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 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 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


Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Suitcase Fusion 6 17.3.0 - Font manageme...
Suitcase Fusion 6 is the creative professional's font manager. Every professional font manager should deliver the basics: spectacular previews, powerful search tools, and efficient font organization... Read more
Nisus Writer Pro 2.1.2 - Multilingual wo...
Nisus Writer Pro is a powerful multilingual word processor, similar to its entry level products, but brings new features such as table of contents, indexing, bookmarks, widow and orphan control,... Read more
calibre 2.40.0 - Complete e-book library...
Calibre is a complete e-book library manager. Organize your collection, convert your books to multiple formats, and sync with all of your devices. Let Calibre be your multi-tasking digital librarian... Read more
Vivaldi - An advanced browser...
Vivaldi is a browser for our friends. In 1994, two programmers started working on a web browser. Our idea was to make a really fast browser, capable of running on limited hardware, keeping in mind... Read more
OmniPlan 3.0 - Robust project management...
With OmniPlan, you can create logical, manageable project plans with Gantt charts, schedules, summaries, milestones, and critical paths. Break down the tasks needed to make your project a success,... Read more
Yummy FTP 1.11 - FTP/SFTP/FTPS client fo...
Yummy FTP is an FTP + SFTP + FTPS file transfer client which focuses on speed, reliability and productivity. Whether you need to transfer a few files or a few thousand, schedule automatic backups, or... Read more
Tweetbot 2.1 - Popular Twitter client. (...
Tweetbot is a full-featured OS X Twitter client with a lot of personality. Whether it's the meticulously-crafted interface, sounds and animation, or features like multiple timelines and column views... Read more
MacPilot 8.0 - Enable over 1,200 hidden...
MacPilot gives you the power of UNIX and the simplicity of Macintosh, which means a phenomenal amount of untapped power in your hands! Use MacPilot to unlock over 1,200 features, and access them all... Read more
Typinator 6.7 - Speedy and reliable text...
Typinator turbo-charges your typing productivity. Type a little. Typinator does the rest. We've all faced projects that require repetitive typing tasks. With Typinator, you can store commonly used... Read more
Adobe Lightroom 6.2 - Import, develop, a...
Adobe Lightroom is available as part of Adobe Creative Cloud for as little as $9.99/month bundled with Photoshop CC as part of the photography package. Lightroom 6 is also available for purchase as a... Read more

Balloony Land offers a fresh twist on th...
Balloony Land by Palringo offers a fresh twist on the match three genre and is out now on iOS and Android. First-off, you'll be popping balloons instead of crushing candy and the balloons will float up and fill the empty spaces instead of dropping... | Read more »
Sago Mini Babies (Education)
Sago Mini Babies 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Education Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Introducing the Sago Mini babies. Boys and girls love caring for these adorable characters. Feed Robin her favorite mush... | Read more »
PAUSE - Relaxation at your fingertip (H...
PAUSE - Relaxation at your fingertip 1.1 Device: iOS iPhone Category: Healthcare & Fitness Price: $1.99, Version: 1.1 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
Super Sharp (Games)
Super Sharp 1.1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.1 (iTunes) Description: Your finger has never been so sharp! Cut with skill to complete the 120 ingenious physics levels of Super Sharp and become a cut... | Read more »
Assembly - Graphic design for everyone...
Assembly - Graphic design for everyone 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Photography Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Assembly is the easiest most powerful design tool on the App Store. Create anything you can... | Read more »
Dub Dash (Games)
Dub Dash 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: ARE YOU READY FOR THE ULTIMATE CHALLENGE? UNIQUE SYMBIOSIS OF MUSIC AND GRAPHICS | Read more »
Leave Me Alone (Games)
Leave Me Alone 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: 33% off launch sale!!! Somewhere between the 1980s and 1990s there exists a world that never was. A world of skatepunks,... | Read more »
YAMGUN (Games)
YAMGUN 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: The invasion has begun! Protect the walls of the citadel against waves of enemies! But watch out, you will soon run out of ammo...... | Read more »
Chesh (Games)
Chesh 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: It’s like chess, only not at all. ***40% off for a limited time to celebrate our launch!*** Chesh is a game of skill, strategy, luck,... | Read more »
Dust: An Elysian Tail (Games)
Dust: An Elysian Tail 1.051 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $5.99, Version: 1.051 (iTunes) Description: *Dust: An Elysian Tail is a visually rich experience and thus requires devices with 1GB RAM**Please note that... | Read more »

