How do you do....it? Thread, Mac V PC/Windows Ammunition Needed in Technical; We are trying to get rid of our MAC infrastructure (about 15% of the hardware).
There are a couple of ...
3rd March 2010, 06:30 AM #1
- Rep Power
Mac V PC/Windows Ammunition Needed
We are trying to get rid of our MAC infrastructure (about 15% of the hardware).
There are a couple of departments sticking to their guns and not relenting.
We have a site license/schools agreement for everything MS, All Windows Adobe CS3 etc, so for every mac we are basically paying twice for software like Adobe.
The main programs the departments have issues about is Final Cut for movie editing, Keynote for 'better templates than powerpoint'.
Apart from the financial cost of duplicating software licenses, extra admin time/costs supporting 2 systems (having to maintin 2 types of images, software updates etc etc) , extra costs with hardware warranty agreements, etc, can anyone think of any other reasons we can use to get to phase out the macs.
Also, apart from Adobe Premier which we dont have, is there another Movie editing package we can recommend for Win that they try?
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3rd March 2010, 09:11 AM #2
I think really you've hit the nail on the head with the costs of support, software and training. Maintaining a mixed network can be a pain, and keeping everything uniform increases your resilience to change - if some wonderful new technology appears, it can be deployed a lot more easily if you've only one platform to manage.
Not too sure about editing software - I'd imagine you have a few FCP die-hards in your midst... If you were to get rid of your Macs and related costs, you could easily invest into some Windows editing software. Both versions of Premiere (Pro and Essentials) are available for Windows machines, plus there's software like Sony Vegas available, too.
Keynote vs Powerpoint is a bit he said/she said... The templates don't matter. They do the same job -presenting information- and that content should always be more important than the backdrop it sits on. (The best presentations I've seen have no backrounds at all, or at least something plain enough I didn't notice it!) Office 2007 comes with much better templates than the older versions ever did, anyway!
Overall, I think you're gonna have a tough time getting rid of them. We have staff here who are desperate to have more Macs available, so I can see prising them away from staff who already have them is going to be close to impossible. (Especially if there's a bias in your establishment towards staff requirements over logistical and financial reasoning.)
3rd March 2010, 09:35 AM #3
Just based on the cost aspect you could argue for some reduction -
Personally I only think that Music and Media benefit from them.
Here's an idea to start with, it costs a little more, but It's how I handle it (although less than 5% are Macs here) - When I was told to renew them, I made sure that a windows licence was also purchased for each machine so that I could use boot camp.
If a machine has something (Premiere, Office etc) on the windows partition then it's not on the Mac partition. This will reduce the amount of Apple machines in the school over time as I can see that the machine are being logged in through windows 80% of the time.
I still think it would be nice to have a few, for the above departments, as that's what the kids would come across in the woking environment.
Last edited by Mr.Ben; 3rd March 2010 at 09:51 AM.
3rd March 2010, 09:44 AM #4
I disagree with abullett. No surprise there since we run a fairly large (soon to be 160 system) Apple integrated network. The only argument you may have that would hold any kind of technical or TCO point with SMT or teaching staff in general is the cost of software and/or training. That's pretty weak reasoning since software costs *anyway* for either OS and training is pretty standard.
For specialist departments such as media there is nothing better than Final Cut. It's probably that simple. Since we are an arts specialism college it's probably easier to justify than if you were, say, a sports specialist place. But even so I haven't found any issues technically or financially with Apple systems on our Windows network.
I also don't follow the line of thought used that 'keeping everything uniform increases your resilience to change'. I find that a little strange in this brave new world of ICT in education (and industry) where networks consist of often disparate bits and pieces from myriads of vendors and the network manager's role is to make them fit together. Interoperability.
It's horses for courses. Our Apple network is amazingly happy and staff and students find it fun and efficient to use. Integration is easier than it used to be, software licensing costs won't go away no matter which platform(s) you adopt and the key is to make everything work for the education of the students. If it's for *their* best that you want to move the school away from Apple systems (though I doubt that could be a unilateral decision) then do it. But if there is a niggling doubt (which there obviously is otherwise you wouldn't be opening this up) then I would talk to your senior leadership team and have them consider the impact on the school and make a more balanced decision based not on bias towards a particular technology but instead the educational needs of the environment you are in.
3rd March 2010, 09:47 AM #5
@redhelpdesk: I'm going to play devil's advocate here... I manage a predominently Windows-based network but we also use Macs which plug into our infrastructure quite nicely and give very few problems. If a Mac is the right tool for the job, why not use it?
With your Schools Agreement, you are entitled to run Office on your Macs (plus any other licensed products if you also use terminal services) and AFAIK you are entitled to run both PC and Mac versions of all your Adobe software on upto 500 computers under the educational site licenses.
The site licenses for Apple software suites is stupidly cheap too... Final Cut Studio site license in the UK is £4,600, Logic Studio is £1,700 and the iWork (which your users seem to love) site license is only £170.
Perhaps a 'better' alternative to look at would be how to rationalise your licensing across both platforms to stop doubling up and perhaps re-assess how the machiens are accessed. For instance, would it be better to provide a couple of small Mac suites where specific tasks such as video editting or music production can be done?
I'm assuming that you have a couple of hundred clients so 15% is a lot of kit to replace too!
Like I said... and I think I'm turing into Tony here(!)... I'm playing devil's advocate just to make you think of alternatives. At the end of the day it's all about the teaching and learning experience and if Macs provide that best in certain circumstances then use them... but only use them where appropriate (which doesn't include "I want Macs because they look nicer!").
3rd March 2010, 09:55 AM #6
I don't know what sort of budget you get but £4600 is a hell of a lot of money! That's enough money for 8 PC's!
