"For me as an admin, key features of a new solution are that it integrates perfectly into the existing infrastructure, it is easy to set up and roll out, it doesn’t entail any support overhead, and it comes with efficiency benefits that help pay for the purchase price in a short time. All this is true for Parallels Desktop Business Edition."

Harry Schuler
Data Processing Manager at POOLgroup

The sound system company that would become POOLgroup was formed nearly five decades ago in 1978. Then, it was called Westfalen Sound and counted world-famous acts like Rod Stewart and Supertramp among its clients. Eventually, this organization became Europe's largest and most successful event production enterprise.

In 1986, Westfalen Sound assumed blanket responsibility for a major event. After that, the company formed additional business units to offer complete event services as a one stop shop. In 2009, all those business units merged under the POOLgroup umbrella.

Today, POOLgroup specializes in planning and producing major events for clients from all areas of business, industry, politics, and the show and entertainment business. They’ve been responsible for more than 30,000 successful events worldwide.

The company has five offices across Germany, and its headquarters are in Emsdetten, Westphalia, where most of the company’s more than 100 staff members are based.

One of those team members is Harry Schuler, the organization’s system administrator since 1994. He’s responsible for ensuring that the organization's backend features state-of-the-art technology and that employees have full access to key resources with minimal downtime.

The Challenge — use Windows-only apps on company Macs

Today, most of POOLgroup’s team uses MacBooks, with several iMacs in use as well.

Their dedicated IT admin, Harry Schuler, is responsible for setting up these systems. End users handle day-to-day operations, provided their skills are up to the task.

They primarily use Apple’s Office applications, Final Cut, Adobe Creative Suite, and multiple recording solutions. At POOLgroup, a consistent Apple environment is the key to success.

However, the POOLgroup teams need to use some apps that are only available in Windows, such as the ERP system used by the back office. They also require the full functionality of Microsoft Excel with database connectivity that only works smoothly on Windows machines. Mac users also needed to access public Outlook folders.

Of course, providing some users with PCs would solve this problem. But this would have meant a significantly increased admin workload for Harry and caused discontent amongst the Apple aficionados at POOLgroup.

Another option would be to utilize Boot Camp, which is pre-installed on Macs. However, this was not satisfactory either since users would need to reboot whenever they wanted to switch operating systems.

The Test — Coherence Mode proved to be seamless

After some research, Harry discovered Parallels Desktop Business Edition. A trial version that Harry downloaded and tested thoroughly performed to his satisfaction, so he started testing the solution with five key staff members.

The initial test group of team members was also satisfied, enjoying the seamless way they could run Windows and macOS applications side-by-side in Coherence Mode and more, without the need to reboot.

The Solution — Windows apps on Macs for the whole team

Deploying Parallels Desktop Business Edition went smoothly, and the solution simplified daily operations with no additional support overhead, proving that Harry had made the right decision.

Fully convinced of the merits of Parallels Desktop Business Edition, Harry purchased a volume license for 50 seats.

“The Coherence mode is clearly the star feature for users, where Windows and macOS cooperate so seamlessly that they might be parts of one single operating system. Windows and Mac applications appear on the desktop together, and documents from both worlds can be stored in the same folders. This allows users to work in a completely intuitive way, and the underlying technology simply disappears in the background," says Harry.

Harry is also enthusiastic about another of Parallels Desktop's features that generally goes unnoticed by his users — the total ease with which virtual machines (VMs) are generated and moved around.

"I can move single Parallels virtual machines as well as complete VM storage locations to external drives quite easily if I'm, say, planning to roll them out to multiple Macs. I really can't think how much more convenient scaling up an environment can get!”

The Result — time savings and increased productivity

The verdict from the POOLgroup team? Deploying and using this virtualization solution was a highly positive experience.

Harry reports that the “Parallels Desktop Business Edition saves money for our company. As an admin it saves me a great deal of time, and it saves the nerves of users who would have lost them long ago with all the cumbersome switching between operating systems. I can only recommend Parallels Desktop."

See more Customer Stories