Apple’s unspoken policy of ignoring the Enterprise just went out the window…

For years, the natural momentum of Apple products infiltrating the enterprise has been a sore spot for enterprise IT. At least part of that pain was driven by Apple’s apparent indifference to that segment of its users.

In a move that came as a surprise to many industry watchers, Apple last week announced a groundbreaking partnership with IBM, a rival that Steve Jobs famously dismissed on multiple occasions. The two giants will co-develop more than 100 enterprise-ready iOS apps to serve growing fleets of mobile workers. Meanwhile, enterprises will have new packaged offerings from IBM for iOS device activation, supply and management, complete with perks like access to unique iOS-optimized IBM cloud services like device management, security, analytics and mobile integration.

Is this an arranged marriage, or does it truly make sense? John Moltz put it this way:

“An Apple and IBM partnership makes sense in the same way Apple selling its products through Walmart makes sense. Apple defended selling through Walmart by saying “Their stores are where ours aren’t.” The kinds of large enterprises where IBM has a presence are the places where Apple has the least penetration.”

By all intents and purposes, Apple had seemed content to let organic worker BYOD habits drive the consumerization of IT, and it gained a nice foothold into the Microsoft-dominated enterprise IT market simply by doing nothing. With this partnership, the company’s unspoken policy of ignoring the enterprise just went out the window. If you’re involved in enterprise IT at any level, this is a very big deal.

In an interview with Re/Code, Apple CEO Tim Cook admitted “The kind of deep industry expertise you would need to really transform the enterprise isn’t in our DNA. But it is in IBM’s.”

IBM’s market strength and coverage gives Apple enterprise capability and credibility, while IBM gets a huge advantage in the race for mobile enterprise leadership. Put simply, the company that has helped to build and shape the modern consumer technology landscape teaming up with the company that built and shaped the foundation of computing in the enterprise may have just killed Google in the enterprise.

The move also serves to underscore another major challenge enterprise IT is facing – making Windows-centric systems available for Mac users in the enterprise. As platform-agnostic environments grow increasingly necessary for enterprises to compete at the highest levels, solutions like Parallels Desktop for Mac Enterprise Edition – which helps cross-platform businesses run Windows on Mac – become more vital.

The need for solutions has continued to soar as more and more companies find they must address the demand for cross-platform computing. Parallels has built a foundation on developing innovative products designed to help enterprises solve complex IT challenges. Parallels Access for Business helps IT managers empower employees to use their favorite mobile devices (Android phones and tablets, iPhones and iPads) to run applications on their PCs and Macs, and with Parallels Mac Management, IT professionals who manage PCs through Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) can now easily manage Macs just like PCs through a simple plugin.

The roll-out of new iOS business apps, which begins this fall, promises to impact a range of industries including retail, health care, transportation, banking, insurance and telecommunications. Your move, Google and Microsoft.

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Introducing the Parallels Application Portal for Mac

Since version one, Parallels Mac Management for SCCM has supported the ability to deploy software, patches, and scripts to Macs. However, Parallels Mac Management only supported the SCCM Package deployment model.

In my daily discussions with customers, I often hear two questions, “Do you have any plans to add support for SCCM Applications?” frequently followed by “What about SCCM Application Portal functionality for Macs?”

Today, I am pleased to announce that with Parallels Mac Management v3.0 the answer to both questions is “YES!” 

Parallels Mac Management v3.0 introduces many exciting features that benefit both IT administrators and end-users. One notable new feature is the Parallels Application Portal for Mac. The Application Portal offers functionality similar to the SCCM Application Catalog on Windows computers, acting as the Mac user’s gateway to the applications they can use even if they don’t have administrative rights on their Macs. 

Support for SCCM Applications

·       Deploy SCCM Applications using Parallels Mac Management the same way you deploy applications to Mac computers using native SCCM Mac management functionality. 

·       We even went the extra mile and added the ability to uninstall SCCM applications.

Stay tuned for even more exciting updates with Parallels Mac Management.  In future updates of we plan to make application deployment to Macs EVEN MORE robust!

For a step-by-step guide on how to and deploy applications to Macs, see “How to Create and Deploy Applications for Mac Computers in Configuration Manager” on the TechNet web site.

Check out the new version, and let me know what you think.  I’d love to hear from you.

Our Parallels Channel Team Hits the Streets!

Recently our newest member of the Parallels Channel Team, Whitney Parsons hit the ground running at an introductory lunch with one of our local partners' Apple Brand Champion!  We are sure this will be the first of many PRODUCTIVE lunch meetings as Whitney continues to work with local Seattle reseller partners educating them about our awesome solutions that help customers support and manage Apple hardware in Windows-heavy businesses!  Good job Whitney!

The Differences between Excel for Mac and Excel for Window

The CFOs best friend and a workhorse for analysis, we continue looking at the differences between the Mac and Windows versions of Office.

So, given this surge of interest, in a series of blog posts I will examine the differences between the Mac and the Windows versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook. My post last week was about PowerPoint, and today’s post is about Excel.

