How big a support staff does it take to manage and integrate 115 processor-intensive computers in three different time zones for a high profile branding and design consultancy? Only two, according to an
Apple Small Business Profile.
The Coleman Group, a 35-year-old branding and design consultancy, has such a set-up, plus a dozen printers (one of which is a US$100,000 30-page-per-minute color laser printer) and a phone system that lets employees have toll-free access to their computers from anywhere in the country. How can they do this? Because of the stability and ease of use of Apple-based technologies, according to Thomas Unterburger, CIO for the Coleman Group. He and his staff of one take care of this massive system.
Though the company has been using computer graphics since before the introduction of the Mac as a desktop publishing solution in the 80s, they begin investing “heavily” into Apple technologies as soon as the firm’s management saw the Mac, according to the Apple Small Biz story. Now the 115-man firm, with offices in New York, Minneapolis, and San Francisco, has a Mac on every person’s desk and is beginning to replace the 80 Power Mac G3 computers with a fresh supply of Power Mac G4s. There’s also 20 iMac computers for use by the support staff and accounting and a “fleet” of PowerBook for traveling. Plus, the Coleman Group uses a Mac-based accounting package called Rebus to track time and expenses,
How can two people maintain all this? “A big part of it is remote access, which is pretty easy on the Mac side,” Unterburger told Apple. The system centers around three Mac Server G3s with Apple Share IP. Timbuktu Pro is used to access and control a new Mac Server G4 in Minnesota and another Mach Server G3 in San Francisco.
Setting up each machine is as easy as plugging into the network and typing in an IP address, according to Unterburger. They can then access each machine remotely using Apple Network Assistant 4.0. From there, Unterburger troubleshoots whatever user problems are encountered, no matter what location.
For more on the Coleman Group and their Mac usage, read the entire Apple Small Business Profile at the link above.