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Kraft Foods adds new support for employees choosing Macs

post #1 of 86
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Following the general trend away from top-down, centralized corporate computing monoculture, Kraft Foods has initiated a "Bring Your Own Computer" program for its employees, providing new support for employees who want to use a Mac.

The new program, detailed in documents obtained by AppleInsider, notes that, "everyone works differently. For some, a standard computer or laptop is just the right tool to get their work done. For others, a computer with a little something extra a different operating system, custom hardware, more memory, etc. is the best fit for their job."

Kraft's new employee initiative "gives you the freedom to choose the right computer for your lifestyle," according to the fact sheet the company distributed to employees. The program is described as "best suited for employees who want to use a particular type of computer that isnt currently supplied or supported by Kraft Foods, such as a Mac," and prefer to take their work system home, "have the experience and know-how to take care of their own technical support," and "work out of the office on a regular basis."

As a new benefit for Kraft Foods employees, "Bring Your Own Computer lets you purchase the computer of your choice, giving you the flexibility to accomplish your work on your own computer in your own way, when and where you want. Kraft Foods helps pay for the costs with a stipend. In return, you agree to maintain your own computer and follow certain guidelines," the fact sheet outlines.

The new benefit is currently available to Kraft's salaried employees in the US, with future plans to expand the program globally, "where it makes business sense." Participating employees must comply with company policies regarding software, security and data requirements, which includes installing Microsoft Office and appropriate anti-virus software and turning on disk encryption.

The company outlines minimum system requirements for the program that effectively limit it to PCs running Windows Vista/7 Ultimate (employees can't use the Home, Business, or Professional editions) or any Intel Mac running Snow Leopard with at least a 2GHz processor and 2GB of RAM.
post #2 of 86
Well isn't that cool!! Work on your Mac while eating your Mac and Cheese! Was that to cheesy? Okay, time to go home...
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Mr. Scott
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post #3 of 86
That would certainly keep the IT department busy...
Big challenges ahead!
post #4 of 86
Microsoft Office, it´s the cheesiest!
post #5 of 86
I wish they would do that where I work.

My company provided computer is an IBM ThinkPad that IBM officially stopped supporting two years ago. It has a whopping 1 GB of RAM, Pentium-M chip (predates the Centrino that came out before Single Core chips) and a 1024x768 15-inch screen.

It struggles to run the company image of WinXP.
post #6 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZorrowQc View Post

That would certainly keep the IT department busy...
Big challenges ahead!

Based on the article each employee who decide to use his own Mac must do his own support. I think the IT people couldn't be much happier.
post #7 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post

Based on the article each employee who decide to use his own Mac must do his own support. I think the IT people couldn't be much happier.

Is it just me, or does this sound like a way to get the employees to pay for their own computers? I got the distinct impression from the article that the Mac users were buying their own computers (in addition to providing their own tech support).
post #8 of 86
I've been doing this for years. I have bought my own PCs and Macs, my own software licenses, etc. Letting your employer pick your software and hardware is easily one of the biggest mistakes in corporate america today. There is no such thing as a one-size fits all approach. And those that don't realize this can expect to pay for it dearly in lost productivity.

It's not even a PC or Mac debate. I have bought both. It's a question of letting the person who actually has to do the work pick what will best accomplish that work. Who could possibly know better than the person doing the work?

I'll ask it another way. Would you want your heart surgeon to pick the tools needed for open heart surgery, or a hospital administrator who never went to medical school? I think we all know the answer. So why does IT for a second believe they somehow know better than I do what tools are needed. They don't. They couldn't. And to believe otherwise is simply ridiculous.

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post #9 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post

Based on the article each employee who decide to use his own Mac must do his own support. I think the IT people couldn't be much happier.

I've found that quasi-technical people "doing their own support" makes for more work for IT folks not less. When things break the IT person has to figure out what kind of bee-bop setup each user has. It sounds like an IT nightmare to me.