Originally Posted by Ric_
3rd March 2010, 10:15 AM #7
That's £4,600 for a license entitling you to use one of the best video editting suites around on up to 500 Macs... £9.20 per machine seems pretty cheap to me! If the OP has 40 Macs, it's still only £115 per machine.
Originally Posted by localzuk
No similar license exists for Premier Pro but you're going to be talking approx. £200 per PC for that.
3rd March 2010, 10:24 AM #8
We'll be getting more like 15 for that!!! Funnily enough we'll be getting 30 macs aswell this year, work that one out!
Originally Posted by localzuk
Personally id go with the suggestion of not doubling up software and getting people to justify why they need them thus keeping their numbers to a minimum, although that can be hard to do. We've asked the staff to justify why they want them and we got the stereotypical answer of "coz they iz better for media and stuff init", without any understanding of why that is.
If they "need" finalcut pro then keep a room (or 2) for that purpose. Most likely they wont be in there all the time so that room can double up for using iWorks. Work with the timetabler to make sure everyone who needs to get in can do so.
Why not keep the macs you've got, but agree on only purchasing 30/60 new ones every 3/4 years. Mac hardware does last longer, and theres no real reason why you absolutely have to have the latest version of FCP.
Im not into video editting so cant comment on that side, but i am very much into music production. I have several thousand pounds worth of kit in my house (from mixers, decks, soundcards, keyboards, drum kits, drum machine...), im sat here writing this post on a macbook pro (which i absolutely love, best laptop by a country mile), yet i dont really see any advantages of using a mac over a PC for music production. Infact i hardly ever use the mac for this purpose, as lets face it, Reason4 is still Reason4 no matter which OS its on. Due to this i do remain sceptical of the "they iz better for music" argument.
3rd March 2010, 10:27 AM #9
Very true. I still cant believe how cheap it is for site licences of mac software. If we were to go very media orientated i would whole heartedly recommend Macs due to their low total cost of ownership.
Originally Posted by Ric_
3rd March 2010, 11:02 AM #10
Having re-read my earlier post, please disregard my hasty comments...
You're right, costs of software and training apply in either direction and yes, of course making sure the best possible resources are available for a pupils' education is always the primary objective. It is always my intention to provide the best possible solutions for the problems and challenges our establishment faces.
I really should add a bit of disclosure to my earlier post that we're having issues with our Macs. Nothing technical (they work and they work well), but the political and management sides of having these systems in school is not, IMHO, being managed very well and is causing me a great deal of stress. Hence why I'd happily go for a Windows alternative!
(I've genuinely enjoyed learning about how to network Macs [I've been a domestic user for several years before getting them in school] and troubleshooting them and all the nerdy pleasures we get from deploying new tech. I've just reached a point where to me they represent 'trouble' instead of 'shiney new amazingness'.)
3rd March 2010, 12:51 PM #11
I'm glad I waited before responding as I am glad by your clarifications (as well as Ric's comments).
I'd back up both Ric and kingswood here about the benefits of inclusion of Macs onto your network, and I've already mentioned in other threads that it is because I have seen the benefits it *can* bring to transferrable skills, amongst other areas.
I can appreciate your problems when it comes to politics / management, and you are looking at doing what many others do. Because you cannot change the politics / management issues you are addressing what you can deal with ... the technology. Most of us have had to do similar in the past ... and from experience I would say that it is worth trying to iron out the politics / management side of things. If you don't it is likely to come back to hit you anyway ...
People like Ric and kingswood can share what has worked for them if you need some more ideas ... try and get your SLT and involved teachers to go out and visit other schools with mixed systems too.
We can spend ages going over TCOs ... and it is just another form of stats (ie you can make them say what you want really) but I will keep harking back to educational outcomes (and good to hear you are of a same mindset).
3rd March 2010, 01:06 PM #12
Originally Posted by Ric_
£4600 seems like a lot if you dont mind me saying? I've recently quoted a customer on Final Cut Studio Site Licence (up to 500 users and 50 admin) and it was a lot, lot cheaper than that
I'll gladly send the pricing via PM to anyone interested
3rd March 2010, 01:32 PM #13
Apologies for thread-jacking!
Secretly I really love having Macs in school. They're a fun new challenge, which is something this place hasn't offered me in ages and they're my little project - the other two guys here have very little involvement with them. They're my babies and over all I'm very happy with them.
I just get a little annoyed with how they/I get treated. For example, user issues that stem from lack of knowledge/experience, or lack of understanding of the task at hand get passed directly to me as technical issues that must be dealt with instantly (even though the staff that teach the course the Macs are used for have been to training sessions and I, the poor sod who has to support them, hasn't.). I'll shut up now as I've gone somewhat off-topic. Maybe I'll just work out my rants on a new thread of my own...
As for the general discussion here, having macs in school is pretty ace and as has been said, can provide transferrable skills and introduces those creative types to the kind of environment they'd likely be working in if they persued a creative career. (Hell, I use mine at home for photography, websites and video production :P)
As the OP was about arguments for getting rid of them (that I kinda side-tracked - my apologies), I reckon you've got the bigger arguements covered. I hope you can reach an agreement with your management team that keeps everyone happy!
3rd March 2010, 02:19 PM #14
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I should have probably mentioned a key bit of information as well in my original post that I neglected to mention which is entirely relevent - all the macs are leased. They are due to be returned soon and as such we were looking to just repace them with pcs.
This is where the main cost factor is coming in. We have maybe 200 macbooks and about 150 imacs to go back. The equivelent price of PC hardware is a lot lot cheaper.
I think the best bet could just be to compramise for the media type departments.
3rd March 2010, 02:34 PM #15
If you're to replace each Mac with an equivalent PC, then software aside I'd say you've a pretty sound financial argument in the first place.
I would imagine you'll have to relent on the machines used by the creative/arts depts, though.
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