Episode 297: Wartime Conferences in Ukraine
We wish we could just talk nerd. But the world is a complicated place – and there are questions we would be remiss if we didn’t ask! This week, we are honored to have Yuri Vlasyuk join us as our special guest. Yuri is the CEO of iLand and an organizer of MacAdminsUA. We will of course talk nerd, but also much more!
- Tom Bridge, Principal Product Manager, JumpCloud – @tbridge777
- Marcus Ransom, Senior Sales Engineer, Jamf – @marcusransom
- Charles Edge, CTO, Bootstrappers.mn – @cedge318
- Yuri Vlasyuk, CEO iLand – @iyura
Click here to read the transcript
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Hello and welcome to the Mac Admins Podcast. I’m your host, Tom Bridge, and it’s great to be back with you, Charles and Marcus. How are you today?
Tom Bridge (00:00:45):
Hello, and welcome to the Mac Admins Podcast. I’m your host, Tom Bridge and Charles, those are lovely stockings hung by the chimney with care.
Charles Edge (00:00:53):
Aw, thanks. They were hung with care by Molly, not myself.
Tom Bridge (00:00:58):
. We are here just in the week before Christmas. Uh, and, uh, you know, we’re really excited to, to be talking with everybody this week. Uh, I know that I am powering through like the last couple things that have to happen between now and the end of the year, uh, before, uh, a little bit of a pause. But Marcus, I know it’s incredibly early in the morning there, but at least it is the middle of summer.
Marcus Ransom (00:01:19):
It’s the middle of summer, it’s 6:00 AM and today is officially the first day of my three weeks of Christmas break. So, you know, that, that, that was Friday for me, powering through everything. So, um, now my main focus, rather than MDM is making sure that the ornaments stay on the tree and a very naughty little kitten isn’t trying to rip everything off and destroy everything around it. ,
Tom Bridge (00:01:47):
You know, Alfie is such a, uh, you know, such a mo, such a monster on ornaments. It’s very true. I’m sure Daisy is not the same.
Marcus Ransom (00:01:53):
Well, D Daisy is the one. Alfie pretty much disregards the Christmas tree, um, Christmases of no concern to him, but Daisy, it’s all very new and exciting and opportunities to get into trouble.
Tom Bridge (00:02:05):
And we have an incredible guest this week. Joining us this week is Yuri Vela. And Yuri, it’s so great you’re joining us this week. You are one, you know, one of my favorite people out there in the world because of all of the incredible stuff that you have done in Ukraine over the last few years. Uh, you’re also the c e o at iland, uh, there in Kyiv. Uh, and, uh, it’s so nice to have you here. Welcome to the Macon’s podcast,
Yuri Vlasyuk (00:02:29):
And thank you. And thank you for having me. Happy, happy to be here with you. Yep.
Tom Bridge (00:02:34):
We’re, we’re thrilled to be talking with you this week. We’ve got a lot of different things that we want to talk about. Uh, you know, we, we wish that we could just talk nerd. Uh, but you know, the, the world’s an incredibly complicated place, and there are questions that we would be remiss if we didn’t ask. Uh, and so this week we’re honored to have you to join us as your special guest. Uh, you’re also the organizer, uh, of the Mac Men’s UA conference. Uh, and, you know, we’ll get to the nerd stuff. But before we get started, how are you doing?
Yuri Vlasyuk (00:03:01):
Um, I’m fine, thank you, Tom. Um, I have, uh, power after the outages and latest hits, and now I’m have all, I need internet and power, so I’m good. Thank you, .
Tom Bridge (00:03:14):
Yeah. I’m so glad to hear that that’s, you know, it, it has been, we’ve been watching the news here in the States, uh, you know, or the last months, uh, and, you know, making sure that, you know, uh, you guys are safe and healthy is, uh, you know, something that we’ve been really praying for. So, uh, you know, you’ve ended up in the Apple space. You’ve been here for a long time. Do you mind about how you te tell telling us how you got started in the working on Apple things?
Yuri Vlasyuk (00:03:39):
Uh, I have no job, job
Tom Bridge (00:03:42):
Yuri Vlasyuk (00:03:43):
Tom Bridge (00:03:44):
. I think that’s, uh, that fits for a lot of us.
Yuri Vlasyuk (00:03:47):
. Yeah. Yeah. And no, no one wants to hire me as a former student or even, uh, in students time. I, I am started to send my CV to different companies, and because I, I wanted to, I, I wanted, uh, to work in, uh, some kind of computer store. And, uh, at the exhibition, I, uh, visited, uh, in student times, I was impressed by kind, um, by a myth around the, this Colored Locker company. And, uh, and one guy, uh, translated a gei Kawa, not all all book, but one part of his book, the Mikek to Ukrainian. And I, I was impressed. It was, uh, fourth or fifth year in my students time. So I decided, uh, to find a job in, in the company who’s selling Apple, but no one wants to hire me again. And, uh, uh, there was a party and, uh, friend of mine came and asked me, uh, why, why don’t I have a job? I told him the story, and, uh, he asked, asked me, and, uh, what are dreaming about? What are thinking about I’m, that I want to establish the company? And he tells me, do you have a business plan? , of course, I have a business plan. I show him a business plan, and he gave me money to, to start from. And then there was me with Imark Tan, and it, it was it, yeah.
Tom Bridge (00:05:25):
. I love that.
Yuri Vlasyuk (00:05:27):
Thank you. It’s just
Marcus Ransom (00:05:28):
Been, been downhill from there,
Tom Bridge (00:05:31):
. Yeah. Like,
Marcus Ransom (00:05:32):
Like all of our careers,
Yuri Vlasyuk (00:05:34):
And, and I
Marcus Ransom (00:05:35):
Love those Tangerine iac.