People being able to run macs sounds cool though. I know if I worked there I'd like it.
post #10 of 86
I wonder if they're using the Mac XenApp client to connect to a XenApp server... this is how Citrix does BYOC... and sells it.
post #11 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by sfoalex View Post

I've been doing this for years. I have bought my own PCs and Macs, my own software licenses, etc. Letting your employer pick your software and hardware is easily one of the biggest mistakes in corporate america today. There is no such thing as a one-size fits all approach. And those that don't realize this can expect to pay for it dearly in lost productivity.

It's not even a PC or Mac debate. I have bought both. It's a question of letting the person who actually has to do the work pick what will best accomplish that work. Who could possibly know better than the person doing the work?

I'll ask it another way. Would you want your heart surgeon to pick the tools needed for open heart surgery, or a hospital administrator who never went to medical school? I think we all know the answer. So why does IT for a second believe they somehow know better than I do what tools are needed. They don't. They couldn't. And to believe otherwise is simply ridiculous.


I'm sure you haven't had any issues. Your probably pretty computer savvy. I can see that for a small company. Things get more difficult as organizations grow larger. 10-15 different computer setups is no big deal. When you start talking about 1000's things get more difficult. People end up having different versions of software. This makes it incredibly difficult to patch for security and bug fixes. People start buying rogue software that works for themselves but not for the company as a whole. People end up splintering off and you end up with 15 solutions for a simple problem. People purchase software and leave with noone else knowing what tools they've been using because they are non-standard. I'm a big fan of individualized access, but company wide, wow.

IT is supposed to be the experts on technology. Business users are supposed to be experts in business. They need to work together. In the more successful environments I've been a part of people business people and tech people work together not in silos. I think siloing is a huge problem in business today.
post #12 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by JasonQ13 View Post

I wonder if they're using the Mac XenApp client to connect to a XenApp server... this is how Citrix does BYOC... and sells it.

That would make the most sense. Deploying from a central location would solve the software compatibility and versioning issues inherent with so many dissimilar systems.
post #13 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by rhyde View Post

Is it just me, or does this sound like a way to get the employees to pay for their own computers? I got the distinct impression from the article that the Mac users were buying their own computers (in addition to providing their own tech support).

Quote:
Originally Posted by veblen View Post

I've found that quasi-technical people "doing their own support" makes for more work for IT folks not less. When things break the IT person has to figure out what kind of bee-bop setup each user has. It sounds like an IT nightmare to me.

People being able to run macs sounds cool though. I know if I worked there I'd like it.

It helps to read the article:

"Kraft Foods helps pay for the costs with a stipend. In return, you agree to maintain your own computer and follow certain guidelines,"

Meaning, buy your own Mac/Linux if you want and we will help you pay for it. However, don't come asking us for support. Sounds fair to me.
post #14 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZorrowQc View Post

That would certainly keep the IT department busy...
Big challenges ahead!

I do not have the links offhand, but there are other companies (e.g., IBM. a number of biotech companies) that opted for or investigating the use of multiple sources of computers for use in the office. What some actually found was that the Mac users used the IT department resources much less; thus saving costs for the company. As important, it improved employee productivity, especially those using the Mac systems.


Quote:
Originally Posted by rhyde View Post

Is it just me, or does this sound like a way to get the employees to pay for their own computers? I got the distinct impression from the article that the Mac users were buying their own computers (in addition to providing their own tech support).

If Kraft were providing the same subsidy as other companies, they provide a certain budget usually including an option for Apple care, at the discretion of the employee.

Note that such programs are not mandatory, but employee option. The bottom line is that the employee must decide whether the subsidy provided will work to their advantage (see below).

What companies found was that there was decrease in their budget usually alloted for IT services and personnel.

Many Mac users would prefer to use Mac than PC, for many reasons already stated here in various threads. Thus, usually these programs are initiated or lobbied by Mac users within the company. As noted above, there are claims of increased productivity and satisfaction.

There might be other advantages too for Mac users. You may use the computer for personal use -- especially at home. Usually with the subsidy, Mac users may be able to afford a higher end Mac that they can then use also for personal purposes (at home).

