TweetFollow Us on Twitter

In The Trenches

Volume Number: 21 (2005)
Issue Number: 11
Column Tag: Programming

In The Trenches

Talking With One Man on the Front Lines of Mac IT

by Michael R. Harvey

First in a New Monthly Series!

Ever been to Macworld, WWDC, MacRetreats, or an Apple Certified Training course. If the answer is yes, then chances are you have met Schoun Regan. Author of the Mac OS X Server Visual Quick Pro guide from Peachpit Press, editor for most of the Apple Pro Training series books focusing on Mac OS X and Mac OS X Server, Schoun is one of the most powerful forces behind technical training and Mac OS X in the industry today. The list of people he calls his colleagues is a veritable who's who of the Mac OS X high end consulting community. His ideas about the merging of training and consulting surrounding Mac OS X have been accepted by many who listen to him speak, hire his company to develop courseware, or have them consult on deployments of Mac OS X and Mac OS X Server. Arguably, he has been associated with training and Apple operating system software for about as long as the Macintosh has been around. We recently had the chance to sit down with Schoun and get his take on the current state, and future direction, of Macintosh in the enterprise.

MacTech: Where did you get your start in the IT business, and how long have you been at it?

Schoun Regan: I started out at Goodyear Research, where they were testing the strength and elasticity of tire materials. We were able to play with all sorts of dangerous equipment, data collection cards, IBM-XTs, Token Ring networks, AppleTalk, and Novell. It was a blast. After ten years supporting scientists, chemists, and engineers there, I moved on, earned one of the first ACT certifications, and established The Mac Trainers, and later ITInstruction.com. I have taught, and supported Mac OS X/Server installations all over the country, and speak at many Macintosh related events throughout the year.

MT: Apple has been making serious inroads into the enterprise computing space over the last few years. How do you think they got to where they are now?

SR: Hard work and innovation. The engineers started understanding the importance of integration with other platforms. They are starting to listen more, and great things are happening because of that. Take Access Control Lists in Tiger, for example. The big things get the headlines, but it's the little things that administrators deal with every day that change their minds. Take a look at http://www.apple.com/server/documentation. Over 1200 pages of detailed documentation on Mac OS X Server, FREE. The Mac OS X Server team is headed up by some very forward thinking people, and it shows. Apple Certified Training courses also help to spread the news that Apple is a player in this market.

MT: What were some of the challenges they had to overcome to get where they are today?

SR: Myopic mindsets with regard to Mac OS X Server had to go, and it did very quickly. Another issue they had to change was customer impressions. For a Fortune 500 company administrator to say, "We'll never have Macs in our company", is indicative of the larger problem of insular thinking. Apple's sales force is working diligently to alter that perception. It's a tough road with plenty of closed doors displaying "No Solicitors" signs. But those at Apple persevere. I recently spoke to a person who left Sun computing and they remarked his Apple SE seemed genuinely happy to go above and beyond the call of duty. There are not so much technical challenges as personnel challenges. The team heading up Sales, especially for Enterprise, is outstanding. I would attribute a significant change in customer mentality towards Mac OS X to these people.

MT: So how do companies make the switch, on an Enterprise level, so to speak?

SR: It's not a simple process. Getting the buy-in of the department manager or CIO is a great start. You have a section of the administrative world that still sees Macs plus AppleTalk multiplied by messy networks equals "we don't understand them". I once told the CIO of a company, when speaking about Apple entering the larger business markets, "Apple does not deserve my loyalty, but they have earned my respect." Someone needs to be in front of these administrators and let them know that Mac OS X Server is here to stay. It's interesting to see their response when shown what Mac OS X and Mac OS X Server can do. The market is ripe for a change, and Apple knows this. You have to more hardware and more staff ensures job security. Mac OS X Servers are a great start. Laptops and Mac OS X desktops can come later. Selling the hardware is only part of the solution. For someone to change over, a long-term plan must be in place meeting the criteria I spoke of earlier.