Tom Bridge (00:05:37):
Yeah. They were great. Oh,
Yuri Vlasyuk (00:05:39):
Yeah. Yeah. But, but I was dreaming about first one, uh, 2030, uh, 230 streamer Hertz, and this was a second generation, so I, I I missed some something. Yeah. Not from the beginning. And, and the, not an irony. It’s a strange thing happens now. This friend of mine working for Apple in Cork Island.
Charles Edge (00:06:01):
Wow. They’ve, they’ve had offices there for a long time. Like they used to assemble, I think some of the disc drives for the Apple two out there. So that’s cool. And I, I guess speaking of the Apple two, and not that, you know, the Tangerine was far after that, right. But how has, how has the space changed since you got started?
Yuri Vlasyuk (00:06:23):
When I started, it was kind of, uh, one IMARK per quarter, and it, it w it was just amazing quarter if I, I am sell one imark, one Power, Mac three, and, uh, all, uh, rest of the time I had to sell some Sony monitors, uh, to fix, uh, printers for different companies. And yeah, I’m looking for people who, uh, who want to buy Mike or who want to upgrade. And, and now it’s, it’s kind of not opposite, but, um, everyone won a Mac. Uh, a lot of people, every, uh, every second people have an iPhone. So, uh, yeah, it’s, uh, changed in 20 years dramatically. Yeah.
Charles Edge (00:07:15):
And I guess the last few months have been pretty wild. How’s it changed then?
Yuri Vlasyuk (00:07:22):
Yeah, the, we have, um, both, uh, war and logistics problem and the shortage of, uh, microprocessors and Yeah. And in industry as a whole. So, um, we, I think we lost more than 45% of, of two previous year, uh, in volumes. Uh, but again, we didn’t stop. So it’s, uh, I, I’m happy I’m still in business, and I could provide, uh, provide Max and I iPads and I person iPhones to our customers from different areas, not only from it, but from other, from agriculture, from financing, from different sectors, and yeah, we keep rolling.
Charles Edge (00:08:15):
And in a, in a time like this, is there more used equipment going, if the supply chains are kind of dried up, or is it, are, are you still able to get your hands on brand new stuff?
Yuri Vlasyuk (00:08:29):
Both, but, but, uh, uh, my company specialized on the, on new equipment because, um, not because, yeah, we can, we can now add, uh, used equipment or max from other resellers to Apple Business Manager, but we mm-hmm. kind of, uh, enthusiast or, uh, ambassadors of zero touch deployment. So we have to sell, uh, better to sell new. There is also a huge, um, huge market for user, uh, max and iPhones, but we are not in this market. Yeah. Mostly the equipment came from Europe or us, but again, sometimes it happens that it, it’s stolen and, uh, I, I don’t have tools to check it all, so I prefer, um, not to sell something like this to my customers who trust me. So yeah, we stay at new, but, uh, yeah, we, uh, we could, uh, buy back, uh, our max we, we sell before, and then sell to, to maybe other customers, but we, uh, yeah, we know the, uh, when we know, I know the origin of this, uh, units, uh, yeah, I can resell it.
Marcus Ransom (00:09:51):
So what sort of, what sort, what sort of industries, um, were you finding you were working with? What sort of areas are your traditional customers in, in Ukraine?
Yuri Vlasyuk (00:10:02):
I, I think you, you could imagine, because there’s, uh, two main, uh, in and biggest, I think, biggest industries, um, who, who, who can export? This is an agriculture and, uh, it, uh, product and outsourcing companies. So this is, uh, our, yeah, most of them, I think they, they are, uh, our customers and yeah. And outsourcing company, uh, keep keeps us as a business because they, uh, they sell services, uh, worldwide, and they could operate even in this different Yeah. Con conditions again, when, when they have power and, and internet. So, uh, there’s, uh, huge demand to startling terminals and these, uh, huge, uh, batteries from EcoFlow, Bri, and things like this.
Charles Edge (00:11:09):
And all of those things make perfect sense, don’t they? What doesn’t make sense is that amidst everything going on, you actually managed to pull off yet another conference. , like that is just superstar type stuff. How, how did that go?
Yuri Vlasyuk (00:11:27):
Uh, Charles, I found the guy, uh, he’s a psychotherapist and he’s just amazing. I, I thought it’ll be good idea to, uh, to help Mac admins to keep doing things they do, to, to support the companies, to make other people productive. And, uh, it’s, yeah, it is just, it’s joke, joke, but only a part of joke, um,
Tom Bridge (00:11:59):
Yuri Vlasyuk (00:12:00):
Um, in, in this conditions, I have a strong belief, strongly believe that in this conditions, uh, any community need to talk, uh, more and maybe closer and about topic that they working on, uh, because there’s a lot of stress, a lot of depression things and, and community, uh, need such kind of support badly. So we decided to produce second conference, uh, and yeah, , and there was, uh, there was a not problem. We couldn’t play, uh, not, uh, we couldn’t plan ahead because, uh, you never know if there will be power in, in two month or three months. So it, it, it was very strange to talk to sponsors and to speakers. So, could you please support us ? And, and we don’t know if we pro if we produced the conference. It’s, um, but again, we decided to make it, uh, yeah, make it free and, and online, and to invite all the people who interested in, in these, these topics. And Tom, thanks again for helping me with the, this impressive speaker, Joe Renick. Yeah,
Tom Bridge (00:13:29):
It was a pleasure. You know, I was gonna say, I, when when you reached out, I was like, oh, I know exactly who to bring. Uh, and, uh, you know, I was gonna say, Joel is, uh, Joel was such a unique personality, um, and it was so much fun to, to be able to share him with, uh, with, with, with your community.
