There's been a lot of chatter in the market lately about native support for the Mac platform by remote monitoring and management software providers. Certainly, LabTech 2012 introduced native support recently of both Linux and Mac agents to make it easier for IT service providers to support heterogeneous customer environments. But I think we are still on the cusp of seeing serious mainstream demand for these offerings. Here's why.
Talking to people with their ear to the ground on this trend, MSPs say they are looking for their RMM platforms to support Mac, but there are other things above that on their wishlists. Their customers really may only have a few users on Mac. Most are still Windows shops, even if some people are bringing their iPads and iPhones to work and onto the network, and Apple is slowly releasing solutions to help with that. For instance, last fall Arlin Sorenson of HTG Peer Groups and HTG Technology Solutions told me that HTG members had recently been trained by Apple trainers on managing Apple mobility plays such as iPad and iPhone. But his business, while participating in the training, was still a Windows shop.
Meanwhile, RMM provider Servoyant's MSP partners' number one request is for more integrations with the plethora of backup and disaster recovery solutions out there. The company is planning support for Mac platforms in the third or fourth quarter this year. It's just not as high a priority as some of the other requests by Servoyant MSPs.
So while customers may want the native Mac support, the page hasn't turned yet. There are still more PCs in cubicles out there than there are Macs. But that demand is coming and more MSPs are looking to eventually add that Mac support.
Which is probably why LabTech is still beating the drum on its LabTech 2012 platform which added the native agents for Mac and Linux.
LabTech offered a deeper look into the benefits MSPs gain a with the Mac and Linux support in its new platform, including the following:
- Rapid response to activities by instantly connecting to Mac or Linux systems
- Audit systems hardware and software to enable visibility into system components
- Execute remote command-line options to perform advanced troubleshooting or system administration
- End-user system tray functionality for quick access to common tasks such as creating tickets, sending screen captures, viewing system information and more
- Monitor and alert reporting on key system health indicators