An Apple user prefers to work with Apple systems. At home, but also at work. The familiar iPhone interface and the ease of use of the MacBook: it is an IT environment where the Apple user feels at home. So of course it’s a bit of a change if you come to work for a company that exclusively uses Windows and Microsoft.
“This is a situation that many employees have to deal with,” says Frank Horenberg, IT manager at Zivver. It is primarily software developers and younger employees who prefer Apple devices.
“Many lecture halls are filled with students who have a MacBook in front of them. As soon as they leave the study benches and end up in a company like ours, they prefer to continue working with what they are used to. Then they can focus on the things they are good at and get energy from. Employees are not always eager to suddenly have to work with another device. Furthermore, a hybrid environment is in line with Zivver’s services.
Horenberg: “Our secure communication services integrate seamlessly with Outlook, Microsoft365 and Gmail, where everything simply works on both Windows and Apple devices.”
We want people to be able to work on their preferred system
All this was reason enough for Zivver to offer both systems to its employees. Zivver is a 155-employee software company and leader in secure communications solutions that help organizations protect sensitive data in compliance with laws and regulations.
Horenberg: “We are a technology company ourselves. For me, it is only natural that people have the opportunity to work on the system they prefer. It helps give the organization a good start, and they don’t lose time learning a new operating system. In addition, people are often really attached to their preferred system. They don’t just change.”
Now the IT department is in contact with every new hire to make sure they get the hardware they need. Horenberg: “Both for working in the office and at home.”
Offering two systems also means additional investments in the IT infrastructure. “That’s right,” says Horenberg. “We have two cars in the garage, which both have to work and both need maintenance. For example, both systems have their own Mobile Device Management (MDM). For Windows we have Intune, for Apple we use Jamf.”
Keeping two systems running doesn’t mean it’s twice as much work. “It’s better than expected. But you have to think carefully about how these two systems can be used as efficiently as possible. Then it helps to work with a good IT partner. Dustin was this for us. This company has thought together with us about our needs within our IT landscape.”
“For example, since the corona lockdown, the employees have had their new computers pre-configured from the warehouse directly at home. As soon as a Zivver employee unpacks his computer, he immediately sees the Zivver logo and can get started right away. With this, we welcome an employee even before the start of the onboarding program. And it saves a lot of time, both for the IT department and for the employees.”
A company that wants to offer two systems must also think about the use of software applications. Horenberg: “Not all applications always work on both systems. You have to think about this more broadly in your IT strategy. An Apple device is usually more expensive to purchase than a Windows computer, but in practice it also lasts longer. In addition, the resale value of the Mac is higher. We also think that circular IT is more important, and we always try to give computers that we can no longer use a new life. We donate them to charity.”
Although it requires a bit more time and investment to offer not one, but two systems to employees, according to Horenberg, it pays off a lot.
“It is almost a condition within our industry that you offer employees flexibility. Choosing their own system is also part of it. They expect that too. If we didn’t offer it, I think many employees would frown. And it is not that complicated to realize such a range of possibilities. At least not with the help of an external party. Today, technically speaking, much is possible. Make the most of it.”