Our guest blog today comes from Nick Brown. Nick was one of our MacIt Conference Giveaway winners and has agreed to give a recap detailing his experiences at the conference. Nick has spent the last four years studying and examining the world of social media marketing, online communications, conversational marketing, digital marketing, public relations, and the community building and branding of social media marketing to better business atmospheres. Nick is also the chief strategist of NMB Social Media with aspirations of becoming a leader in new media and content strategy, along with his social media team. For more information about Nick, visit his company’s website here.
I had so much fun at the MacIT Conference and MacWorld expo in San Francisco. Thank you to @ParallelsMac for providing an All-Access Pass. Traveling to San Francisco was so perfect, that it was almost eerie. I flew through @Delta Airlines from Oklahoma City to the San Francisco International Airport. I sat by some very knowledgeable people on the plane that all loved their Mac and iOS devices, not to mention a fellow Parallels Desktop 7 for Mac user who used Parallels Desktop to run his law firm. I arrived in San Francisco around 6:30pm, caught a cab to the hotel, checked in and grabbed a bite to eat at Tommy’s Joynt (featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives) right across the street from the hotel.
The event was held in the Moscone Center West building in downtown San Fran. The building was nothing but glass and represented contemporary architecture to its fullest. There were people from All over the world at the MacIT Conference and MacWorld Expo. My colleague Grayson and I, became friends with Mats Larsson, who had a huge influence on technology in Sweden, and we also met many people from the Midwest, Silicon Valley, and East Coast of the United States. There were numerous remarkable speakers that discussed topics ranging from the history of Apple as a corporation, to the use of iOS devices in the Pentagon, Lion Server, Mobile Device Management, Remote Desktop and Virtualization, Security, Managing Home Media across multiple devices, and more.
Some speakers and companies that really stood out to me were:
- Chip Pearson (JAMF Software) who talked about the Apple evolution of computing, and how Apple in both personal and enterprise is not just a fad, but a movement. Now is a crucial time for all who have been supporting the platform for years to share knowledge with the world who is seeking experts in Apple technology. *He had a great quote and example for people who complain about “Apple needs to have this, or Apple needs to do this. I can’t do this because Apple…” and that was: “It’s raining outside... complaining about it won’t fix it or change it. So use what you have (raincoat, umbrella) and change your environment and the world you’re living in.” A computer is a bicycle for the mind.
- Chris Pepin and Cary Thomas (IBM) who talked about Deploying Apple in the Enterprise which was a case study that IBM had been doing. Did you know that IBM has over 45,000 full-time regular employees, and 100,000 contractors? The use of Apple products in IBM was actually a lot higher than I imagined. Over 10,000 iPads, 30,000 iPhones, and 10,000 Mac computers are in use each and every day at IBM. The thing I love about IBM is that they’re in a “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) environment. Most employees can bring their own personal devices and receive compensation for either cellular bills, the hardware itself, or even software to use those devices inside the work environment and follow its guidelines. It offers choice and flexibility for employees. It saves both the enterprise and its employees’ money. Look for that to continue being a huge swing over the next couple of years.
- John Welch (The Zimmerman Agency) and Kevin White (Macjutsu, Inc.) had some comprehensive information on both the Lion Operating System, and Lion Server. They discussed how Apple can add changes at will with 10.7, which is a huge change. The way Apple prioritizes changes is by word of mouth. SEND IN FEEDBACK. With the direction that the world and technology are moving in, servers are becoming commodities. The cool thing though is that the Mac Mini server is now on par with the PPC Xserves, only much faster and cheaper. For the price of (1) Xserve you can purchase almost (4) Mac Mini servers. The power use on Mac Minis is significantly lower and more eco-friendly. Additionally, the Mini stays much cooler. If a company’s Xserve experiences a failure, it could be at a huge loss for both time and money until the Xserve gets operational again. Conversely, if a Mac Mini server fails, several others could be available to minimize time and money loss. MacBook Pros can run Lion Server as well. They are easier to move around, stack up, take on the road, and all that is required is an Airport Express.
Be on the lookout for some really cool new consumer products and software to be hitting the retail shelves within the next couple of months. The Neat Company has a lot of exciting new products, and software updates to coincide with their NeatReceipts and NeatDesk filing systems. Their product seems like a great way to keep all of my receipts, documents, and business cards organized in one location. iKeyboard, Inc. has a really incredible product hitting the market soon for around $35. I know many people get tired of carrying around a wireless keyboard, or dislike the mini keyboards that are built in to some iPad cases. The iKeyboard is almost like a bubbled letter keyboard cover that is applied to the top of the keyboard on the iPad. The cover separates the keys individually and really focuses on muscle memory to provide the perfect keyboard experience. It felt awesome, and I almost like typing on it more than I do using a wireless keyboard.
HengeDocks demonstrated a really cool and simplistic docking station for both the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air. It’s really ideal for individuals who use their laptops as workstations, and want to quickly incorporate their MacBook computer into a desktop setup or home theater system. It really keeps that clean, simple look that Apple already provides on all products. Anthro had some really cool charging cabinets, sync stations, and solutions for those who focus a lot on Mobile Device Management. Opena Cases, MacTracker, and SellYourMac.com had the most traffic of any exhibitors at the expo.
Finally, some other cool products/services to check out on your own time are Kudos Tech (wireless charging pad to charge their external battery case on iPhone), Rage Software (social media marketing software, SEO apps and tools), Soonr (software for simple document organization and file-sharing with automatic backup and access from any Web browser or mobile phone), LightSpeed (point of sale system for iOS devices), and Crestron (control EVERYTHING in your office, home, or classroom all from one single app.)