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Apple's new Joint Venture small business support plan coming on iPad day

post #1 of 38
Thread Starter 
During a series of store-wide meetings on Sunday, Apple prepped its retail employees for a March 2 launch of Joint Venture, a new technical support plan targeted at small businesses, AppleInsider has learned.

Last week, AppleInsider exclusively reported that Apple had scheduled a secretive meeting Sunday for retail employees. Details emerged later that week, revealing that the meeting was called to prepare employees for the imminent announcement of a new enterprise service plan, dubbed Joint Venture.

According to people in attendance, the meeting's agenda on Sunday did indeed involve an internal unveiling of the new Joint Venture priority service plan. Sources have told AppleInsider that the plan will cost around $500 a year and will be made available to businesses when purchasing a new Mac. Up to 5 systems will be covered by the plan, though additional systems may be added for $99 a year.

The tagline for the service will reportedly be: "Get Setup. Get Trained. Keep Running." One key selling point of Joint Venture will be the option to have Apple Genius technicians install and configure Microsoft Exchange during setup.

Customers enrolled in the plan will receive priority service at the Genius Bar and gain access to an exclusive Apple Genius-manned technical support number at the corporate office. Similar to Apple's ProCare service plan, customers will be first in line for repairs.

During repairs that take longer than 24 hours to complete, customers may be eligible to borrow 15-inch MacBook Pros with iWork and Microsoft Office preinstalled.

Joint Venture will also provide customers with personal setup data transfer, limited group training sessions (up to 3 sessions per year, for up to 8 people at a time) and access to a website to schedule phone support appointments with Apple Genius technicians, according to one person familiar with the matter. Apple will reportedly continue to offer its AppleCare and One to One plans alongside Joint Venture.

The Cupertino, Calif., Mac maker intends to launch the new service on March 2 in the U.S. and March 3 in the U.K., sources said. Given that Apple has sent out invitations to a media event to release the second-generation iPad, the company could likely announce the new service plan during the event.



Apple has already begun prepping for Wednesday's event, which will be held at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco. Photos surfaced last week of promotional signage outside the venue featuring a large Apple logo surrounded by numerous colored dots.

As reported last week, a new enterprise-focused support service from Apple could end up competing with members of the Apple Consultants Network. Certified Apple consultants are reportedly upset over recent changes to Apple retail policy that require technical support referrals from retail stores to go through third-party provider OnForce. It has been suggested that Apple made these changes in preparation for the launch of Joint Venture.
post #2 of 38
No matter how much Apple focuses on business, no matter many businesses adopt Apple’s products some around here will continually call their products nothing more than toys. They could even IBM’s CEO saying the iPad isn’t a toy while La Roux signs “I’m not your toy” and those people would still say it’s nothing more than a toy.
post #3 of 38
No matter how much Microsoft focuses on promoting Windows as a stable OS, no matter how many users continue to think of it as an adequate facsimile of OSX, some around here will continue to think of it as bloated, buggy, uninspired, and unoriginal, using it only because work forces them to. They could even have Apple advocates saying it isn't total crap but some people will still say it's nothing more than a Mac wannabe.

There are two sides to a coin. If there's demand for this service, then it'll be a success.

You shouldn't bet against Apple but if you insist... Heads I win, tails you lose.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Logisticaldron View Post

No matter how much Apple focuses on business, no matter many businesses adopt Apple’s products some around here will continually call their products nothing more than toys. They could even IBM’s CEO saying the iPad isn’t a toy while La Roux signs “I’m not your toy” and those people would still say it’s nothing more than a toy.
post #4 of 38
What would really bring in small businesses is E-Mail. That is Apple needs a dot Mac service more oriented towards business users. For businesses greater than one or two Apple should provide business accounts much like Google does, that is goofy@mybusiness.com addresses. Many small businesses would rather have a local contact to handle this for them. This would keep everything on the Apple infrastructure which is very suitable for business. The new data center could easily handle this.

