London Apple Admins March 2023

03 Apr 2023

So. I have managed once again to have a couple of almost but not quite finished blog posts sitting - and I’ve not been able to find the time to get them finished. Perhaps thats’s because I’ve been hard at work on a presentation for London Apple Admins

(I mean - that’s not the reason at all - but…)

I’m a co-organiser of London Apple Admins and we’ve not run a Mac admin meet up for longer than we’d like to admit. We’d lined something up at Jamf’s London offices, and then train strikes, er, struck… so we needed to find a new venue at short-ish notice. My employer Thoughtworks came through, and offered us the kitchen space. And the folks at Jamf were kind enough to provide the beers and pizzas.

I’ve been rattling the idea for my presentation around for a while. A while ago, my team had been tasked with looking into Windows device management, and had found ourselves deep down a rabbit hole of Microsoft Push Notifications, and Configuration Service Providers. - but the upshot was, we’d discovered that Microsoft’s approach to modern device management is a lot like Apple’s. There’s a published specification for mobile device management that third party vendors can hook into…

…including Google.

Yup - Google Workspace has a built in Windows management functionality - called Enhanced Desktop Security for Windows - and it’s actually surprisingly capable (albeit with some rough edges here and there) - and we’ve successfully rolled it out at Thoughtworks.

I thought you said this was a presentation for London Apple admins…

Well, yes… but. Here’s the thing, there are lots of companies which are primarily Mac - but who find themselves in a position where there are a few outliers, the finance team, who can’t live without Excel - or a lead sales person who can’t live without a Windows box.

So - the basic concept of the talk is… if you’re a Mac Admin, at a company that uses Google Workspace, this product, while not perfect might be just about good enough for you to manage your small number of Windows systems.

Now you don’t need to watch the talk.

But if you’d like to, here it is:

As ever, huge thanks to my fellow London Apple Admin cat herders - for help getting setup - and general encouragement - also Emily the office manager who let us steal the office one evening with not a lot of notice. Also - huge thanks to my colleagues in TechOps London, who have built and maintain a fantastic setup using Zoom rooms, which made the whole thing child’s play for all.

We were able to use Zoom’s native YouTube streaming support to live stream all the talks - and Zoom’s native screen sharing was snappy, worked well, and shared the audio into the room beautifully too.

However, I’m looking forward to being a less active participant at our next meetup!

You’ll find my slides here

Published on 03 Apr 2023 Find me on Twitter and Mastodon.