Price Scanner via

Apple’s Education discount saves up to $300 o...
Purchase a new Mac or iPad using Apple’s Education Store and take up to $300 off MSRP. All teachers, students, and staff of any educational institution qualify for the discount. Shipping is free, and... Read more
Save up to $350 with Apple refurbished iMacs
Apple has Certified Refurbished iMacs available for up to $350 off the cost of new models. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping is free: - 27″ 3.5GHz 5K iMac – $1949 $350 off MSRP - 27... Read more
Mac Pros on sale for up to $300 off MSRP
B&H Photo has Mac Pros on sale for up to $300 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges sales tax in NY only: - 3.7GHz 4-core Mac Pro: $2818.99, $181 off MSRP - 3.5GHz 6-core Mac Pro: $3699... Read more
5K iMacs on sale for up to $150 off MSRP, fre...
B&H Photo has the 27″ 3.3GHz 5K iMac on sale for $1899.99 including free shipping plus NY tax only. Their price is $100 off MSRP. They have the 27″ 3.5GHz 5K iMac on sale for $2149, $150 off MSRP... Read more
Twelve South Redesigns BookArc For Today’s Sm...
Twelve South has announced a redesigned version of their very first product, BookArc for MacBook. Tailored specifically for the newest generation of MacBooks, BookArc holds the new, smaller Apple... Read more
Phone 6s Tips & Tricks – Tips Book For iP...
Poole, United Kingdom based Tap Guides Ltd. has announced the release and immediate availability of iPhone 6s Tips & Tricks, an in-depth eBook available in the iBookstore that’s priced just $2.99... Read more
Apple refurbished 2014 13-inch Retina MacBook...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2014 13″ Retina MacBook Pros available for up to $400 off original MSRP, starting at $979. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free... Read more
13-inch 2.5GHz MacBook Pro on sale for $994,...
Best Buy has the 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pro available for $994.99 on their online store. Choose free shipping or free instant local store pickup (if available). Their price is $105 off MSRP. Price valid... Read more
Is The iPad Pro Really A Serious Laptop Repla...
Probably not, at least for productive professionals and other power users. Steve Jobs declared that we’d entered the “post-PC Era” with the advent of the original iPad in 2010, a phrase we don’t hear... Read more
Wednesday Deal: 13-inch Retina MacBook Pros f...
Adorama has 13″ Retina MacBook Pros on sale for up to $130 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and Adorama charges sales tax for NY & NJ residents only: - 13″ 2.7GHz/128GB Retina MacBook Pro: $1199.99 $... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Retail Online, Customer Experience R...
**Job Summary** Apple Retail's Online Store sells Apple products to customers around the world. In addition to selling Apple products with unique services such Read more
Frameworks Engineer, *Apple* Watch - Apple...
**Job Summary** Join the team that is shaping the future of software development for Apple Watch! As a software engineer on the Apple Watch Frameworks team you will Read more
Senior Manager, Global Direct Marketing *App...
**Job Summary** Apple Retail is looking for an experienced Direct Marketing Leader to join its Marketing team. This position will take a leadership role in creating Read more
*Apple* Online Store Expansion - Apple (Unit...
**Job Summary** The Online Apple Store is seeking a person to lead its expansion into new countries. Based in Cupertino, CA, this person will develop and maintain an Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Customer Support P...
Job Description:Customer SupportSpecialist - Retail Customer Service and SalesTransform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.