MT: What do you see as the bumps on the road to getting there?

SR: I would guess that the percentage of sales of Xserve and Xserve RAIDs cannot come close to iPod sales. However, you have the opportunity to grow other aspects of the business off sales of Mac OS X Server related products; training, repair kits, extended warranties, solutions, etc. When servers go in, Mac OS X soon follows. Ergo, listening to customers about issues surrounding Mac OS X Server should be taken seriously. Security is an enormous factor. Apple has fantastic security architecture. Do we see that in Apple's marketing literature or on the web site? Apple has an Active Directory plug-in allowing Mac OS X to integrate seamlessly with an Active Directory domain. Why this is not promoted better in Windows based PC magazines and web sites is beyond me.

MT: So, let's say you are king of the world; what would you have Apple do to improve their position in large scale IT departments?

SR: Fully support the extended schema by both offering phone support and training to allow easier integration of Windows clients. Packet signing and other similar services that Active Directory offers to its clients. Spend the money and purchase Thursby Software outright. I know that's a Microsoftee thing to do, but they have exactly what Apple needs, and they'll gain some talent found nowhere else in the industry. Develop WWTC, a World Wide Technical Conference. This can encompass WWDC, the World Wide Developer Conference and WWIT, a World Wide Information Technology Conference. I'd love to head that up. With the move to Intel, both aspects of this transition should be explored. This conference would take the IT world by storm.

MT:What is your perception of Apples move to the Intel processor? Good move or bad?

SR: Heh. Buy Apple stock.

MT: Thanks for taking the time do talk with us.

SR: My pleasure. I think this type of forum is productive. There are many Macintosh IT professionals out there, and I know many of them. You should hear some of the things they have to say.

MT: Cool. Want a job?

SR: (laughs)

Editor's note: Shortly after this interview, we actually did offer Schoun the job. Beginning with the December issue of MacTech, each month Schoun will be interviewing a Mac IT manager, and sharing with you their strategies for dealing with their most pressing issues. Be looking for "In The Trenches" each month in MacTech!!


"Honest to God, no s#@&, there I was." Thus begins the story of Reviews Editor Michael R. Harvey, a man who only wishes he could have slept his way to the top. From his humble beginnings as a helicopter crew chief in the U.S. Army, serving in both the Panama invasion and the first Gulf War, to UC Santa Barbara, earning a B.S. in Aquatic Biology, he gained his Mac experience in various places. From his early super hero days as the computer go to geek in freshman dorm, on to several positions in the undergrad labs on campus and with various consulting firms, to his current secret identity as the Senior Systems Technician at the Ventura County Star newspaper. Add to that other early jobs as a pizza delivery boy, and bouncer, and Michael was perfectly poised to take the Reviews Editor job in July 2002, wrangling both writers and vendors into line to be able to bring to you reviews of cool, and yes, even useful, products (even penning a few choice pieces himself). You're welcome. Contact him at reviews@mactech.com