Yuri Vlasyuk (00:13:45):
Yeah. Yeah. Great. Thank you, Dom. And, uh, uh, always was surprise for me because I know that, uh, this guy is booked ahead maybe for two years ahead. I’m, I’m telling about Armen, and he and he mm-hmm. . Yeah, . And he was very generous to, uh, and, uh, and give us a huge opportunity to, uh, to ask questions we, we need to understand. Um, after, after the first event, I met short, uh, uh, short questionnaire for the attendees, what, what topics they interested in for the next, uh, for the next event, for the next conference, and the, uh, the most, yeah, yeah. The most interested, uh, topic was, uh, patch management for Yeah. For companies, uh, from Medium, uh, and, uh, enterprise. Yeah. They was very interested in patch management and Army is is, I think, one of the best in, in this area. So it, it was impressive to, to have such, uh, brilliant speaker to our conference. Uh, and again, uh, was impressed by support of market means community worldwide. When we, uh, we, uh, started to prepare to second conference, and it was very helpful, uh, and, uh, yeah, was very helpful. And it, it was good to understand that in, in, in such conditions, we have such a strong support.
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Tom Bridge (00:16:25):
So, you know, speaking of, and you know, I know that you talked with me about getting speakers for, for this conference. How was it recruiting speakers, just generally speaking, uh, as you went through the, through the whole process of organizing?
Yuri Vlasyuk (00:16:37):
Hmm. Yeah. It is an old story and fake it until you make it. So, ,
Tom Bridge (00:16:44):
Yuri Vlasyuk (00:16:46):
, uh, we were nervous, uh, before the first conference. So we get, uh, we get small presentations from, uh, from our team. So, uh, one of, uh, sales manager, uh, prepared the, uh, presentation all about Apple Business Manager, uh, because, uh, the, um, awareness or the penetration of Apple Business Manager in, in our country is not, not high, not so high. So a lot of, uh, admins and, uh, and managers, they, uh, don’t know about, uh, such an opportunity even when they buy new, new hardware from Apple. Yeah. Uh, then, uh, one of, uh, our support, uh, support guys preparing the small presentation, uh, uh, how to support users via watchman monitoring. So we, we got this, um, backup plan if, uh, everything goes bad, and then we start to invite, or in part parallel, we start to invite, um, other speakers from my, um, research and not, not research.
Um, yeah, from, from my every everyday activities, I am understand that a lot of, uh, admins, uh, don’t know, um, anything, almost anything about basic troubleshooting, hardware troubleshooting. So we invited, uh, the, um, uh, yeah, he’s an IT director of one of our competitors, uh, service center. And, uh, they shoot small, even shoot small video for the event about basic troubleshooting of Max and iPhones and iPad, iPads. And, and then step by step, uh, with, with this, um, uh, with, uh, this small set of presentation, uh, we reach out to GEM and to our local partners and, uh, GEM provide us, um, just amazing, uh, speakers. Uh, and, um, and yeah, is basically it. And I, I was aware about the one IT security, no, no, cybersecurity company in, um, one of, uh, region near PO in Deliv. Uh, and I heard that they, uh, compete with, uh, with, um, top cybersecurity companies in the vault. So I invited them to, um, also to make a small presentation, um, about, uh, yeah, basically about, uh, security. And they decided to choose a topic, uh, about malware for micros and how to, how to not to fight it. Yeah,
Charles Edge (00:19:54):
Those are, a lot of those are just evergreen topics, aren’t they? Like I, every time I’ve ever sat in a session on troubleshooting, I feel like I take something new away, like some, some new, you know, something I’d never considered trying before. I’m like, oh, I could do that . And you never know when it’s gonna, oh, I wish I knew that six months ago when I came across this problem, right? .
Yuri Vlasyuk (00:20:24):
Um, and, and we used to, we used to have a, um, a service center, uh, um, few years ago. It was, uh, it was, uh, a warranty service center. And then we, we just, just fix everything. And, uh, besides warranty and, uh, I talked to people, I talked to my admins who came to our service center and ask them some questions if they know something, uh, about these basic things about, um, Puram and SMC updates and, and things like this. And, and the, they did was not aware, and the pain point was, uh, if some something freezing or not bullying, and they live in, in other city, they spent two, three days to send this unit to our service centers and have, they have to wait, and then they get it back. So the idea was clear. We have to teach them to how to provide this basic troubleshooting things. Yeah.
Marcus Ransom (00:21:30):
Love it. And so what about next year? What sort of topics do you think people would be interested in hearing for next time?
Yuri Vlasyuk (00:21:39):
Um, I think MDM in different vendors, uh, with, um, um, yeah, I think MDM will, will be, uh, evergreen. Yeah. Charles Evergreen topic. Mm-hmm. . Yeah. There’s a lot of things to, to study. I, uh, uh, for me personally, I, I am, I am love the idea that, uh, AK provides with this library of, uh, community scripts. This is, this is amazing thing, and I’d love to invite someone from Aji to talk about. And, uh, now I know some of our customers, they, um, signed to country and I’m also interested in their experience. And, um, uh, and I am, I, I was, uh, reaching out to other vendors and even tried, uh, with me before Apple by the company . Yeah. I think, uh, there will be, they were green. Yeah.
Tom Bridge (00:22:53):
And we’ll do our best after this, uh, after this recording, to put you in touch with, uh, Jason at AK and, uh, Eric and Weldon at, uh, Kaji, uh, so that they, you know, are aware of the, the work that you guys are doing. So, uh, we’re always help to, happy to make introductions.
Yuri Vlasyuk (00:23:08):
Yeah, it’ll be great. Thank it. On. And, uh, from first conference, uh, I think there’s always good goodo good idea to show real case scenarios. For example, one of our customers com, um, company, the name Mac po, they, uh, uh, they make the software clean, my mic, and, uh, uh, they made short movie, uh, steal Me if you can. I think it was, yeah, .
