Schools and Mac Support
Just a little bit of Feedback required.
Wondering how your School deals with Mac support ? is this Outsourced to a management company or do the Onsite Techys deal with any problems that arise.
Are you a school that's has Macs but have no way of getting them supported ??
Just wondering as ive been speaking to a few schools and before i came along at my current company there was no Apple support for them (tickets sitting in the logging system for months on end).
This is not a plug for anything just want to find out others views on support ......
Thanks My wonderfull EDU People
From a non educational "experienced Mac users point of view", Apple's been taking more and more in-house over the past 5 years. There aren't many 3rd party vendors left on the high street and I suspect that also applies to tech support as well. A contact deals direct with schools and works for Apple UK, so I suspect from that alone, they don't farm much out to third parties nowadays. As for in-house support, I'm aware that Cambs Uni maintains it's hardware in-house.
We do in house only, I am a apple certified tech. We only buy the hardware apple care. Apple will send us parts overnight and most of the time we do not even have to return the bad parts.
My 2 techs that work for me just use my account to order the replacement parts and we go from there.
As an education Mac support provider I might be able to give some insight. I have some customers that handle the support themselves and some of them do a good job of it. Many also do an awful job of it, and as a result the Macs have ended up getting an unfair bad reputation within that school. I find that if you have a member of the support team that has there PC replaced with a Mac it forces them to learn how to use it and support the rest of the macs at the school.
However I have many, many schools that buy support agreements from me, they then handle the simple stuff that they can figure out or google and when they get stumped they can contact me and either get me to fix it remotely or schedule an onsite visit. Many schools don't need more than 3 or 5 days of support time, that can be used as and when they want to and is very cost effective for the school over paying for loads of expensive training that gets forgotten or having a member of support spending weeks scratching there head when they could have had me in for a few hours to fix the issue. Most of my customers also find that when I come in for one of there prepaid support days that they learn so much that it is like a training and support day in one.
The School I work for hired me specifically to deal with Macs, the Window's Technicians still see them as a bit of a novelty!, just to reiterate a lot of what @JR-PCS said when a Mac network is setup correctly it runs well and minimal support is needed, most do with a support contract.
The advantage for us of having someone in-house is that the Students have support for the great bundled software. When I arrived in my current position they were badly configured and it's been a fun journey bringing them back up to scratch, and educating students and staff as to what the platform's capable of. Technicians find them easy to grasp once they get over the differences but to most Students and Staff they are completely alien and it's easy to forget this aspect of the support sometimes.
We bought our Apple equipment from MC Digital in one big purchase, and they've given us a 'Server Support' which seems to cover anything that connects to the server. They've been able to help me with all the problems we've had so far.
We had a montherboard fail on one of the macbooks, and this was covered too, although I think it was sent off to a 3rd party, so may have been part of the AppleCare support.
While we're winding down our use of macs, we still support both workstations and servers to a pretty high level in house. For the very occasional requirements we have outside our abilities, we have a contract for support with our mac reseller.
I support everything myself. I maintain our servers, connections to the servers, repair hardware issues (flipping' White Intel iMacs usually), and also support the staff and students (and lead) in their lessons. But then I'm a primary school and there is no money for things like support. After all, its why they pay me :)
If I do get into a bit of a fix, I may call a friend or ask all of you nice people on here, which usually yields results. As others have said once they are up and running properly, there's hardly any issues.
Macs require one thing to be exact to work well - DNS!
We do all of our Mac server / client / hardware support ourselves in-house. They are just computers ;)
In-house, because it's a computer.
*grumbles about people who are incapable of managing more than one OS and tells them to get off his lawn*
We do almost everything in-house, and by almost that really means everything except complete server hardware failure. It's only really me here that touches the macs and configures everything about them, and there is almost nothing that will need changing if setup properly and it will just run itself. However, we had 8 imacs stolen recently and they have been an absolute nightmare ever since. These new imacs we then got, shipped with Lion where our others were snow leopard. At the time I couldn't find a way to feasibly downgrade the new ones to snow leopard so we ended up wanting to upgrade the lot to lion - except our server. Of course then had to create new deploystudio bootsets, create a completely new image, etc etc. Eventually rolled Lion out, and of course, all our workgroup manager preferences were for snow leopard systems, so most applications weren't allowed to run. We're still running snow leopard server which isnt great at managing lion clients, but got there in the end. To put things into perspective a little, i'm not yet 20, this is my first full-time job & been here approx year and a half, no mac qualifications nor had I even used a mac before being given responsibility for this project, and I managed to pick it al up within a week or two of fiddling around with it all. Granted most of it was set up before I got the job, but it is unimaginably easy to run which gave me the time to learn how everything was set up.
Once set up, unimaginably easy to run and manage. But when we faced changes that were forced upon us, Apple made it very difficult for us, had we been able to just downgrade the new macs we had it would've saved me a good 2 weeks work!
we provide macs for the fart department. we have "next day onsite support" apple care for them all but to be honest their support leaves a lot to be desired. The guy arrives next day and then says he doesnt have the right part (after spending ages on the phone "troubleshooting" so they know exactly what is wrong)
repeat a few times.
I used to think acer support was bad. All my pcs/laptops are acer/dell and their support (here in aus) is phenomenal compared to apple.
If you mean how do we deal with day-to-day issues of apple support, we just do it. I had never used a mac before this current job but its simple. Theres not a lot to them and once you can figure out how to do something which is simple on a PC but convoluted on a MAC (show ip address, or mac address, or open a program, or copy a file) then support is a doddle, because all mac users do is open files, browse the internet, and eject USB drives by deleting them in trash.
We have about 150 Apples spread across the main site, pre-prep and prep (two different sites again). We have a dedicated Apple chap here.
We currently support our mac laptops in-house with any major work taken on by apple or local reseller and support specialists KRCS. They do have stores nationwide i believe so they may be worth a look. Also if you buy from RM you can get support through their usual support channels.
I come from both aspects really. We do in house support for 150 macs. With the experience I gained with this I support a lot of other schools with their mac setup :)