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

FotoMagico 5.6.12 - Powerful slideshow c...
FotoMagico lets you create professional slideshows from your photos and music with just a few, simple mouse clicks. It sports a very clean and intuitive yet powerful user interface. High image... Read more
OmniGraffle Pro 7.12.1 - Create diagrams...
OmniGraffle Pro helps you draw beautiful diagrams, family trees, flow charts, org charts, layouts, and (mathematically speaking) any other directed or non-directed graphs. We've had people use... Read more
beaTunes 5.2.1 - Organize your music col...
beaTunes is a full-featured music player and organizational tool for music collections. How well organized is your music library? Are your artists always spelled the same way? Any R.E.M. vs REM?... Read more
HandBrake 1.3.0 - Versatile video encode...
HandBrake is a tool for converting video from nearly any format to a selection of modern, widely supported codecs. Features Supported Sources VIDEO_TS folder, DVD image or real DVD (unencrypted... Read more
Macs Fan Control 1.5.1.6 - Monitor and c...
Macs Fan Control allows you to monitor and control almost any aspect of your computer's fans, with support for controlling fan speed, temperature sensors pane, menu-bar icon, and autostart with... Read more
TunnelBear 3.9.3 - Subscription-based pr...
TunnelBear is a subscription-based virtual private network (VPN) service and companion app, enabling you to browse the internet privately and securely. Features Browse privately - Secure your data... Read more
calibre 4.3.0 - Complete e-book library...
Calibre is a complete e-book library manager. Organize your collection, convert your books to multiple formats, and sync with all of your devices. Let Calibre be your multi-tasking digital librarian... Read more
Lyn 1.13 - Lightweight image browser and...
Lyn is a fast, lightweight image browser and viewer designed for photographers, graphic artists, and Web designers. Featuring an extremely versatile and aesthetically pleasing interface, it delivers... Read more
Visual Studio Code 1.40.0 - Cross-platfo...
Visual Studio Code provides developers with a new choice of developer tool that combines the simplicity and streamlined experience of a code editor with the best of what developers need for their... Read more
OmniGraffle 7.12.1 - Create diagrams, fl...
OmniGraffle helps you draw beautiful diagrams, family trees, flow charts, org charts, layouts, and (mathematically speaking) any other directed or non-directed graphs. We've had people use Graffle to... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

