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With the growing number of BYOD and employee choice strategies being implemented in today’s business environments, many employees are choosing Mac® to get their work done. IT organizations are often not sure how to get started when supporting Mac computers in business environments. Best practices for Mac deployment, management, security, and support are dynamic and typically specific to each individual IT environment. Successful integration enables IT to demonstrate value and a willingness to support employees—and therefore supporting the business.
Mac computers have several built-in technologies, and with the new business features in the latest release of OS X® Mavericks—and the upcoming OS X Yosemite—IT is able to integrate Mac in a logical manner. Mac computers now default to Windows file sharing protocols (SMB2), have improved Microsoft Exchange support, and refined energy technologies that improve battery life. FileVault, now in its third generation, offers full disk encryption and the ability for centralized deployment. Mavericks supports more VPN types, Per-app VPN to help separate personal data from corporate data, and is engineered for better networking performance. Best of all, Mavericks is a free upgrade and comes packed with advantages for both users and IT.
While mobile device management (MDM) might be typically thought of as a solution for mobile devices, Apple® has brought the same functionality to OS X. Mac computers can be managed from the same console that also manages iPad®, iPhone®, Android, and even Windows Phone devices. Restrictions, accounts, and policies can be configured remotely using an MDM solution. Mac computers can also be queried, wiped, and locked remotely using MDM. Similar to BYOD or COPE (corporate owned, personally enabled) mobile devices, Mac computers can be managed in the same fashion. One management solution could potentially manage most, if not all devices.
Mac computers also play nice in a Windows environment. Native support for Microsoft Exchange, Lync, and SharePoint allows users to be more productive and for IT to leverage an existing technology infrastructure. Mac computers can also join Active Directory out of the box, with support for single sign-on and automatic mounting of home shares. Improved support for Microsoft certificates and SMB file sharing are also included with Mavericks. In all, existing Windows environments integrate and support Mac computers without extensive changes.