Tom Bridge (00:23:41):
Yuri Vlasyuk (00:23:42):
It was beautiful. It was a kind of detective story, uh, about Stolen Mac and how did they find this Mac used in GEM for jump technology. It was, um, uh, real, real, real world scenario for a lot of admins. And, uh, it was, uh, in, um, in after event survey, I think there was kind of a hundred percent of interest for this topic. Yeah.
Charles Edge (00:24:15):
Wow. That’s always impressive when you get the a hundred percent, like everybody loved that session. . Yeah.
Marcus Ransom (00:24:23):
Yeah. That’s awesome. So after all of the, after all of the anxiety, uh, and worries setting up the conference, how did it go? Um, what, what sort of response did you get apart from the a hundred percent for Mac Bo? What, what was the, what was the audience like? How many attendees came along?
Yuri Vlasyuk (00:24:40):
Um, uh, uh, that our first conference, I think we had, um, 90 registrations, and there was, um, uh, seven 70 or 72 people, uh, in peak, yeah. At, at Zoom sessions. And, uh, that’s awesome. No, thank you. Yeah. And, uh, at, at second conference there was up to 50, yeah, 50 attendees. But the second one, we, uh, we produced on a rush in very tight, uh, terms. So it was not, not kind of, uh, proper preparation for the conference for, um, marketing and this invitation things. So, yeah. Yeah. I, I love the, um, feedback, uh, from the conferences. Now people reach us free freely to ask any question about the topics, uh, they hear at the conference or, uh, topics for administration. They don’t know who to ask maybe. Yeah. And, uh, again, there was nothing like this in, in the community. I love this community management things .
And, uh, at the beginning, 18 years ago, there were some dealers meet up, meet ups, and, uh, there was, um, uh, user groups meet ups, but there was not very popular. And, uh, I was sad about it because I love to, to, to talk to people, to reach them, to ask, uh, what they, what, uh, are they struggling with? What are, uh, are they thinking about technology, uh, at one of the meetup, um, I understand that, uh, a lot of, uh, ARD here in Ukraine, uh, was not aware about such a product as, um, apple Remote Desktop. Uh, they, uh, uh, they started to use a kind of technol technology, uh, uh, with a team viewer and later esk and I, I, I, I seems no one using Splash, splash Top. Yeah. Mm-hmm. . Yeah. But, but, but before, uh, before these tools that there was, uh, uh, an administration style, uh, going to user, uh, just reach the user physically and fix, fix his problem, we, uh, almost no one using such tools like an Apple remote desktop.
Yeah. So my idea, um, was around, um, I, I, I was wondering how, how to create this community and what, what could be the good idea. So I learned a lot from your podcast, podcasts, and just, just a lot. I Google a lot, and I think I, I, I reach out, uh, first time I reach out, uh, GEM Managers was 214 in Yeah, yeah. Summer mm-hmm. to 2000, uh, 2014. Yeah. And, um, uh, then I spent two or three more months and understand I couldn’t make any customer for now. So it, it, it was, uh, on hold for, for a few years then.
Marcus Ransom (00:28:39):
So what about the next conference? When are you, when are you planning to hold the, the third, um, Maxis admin ua? Or, or is it too close?
Yuri Vlasyuk (00:28:52):
No, Marcos, uh, uh, we, we, uh, love to tell here after, after we win , but yeah. But, um, again, uh, no, no one knows, uh, how, how it’ll go. So if, uh, we will have power, for example, for to, um, un un not until next summer, uh, I, I think we, the, it’ll be, it’ll be perfect to produce. And, uh, I’m waiting after all this covid and, uh, war. I’m waiting for an offline event. I just, yeah. Miss it. I just miss it. ,
Tom Bridge (00:29:32):
I hear you there.
Marcus Ransom (00:29:33):
So if someone’s interested in presenting, um, I, is the conference held in, um, Ukrainian or English, or
Speaker 1 (00:29:40):
A combination of both?
Yuri Vlasyuk (00:29:43):
We could not find all speakers we need in Ukrainian, so, yes. Uh, at, at, uh, our registration form, I ask, um, people, uh, about, uh, if, if they know English, because we invited, uh, English speaking, uh, yeah. Speakers to the conference.
Tom Bridge (00:30:07):
Speaker 1 (00:30:09):
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Tom Bridge (00:31:36):
So, in addition to the conference, you know, and you, you have Island, which is a, uh, you know, a, a reseller. You guys also at this point do, uh, consulting on deployments. You know, we’ve all, you know, all three of us, uh, hosts have been consultants over the last, you know, decade or so at some point. Um, you know, so we keep finding, you know, that internationally a lot of stories sound very similar to our own. But you know, before we get that, how has consulting gone over the last, you know, year or two?
Yuri Vlasyuk (00:32:04):
Tom? I, I’ve, I’ve found now that we have, uh, much stronger demand for the MDM and Apple Business Manager implementation projects, of course, uh, it, it starts, uh, in Covid times. And, uh, we started to convince, um, IT managers and, uh, sea level managers that they have to even, uh, at least test some of the technology to understand how they could benefit from this. But, uh, uh, I think the, the main problem was that, um, uh, that people are not expensive in Ukraine. So it’s easy to hire two or three more admins than to implement some technology that will help you to, uh, automate a lot of processes or, or get, uh, more control, uh, on your, uh, IT park. So it was, uh, common, common story. Okay. We, uh, we, we have, um, unfunded, uh, IT department, they, uh, they don’t have time for, uh, to handle all the problem.