The House of Da Vinci 2 gets a new gamep...
The House of Da Vinci launched all the way back in 2017. Now, developer Blue Brain Games is gearing up to deliver a second dose of The Room-inspired puzzling. Some fresh details have now emerged, alongside the game's first official trailer. [Read... | Read more »
Shoot 'em up action awaits in Battl...
BattleBrew Productions has just introduced another entry into its award winning, barrelpunk inspired, BattleSky Brigade series. Whilst its previous title BattleSky Brigade TapTap provided fans with idle town building gameplay, this time the... | Read more »
Arcade classic R-Type Dimensions EX blas...
If you're a long time fan of shmups and have been looking for something to play lately, Tozai Games may have just released an ideal game for you on iOS. R-Type Dimensions EX brings the first R-Type and its sequel to iOS devices. [Read more] | Read more »
Intense VR first-person shooter Colonicl...
Our latest VR obsession is Colonicle, an intense VR FPS, recently released on Oculus and Google Play, courtesy of From Fake Eyes and Goboogie Games. It's a pulse-pounding multiplayer shooter which should appeal to genre fanatics and newcomers alike... | Read more »
PUBG Mobile's incoming update bring...
PUGB Mobile's newest Royale Pass season they're calling Fury of the Wasteland arrives tomorrow and with it comes a fair chunk of new content to the game. We'll be seeing a new map, weapon and even a companion system. [Read more] | Read more »
PSA: Download Bastion for free, but wait...
There hasn’t been much news from Supergiant Games on mobile lately regarding new games, but there’s something going on with their first game. Bastion released on the App Store in 2012, and back then it was published by Warner Bros. This Warner... | Read more »
Apple Arcade: Ranked - 51+ [Updated 11.5...
This is Part 2 of our Apple Arcade Ranking list. To see part 1, go here. 51. Patterned [Read more] | Read more »
NABOKI is a blissful puzzler from acclai...
Acclaimed developer Rainbow Train's latest game, NABOKI, is set to launch for iOS, Android, and Steam on November 13th. It's a blissful puzzler all about taking levels apart in interesting, inventive ways. [Read more] | Read more »
A Case of Distrust is a narrative-driven...
A Case of Distrust a narrative-focused mystery game that's set in the roaring 20s. In it, you play as a detective with one of the most private eye sounding names ever – Phyllis Cadence Malone. You'll follow her journey in San Francisco as she... | Read more »
Brown Dust’s October update offers playe...
October is turning out to be a productive month for the Neowiz team, and a fantastic month to be a Brown Dust player. First, there was a crossover event with the popular manga That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime. Then, there was the addition of... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Score a 37% discount on Apple Smart Keyboards...
Amazon has Apple Smart Keyboards for current-generation 10″ iPad Airs and previous-generation 10″ iPad Pros on sale today for $99.99 shipped. That’s a 37% discount over Apple’s regular MSRP of $159... Read more
Apple has refurbished 2019 13″ 1.4GHz MacBook...
Apple has a full line of Certified Refurbished 2019 13″ 1.4GHz 4-Core Touch Bar MacBook Pros available starting at $1099 and up to $230 off MSRP. Apple’s one-year warranty is included, shipping is... Read more
2019 13″ 1.4GHz 4-Core MacBook Pros on sale f...
Amazon has new 2019 13″ 1.4GHz 4-Core Touch Bar MacBook Pros on sale for $150-$200 off Apple’s MSRP. These are the same MacBook Pros sold by Apple in its retail and online stores: – 2019 13″ 1.4GHz/... Read more
11″ 64GB Gray WiFi iPad Pro on sale for $674,...
Amazon has the 11″ 64GB Gray WiFi iPad Pro on sale today for $674 shipped. Their price is $125 off MSRP for this iPad, and it’s the lowest price available for the 64GB model from any Apple reseller. Read more
2019 15″ MacBook Pros available for up to $42...
Apple has a full line of 2019 15″ 6-Core and 8-Core Touch Bar MacBook Pros, Certified Refurbished, available for up to $420 off the cost of new models. Each model features a new outer case, shipping... Read more
2019 15″ MacBook Pros on sale this week for $...
Apple resellers B&H Photo and Amazon are offering the new 2019 15″ MacBook Pros for up to $300 off Apple’s MSRP including free shipping. These are the same MacBook Pros sold by Apple in its... Read more
Sunday Sale: AirPods with Wireless Charging C...
B&H Photo has Apple AirPods with Wireless Charging Case on sale for $159.99 through 11:59pm ET on November 11th. Their price is $40 off Apple’s MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for these... Read more
Details of Sams Club November 9th one day App...
Through midnight Saturday night (November 9th), Sams Club online has several Apple products on sale as part of their One Day sales event. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if available... Read more
Sprint is offering the 64GB Apple iPhone 11 f...
Sprint has the new 64GB iPhone 11 available for $15 per month for new lines. That’s about 50% off their standard monthly lease of $29.17. Over is valid until November 24, 2019. The fine print: “Lease... Read more
New Sprint November iPhone deal: Lease one iP...
Switch to Sprint and purchase an Apple iPhone 11, 11 Pro, or 11 Pro Max, and get a second 64GB iPhone 11 for free. Requires 2 new lines or 1 upgrade-eligible line and 1 new line. Offer is valid from... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Mobility Pro - Best Buy (United Stat...
**746087BR** **Job Title:** Apple Mobility Pro **Job Category:** Store Associates **Store NUmber or Department:** 000319-Harlem & Irving-Store **Job Description:** Read more
Best Buy *Apple* Computing Master - Best Bu...
**743392BR** **Job Title:** Best Buy Apple Computing Master **Job Category:** Store Associates **Store NUmber or Department:** 001171-Southglenn-Store **Job Read more
Best Buy *Apple* Computing Master - Best Bu...
**746015BR** **Job Title:** Best Buy Apple Computing Master **Job Category:** Sales **Store NUmber or Department:** 000372-Federal Way-Store **Job Description:** Read more
*Apple* Mobility Pro - Best Buy (United Stat...
**744658BR** **Job Title:** Apple Mobility Pro **Job Category:** Store Associates **Store NUmber or Department:** 000586-South Hills-Store **Job Description:** At Read more
Best Buy *Apple* Computing Master - Best Bu...
**741552BR** **Job Title:** Best Buy Apple Computing Master **Job Category:** Sales **Store NUmber or Department:** 000277-Metcalf-Store **Job Description:** **What Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.