Hybrid workspace for Mac users delivered remotely to creative team in the Netherlands
Making IT work in lockdown
Several lockdowns as a result of Covid-19 have forced many businesses to rethink their business practices and adjust their workspaces to ensure business continuity; having the ability to respond quickly to changing regulations and move workers seamlessly from office to home working has become essential for many organisations.
During the summer of 2021, and in response to the restrictions on movement and working practices, Conformedia helped a global creative client to implement a hybrid workplace by rolling out 131 Apple MacBooks for the UK team. The project was delivered in less than 3 weeks and enabled the team to work from office or home, ensuring business continuity regardless of the changing regulations.
When the Netherlands was facing a winter lockdown during Christmas 2021, the Dutch creative team, who had seen the success of hybrid working for their UK counterparts, reached out to Conformedia for help. They requested a hybrid solution similar to the one rolled out in the UK several months earlier.
In order for the creative team to maintain productivity during a lockdown, they needed a flexible, hybrid workspace for their creative Apple Mac users. The uncertainty and speed at which regulations were imposed on businesses meant that the ability to respond quickly to changing circumstances was essential.
A Netherlands lockdown was expected before Christmas, there were limited technical resources available nearby and travel restrictions prevented the Conformedia team from making a site visit. The creative team therefore needed to have the MacBooks delivered to their homes, preconfigured and ready to go.
The project was planned on the proven UK roll out and was kicked off after one virtual meeting. Unlike the UK roll out however, this project had to be executed remotely, without any physical contact with the team at Conformedia. Following the rapid increase in Omicron Covid cases in Europe, it became apparent that the Dutch lockdown was imminent, and the project delivery was accelerated.
An automated Zero Touch deployment was chosen, combining Apple Business Manager, ABM, and JAMF Pro Mobile Device Management, MDM. This allowed a build workflow to be developed and tested in the UK. Upon completion, this was rolled out to a test workstation in the Netherlands. Once approved all the MacBooks were assigned to the workflow via ABM.
The creative team were then allocated their MacBooks, boxed and ready to build. All that was required of them was to connect the MacBooks to the network and watch them self-build, using the approved Zero Touch workflow.
17 fully configured MacBooks, secured and compliant with the business' strict security policies, were delivered to users’ homes in the Netherlands. Each MacBook was built to the exact same specification and fully compliant and compatible with the organisation’s creative departments throughout the world.
As each of the MacBooks are configured to work remotely or within the office, the customer is prepared for any further uncertainty or restrictions on travel and movement as a result of the pandemic.
17 users received MacBooks, ready to build to company specification on first turn on
Users were fully operational within 2 hours of receiving their laptops
The MacBooks are fully compliant with organisation security policies, including 802.1X certificates
There was no disruption to productivity
New employees can be quickly and automatically enrolled to the team without having to visit the office
David Rayner, MD at Conformedia commented, “In the current climate there is so much uncertainty, the pandemic can enforce a new lockdown within a matter of days. It is essential that businesses can respond quickly, allowing teams to work efficiently and securely from home or a remote workspace.
“MDM and Zero touch technology enables remote roll out of not only Macs, as described in this project, but across all platforms, allowing us to move businesses to hybrid or home working quickly and easily. Location is irrelevant and physical contact is minimised.
“Sadly, it appears that more lockdowns maybe imminent. Businesses who want to provide their customers with seamless services will have to get to grips with hybrid working – and we are here to help.”