It used to be that just the creative or art department in many companies used Mac computers, and everybody else was on PCs. But that was before iPhones started to infiltrate the enterprise. First it was the iPhones and then the iPads. At the same time certain technology leaders (Cisco) were among the companies letting employees choose what brand of computer they wanted to use, a Mac or some kind of PC. Now even more Macs have made their way onto corporate networks. (I'm even typing these very words on a Mac while my PC goes unused beside me.)  But how are IT managers and MSPs getting a handle on these new Macs on the network? Here's one way.

Privately-held virtualization specialist Parallels has introduced Parallels Management Suite for Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager. That name is quite a mouthful. But basically it does this: "The new Parallels Management Mac plug-in for Microsoft System Center lets IT pros to simply leverage the investment, process and tools they already have and extend management to Macs without costly infrastructure build out." That's according to the Parallels blog post earlier this week that announced the new technology.

According to the company, the Parallels Management plug-in lets and IT administrators:
  • Manage and control Macs by leveraging existing Microsoft SCCM infrastructure, resources and talent
  • Gain control and take action on those devices the same as with PCs – all while working within the same environment they are accustomed to
  • Leverage Mac technologies to have complete security on Macs
Leverage Parallels Desktop for Mac Enterprise Edition to deploy and manage policy-compliant Windows stack to Macs, which the company says is key for employees who need Windows OS on their desktops and laptops to run mission-critical Windows-only applications

Parallels cites a survey of 500 IT and knowledge workers that shows that 70 percent don't get automatic software updates distributed to their Macs and that 4 out of 10 big companies have no system or tools in place for Mac and security management.

I'd be willing to bet that Parallels might just be showing off this new technology at its Parallels Summit 2013 in Las Vegas next week.