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Parallels Desktop Spotlight: Helping the helpdesk

Hillary Moralez is no stranger to computers. The IT Helpdesk Specialist for Alludo builds computers—for fun—in her spare time. She’s a self-described “computer nerd” who has put her skills to excellent use in her role.

Originally hired to support the Parallels team, Hillary was given a Mac computer because it aligned best with the people she’d be supporting. That was fine with her. In Hillary’s experience, Macs have superior hardware. They’re fast, sleek, and built for efficiency. That’s all fantastic—unless the programs you want to use are exclusive to Windows.

The issue

That’s the challenge Hillary faced. Her team relied heavily on an active directory tool made up of a series of programs that come hard-built into Windows machines—and only Windows machines. The tool was ideal, but many of the employees used Macs. The team had the same challenge with other Windows-native tools.

Should they be forced to switch to new devices?

Should they (gulp) have to use different devices for different tasks?

Neither, as it turns out. Fortunately, Hillary knows what she’s doing—and she happens to work for a company that makes the exact solution they needed. “We’re drinking our own champagne,” says Hillary with a laugh, but it’s a perfect example of ensuring that you wouldn’t put a product into the marketplace that you wouldn’t use yourself. And this team definitely uses Parallels Desktop.

The solution

Hillary was asked to build a Virtual Machine (VM) so that Windows tools like the active directory could be used on Mac computers. Using the Parallels Desktop solution, Hillary was able to quickly build a VM and test the Windows tool thoroughly, playing around in a secure environment.

The VM worked beautifully. VMs meant that team members could access essential tools like the active directory while sticking with their existing computers.

Now, employees have the best of both worlds: the efficiency of Mac hardware and the exclusive software options only available on Windows. Hillary says the team uses VMs for “90% of their work.” And if something goes wrong, the VM itself can be fixed without creating downtime for the whole device. Even if a Windows solution corrupts an employee’s entire profile, all that needs fixing is the VM. The computer itself remains intact.

Better yet, VMs mean that troubleshooting can happen from anywhere. In this remote-first environment, that’s essential. In one instance, someone couldn’t install a program that they wanted to install. Hillary built a replica of their computer in the VM so she could find out if the problem was tied to the machine or tied to the software. Easy peasy.

Hillary does not take that remote troubleshooting capability for granted. “Nothing is harder than helpdesk support in a remote setting,” she says. “When everyone is in the same office, someone could physically bring over their machine and have people look at it and test it. How can you help someone figure out why their ‘K’ button isn’t working when they’re on the other side of the country?”

While Hillary is clearly an expert, she insists that you don’t have to be an expert to get the benefits of Parallels Desktop. “Parallels Desktop makes it so easy to set up these VMs,” says Hillary. So easy, in fact, that Hillary and her team use VMs for testing purposes, too. They can build, tweak, test, and destroy VMs without impacting productivity or devices. That means smoother rollouts with less downtime.

With VMs, everyone can feel comfortable with the programs they need for their roles, without being limited by device. Add easy troubleshooting to the mix and Parallels Desktop sounds like a win-win-win.

Ready for a win-win-win yourself? Learn more about Parallels Desktop.

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