Okay, let’s hire two more people to this IT departments. And what I learned from your podcasts and from your guests that, uh, was exactly, uh, the seeing that community have a lot of tools now to, to cover, uh, most common problems for almost every kind of company, cloud on premise, and all, all the different, um, tools. Yeah. And, uh, my plan was to, uh, choose some of these tools and then offer to my customers these tools as, um, every day too, or even for the test drive to, um, yeah. To introduce them such an instrument. And I know that after this, uh, test drives in a few months or even one in a year, uh, most of the companies already, uh, switched to some MDM vendor and now use used it. So, uh, it, it, it was, uh, work for, for, uh, our work for last two or three years to, to convince people just to test any, any tools if they don’t like the tools we offer them. So, okay. Okay. There is more than 15 vendors let choose, pick yours and, and start, start implementing or start testing. Yeah.
Marcus Ransom (00:35:22):
So how did, how did that go? What was, what was the response? Do people see the, the benefits in using tools like that when, as you said, you know, labor is, uh, an admins are, are cheap, um, but do they see, what, what sort of things did they see were, were beneficial in automation if, if price wasn’t the motivator?
Yuri Vlasyuk (00:35:46):
Um, yeah. I, I started from GEM in 2014, and I underst quickly understand that, um, managers and, uh, all business owners, uh, they think like this, okay, I, I bought, um, 50 max and they are best, uh, on best tool on the market. They are, uh, uh, most secure tools on the market. So why I have to invest, uh, hundred dollars a year in every Mac, uh, just for, and again, in, uh, in IT department in, in the, uh, education of IT department, why I have to invest more, uh, uh, I already make this, uh, investment in best, best tool on the market in Apple computers. And, uh, and then I understand I have to find, uh, some other solution or vendor that will be, uh, good enough and will lower the entrance barrier. So I ended up, up with the model and, uh, GEM as, as the two main vendors we working with now.
And, uh, if I have, uh, admin, uh, wandering around who not need, uh, not needs at such a tool, but have some free time to learn something new, we make, um, demo account for in moel demo account for such an admin. Uh, and even if they need, we give them our office, make meaning for testing purposes. Cause sometimes, especially for a small companies, they don’t have, uh, they don’t have, uh, Mac or iPhones for testing purposes. And we give them the opportunity to, to connect to this computer, to control, to work with updates, to test scripts, and, uh, and understand, uh, how the technology work.
Marcus Ransom (00:38:12):
And do you see that moment when they’ve been able to actually do this for themselves where they’re sold and all of a sudden they understand the benefit of it?
Yuri Vlasyuk (00:38:24):
Uh, yeah, sure. They ask me for an invoice.
Marcus Ransom (00:38:27):
Yuri Vlasyuk (00:38:30):
Accomplished. Yeah. Yeah. Yep. Yeah. And I, I understand that this is very long, long, uh, uh, way, uh, to make, uh, customers maybe, but again, this is, uh, for me, it’s, it is kind of community development story. So, uh, e even if they don’t buy from us, they are still in a community. They could provide some help for other, other people, for other admins, uh, and, um, understand that even if I get, uh, higher marketing budgets, I, I think I will not do twice as much, for example, after the year. So yeah, we go in this Navy seals Yeah, slow is smooth and smooth is fast. Yeah. This is, this is our way to develop the community and to establish this, uh, the business itself. Yeah.
Charles Edge (00:39:34):
You know, it seems like a lot of automation tools tend to get deployed as wages go up or, or more. Um, and I know that the, if I remember correctly, the minimum wage went up a couple times in the last coup, two or three years, uh, there, um, so people make more RIAs, I think is the, the word. But do you find that as wages go up, there’s more appetite to take on these automation tools?
Yuri Vlasyuk (00:40:06):
Uh, yeah. Uh, it’s, it, it’s, uh, about wages and it’s about the power outages and, uh, and our current situation. So, uh, average salary, uh, for Mac, uh, no, not Mac for admin here is about, uh, five to eight, $900 a month. So you can hire five instead of Yeah, if you, if you have some more, more tasks, for example. Um, but, uh, again, after, after Covid hit, uh, and, uh, in these power outages, uh, uh, after Rocket shelling, uh, there, there’s, uh, kind of other approach for, uh, in the head of, uh, managers, they have to, uh, establish the process that then even if, uh, admin will be offline, they, uh, they have, they have to be tools to, for example, um, block, uh, block and updates for the, um, employee’s computers or, uh, to, to make basic settings, even if admin is offline for, for a few hours or for half, half a day. Um, so yeah. Now, now we have more arguments, uh, speaking with our, yeah, our prospect of potential customers.
Charles Edge (00:41:42):
And not all these tools are localized in Ukrainian. Um, you, you know, of the ones that you’ve mentioned so far, I, I know for a fact that a couple aren’t. Um, do you find that that’s a barrier for deployments, or not really?
Yuri Vlasyuk (00:41:58):
Yes, this is a barrier. I know, uh, most of customers, they use Google Translate to, uh, to understand what it is about. Um, but again, we, we provided a kind of pipeline for new customers or who implemented, or, or for customers who just testing and, uh, we ask them, uh, or we understand that we, they will be overwhelmed when they log, log in, log in into admin panel, and we tell them to go step by step from the e easiest, uh, steps to make this dashboard. They will know what it’s is about. Uh, and, um, yeah. And, um, if, if I take a look, uh, at the different products from this perspective, I think there is companies who, um, kind of ahead of not market and competitors that, uh, this, uh, easy, easy, uh, easy of, uh, use or clear and ui, uh, without, uh, any legacy menus and, uh, uh, legacy things. They help a lot for the, for new customers who don’t, uh, don’t know, uh, the tool. And of course, for, for medium companies and for enterprises, they, they are looking for, for not, not only for clean interface, they, they’re looking for different things. So I think we have room for both, uh, segments of our customers and for different, uh, vendors we could offer.