Companies replenish their computers at defined cycles. Since Mac computers are known to last longer, the old computer bought by the employee with subsidy from the company, I assume might become the property of the employee (speculating here).


CGC
post #15 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post

Based on the article each employee who decide to use his own Mac

It's anyone who decides to use their own computer as their work computer, PC or a Mac.
post #16 of 86
Always good to hear about a Chicagoland company other then Moto on a tech website.

I hope more companies would start doing this because having a crappy old machine that you can't upgrade makes for a terrible work experience. (I work on p4 windows xp machines)
--SHEFFmachine out
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--SHEFFmachine out
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post #17 of 86
Kraft & Mac?

Poison the body, nourish the mind?
Macintosh: It just WORKS!
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Macintosh: It just WORKS!
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post #18 of 86
Hmmm...I can't think of one healthy food product Kraft or any of its subsidiaries make!
post #19 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post

It helps to read the article:

"Kraft Foods helps pay for the costs with a stipend. In return, you agree to maintain your own computer and follow certain guidelines,"

Meaning, buy your own Mac/Linux if you want and we will help you pay for it. However, don't come asking us for support. Sounds fair to me.

In my experience when there are business reasons to fix the broken system you broke it you fix it doesn't fly. That might be the stated policy for minor issues. However, if the person who's computer it is can't fix it and there is a critical reason to fix it, the IT person will be fixing it.
post #20 of 86
I wonder why the requirement for Snow Leopard and not just Leopard.

It can't be THAT much different for their IT department to support.
post #21 of 86
I wish I could bring my Macs to work. It would be faster than what I'm using now. Even my four year-old MBP...
post #22 of 86
Slow news day I guess, what with the big AAPL drop (many stocks down as a matter of fact)...

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #23 of 86
Not sure where you based your information. Usually, before the adoption of the program, companies like IBM performed pilot studies. Some gradually implement the program -- I assume to learn from experience and define the parameters.

There is a deterrent to opting into the program -- the employees who buy their own computers must be able to work within the budget -- including the cost of the maintenance. This means you cannot resort to internal IT, as you claim, in case something malfunctions with your computer, if you opted for the program. Those employees that did not opt for the program still may use the company bought computers and avail of internal technical support.

Obviously, this program is a lobby usually initiated by Mac users. I assume that those who opt for the program are more savvy or more experienced Mac users. And contrary to some claims by Mac detractors, these Mac users are more technically savvy to know what to do in case something goes awry with their Mac computer.

If indeed there are companies that structure their program as you outlined, then they deserve the outcomes you indicated.

To my knowledge, the success stories opting for this program indicated reduced IT services and staff (saving money for the company), increased productivity and satisfaction (I assume from Mac users who opted for the program).

CGC

Quote:
Originally Posted by sfoalex View Post

I've been doing this for years. I have bought my own PCs and Macs, my own software licenses, etc. Letting your employer pick your software and hardware is easily one of the biggest mistakes in corporate america today. There is no such thing as a one-size fits all approach. And those that don't realize this can expect to pay for it dearly in lost productivity.

It's not even a PC or Mac debate. I have bought both. It's a question of letting the person who actually has to do the work pick what will best accomplish that work. Who could possibly know better than the person doing the work?

I'll ask it another way. Would you want your heart surgeon to pick the tools needed for open heart surgery, or a hospital administrator who never went to medical school? I think we all know the answer. So why does IT for a second believe they somehow know better than I do what tools are needed. They don't. They couldn't. And to believe otherwise is simply ridiculous.
post #24 of 86
For a start, who gives a rats arse. As long as the computer you use is suitable for the job, I dont give a fuck whether it's my own or what the company gives me.

