. You never have to open the app -- just knock on your phone twice, even when it's... Read more
Mellel 3.3.6 - Powerful word processor w...
Mellel is the leading word processor for OS X and has been widely considered the industry standard since its inception. Mellel focuses on writers and scholars for technical writing and multilingual... Read more
LibreOffice 4.3.0.4 - Free Open Source o...
LibreOffice is an office suite (word processor, spreadsheet, presentations, drawing tool) compatible with other major office suites. The Document Foundation is coordinating development and... Read more
Freeway Pro 7.0 - Drag-and-drop Web desi...
Freeway Pro lets you build websites with speed and precision... without writing a line of code! With it's user-oriented drag-and-drop interface, Freeway Pro helps you piece together the website of... Read more
Drive Genius 3.2.4 - Powerful system uti...
Drive Genius is an OS X utility designed to provide unsurpassed storage management. Featuring an easy-to-use interface, Drive Genius is packed with powerful tools such as a drive optimizer, a... Read more
Vitamin-R 2.15 - Personal productivity t...
Vitamin-R creates the optimal conditions for your brain to work at its best by structuring your work into short bursts of distraction-free, highly focused activity alternating with opportunities for... Read more
Toast Titanium 12.0 - The ultimate media...
Toast Titanium goes way beyond the very basic burning in the Mac OS and iLife software, and sets the standard for burning CDs, DVDs, and now Blu-ray discs on the Mac. Create superior sounding audio... Read more
OS X Yosemite Wallpaper 1.0 - Desktop im...
OS X Yosemite Wallpaper is the gorgeous new background image for Apple's upcoming OS X 10.10 Yosemite. This wallpaper is available for all screen resolutions with a source file that measures 5,418... Read more
Acorn 4.4 - Bitmap image editor. (Demo)
Acorn is a new image editor built with one goal in mind - simplicity. Fast, easy, and fluid, Acorn provides the options you'll need without any overhead. Acorn feels right, and won't drain your bank... Read more
Bartender 1.2.20 - Organize your menu ba...
Bartender lets you organize your menu bar apps. Features: Lets you tidy your menu bar apps how you want. See your menu bar apps when you want. Hide the apps you need to run, but do not need to... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Ice Wings Plus (Games)
Ice Wings Plus 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: THE GREAT ENDLESS RUNNER OF COMBAT JETS IS BACK !! With more than 680.000 downloads in the App Store, Ice Wings: Skies of Steel... | Read more »
Murl the Squirrel (Games)
Murl the Squirrel 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Meet Murl. He is teased by a group of flying squirrels because he can't fly. Determined to show them he's can fly, he meets... | Read more »
Celleste (Games)
Celleste 0.1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 0.1 (iTunes) Description: Lots of cute action with amazing 3D graphics and a new type of gameplay! Take control over the forces of the universe to help a group... | Read more »
Super Heavy Sword (Games)
Super Heavy Sword 0.0.1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $.99, Version: 0.0.1 (iTunes) Description: Get Ready to Get HEAVY! Monster Robot Studios presents SUPER Heavy Sword! The sequel to the smash hit HEAVY sword which... | Read more »
Angels In The Sky (Games)
Angels In The Sky 1.00 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $6.99, Version: 1.00 (iTunes) Description: - A.I.S will only run smoothly on iPhone 5s. It's NOT compatible with iPad, iPhone 5 or earlier devices.- In order to... | Read more »
80 Days (Games)
80 Days 1.0.2 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0.2 (iTunes) Description: 1872, with a steampunk twist. Phileas Fogg has wagered he can circumnavigate the world in just eighty days. Choose your own route... | Read more »
Micromon (Games)
Micromon 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: 130+ Animated Monsters to Catch & Battle! No waiting, play at your own pace! Embark on an epic monster capture RPG like none... | Read more »
Empire Manager (Games)
Empire Manager 1.0 Device: iOS iPhone Category: Games Price: $3.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Become ruler of an empire. Manage your economy, develop technology, hire an army and conquer the world in this addictive turn-... | Read more »
Empire Manager HD (Games)
Empire Manager HD 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $7.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Become ruler of an empire. Manage your economy, develop technology, hire an army and conquer the world in this addictive... | Read more »
Star Admiral Review
Star Admiral Review By Rob Thomas on July 30th, 2014 Our Rating: :: ADMIRABLE ADMIRALSUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad While this new digital CCG may feel a bit familiar, Star Admiral offers a sci-fi twist and galaxy’s... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

