Anyone successfully won Mac use in a corporate Windows-only environment?

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by JNB, May 30, 2007.

  1. JNB macrumors 604


    Oct 7, 2004
    In a Hell predominately of my own making
    Thread title really sez it all...

    I'm looking for any cases where someone has successfully convinced a very picky (soon to be even possibly worse) corporate IT department into letting them attach & use their personal Mac to the nestork as their primary work machine.

    We're even changing from Cisco VPN to a Citrix environment soon, and possibly MAC address registration to allow only company-bought machines (I VPN from the home iMac now and use Entourage with great success; also support our Unix customers through a back-end ssh connection and a Terminal session).

    I'd like to take the MacBook that's arriving tomorrow and use it as the one laptop (to rule them all ;)), partitioning off about 40GB for an NTFS partition and XPSP2 install.

    I'm pretty much willing to give IT full sway over that partition, including letting them set admin rights as if it were a company Dell, not connect except as a booted Windows box, whatever. I just want to use the machine of my choice - at my own expense, mainly because there's additional work I want to accomplish using (for now, anyway) the iLife suite for the company's benefit.

    So, any stories? What were the terms of the use? Any written agreements? Compromises?
  2. iSaint macrumors 603


    May 26, 2004
    South Mississippi y'all, near the water!
    Sounds like you have compelling evidence. Can you go to your boss and request a meeting with him/her and IT to discuss the possibility?
  3. JNB thread starter macrumors 604


    Oct 7, 2004
    In a Hell predominately of my own making
    The IT Director is in DC, and has got the whole department in a very closed-minded, lockstep mindset. Pretty odd, though, for a technology company with 90%+ of its client base in the edu (mostly higher ed) market...

    I suppose I could write up a business case for it, and just keep pushing it higher until I can find a sympathetic "champion."

    Our Chairman (along with a few other senior types) use PB's & MBP's - much to IT's chagrin - so I guess that if all else fails, I could plead my case with "Dad." ;)
  4. jsw Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA
    I wish I had a happier story to tell.

    A year ago, I would have.

    After spending literally six years begging for a Mac, I was allowed to get one a year or so ago, connect it to the work network, and VPN in over CheckPoint when at home, and all was well.

    For the past 5 months or so, though, I've been forced to use a ThinkPad because BI (aka IM aka IT) has systematically removed all non-Windows access and, simultaneously, refused to install anything but disk images on entire hard drives that are then encrypted with PointSec. I couldn't even get the MBP imaged if I wanted to because they only have images for a select few "approved" laptops.

    There was no reason for them to disallow my system - it had all the security necessary and ran all the needed software. They imposed this policy purely to allow layoffs - with so few supported options, the support staff could be reduced and trained field mice can handle most support calls - essentially, any problem turns into a reimage of the drive.

    There is no reason your IT staff couldn't install the necessary software on a partition on your MB. It would then be a Windows laptop when booted or Paralleled into Windows. All security would be there, etc. I suspect you'll need to ask "Dad" to intervene, as, clearly, Macs are supported. But I wouldn't expect the IT staff to agree unless they're pressured to do so.
  5. shu82 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 10, 2007
    Rocket City, AL
    I am typing on a company dell myself. To make things worse, our IT is outsourced to dell. I just get laughed at. I used to vpn from home with my old dell, but since that fried I just take my laptop home with me.

    Also, the internal camera would be a big no no. I can't even have a camera phone. That means I can't even have an iphone!

    I have office 2004 on my PB at home, I can't get any assistance from our dell army how to set it up to the network. If you (OP) can help me with that part I can finally leave latitude at the office.
  6. emw macrumors G4


    Aug 2, 2004
    My story is a little different; I use a Mac in a corporate environment, but our company in general uses a ton of Macs for graphic design work.

    In my original capacity with the company, I did a lot of support for the graphics group and so needed the Mac. Now, not so much, but I've gotten an "in" to use the Mac, and IT knows how to support them. So I'm more lucky than anything in respect to using the Mac.

    As for you, it's generally a tough situation. Companies don't often like personal equipment involved due to liability issues, plus the fact that you'd potentially have confidential company files on what is essentially a personal laptop that you could take with you at any time.

    In my opinion, it's a tough battle to fight if your management team and/or IT team doesn't support it. If you could present a compelling business case to your manager, then that would be a good first start, but I wouldn't get my hopes up. It's nobel that you'd want to use Mac apps for the benefit of the company, but I don't think that will ultimately sell anybody on your plan.

    Couldn't you use your laptop for whatever stuff you need to, then transfer it to your PC for connection to the company network? More of a pain, perhaps, but ultimately less IT hassles to deal with.