I know this may sound silly to some but E-Mail is a big deal for a modern business but it also can be a big distraction. In any event I'm not sure the current leaked info is enough to bring in small business, especially at the listed price. Of course there is likely plenty that hasn't been leaked yet so that is another consideration. At the moment though it doesn't look all that compelling, guess we find out for sure on the 2nd.
post #5 of 38
"Come and see what 2011 will be the year of"

Groan. So sad to see yet another example of dreadful English grammar exhibited by Apple marketing. Is it part of their mission statement to trash the language? Perhaps they're doing it just to get attention? I wonder how many people are refusing to buy Apple products because of the way Apple are so disrespectful to the language? Probably very, very few. ;-)

I wonder whether the grammar of Apple advertising is just as dire in the other languages in which they advertise?
post #6 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by pembroke View Post

"Come and see what 2011 will be the year of"

Groan. So sad to see yet another example of dreadful English grammar exhibited by Apple marketing. Is it part of their mission statement to trash the language? Perhaps they're doing it just to get attention? I wonder how many people are refusing to buy Apple products because of the way Apple are so disrespectful to the language? Probably very, very few. ;-)

I wonder whether the grammar of Apple advertising is just as dire in the other languages in which they advertise?

What has this to do with anything?
post #7 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Logisticaldron View Post

No matter how much Apple focuses on business, no matter many businesses adopt Apples products some around here will continually call their products nothing more than toys. They could even IBMs CEO saying the iPad isnt a toy while La Roux signs Im not your toy and those people would still say its nothing more than a toy.

When your rackmount server has a measly 1 year warranty standard it's kinda hard to take them seriously about the enterprise. The market agreed.

This is a step in the right direction, but they still have a long ways to go.
post #8 of 38
No question, the iPad seems to be a fantastic success -- for consumers, that is. Most of the criticism of the first-gen seems to come from business issues: Entourage and MS Office support, lack of printing options, multi-tasking, etc.. So perhaps, this week will see an all- new "Business Edition" iPad. Maybe with WiMax...?
post #9 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by sprockkets View Post

When your rackmount server has a measly 1 year warranty standard it's kinda hard to take them seriously about the enterprise. The market agreed.

This is a step in the right direction, but they still have a long ways to go.

Who said anything about the enterprise? Apple is and always has been a company that focuses on small businesses. THAT is why their rackmounts failed. Apple never really cared about enterprise to begin with. It's not a company that is interested in the kind of legacy support enterprise demands. Far too forward looking.
post #10 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

What would really bring in small businesses is E-Mail.

One of the major features of the service is them setting up the email support. It's in the article. That might cover this issue pretty well.
post #11 of 38
Flying internationally, I see iPads being used by engineers at large enterprises in the US all the way to technical salesmen in small companies in South Africa. They're finding all sorts of uses for these devices outside of the consumer market. These engineers are the same ones who would normally use a Wintel machine, but are finding the iPad does 95% of what they need to do in an easier to use platform. Can't wait for the next iPad iteration.
post #12 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by pembroke View Post

"Come and see what 2011 will be the year of"

Groan. So sad to see yet another example of dreadful English grammar exhibited by Apple marketing. Is it part of their mission statement to trash the language? Perhaps they're doing it just to get attention? I wonder how many people are refusing to buy Apple products because of the way Apple are so disrespectful to the language? Probably very, very few. ;-)

I wonder whether the grammar of Apple advertising is just as dire in the other languages in which they advertise?

http://grammartips.homestead.com/prepositions1.html
post #13 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by pembroke View Post

"Come and see what 2011 will be the year of"

So sad to see yet another example of dreadful English grammar exhibited by Apple marketing. ... Perhaps they're doing it just to get attention?

Marketing... to get attention? Nooo.

Quote:
I wonder how many people are refusing to buy Apple products because of the way Apple are so disrespectful to the language? Probably very, very few. ;-)

I'm sure Apple are laughing all the way to the bank.

Sadly, I doubt most Americans are even aware of this poor grammar.
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A is A
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post #14 of 38
We see more and more accountants going Mac. With everything rushing to the cloud, this has become easier and requires less software such as Parallels to make it work.

What bugs me is we end up troubleshooting the various software out there, noting and reporting bugs, and when we call with a tech support question, we have to pretend we are on PCs because the default response on the other end is 'we don's support Macs.'

They don't even wait till you ask your question. But we have a 100% success rate in sussing out the problem and reporting back to the vendor that it was their issue, not one of being on a Mac.

I just wish they'd get with the program and realize that more and more people are switching. Or at least drop the Mac hostility.
post #15 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by pembroke View Post

"Come and see what 2011 will be the year of"

Groan. So sad to see yet another example of dreadful English grammar exhibited by Apple marketing. Is it part of their mission statement to trash the language? Perhaps they're doing it just to get attention? I wonder how many people are refusing to buy Apple products because of the way Apple are so disrespectful to the language? Probably very, very few. ;-)

I wonder whether the grammar of Apple advertising is just as dire in the other languages in which they advertise?