iPad Cannibalization Threat “Overblown”
Seeking Alpha’s Kevin Greenhalgh observes that while many commentators think Apple’s forthcoming 5.5-inch panel iPhone 6 will cannibalize iPad sales, in his estimation, these concerns are being... Read more
Primate Labs Releases July 2014 MacBook Pro P...
Primate Labs’ John Poole has posted Geekbench 3 results for most of the new MacBook Pro models that Apple released on Tuesday. Poole observes that overall performance improvements for the new MacBook... Read more
Apple Re-Releases Bugfixed MacBook Air EFI Fi...
Apple has posted a bugfixed version EFI Firmware Update 2.9 a for MacBook Air (Mid 2011) models. The update addresses an issue where systems may take longer to wake from sleep than expected, and... Read more
Save $50 on the 2.5GHz Mac mini, plus free sh...
B&H Photo has the 2.5GHz Mac mini on sale for $549.99 including free shipping. That’s $50 off MSRP, and B&H will also include a free copy of Parallels Desktop software. NY sales tax only. Read more
Save up to $140 on an iPad Air with Apple ref...
Apple is offering Certified Refurbished iPad Airs for up to $140 off MSRP. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free. Stock tends to come and go with some of these... Read more
$250 price drop on leftover 15-inch Retina Ma...
B&H Photo has dropped prices on 2013 15″ Retina MacBook Pros by $250 off original MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 15″ 2.3GHz Retina MacBook Pro: $2249, $250 off... Read more
More iPad Upgrade Musings – The ‘Book Mystiqu...
Much discussed recently, what with Apple reporting iPad sales shrinkage over two consecutive quarters, is that it had apparently been widely assumed that tablet users would follow a two-year hardware... Read more
13-inch 2.5GHz MacBook Pro on sale for $999,...
Best Buy has the 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pro available for $999.99 on their online store. Choose free shipping or free instant local store pickup (if available). Their price is $100 off MSRP. Price is... Read more
Save up to $300 on an iMac with Apple refurbi...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished iMacs available for up to $300 off the cost of new models. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping is free. These are the best prices on... Read more
WaterField Unveils 15″ Outback Solo & 13″...
Hard on the heels of Apple’s refreshed MacBook Pro Retina laptops announcement, WaterField Designs has unveiled a 15-inch version of the waxed-canvas and leather Outback Solo and a 13-inch version of... Read more

Jobs Board

Sr. Product Leader, *Apple* Store Apps - Ap...
**Job Summary** Imagine what you could do here. At Apple , great ideas have a way of becoming great products, services, and customer experiences very quickly. Bring Read more
Sr Software Lead Engineer, *Apple* Online S...
Sr Software Lead Engineer, Apple Online Store Publishing Systems Keywords: Company: Apple Job Code: E3PCAK8MgYYkw Location (City or ZIP): Santa Clara Status: Full Read more
Sr Software Lead Engineer, *Apple* Online S...
Sr Software Lead Engineer, Apple Online Store Publishing Systems Keywords: Company: Apple Job Code: E3PCAK8MgYYkw Location (City or ZIP): Santa Clara Status: Full Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant (ASC) - Apple (...
**Job Summary** The ASC is an Apple employee who serves as an Apple brand ambassador and influencer in a Reseller's store. The ASC's role is to grow Apple Read more
Sr. Product Leader, *Apple* Store Apps - Ap...
**Job Summary** Imagine what you could do here. At Apple , great ideas have a way of becoming great products, services, and customer experiences very quickly. Bring Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.