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3 Surprising Ways the Mac Improves Enterprise Collaboration

Client Computing | Posted on September 27, 2013 by Joseph Byer

Gone are the days where employees blindly accept their corporate-issued PC. A Forrester report stated that many high-ranking employees prefer the Mac®, as “most of the Macs today are being freewheeled into the office by executives, top sales reps, and other workaholics.” This motivation goes beyond just wanting a pretty new machine, too. The report also suggests these Mac users are more productive than PC users – and earning 44% more money.

What does this have to do with IT? By not supporting the Mac – or doing the bare minimum to support them – you’re making life difficult for your executives and top performers.

Fortunately, things are changing, and it’s getting vastly easier to integrate the Mac into your environment so everyone benefits from a seamless collaboration experience.

We’ve found that there are three major surprises in store for our clients as we guide them through this process of integration.

1. Mac Offers Easy Enterprise Integration

One of the biggest myths about the Mac is that they don’t mix well with other business systems. However, Mac integrates with Windows Server, Microsoft Exchange and Cisco VPN out of the box – allowing you to quickly provision Mac users with the services they need to do their jobs. You may provision these services with pre-delivery imaging, remote management or mobile device management (MDM).

Mac users may also access Windows FileShare servers on SMB. With the upcoming release of OS X Mavericks, SMB2 will make it even easier for Mac users to collaborate with clients and colleagues.

As little as a decade ago, many mainstream business apps were not available for both PCs and Mac. Now, productivity suites like Microsoft Office have Mac versions that offer feature parity – or even some advantages over their PC counterparts. And legacy corporate apps may be accessed easily on Macs via virtualization tools like Parallels Desktop, VMware View or Citrix Receiver.

2. The Cloud Improves Cross-Platform Compatibility

Cloud services also help with cross-platform compatibility and are the best option when you need apps that run on both Mac and PC. In fact, many business apps are now available only via the cloud. Box, Adobe Creative
Cloud and Office 365 are prime examples. This means that your organization does not need to rely on a single system to give employees access to the same apps and services. Plus, since users access cloud services from any device, they will enjoy greater freedom and mobility.

In addition, the popularity of SaaS is making the actual hardware that people use less relevant. When all of your business applications are in the cloud, it may not matter if your employees prefer Macs or PCs. SaaS may also help with cross-compatibility, as it becomes easier for employees to collaborate on cloud-based documents regardless of the hardware they’re using.

3. Mac Supports Collaboration

One of IT’s biggest concerns about supporting the Mac is the perception that Mac hinders collaboration. However, Mac OS X® supports enterprise messaging with Cisco Jabber, Microsoft Lync and Fuze Meetings. This makes it easy for Mac users to collaborate with others on a variety of mobile and desktop platforms. For example, it is possible to get Mac users on iChat® connecting with Windows users on Lync.

Be sure to check out the “How to Decide if Your Organization Is Apple-Ready” infographic for a quiz that takes you through the key questions you must ask before you bring Mac into your organization.

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