Those who live in glass houses, should not throw stone. In other words, I would check your subject verb agreement in the next to last sentence. I will stop there. But, what does this really have to do with the article?
post #16 of 38
As an ACN owner if this story is the whole picture that's great news for us! They won't support or install servers and who's going to want to pay a continual support plan after buying a brand new Mac. As long as it's with the purchase of a new one like the report states - it could be a lot worse for us ACN's
ACTC Certified, ADC Member, & Owner of a ACN....
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ACTC Certified, ADC Member, & Owner of a ACN....
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post #17 of 38
I'm not worried about the competition there, I provide Mac Support for small businesses and know at that price point, they aren't providing a solution, I doubt they'll even touch a mixed environment. They'll set up basic file sharing, internet connectivity and printing likely. I deal with VMware servers, Citrix, VPN tunnels...etc. When they say small business they are talking about one or two guys with 5 computers.
post #18 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by pembroke View Post

"Come and see what 2011 will be the year of"

Groan. So sad to see yet another example of dreadful English grammar exhibited by Apple marketing. Is it part of their mission statement to trash the language? Perhaps they're doing it just to get attention? I wonder how many people are refusing to buy Apple products because of the way Apple are so disrespectful to the language? Probably very, very few. ;-)

I wonder whether the grammar of Apple advertising is just as dire in the other languages in which they advertise?

It's marketing, and not a white paper.

Didn't Budweiser have a whole campaign based on the word "Whassup!"?
post #19 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

What would really bring in small businesses is E-Mail. That is Apple needs a dot Mac service more oriented towards business users. For businesses greater than one or two Apple should provide business accounts much like Google does, that is goofy@mybusiness.com addresses. Many small businesses would rather have a local contact to handle this for them. This would keep everything on the Apple infrastructure which is very suitable for business. The new data center could easily handle this.

Not sure how Google handles it but I know for sure that many companies require email archiving in case of an investigation. Even if you use Google to pop your corporate email server, IT still needs a copy of it, in and out.

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Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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post #20 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by O4BlackWRX View Post

As an ACN owner if this story is the whole picture that's great news for us! They won't support or install servers and who's going to want to pay a continual support plan after buying a brand new Mac. As long as it's with the purchase of a new one like the report states - it could be a lot worse for us ACN's

Also an ACN here. Yeah, this is not so bad. By and large, the main reason people hire ACNs is because they don't want to lug their machine back in the the Zoo, I mean, the Apple Store.

Joint Venture offers priority at the Genius Bar: <yippee>. I see no specific mention of on-site support as was previously rumored. It's only available for new purchases so no joy for the existing machines.

In my opinion, the offering of phone support is of limited usefulness and probably does not extend to non-Apple problems like Office crashing. Offering a a loaner machine during repairs might be slightly attractive to some users, but this, too, is of limited usefulness to users with a lot of special graphics applications and data on the broken machine.

So what it boils down to is $500 of extra expense on a new Mac. A few organizations, like hospitals, with bags of cash might bite and then forget about it.
post #21 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Not sure how Google handles it but I know for sure that many companies require email archiving in case of an investigation. Even if you use Google to pop your corporate email server, IT still needs a copy of it, in and out.

For small businesses, the OP was right-- email is issue #1. Google doesn't do an auditableservice for free, but you can be up and running in 10 minutes, and if you need the audit trail, they have a paid service.

Apple would do well to compete here.

But, without a server, they can't really offer a solution in a box, so it is hard to see where the value comes in. Getting a $5,000 box that gives you what you need for an entry-level small office (plus workstations) would be a god-send. Having a $20k option for a 20-person company doing an upgrade and you are golden...

Hard, but not impossible.

...and for all the consultants out there worried, competing is still easy enough, you do need to spend some money on marketing and customer service though...
post #22 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by pembroke View Post

"Come and see what 2011 will be the year of"

Groan. So sad to see yet another example of dreadful English grammar exhibited by Apple marketing. Is it part of their mission statement to trash the language? Perhaps they're doing it just to get attention? I wonder how many people are refusing to buy Apple products because of the way Apple are so disrespectful to the language? Probably very, very few. ;-)

I wonder whether the grammar of Apple advertising is just as dire in the other languages in which they advertise?