Charles Edge (00:43:57):
Yeah, that, that’s interesting. I, I had a project I was working on in the LA last few weeks, and for a beta customer, we, they, they asked for Polish support, and so converting all the strings to localizable strings and then hiring a translator to do the localization effort, you know, that could all be done in less than a week. But then we made a change a few days later, and renamed a menu, and I’m like, uh, hey, can I hire you to tell me what this means? Or, you know, because Google translate, as you mentioned, is great, but oftentimes I say something into Google Translate and it comes out the other side, clunky in the other language. Like, it, it, it, it may be true, but it’s not the way that anyone would ever actually say it, you know? Um, and I think some of those things, like every single language is, uh, tech debt, not tech debt, tech debt, yes. But also just debt, debt for the future of the product, you know? So, um, oh, yeah. But
Tom Bridge (00:45:07):
Then you’ve gotta be able to do, do all the translation strings and all of those kind of things. I mean, I thought about it briefly, you know, uh, once upon a time, and then I, I had to sit down.
Charles Edge (00:45:16):
Yeah. Every single menu, you know, and may, you know, the, the one time effort though doesn’t seem like that huge stretch in any project or product. It’s that long-term ownership and, you know, you know, but so you mentioned Apple Business Manager, um, hasn’t been rolled out to a lot of companies there. And we noticed that I land sell, speaking of Google, uh, translate writing the script. I used a lot of Google Translate to, to read some of the stuff from the different websites so that we can write it. But, um, but you know, you sell a package on Apple Business Manager, and some of our guests have told us in dif various countries that various Apple Business or Apple School features aren’t available in their local country, but it looks like most are available there. How house feature availability and I guess adoption been there.
Yuri Vlasyuk (00:46:15):
Um, I think we have all the features. Even, uh, I, I, uh, got notification and checked, uh, this morning I checked this, um, notification that they told me in Ukrainian language that told me that I could use, uh, um, better, uh, functions in Apple Business Manager. So I think this is kind of, yeah, it’s a new thing for Apple Seed for it that we could connect this be better feature into, uh, apple Business Manager, uh, dashboard. Yeah. So mm-hmm. , uh, we, we are looking careful for this, uh, page at Apple website, uh, with a supported countries for Apple Business Manager. Uh, a few years ago, it, it was about 65 countries worldwide, which was have support of Apple Business, apple School manager, and we waiting for Yeah. For some years. And then we, we got it. Uh, oh. Yeah. So I’m happy with this. Uh, and, uh, if I, I, if I can get back to our translation, uh, translation conversation, uh, at the beginning, uh, at the beginning, I, my, uh, community community manager, part of me, uh, was thinking, uh, maybe it’s a good idea to offer a translation to Ukrainian to some of the vendor and, uh, .
Yeah. And then I understand that, uh, if I provide such, uh, service translation, then I have to be on track with every update of the service. And this is not my business. This is, no, I have to, I have to sell the products and services. And, uh, then I decided as it’ll be better to raise the, uh, the volume of, uh, sales for this product, for this country, and then ask a vendor to translate by his resources. So I chose this this way because, uh, uh, before, yeah, yeah, I think it was 10 years ago, there was, and still here a product that calls, um, Maryland for project management. And we translated this Melin, uh, to Ukrainian. And, uh, the, uh, company owner told me exactly this. So if we, we could change, uh, we could add your translation to our product, but every update, uh, we will need you on every next update. And this is, uh, something different. Yeah.
Charles Edge (00:49:13):
Have you, have you had any, um, success with increasing volumes of products and being able to get Ukrainian translations in there as a result?
Yuri Vlasyuk (00:49:23):
Um, Marcos, we are working on, I, I think we had to have this success in 2022, but again, in February, uh, uh, everything was changed. So yeah, we, we postponed our success,
Charles Edge (00:49:39):
Yuri Vlasyuk (00:49:42):
I hope that’ll
Charles Edge (00:49:43):
Be the year. That’s probably one of the most understandable excuses I’ve ever heard. . Yeah. Like, uh, um, and, you know, so a a little bit of a fun thing. We did an episode recently on 3D printing, and you do some stuff with Maker Faires, and we also like to hack together weird things, be it those 3D printing new body parts, uh, uh, maybe we’re not quite to the new body part plug place, but , how, how active, or at least we’re not, I know some people are , but how active is the makerspace world out in your neck of the woods these days with everything else going on? I could see how it could, could be even more active than usual if you can’t get things, or it could have just died off because there’s so many more priorities. But curious about that.
Yuri Vlasyuk (00:50:38):
So, uh, you made the episode, uh, about 3D printing, so you can understand my excitement when I found MDs tool, uh, to Canoe to Canoe, uh, website with this, uh, yeah. AR controller. And, uh, this is a, a kind of thing I love, uh, as, uh, David Sparks, uh, told this automated automation , and, and I, I, I love such just things. Yeah. Uh, just thank you for your question. It was a bad project in 2014. I was in a kind of, uh, bad mood. Yeah. Um, it, it and, uh, um, uh, about the, uh, anion Yeah. And Crimea, and about the Russian invasion. And also I understand that, uh, my older, uh, much love to, to play Minecraft, uh, at iPad, much more than anything, any other things. So I started to dig into some, um, makerspaces Hackerspaces, we can came together and, uh, try something new.
