Apple Eases Mac’s Active Directory Integration
Apple knows most of the IT channel leverages Windows software and Microsoft Active Directory. But Steve Jobs and Company wants you to know that the Mac can play nice in Active Directory environments. With that goal in mind, Apple has introduced a few online seminars (essentially short videos) describing the ways in which system administrators can integrate the Mac in the workplace. Is this a sign of things to come?
As we recently noted on MSPmentor, Apple Stores are now dialing small business owners to see if customers are satisfied with their Apple solutions. Plus, Apple is looking to educate and upsell those small business entrepreneurs.
Meanwhile, Apple is taking similar steps with online education. For the basics, VARs can check out how to integrate Macs into a Windows network environment, but if you’re in the corporate or SMB world, you’ll want to check out the new 21 minute long video on Active Directory integration.
So, what are the implications of this Apple-sanctioned union between Mac and PC in the workplace? For one, it shows that Apple understands there’s a level of apprehension when adding a new device into a workplace, especially one that seems to share no traits with existing software. They want to make it easy for you. They want it to “just work.”
But it also shows that the Macintosh has become mainstream enough that it’s proliferating into work environment, either due to popular demand, or out of necessity. Apple may also see this as a chance to sell more Macs and help move more Macs into the enterprise. These videos demonstrate Apple’s commitment to that, in way, saying “We care about you, too, Big Company.” Apple was also smart enough to implement OS-level features to help Macs play with PC’s in an Active Directory world, and that requires some foresight.
What’s interesting about these videos, however, is that they seem downplayed and buried away. They don’t pop up on Apple’s homepage. And although Apple introduced Boot Camp to run Windows on your Mac, that feature has been downplayed too. Apple could run an entire campaign on using Macs in the workplace — either with OS X and Windows — and setup a high-profile page for that, but they haven’t.
Bottom line? We don’t fully know what Apple’s ultimate Channel / IT plan or agenda is. This blogger has reached out to Apple on two separate occasions now, but hasn’t heard a response. We’ll keep trying.