Are there differences between Excel for Mac and Excel for Windows? Sure there are. Is Excel for Mac the spreadsheet application that is the closest in both functionality and document compatibility with Excel for Windows? Absolutely! In fact, due to a significant effort by the MacExcel team, Excel 2011 is closer to Excel for Windows than any previous version of MacExcel. Are these assertions contradictory? Not at all. Let me explain by getting into the details of each statement.

Due to the size of its user base, its market share, and its ubiquity, Excel for Windows is the gold standard in spreadsheets. Every other spreadsheet or spreadsheet-like application is measured against this standard – both in terms of document compatibility (bidirectional) and overall features and functionality. Without a doubt, of all other spreadsheet applications, Excel for Mac 2011 is the closest to this standard. And yet, there are features in Excel for Windows that are not in Excel for Mac, and there are features in Excel for Mac that are not in Excel for Windows. The following table lists most of these differences.

EXCEL FOR WINDOWS PROVIDES FULL SUPPORT FOR CREATION OF AND INERACTION WITH CHARTS BASED ON PIVOTTABLES.  EXCEL FOR MAC WILL DISPLAY PIVOTCHARTS CREATED IN EXCEL FOR WINDOWS, BUT THE MAC USERS WILL NOT BE ABLE TO USE THE INTERACTIVITY OF A PIVOTCHART.

EXCEL FOR WINDOWS PROVIDES FULL SUPPORT FOR CREATION OF AND INERACTION WITH CHARTS BASED ON PIVOTTABLES.  EXCEL FOR MAC WILL DISPLAY PIVOTCHARTS CREATED IN EXCEL FOR WINDOWS, BUT THE MAC USERS WILL NOT BE ABLE TO USE THE INTERACTIVITY OF A PIVOTCHART.

PRIVACY FEATURES IN EXCEL FOR WINDOWS ENABLE THE AUTHOR OF A SPREADSHEET TO CONTROL WHAT INFORMATION IS UPLOADED OR SAVED WHEN USING EXCEL FOR WINDOWS.

PRIVACY FEATURES IN EXCEL FOR WINDOWS ENABLE THE AUTHOR OF A SPREADSHEET TO CONTROL WHAT INFORMATION IS UPLOADED OR SAVED WHEN USING EXCEL FOR WINDOWS.

EXCEL FOR WINDOWS PROVIDES FULL SUPPORT FOR THE CREATION OF TYPOGRAPHICALLY CORRECT EQUATIONS.

EXCEL FOR WINDOWS PROVIDES FULL SUPPORT FOR THE CREATION OF TYPOGRAPHICALLY CORRECT EQUATIONS.

EXCEL FOR WINDOWS PROVIDES FOR THE SAVING OF EXCEL SPREADSHEETS IN A WIDE VARIETY OF FORMATS INCLUDING XPS AND ODS.

EXCEL FOR WINDOWS PROVIDES FOR THE SAVING OF EXCEL SPREADSHEETS IN A WIDE VARIETY OF FORMATS INCLUDING XPS AND ODS.

THE ACCESSIBILITY CHECKERS KNOWN ON THE BACKSTAGE, IN EXCEL FOR WINDOWS ENABLES THE AUTHOR TO SEE POSSIBLE ACCESSIBILITY ISSUES IN EXCEL SPREADSHEETS SO THAT SOMEONE WITH A DISABILITY AN READ AND GET TO YOUR CONTENT.

THE ACCESSIBILITY CHECKERS KNOWN ON THE BACKSTAGE, IN EXCEL FOR WINDOWS ENABLES THE AUTHOR TO SEE POSSIBLE ACCESSIBILITY ISSUES IN EXCEL SPREADSHEETS SO THAT SOMEONE WITH A DISABILITY AN READ AND GET TO YOUR CONTENT.

In a later blog post, I will cover the last remaining app in the Office suite: Outlook.

Kurt is a Senior Product Manager at Parallels focusing on Parallels Desktop for Mac andParallels Access. Prior to this, he was in the Office for Mac team at Microsoft. He is also the author of the “Kurt’s Power Tips” series of blog posts on the Office for Mac blog (Tip 1Tip 2Tip 3Tip 4, andTip 5).


CUSTOMER SHOWCASE: Adam Kostrzak, Lytro, Inc.

There are thousands of companies around the world running on Parallels Desktop for Mac Enterprise Edition.  One such company is Lytro, Inc. located in Silicon Valley, California.  Lytro is a startup company founded in 2006 by Ren Ng, a light field researcher at Stanford University, which manufactures plenoptic cameras for consumer use.  Their IT director, Adam Kostrzak manages a 100% Mac environment for engineers developing solutions for all platforms.

As IT Manager for the UW-Oshkosh Bookstore years ago, he realized that there is always a need for those skilled in filling the gap between technology and its users.   Over the past 18 years Adam has parlayed his skill in this area into many leadership roles spanning much of what the Silicon Valley is known for, from leading global IT Support and Infrastructure services at Yahoo! to his current position at Lytro.

Watch this video to learn more about Lytro and how they use Parallels Desktop for Mac Enterprise Edition.  Then, contact us at (425) 282-6448 to learn more about Parallels solutions for YOUR business!