And I found this whole Maker Fair Idea Magazine licenses, and there was a start of this, my small pet projects. And, uh, in five years, it becomes 15 fairs around, uh, in five cities in Ukraine. So, uh, yeah, it, it was a pet project. And, and in 2008, uh, my team told me that, uh, I have to, I have to came back to Apple Business because they, they miss me when you, when you’re producing five events in a year. Uh, and, uh, my team was very supportive and they helped me, uh, also, uh, in, in producing and something, uh, something will broke in, in a business if you, uh, you spent a lot of effort, uh, and, uh, focus to this pet project and to don’t have resources to, to invest and develop my business. Yeah. So they asked me to, to came back and . But again, this whole idea of micro movement, I love it. It’s, again, it’s my community manager part. It’s, uh, for me, for me, it feels like the market means community. And this, um, horizontal connections with, uh, support, with, uh, a passion with, uh, this, uh, knowledge sharing and experience sharing and these, uh, small meetups, uh, just around the, the topics we love to work with and love to discuss. So,
Charles Edge (00:53:50):
Well, that is a, a great response, and I totally understand how different initiatives take you away from core business, and there’s a finite amount of time in the day. Regrettably, , you know, it would be great if we could, uh, if we could fork our hours. Like, like un Unix processes can be forked, but regrettably, sleep is for the week. There’s all of this time that you could be Right. Having more projects. Yeah. Instead of a sleep 60, put a, nevermind. There’s nothing
Speaker 6 (00:54:29):
Here at the Mac Admins podcast, we wanna say a special thank you to all of our Patreon backers. The following people are to be recognized for their incredible generosity. S Stu Bakka. Thank you, Adam sbe. Thank you. Nate Walk. Thank you. Michael Sai, thank you, Rick Goodie. Thank you. Mike Boylan. You know it. Thank you. Uh, Melvin Vive. Thank you. Bill Steitz. Thank you. Anus Storyville, thank you. Jeffrey Compton, M Marsh, Stu McDonald, Hamlin Cruin, Adam Berg. Thank you. AJ Petrek. Thank you, James. Tracy, Tim Pert of two Canoes. Thank you. Nate Sinal, will O’Neill, Seb Nash, the folks at Command Control Power, Steven Weinstein, Che Swarth out, Daniel McLaughlin, Justin Holt, bill Smith, and Weldon. Dod, thank you all so much and remember that you can back us if you just saw head out, out to patreon.com/mac ADM podcast. Thanks, everybody.
Charles Edge (00:55:24):
We did think of a good bonus question while you were talking about the meetups, and hopefully it appeals to your love of meetups. So, Tom,
Speaker 6 (00:55:35):
Well, yeah, and you know, I think this is a great question. I did a small meetup here in DC this past week, and it was great to see a couple friends, rich Trouten, it came out, Gerard Massey came out, we had some, uh, great conversation over beverages and food. Um, but you know, as you’re planning those meetups, what’s the best thing that you can, what’s the best tip for, uh, somebody planning a meetup?
Yuri Vlasyuk (00:55:56):
Oh, yeah. This is still tough for me. Uh, after this, uh, events, all, all events are produced. Um, I think, uh, the main topic that resonate to, to potential visitors, it’s the, it, the magnet. Um, we produced, um, market means meet up around the, uh, wifi and networking. Then we produced, uh, uh, with, um, yeah, it was, um, patch management. Then it was meet up in, um, it courses school, how to, uh, how to teach, uh, market means, uh, from Zero. So this, uh, kind of, uh, topics that, that could, uh, involve proper people to, to the meetups. And, uh, when I am looking for, for the topics for meetups, I am just opening a few websites, uh, Pennsylvania State University, and, uh, max admin and, uh, . And, uh, I just go through topics, um, of, uh, go through sessions of, through campfire sessions. And, uh, I understand what will work for the meet up, uh, based on my previous conversation with admins and what, what will not. So, um, I, I just going through different topics and choose, uh, that will be most interesting for the attendees, for, for admins at the Meetup. And sometimes if, uh, if you declare that, uh, meetup will be in the pub, it’s just, it’s already, uh, uh, perfect magnet for the admins. Yeah. Mm-hmm. ,
Tom Bridge (00:58:05):
Amen to that.
Charles Edge (00:58:06):
Yeah. Well, Tom, you mentioned you’ve done a few. What’s your best tip?
Tom Bridge (00:58:10):
Oh, best tip is, you know, just keep doing them. Honestly, it, it doesn’t matter, you know, getting some regularity out of things is you’re gonna start small. And the, the goal is just to just have one more person there the next month as we’ve tried to get Mac Aduc, or excuse me, Mac DMV back off the ground. Um, you know, we had some struggles, uh, last month. We, we, we had a boy, we had a bunch of people rsvp, and it was me and two other people that showed up for the actual thing in November. Um, this time out, we also had about a dozen people RSVP in December, and there were four of us at the, at the pub, you know, in, in, uh, in December. It was the holidays. I’m not worried about it. The, the, the whole point is to just keep going 1% better. Every meetup, that’s all you’re after. So, you know, figure out, find new ways, experiment, play with it. This isn’t, you know, the end all, be all of anything. You’re the, the, the stakes are low. So take that to heart.
Yuri Vlasyuk (00:59:09):
Oh, Tom, thank you for share sharing this. Uh, I totally agree. And for us, Al also, uh, work at, um, such a thing after every Meet up, I, um, I wrote down a summary and put it to our website and, uh, sent this, uh, summary to people who was invited but didn’t, but, uh, don’t came to the meet up. So they understand the kind of, uh, from the summaries they understand, they did miss something interesting. And then we, we increase the numbers of, uh, attendance at next meetups.
Charles Edge (00:59:45):
How about you, Marcus?
Marcus Ransom (00:59:47):
Yuri, you said something, something earlier that really resonated with me about, uh, trying to find real world stories, real world examples. And one of the things I’ve found that worked really well, um, with meetups is getting people to understand that they have an interesting story to tell. Um, even if they’ve never done presenting or public speaking before, it’s, it’s a safe space. You know, the, the com, the culture around Mac admins is everybody’s interested in what people have got to say and putting effort into getting different speakers who have got different stories to tell. And you find some amazing stories, and you discover some people who are actually really good at telling a story. Um, so, so that’s something that I’ve always tried to focus on, is spending a lot of my effort in going and badgering people to get up and talk to other people about what they’ve been doing in their environment.