Quote:

Yes, the only thing worse than bad grammar is pedantry when it's mistaken.

I'm also reminded that, "a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds." The point of language is to communicate. Grammar is an important part of that, especially when one is learning a language. However, fluency having been achieved, one need not view grammar as a straitjacket, and, when it serves to break the "rules", one may feel free to.
post #23 of 38
Never ever read into Apple event invitations or colored-dot posters. Wait for event to happen. Watch event. Form an opinion.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #24 of 38
Did Apple just become a Microsoft reseller???

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #25 of 38
Quote:

Thanks but this sentence of her's just grates on my nerves:

Quote:
Obviously these are not the same verbs, and equally obviously the words that look like familiar prepositions are actually a part of each of the last two verbs.
post #26 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by roehlstation View Post

I'm not worried about the competition there, I provide Mac Support for small businesses and know at that price point, they aren't providing a solution, I doubt they'll even touch a mixed environment. They'll set up basic file sharing, internet connectivity and printing likely. I deal with VMware servers, Citrix, VPN tunnels...etc. When they say small business they are talking about one or two guys with 5 computers.

The article doesn't specify what the $500 refers to. It could be per year, or per client, or per Mac. The first time I read it, I assumed it meant $500 Million. Guess we'll find out for sure on Wednesday.
post #27 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by bugsnw View Post

We see more and more accountants going Mac. With everything rushing to the cloud, this has become easier and requires less software such as Parallels to make it work.

Even with cloud and web based apps, you may still have to deal with browser specific issues, such as when the developer only supports Windows Internet Explorer.
post #28 of 38
Why would Apple do this? 500 dollars a year? people are not going to march their computers from their office into the apple store, this is going to be for the rather tech savvy person who runs their own business. I support a lot of small businesses being an IT consultant, most of those people are not allowed to take their computer out of their office at all. This seems like a very lame attempt at this, if Apple really wants to handle business support they need a consultant wing of the company that goes out and actually helps businesses with their needs onsite, they need to get an email infrastructure setup that is in the cloud that is business oriented like google apps and they need to give advice to that company on the best ways to implement computers and other technologies in the company, the way this is coming out just sounds like a first in line approach at the genius bar which works great for individuals but not for companies. They need someone to come out to their location quickly and solve the issue for them so they can continue to work. I actually do wish Apple would get their enterprise stuff in line because I think they are at a place that they could actually make huge inroads into the corporate environment but they never do it correctly. The iphone and ipad plus the issues that most companies have with windows have made more and more of my clients switch to Macs, iphones, and ipads and if Apple played their cards right they could crush the corporate world, but they keep doing things like this and ending the Xserve which is the incorrect thing to do in my opinion. Also whats with this setup and configure exchange, that will take two seconds in Apple Mail and the user would have to bring in all their exchange information into the store with them so it seems odd to offer this, plus the fact that exchange is old news and most people are moving these services to the cloud with google apps, especially small business. Apple is great at creating products but when it comes to the business world they really need some help.
post #29 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

Thanks but this sentence of her's just grates on my nerves:

Quote:
Obviously these are not the same verbs, and equally obviously the words that look like familiar prepositions are actually a part of each of the last two verbs.

What if we rewrite it like this:

Quote:
These obviously are not the same verbs, and the words that look like familiar prepositions equally obviously are actually a part of each of the last two verbs.

No? How about this:

Quote:
These are obviously not the same verbs, and the words that look like familiar prepositions are equally obviously actually a part of each of the last two verbs.

Equally obviously grating?


Grammar, can't live with it, can't live without it.
post #30 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by ePrankfort View Post

Who said anything about the enterprise? Apple is and always has been a company that focuses on small businesses. THAT is why their rackmounts failed. Apple never really cared about enterprise to begin with. It's not a company that is interested in the kind of legacy support enterprise demands. Far too forward looking.

Did you really register to post that garbage? Seriously? Trying to prove me wrong but instead only reinforcing my point?
post #31 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by DOSbox-gamer View Post

The article doesn't specify what the $500 refers to. It could be per year, or per client, or per Mac. The first time I read it, I assumed it meant $500 Million. Guess we'll find out for sure on Wednesday.

