Multiplying Macs: LeRoy Dennison's Time-Saving Tip to Managing Macs in the Workplace

We are excited to have a special Guest Blog this week from one our most valuable, long-time partners, LeRoy Dennison.  LeRoy is a highly regarded Apple expert, having served various Mac-centric roles throughout his esteemed career.  Read on to learn LeRoy’s review of Parallels Mac Management for Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager and let us know if you are experiencing an increase in Macs in your network and the steps you’re taking to keep them centrally managed.

More and more Macs are entering the workplace, and not just in marketing and graphics departments. They are in the hands of executives on down to newly hired recent college graduates who want to use a Mac at work, not a Windows box. This means IT shops that previously did not support Macs now have to support them, but in a lot of cases they don’t have the tools or the knowledge to effectively do so.  

In my experience working with IT—especially in enterprise class corporations—many are already using a given tool to manage their Windows PCs, and now they must find a way to support Macs. What they really want is the ability to use that same tool to manage their Macs. The Director of IT at a corporation does not want to hear that there is a need to buy another client management tool to support the organization’s Macs. With most IT shops being Microsoft-centric, the tool that many already use to manage their Windows PCs is Microsoft’s own SCCM (System Center Configuration Manager). When the IT Director hears that there is a plug-in available that will allow for the management of Macs using SCCM, selling that will be a lot easier than trying to sell the idea of implementing a totally separate client management solution just to support the Macs.

With the Parallels Mac Management for Microsoft SCCM plug-in, IT can not only update the inventory to include all the Macs, but can manage configurations, push out software updates and patches, manage virtual machines on the Macs that still need to run Windows (to access an Active-X driven website or to run a custom Windows application), and even deploy images.

I am not going to tell you that SCCM is the best client management tool available, but I will tell you that most IT professionals are resistant to change; it’s human nature.  I will also tell you that many IT shops use SCCM. If they are being “forced” to support Macs, allowing them to use the management tool that they are familiar with will result in this “forced management” being a lot less disruptive to the end users who just want things to work.

About LeRoy Dennison

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LeRoy holds a BS degree in Information Science from Christopher Newport University in Newport News, VA.  He retired as an E-9 from the U. S. Coast Guard after 22 years of service.  A good bit of his Coast Guard career was spent doing Instructional Systems Design—including job task analysis, training needs analysis, designing, developing, implementing, and evaluating curricula—and running a school that conducted training on Meteorology and Computer Operations and Management.  His service experience also included being a Total Quality Management Facilitator.  

Post retirement, he worked for Computer Sciences Corporation as the head of the Macintosh system administrator team at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, then as the Senior Systems Engineer for MacCenter—the Apple Agent at that time—in Virginia, before starting to work directly for Apple in June of 2000.  

As an Apple employee, LeRoy worked as a Senior Systems Engineer supporting K-12 education in the Tampa, Florida area while also serving as an Apple Certified Trainer teaching Training and Certification courses on-site to education customers throughout the southeast U.S.  From the spring of 2004 until Jan 2010, LeRoy served as the Senior Manager, Technical Training for Apple Global Training where he was responsible for all technical aspects of assets produced by Apple Global Training as well as the IT Training and Certification curriculum.  

In February of 2010, LeRoy left Apple to become the Partner and Solutions Manager, a technical business development manager, for Active Storage, Inc. 

LeRoy started his consultancy in 2011, but shortly thereafter went to work for PC Mall Services.  From October 2011 until March 2013, LeRoy was the Apple Consulting Manager for PC Mall Services.  From April - December of 2013, he was the Director, Apple and Mobility Practice for PCM's Services Division where he was responsible for a team of consulting engineers that focused on Apple enterprise engagements and all aspects of secure mobility for internal projects as well as for PCM customers.

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Don't You (Forget About Me) – RIP Macworld Expo: 1985-2014

The day was February 21, 1985. Teens were flocking to theatres in droves to see John Hughes’ latest hit movie, “The Breakfast Club,” and they were probably listening to Wham’s “Careless Whisper” in the car on the way…it was the #1 song on the charts at the time. If you lived in the San Francisco Bay Area and loved computers, you might’ve been heading to Brooks Hall, near the Civic Center, for the very first Macworld Expo.

The first Macworld in February 1985 (image courtesy of SFGate).

The first Macworld in February 1985 (image courtesy of SFGate).