Um, and as well as beer and pizza. I really think good stories are, are a, a, a great draw card for, for bringing people along. And, and as you mentioned there, publicizing it, having a record of what’s been happening. So somebody who maybe isn’t part of the Mac admin community or, but is doing that as a job can discover what’s going on, um, and find out about it. Um, and then you discover these people showing up at the meetup that nobody knows, and it’s like, how did you find out about this? Um, and you find out that it was a website, or, you know, they ran into someone talking at a vendor or a conference who pointed out that there was somewhere they could go to meet other weirdos who are, have this strange fascination with Apple products that they do. And, and there you go. So what about you, Charles? What have, what have you found that works?
Charles Edge (01:01:33):
Oh, geez. I, I don’t think I’ve found anything that work. , I found a lot of things that don’t work, . I mean,
Marcus Ransom (01:01:41):
That’s important as well.
Charles Edge (01:01:43):
Yeah. So to address something Tom said about attendance percentages, like I was the social chairman of my fraternity back in college, um, which I am almost afraid to admit, you know, ducks for things being thrown at me. But I mean, we would hire bands like who, I mean, I, I went to school in the nineties, so , we would have like run D m C or Hootie in the Blowfish, or some, some pretty substantial bands that, that, you know, you might have heard of. And we’d still get like 20 people show up, and you’re like, really not. But, um, and that’s including our own membership, you know, . Um, so I, I don’t know that there’s, there’s a consistency to how much you spend. I, I think Yuri’s point about a good hook or, or a good topic that is, that resonates in the moment is, is really solid.
Um, and I think capacity planning, like, especially if it’s in a bar or something, if only a few people show up, not getting your feelings hurt and just plugging along and continuing, you know, that’s, that’s a thing. But I, I don’t think that I’ve ever seen a single thing that consistently works with the exception of maybe something I feel like I learned from Ed Marek, which is make sure it’s online, you know, with their Google Hangouts. Mm-hmm. with, with what they’ve been doing for years and years. Um, you know, you might only have five or six people in the room, but on the Internets there are dozens of people, which isn’t always plausible in a bar or some other setting, but, or wise, I do feel like sometimes or Wise, yeah. Wait, you recorded that? Uh, . But, but yeah, I feel like, you know, there, there’s not a, a super consistent recipe for success, especially not with everything else going on, whether it’s Covid or shelling. Luckily, I, I haven’t had to deal with that issue yet. But, um, you know, there’s, I, I don’t know that there’s a consistent recipe, but, uh, I, I do like the, the thing Tom said, you know, keep going. You know, kinda like what we did with the pod, I guess , just those first few episodes we had, what, 10 people listening , so Oh, yeah.
Yuri Vlasyuk (01:04:11):
Tom Bridge (01:04:12):
Yeah. I was gonna say, you know, very early on, I mean, it’s, it’s all about building that, right? Like, and sometimes you find your stretch and, and you find your ability to, to, to share something new and different, and it really works out well. Well,
Charles Edge (01:04:23):
We, we, we
Marcus Ransom (01:04:24):
Found out the, the other day that we’ve, we’ve passed our millionth download of this podcast, which is, yes, terrifying,
Tom Bridge (01:04:31):
Yuri Vlasyuk (01:04:32):
Is huge, amazing, huge, wonderful . And, and before our first meetup, I, uh, subscribe it to all Apple related meetups at service with the same name, meetup com. And then, uh, I’m, I’m thinking, uh, thinking, oh man, these people, uh, making these meetups at a monthly basis. And you still hesitating to start even first one. And, uh, oh man, start, yeah. Start, start doing this. And, uh, there also was an ideas for topics for conversation in, in that meetups that I get notification to my emails and, uh, and the rest was on my side to understand which topic will be interesting for this audience and, and yeah. And just start doing.
Tom Bridge (01:05:29):
Perfect. I think that’s a great place to leave it. So, Yuri, thank you so much for joining us this week, and, uh, I think I say on behalf of all of our listeners and all of the folks here involved in the, in the partici in the creation of this podcast, I think that the best thing for us all to finish on is Slavi Ukrainian and know that you’re in our hearts and that the work that you do every day matters to.
Yuri Vlasyuk (01:05:50):
Thank you. Thank you Tom. Charles Marcos. Yeah, thank you for the invitation and thank you for your support.
Tom Bridge (01:06:00):
We look forward to attending a future conference and, uh, live and in person when we can.
Marcus Ransom (01:06:05):
Yuri Vlasyuk (01:06:07):
It, it’ll be great. Uh, I put my efforts to this Yeah, looking forward.
Tom Bridge (01:06:13):
us two friends, us two,
Marcus Ransom (01:06:16):
And we’re also looking forward to having you back, uh, back on the podcast at some sign time soon, um, talking about how things have improved
Yuri Vlasyuk (01:06:24):
With my pleasure. Yeah,
Tom Bridge (01:06:27):
Indeed. And, uh, you know, the, uh, thanks of course to our wonderful sponsors for this week’s episode. Um, thanks so much to all of the Patreon backers out there as well. Um, and thanks everybody. We’ll see you next time.
Marcus Ransom (01:06:38):
See you next time. See you later.
The Mac Admins Podcast is a production of Mac Admins Podcast LLC. Our producer is Tom Bridge. Our sound editor and mixing engineer is James Smith. Our theme music was produced by Adam Codega the first time he opened GarageBand. Sponsorship for the Mac Admins Podcast is provided by the MacAdmins.org Slack, where you can join thousands of Mac admins in a free Slack instance. Visit macadmins.org. And also by Technolutionary LLC: technically, we can help. For more information about this podcast and other broadcasts like it, please visit podcast.macadmins.org. Since we’ve converted this podcast to APFS, the funny metadata joke is at the end.
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