Does it matter if it has 54 GB of RAM and a double-sided green ray disk burner?
post #25 of 86
The company outlines minimum system requirements for the program that effectively limit it to PCs running Windows Vista/7 Ultimate (employees can't use the Home, Business, or Professional editions) or any Intel Mac running Snow Leopard with at least a 2GHz processor and 2GB of RAM.[/QUOTE]

so buy your own but we will tell you what you can buy. go F off. i am not fooled. another ploy to get you to pay for the privilege to work for you. and what IT genius decided win Ultimate but not Pro or business. Someone need media center for work? chess game?
post #26 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by cgc0202 View Post

I do not have the links offhand, but there are other companies (e.g., IBM. a number of biotech companies) that opted for or investigating the use of multiple sources of computers for use in the office. What some actually found was that the Mac users used the IT department resources much less; thus saving costs for the company. As important, it improved employee productivity, especially those using the Mac systems.

That's been my experience - I bought a G4 Mac Mini when they came out and brought it in to the office. I bought the C2D Mini to replace it a few years ago. Of my team of 24, I'm the only one who's not experienced a moment of downtime. Each of my co-workers has had their computers re-imaged, about half of them more than once. Several have had hardware failures, and all of them have had lost productivity due to crashes and issues with domain migrations, not to mention the reboots because of weekly security patches.

While all of them complain about their issues, I keep on working. I'm not supported by my IT department, and since I switched from my Windows XP laptop to a Mac, I've not needed them once.

I wish more companies would see that the long-term cost of ownership is actually far less with a Mac than it is with Windows.
post #27 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aybara View Post

I wish they would do that where I work.

My company provided computer is an IBM ThinkPad that IBM officially stopped supporting two years ago. It has a whopping 1 GB of RAM, Pentium-M chip (predates the Centrino that came out before Single Core chips) and a 1024x768 15-inch screen.

It struggles to run the company image of WinXP.

I just attempted to view a required training video on my allocated computer and it slowed to a crawl. Ended up having to kill the browser. Funny thing is they refused to buy a PC with a real GPU in it at my request. Flash might have had a chance with a little boost from a GPU.

What is even worst is that the IT department frets over the expense of new computers every couple of years. It doesn't register that it might be more economical in the long run to avoid bargain basement PCs. Especially bargain basement PCs they pay top dollar for from Dell. The short term is the only thing that matters.


Dave
post #28 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cubert View Post

I wonder why the requirement for Snow Leopard and not just Leopard.

It can't be THAT much different for their IT department to support.

At least that has been my personal experience. It is much more stable owith respect to networking and other features people don't take notice of. SL has been a great leap forward in my opinion and desrves more credit than it gets.
post #29 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by rhyde View Post

Is it just me, or does this sound like a way to get the employees to pay for their own computers? I got the distinct impression from the article that the Mac users were buying their own computers (in addition to providing their own tech support).

I have the same reaction..just closer to the day when you have to buy your own computer.
post #30 of 86
I actually have some experience with KraftCo from my days at IBM. Then they were a very forward-looking company pursuing the latest technology (CICS and DL/I at that time).

What am curious about is: Will they allow the iPad? My best guess is YES!

.
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post #31 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jules View Post

For a start, who gives a rats arse. As long as the computer you use is suitable for the job, I dont give a fuck whether it's my own or what the company gives me.

Does it matter if it has 54 GB of RAM and a double-sided green ray disk burner?

Many corporations don't want people to use their own machines because they cannot control what happens outside of the office. Software, viruses, porn, etc. Heck, where I work, one assh*le got pissed I put their phone's SIMM into my iPhone, which I bought and JBed.
post #32 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris_CA View Post

It's anyone who decides to use their own computer as their work computer, PC or a Mac.

Technically, what you stated is correct to avoid discrimination. The program though was initiated to accommodate Mac users in a Wintel-based environment. Mac users were the ones who lobbied to have this option adopted.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cubert View Post

I wonder why the requirement for Snow Leopard and not just Leopard.

It can't be THAT much different for their IT department to support.

One possible reason. There is a subsidy if you opt for this program. You have to buy more recent Mac Intel-based computers (if you do not have one yet). You are not be able to use your older Mac computers and pocket the subsidy provided. Just as important, using one OS, Snow Leopard, will minimize versions of softwares maintained in central servers.

If an employee opts for the program, the subsidy usually includes that the employee takes care of the cost of technical support -- not use internal IT services and personnel.