    Sorry I don't have a better story to tell you.
  7. pjarvi macrumors 65816


    Jan 11, 2006
    Round Lake, IL
    Our Marketing department got a bunch of 24" iMacs, but that was because they bought them without asking and our manager has no spine. I asked about setting them up with Bootcamp so they could get rid of their Window's PCs and just use the iMacs alone, but since Bootcamp is still "beta" software, it's not permitted. I would personally love to use a Mac, but I have to support all of the Windows users, and some of our software only runs on Windows.
  8. JNB thread starter macrumors 604


    Oct 7, 2004
    In a Hell predominately of my own making
    Woud YOU approve my request after reading this?

    UPDATE 6/4/07

    OK, so I've drafted a request to the IT Director, and included my Director and that of our Support group, as well as the division President. Comments welcome...


    (IT Director) -

    After a number of years operating in a multi-machine/multi-operating system environment, I am now in a position to offer (Company) a beneficial opportunity. In light of my mobility, remoteness from the office environment and position within (Company) Training, there are a number of initiatives I would like to undertake that make me bring the proposal forward.

    Briefly, because in changes to available hardware and software, my new duties and opportunities, and the ability to increase both my productivity and value to the customer and (Company), I would like to use a personally owned Apple MacBook notebook computer — in a fully native Microsoft Windows XP environment under the administrative control of IT — as my primary work machine within the (Company) network environment in full cooperation with your Department.

    As I am sure you are aware, all current Apple systems are Intel-based, and are capable of the installation and operation of any x86 Operating System, including the entire Microsoft Windows family, in a fully hardware-native manner. They are, in effect, a Windows PC.

    Understandably, you are likely skeptical (at best) and quite possibly appalled at the thought. Please allow me to present what I hope is a reasonable justification for this proposal.

    Benefits to (Company).
    o There are immediate potential cost savings to (Company), in that this would release one company-issued Dell back into the available pool for issue. Let me add that I do not expect any reimbursements or financial support of any kind in this; all costs will be borne by me.
    o This would minimize the already low impact of IT support to me, in addition to completely removing any hardware maintenance, support, or warrantee repair from the IT Department. The only support would be for (Company)-supplied Operating Systems and applications, as is currently the case with company-issued laptops.
    o Because of a number of work-related initiatives I have undertaken with regards to (Company) Training, there are a number of applications and productivity tools that I use that are Macintosh-native. The ability to have this environment available to me both on the road and at home provides a substantial productivity enhancement, allowing for independent projects anywhere/anytime.
    o (Company) Services and Support gain the ability to have access to all my resources wherever I am physically, as all projects, regardless of the platform they are based on, are immediately available to me.

    Benefits to the Customer
    o Many of our Customers are Mac-centric (not surprising in the Higher Ed market), and in point of fact, some do not allow Windows-based machines on the campus network without prior approval. This provides me the ultimate in flexibility to work in the campus environment and on their network without undue difficulty.
    o As well over 200 of our Customers are on our Unix-based (Company) application; this would give me additional ease of operating with them. As the Macintosh OS is Unix-based (with the same common parent as HP-UX), terminal connections and operating environment cohesiveness are very fluid and transparent, requiring no client software.

    Benefits to me
    o I am, in addition to my responsibilities to the (Company) Training Group, developing a number of different deliverables, including podcasts, audio/video productions for web delivery or downloadable as QuickTime files, audio/video chat in addition to existing WebEx capabilities, and others. Much of this is in the nascent stages of development and validation, and as most of this is being produced using Macintosh-native applications, I am currently spending personal hours at home that are already occupied with work-related pre- and post-engagement administrative tasks. The ability to continue this work while on the road (currently 35-40 weeks per year) would be a substantial boon to my personal productivity.

    IT Concerns
    o I understand that one of the major concerns in this is the lack of IT oversight of the machine in general and the operating environment in particular. To that end, I will release control and grant IT sole Administrator rights to the NTFS partition & Operating System. My suggestion is to place a standard (Company) image onto the partition, rather than attempting to install applications directly.
    o In addition to maintaining compliance with all IT directives regarding laptop security to protect company data and systems, I will also see to an equal or greater level of security to the Macintosh operating environment. As the Windows environment will be NTFS, the Macintosh environment will be unable to write to or make changes to that partition.
    o Connections to the (Company) network either directly or via VPN would only be through the Windows operating environment, using (Company)-provided tools.
    o I would also be willing to undertake this on a limited or trial basis until you & your staff can gain sufficient confidence and comfort that this would pose no additional burden or exposure to the Blackboard networks.
    o I would be happy to discuss any additional requirements you or the IT staff may feel necessary to ensure the integrity of the (Company) network.

    I realize this is not they type of request you would be normally inclined to view positively, particularly in light of the need to maintain as homogeneous an environment as possible. I hope that I have addressed your concerns sufficiently to at least continue the discussion and further IT requirements to accomplish this.

    Please feel free to contact me at your convenience. Rest assured that while I feel strongly about this, I also want you to feel comfortable in the fact that I will endeavor to meet any requirements placed on this arrangement. Thanks for your consideration in this matter.
  9. shu82 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 10, 2007
    Rocket City, AL

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