Sadly, Macworld now looks to be coming to a close after “a remarkable 30 year run that changed the technology industry.” Per an announcement on the event website from IDG, the event’s parent company, the Macworld | iWorld Expo is going on hiatus and there will be no 2015 event. 

If there’s a silver lining to the demise of Macworld | iWorld, it’s that IDG has opted to continue on with the MacIT Conference, which for 10 years had been a separate and much smaller event running alongside the main show. The decision makes sense. Macs have been growing in the business space for years, and as the Consumerization of IT and BYOD trends began to take off, MacIT sprung up as a vital platform for those conversations to happen annually at the Moscone Center. MacIT now steps out as the premier event for enterprise IT professionals looking to manage and deploy Apple products into the workplace. For anyone driving some sort of Apple-in-the-Enterprise strategy, MacIT has become the place to be. 

One of our favorite events of the year, Parallels has been involved with the MacIT conference as a premier sponsor since its inception. As a leader in providing seamless solutions for making Windows and Mac work together, we look forward to helping IT pros with everything they need to support their Mac environment – especially if it’s right alongside their Windows infrastructure! Dates and information for MacIT 2015 are coming soon. We look forward to seeing you there!

Mac Management…Simplified!

If you are challenged with managing the Macs in your business but don’t want a completely separate management system, we have good news for you!

Parallels Mac Management for Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager leverages your existing system to manage Macs the same way you do your PCs…all under one pane of glass!

Take a look at our latest infographic which gives you an at-a-glance view of the features you get with Parallels Mac Management.  There’s no more reason to wait, get those Macs under control! 

For questions and more information, please contact us directly at (425) 282-6448 or via email at usentsales@parallels.com

Not Your Grandpa's Office

Anyone else out there addicted to the AMC series Mad Men?  While we love the characters, period costumes, sets and idiosyncrasies, we also cringe at some of the “state of the art” office tools used during the 60’s. The dictaphone is a classic…simply talk into a tape recorder, bring the whole contraption to your secretary and then wait a few days for the typed-out document before mailing said document to your client. Cutting edge!   

Thank goodness for the advancement of technology. Today’s office is a far cry from your grandpa’s workplace. With instant access to a growing universe of apps designed to increase productivity, encourage collaboration and instantly communicate with co-workers, today’s workers expect near-autonomy from IT to do what they want, when they want and from whatever device they choose. Talk about transformation!

Let’s qualify this concept. According to a Forrester’s 2013 “Workforce Personas and the Mobile App Gap” report, 29 percent of global information workers work from multiple locations on multiple devices with many applications. An additional 25 percent compensate for missing IT-supported mobile applications by bringing their own applications and cloud services.

Feeling vulnerable? It’s important for businesses to be realistic about the motivations for why workers turn to tools like Dropbox, Skype and Evernote, then find appropriate solutions to support them. If asked, employees will likely point to convenience and ease of use – factors largely driven by a killer UI and sleek UX. Don Draper would surely swoon over such luxuries!  

If your organization needs to support workers across multiple devices and multiple locations, we have some good news. Parallels Access for Business lets IT professionals provide secure remote access from an iPad, iPhone or Android device directly into desktop applications on their PC or Mac. Plus, IT maintains centralized management of licenses, permissions and computers accessed by the application. It’s the best of both worlds…end users have access to their preferred applications, but under the control of IT.

Learn more about Parallels Access for Business by contacting our business licensing team at usentsales@parallels.com. And the next time you watch some dapper 60’s ad exec wait patiently for the dialer on his telephone to auto-return each number, give thanks to our predecessors for pushing the limits on innovation so we can survive the office of the future…today!


Parallels Around the World


Thousands of companies around the world choose Parallels solutions to help them support Macs in Windows’s heavy environments.  And we have an awesome team of business licensing experts and sales engineers available in many of those regions to help IT pros with everything from answering basic questions to providing product demos and even just lending a helping hand when necessary.

Now that we have just released the most significant version of Parallels Desktop 10 for Mac Enterprise Edition EVER, You may be wanting to know a little bit more about how you can try it out for your business.  Any one of these smiling folks shown here (and even those not in the picture) are waiting for your call!  They’re excited to tell you about the plethora of new features available for IT administrators.

Including:

  •  Simplified administration with single-key licensing available only in Parallels Desktop Enterprise
  • New security enhancements, like USB devices policy enforcement
  • Performance upgrades that include 30% longer battery life
  • The fastest application launch times for increased end user productivity
  • and so much more!

Contact our business licensing team for more information or to schedule a product demonstration.