Quote:
Originally Posted by veblen View Post

In my experience when there are business reasons to fix the broken system you broke it you fix it doesn't fly. That might be the stated policy for minor issues. However, if the person who's computer it is can't fix it and there is a critical reason to fix it, the IT person will be fixing it.

There is a reason why companies have structured the program to include the cost for technical support in the subsidy provided.

The option to provide your own computer will work mainly for those employees who are tech-savvy enough to be able to deal with the usual day-to-day technical issues encountered, and have the foresight to buy an Apple Care, if practical, to deal with for more critical and difficult issues.

It is one thing to seek the support of internal IT in case of emergency. I doubt very much that the company will allow a clueless employee to participate in the program in the future. The company may even impose immediate cessation to participate in the program, if the employee turns up to the "technically-impaired" or clueless.


Quote:
Originally Posted by djames42 View Post

I wish more companies would see that the long-term cost of ownership is actually far less with a Mac than it is with Windows.

This is where the more widespread adoption of the iPhone and potentially the iPad, as well as the Apple Store (and perhaps Best Buy "Apple Store") may help in more companies becoming more receptive to Mac computers.

Moreover, unlike in the past, Apple is now paying more attention to the needs of the enterprise, and there are companies, providing solution, e.g., the Citrix ecosystem model, that will allow Apple mobile computing devices to integrate with enterprise servers.

I found out also that Apple Stores now have "business liaisons" to assist people asking for business solutions. However, the one I talked to in the Boylston Apple Store in Boston, while very cooperative. has very limited expertise in biomedical applications though.

Apple should provide more support to local small businesses that offer Apple-centric solutions to address the needs of specific businesses and fields.

CGC
post #33 of 86
This is great news for Apple. More subsidies to bring the cost down, thereby driving people toward the Mac who otherwise wouldn't have bought one for the price
post #34 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by sfoalex View Post

I'll ask it another way. Would you want your heart surgeon to pick the tools needed for open heart surgery, or a hospital administrator who never went to medical school? I think we all know the answer.

What if she's hot?
post #35 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aybara View Post

I wish they would do that where I work.

My company provided computer is an IBM ThinkPad that IBM officially stopped supporting two years ago. It has a whopping 1 GB of RAM, Pentium-M chip (predates the Centrino that came out before Single Core chips) and a 1024x768 15-inch screen.

It struggles to run the company image of WinXP.

I have a similar situation at my office. I have an HP laptop that is pretty horrible. I have actually made this exact suggestion to my boss and several of my IT compadres. This policy makes a lot of sense for IT personnel who have the expertise to maintain their own systems. My suggestions was actually to forgo a raise for 2 years (wouldn't be that big a deal anyway) in exchange for a $2500 allowance to use towards the purchase of a laptop of your choice.

I think I'm going to drop this article in the IT dept suggestion box at the office. All they can do is say no, expected, and who knows even if they don't implement anything like this maybe they'll think it a decent idea and I'll win the $100 gift card.
post #36 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eriamjh View Post

Many corporations don't want people to use their own machines because they cannot control what happens outside of the office. Software, viruses, porn, etc. Heck, where I work, one assh*le got pissed I put their phone's SIMM into my iPhone, which I bought and JBed.

'course if you work for the federal govt., you watch porn on company computers during work hours... and make twice as much as the non-govt. Workers paying your salary!

.
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post #37 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by rhyde View Post

Is it just me, or does this sound like a way to get the employees to pay for their own computers? I got the distinct impression from the article that the Mac users were buying their own computers (in addition to providing their own tech support).

Maybe. I worked in a Dell office, and purchased my own Mac. Did my own support, etc, and they agreed to purchase applecare to cover any damage.
post #38 of 86
Where is the application form?
post #39 of 86
Kraft is the Goldman Sachs of manufacture/processed foods!
post #40 of 86
Why Windows 7 Ultimate? Professional should be just fine. The only things Ultimate offers over professional is a language pack and BitLocker. They want the encryption part I guess? That is the only thing I can think of.
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