$500 a year for up to 5 computers, each additional computer is $99. That is pretty much what it says.
post #32 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

What would really bring in small businesses is E-Mail. That is Apple needs a dot Mac service more oriented towards business users. For businesses greater than one or two Apple should provide business accounts much like Google does, that is goofy@mybusiness.com addresses. Many small businesses would rather have a local contact to handle this for them. This would keep everything on the Apple infrastructure which is very suitable for business. The new data center could easily handle this.

I know this may sound silly to some but E-Mail is a big deal for a modern business but it also can be a big distraction. In any event I'm not sure the current leaked info is enough to bring in small business, especially at the listed price. Of course there is likely plenty that hasn't been leaked yet so that is another consideration. At the moment though it doesn't look all that compelling, guess we find out for sure on the 2nd.

I agree with this. I have specific emails with all my hosted sites but the email service is not as good as that of Google, Yahoo, etc. So, I do not use them.

If Apple can offer an almost "spam free" email service, that would even be more plus.

As to service. The "Joint Venture" is good but let's face it, Apple Stores, as popular as they are, they are mostly in larger cities, even in the US. Apple should cultivate rather than ignore/compete with independent service providers or even with Best Buy offer technical support to Apple products users -- to reach more individuals and business enterprises where there is no Apple Store.

CGC
post #33 of 38
grammar pedants, language, and stephen fry

Grammar?

"2011, the year of _______"

What's incorrect with that?

And, even if it's grammatically incorrect, it's catchy... which is what advertising is all about. Remember:

"Think different."

I am sure you will find error in it, too.

It was an ad that gave Apple an edge, in terms of distinguishing itself from all the rest.







Quote:
Originally Posted by pembroke View Post

"Come and see what 2011 will be the year of"

Groan. So sad to see yet another example of dreadful English grammar exhibited by Apple marketing. Is it part of their mission statement to trash the language? Perhaps they're doing it just to get attention? I wonder how many people are refusing to buy Apple products because of the way Apple are so disrespectful to the language? Probably very, very few. ;-)

I wonder whether the grammar of Apple advertising is just as dire in the other languages in which they advertise?

Obviously, you lack imagination and do not even grasp or not even aware of what is "artistic license". But, definitely, you do not understand catchy advertising... especially advertising that resonate to the more polyethnic American culture.

Don't expect any call from the Ad agency of Apple.


Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

Yes, the only thing worse than bad grammar is pedantry when it's mistaken.

I'm also reminded that, "a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds." The point of language is to communicate. Grammar is an important part of that, especially when one is learning a language. However, fluency having been achieved, one need not view grammar as a straitjacket, and, when it serves to break the "rules", one may feel free to.

(S)he would be one of those who would find "Huckleberry Finn" by Mark Twain to be full of errors, if (s)he ever heard of it.

CGC
post #34 of 38
The title of the article is misleading.
I thought it was a plan to help small business - not suck another $500 out of them.
Guess I was remembering back to when Apple Reps used to host seminars for the exchange of idea's, offer some new tools, help troubleshoot common issue's. They were always a great pow-wow. Great way to network with developers, users, support, designers...
It helped build and solidify the 'Apple' community.
\ those were the days.

From my experience, the majority of problems that people have is with 3rd party software and not the mac platform (outside of networking).

I like the replacement idea thou. However, for $1500 (3 years with Applecare), one could buy a new 2nd machine.

I don't see this 'venture' being all that successful. The great thing about Mac's is that they don't require a lot of support.
post #35 of 38
How about a decent accounting package?
post #36 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by cgc0202 View Post

(S)he would be one of those who would find "Huckleberry Finn" by Mark Twain to be full of errors, if (s)he ever heard of it.

A rather bizarre analogy, for reasons I'm sure you well understand.
Please don't be insane.
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Please don't be insane.
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post #37 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by cgc0202 View Post

"Think different."

That one is actually grammatically correct. It's not that one is to think differently, but to think 'different' -- not how to think, but what to think.
post #38 of 38
What a great move by Apple to encourage more small businesses to go with Mac products. The move also suggests that they will see a synergy between businesses buying Macbooks and purchasing mobile products, like the iPad and iPhone.

Creating this built-in support will encourage more businesses to consider a fleet of Macs, especially if they already see their employees with the iPhones and iPads. Managing these devices will assure they stay safe and secure. But now Apple has created a way to rent out IT technical support from the manufacturer itself. Not a bad move at all.

Ada, Absolute Software
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