In 2012, Lyft launched its revolutionary online ridesharing service to connect passengers with drivers. Fast-forward and the company is now one of the fastest-growing companies on the planet. Today, approximately 90 percent of Lyft’s 1700 corporate employees are using Mac to help power its phenomenal growth.
“To create the world’s best transportation, we have to hire the best people and give them the best tools. That’s why we provide Mac,” says Peter Sauer, Lyft chief of staff. From day one, the ease of use and built-in features of Mac computers have helped unleash collaboration and creativity across every corner of the company. And the versatility of the Mac development platform, coupled with its performance and reliability, has powered mission-critical development and engineering functions at Lyft. But the benefits of Mac don’t stop there. By using Apple’s enterprise tools and a third-party mobile device management (MDM) product, Lyft has streamlined its Mac deployment process, creating compelling efficiencies for both IT and employees.
At Lyft, building community is a core value. And collaboration is key to Lyft’s culture as teams build communities among customers, partners, and employees. Whether Lyft teams craft energising presentations, hardworking code, or stunning graphics, Mac provides an easy-to-use, collaborative, and powerful platform.
“Mac empowers our employees right from the start,” says Tomas Gonzalez, IT support engineer at Lyft. “We say, ‘Here is your tool that has everything you need to succeed. Now go create.’”
When it comes to collaboration, Lyft leverages built-in Mac apps such as Keynote, which offers team collaboration features. Sauer says, “When half a dozen people or more are all contributing to a single presentation in real time, it is a game changer.”
Mac also runs many of the same apps as iOS. So no matter where they are or which Apple device they’re using, Lyft employees can message each other and share content with apps such as Slack.
The combination of Mac hardware and software working together is also key. Adds Sauer, “When you open up a MacBook Air or MacBook Pro and you don’t have to wait for 30 seconds and lose your train of thought, it just makes everyday life so easy,” referring to how Mac wakes from sleep quickly.
Indeed, Johan Dowdy, head of IT, states that Lyft employees are continually surprised by how much goes on in the background of Mac, without interrupting their workflow. “People are unaware of all the built-in security,” says Dowdy about FileVault, the full-disk encryption feature that runs in the background of macOS.
The Lyft customer app runs on a variety of platforms. With Mac, Lyft development teams are able to work in a single unified environment without switching platforms. So teams can code faster and more efficiently, which keeps Lyft on the leading edge.
“Mac gives us a single development environment for our server- and client-side development,” says Jess Garms, engineering director at Lyft. “That means engineers can work in any of these code bases without switching environments or learning new systems. It lets them make changes when they need to and understand more deeply how our software comes together.”
Lyft is powered by the Linux-based Amazon cloud. “And it’s a big deal that Mac is all UNIX-based,” says Garms. “It’s very easy for us to integrate with our cloud systems and run pieces locally. It keeps things pretty seamless for us.”
Mac performance is also critical to Lyft teams, many of which subject their computers to a tremendous amount of stress. For example, the Lyft customer-facing app is constantly being improved and tailored for local markets, as every region has different transportation rules and regulations. In addition, Lyft is a 24/7 business. If anything negatively impacts their service, they can lose both customers and revenue.
“Reliability has such obvious impact to our bottom line. The reliability of our engineers’ tools directly impacts the ability to keep our services running,” says Garms.
“We’re compiling code, we’re testing code, we’re using the CPU, the flash drive—keeping these things maxed out a lot of the time. That impacts the battery life and it means we need a machine that can work for extended periods. It’s important our notebooks be able to handle that kind of abuse,” adds Garms. “We’ve just found Mac holds up better than the equivalent PCs.”
The Lyft IT team is able to quickly deploy Mac using powerful enterprise management tools. With Jamf Pro and the Apple Device Enrollment Program (DEP), each Mac is automatically configured with Lyft policies and apps so users are productive right away.
“Mac lets us architect repeatable processes. IT automation tools like DEP and Jamf Pro allow us to focus on more interesting projects that will benefit the business,” says Dowdy. He adds, “The total cost of ownership of Mac computers, plus the tooling that is required to support them, is at parity or sometimes even less than other PCs.”
For Lyft, Mac is a creative, collaborative, and powerful tool that has supported their strong growth and culture. “Mac is one of the best tools, and probably the most important tool, as it is what people are spending most of their day in front of,” says Sauer. “If your goal is to maximise employee happiness and productivity, you really have no choice but to offer Mac.”
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