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Apple officially rolls out Joint Venture for businesses

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Apple has officially launched its $499 a year Joint Venture support initiative for small businesses under the tagline "Get set up. Get trained. Stay running."

Apple's Joint Venture retail support plan offers setup, training and continued support starting at $499 a year for up to five "systems," which are defined not just as Macs, but also iOS devices or Cinema Displays. According to the terms and conditions set by Apple, the service is only available to business customers at the time of purchase of a Mac.

The new support plan is inline with details leaked to AppleInsider earlier this week after Apple held a secretive all-hands meeting to announce the initiative to retail employees.

After a business joins the service, Apple Genius technicians will begin by setting up the newly purchased Mac, transferring existing data from a PC or Mac and installing software purchased from the Apple Retail Store or Apple Online Store. Joint Venture members will gain access to a personalized support website that they can use to schedule trainings and request technical support.



Businesses can schedule up to three two-hour training sessions at an Apple retail store, as well as send employees to attend monthly group workshops from Apple.

In order to help businesses "stay running," the Cupertino, Calif., Mac maker will offer Genius phone support to qualifying members for the first time ever. Members will also receive priority when making Genius Bar appointments.

Joint Venture will provide members with "anytime updates," including system diagnostics, software updates and keyboard and display cleanings, from its support staff. Apple will also offer loaner MacBook Pro or MacBook Air systems preloaded with iWork, iLife and Microsoft Office to members while their Macs are being worked on.

However, it does not appear that the service will include on-site support visits from Apple Genius technicians, as early rumors had suggested.

post #2 of 17
This seems expensive and too similar to the pro care plan. Did they get rid of that?
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post #3 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by spliff monkey View Post

This seems expensive and too similar to the pro care plan. Did they get rid of that?

Supposedly, yes.

Quote:
I was a the Apple meeting this evening, we had to shut all of our phones off. JoinVenture is a way to keep our Business customers resolved of all problems. It offers OnetoOne-esque features, such as business workshops (from beginning to advance business software/exchange server help). Also, JointVenture allows businesses contact us in case of an emergency. There will be a genius telephone that they can reach a genius member at for personal assistance. If their computer needs to be worked on, for more than 24 hours, we will loan them a computer to use for the time being. Also, we are going to be offering special training for businesses for all employees to come in and attend training seminars on a personal level. I\\ll keep you updated the more information I get. This will be rolling out March 2nd. It will also be renewable. And ProCare is gone now.

http://www.9to5mac.com/54157/apples-...tails-revealed
post #4 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by penchanted View Post

Supposedly, yes.



http://www.9to5mac.com/54157/apples-...tails-revealed

Yeah I couldn't find it in the store either. I never used it but a couple of times. What "joint venture" is is basically what pro care was for $400 less.
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post #5 of 17
The words "ROLL" and "JOINT" really go well together.. Makes me want to get high.

So is Apple in the weed business now?
post #6 of 17
Too expensive! Not much more than what you can already get for free. They shoul be bending over backwards to get businesses not trying to gauge them especially in this economy. I am a small business owner and an Apple business customer and it will be a cold day in he'll when I hand over $500 for this. I rather buy an iPad and schedule a free Genius session through the free Apple Store app.
post #7 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by spliff monkey View Post

Yeah I couldn't find it in the store either. I never used it but a couple of times. What "joint venture" is is basically what pro care was for $400 less.

I think it is for the group in the company, up to five equipments, plus you get the loaner equipment for use if repairs take more than 24 hrs.
post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by spliff monkey View Post

Yeah I couldn't find it in the store either. I never used it but a couple of times. What "joint venture" is is basically what pro care was for $400 less.

I think it is for the group in the company, up to five equipments, plus you get the loaner equipment for use if repairs take more than 24 hrs.

May be one should wait for the details than rushing into judgment
post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Y.M.S.BUSHAN View Post

I think it is for the group in the company, up to five equipments, plus you get the loaner equipment for use if repairs take more than 24 hrs. May be one should wait for the details than rushing into judgment

ok. I can see that. You don't get much service though. If I remember correctly Avid charges about the same for their service/ Tech support plan on one machine. So maybe I'm just comparing the plan to what it used to be essentially. I wonder what happens if your Macpro with boat loads of hardware goes down? I'm sure you'd still be SOL. Obviously it's geared to small workgroups with a couple of MBP's and iMacs. The value seems minimal other than some security and preferential treatment. Seemed to be a better value at $100 and no mention of how many CPU's.

Also I need to add what judgement have I made? I'm simply comparing this service at $500 to what the pro care plan used to be at $100. At $100 preferential "genius bar" treatment is worth it. That's all you seem to really get beyond what you would already have with Apple care and the warranty anyway. I suppose if a company had to train it's staff to use iwork they could dump it off on Apple and then it would be worth it. I used it for the preferential treatment. To me that's not worth $500 even with multiple machines. My crew knows how to use the hardware and software. We have no need for Apple to train anyone and we aren't using iwork. So i'm not sure why Apple thinks this would super-cede or replace pro-care when all a pro wants is a quick in and out of the service department not a tutorial.

Maybe you should rush to judgement and a double post.
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post #10 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by miguelcho View Post

Too expensive! Not much more than what you can already get for free. They shoul be bending over backwards to get businesses not trying to gauge them especially in this economy. I am a small business owner and an Apple business customer and it will be a cold day in he'll when I hand over $500 for this. I rather buy an iPad and schedule a free Genius session through the free Apple Store app.

What size of business do you run?
post #11 of 17
For some businesses this will make sense, for others maybe not. For $100 per machine, that seems a lot cheaper than maintaining an IT department.
post #12 of 17
I consider the price reasonable considering what they offer. That is less than $70 per month. Jusr imagine how much it would cost to hire outside tech to repair a computer, and to train staff. That is cheaper than the monthly cost for telephone service, alone.

I do not consider myself qualified enough to open my computer. Before the Apple Store was ever in Boston, I had a memory chip added to my computer. It cost $45, and this was subsidized price from the University Center already.

Note that the One-on-one covers individual training. Extended personal care is $230 for the second and third year, after you bought your computer.

CGC
post #13 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleStud View Post

For some businesses this will make sense, for others maybe not. For $100 per machine, that seems a lot cheaper than maintaining an IT department.

Giving a small staff the training and tech support they need from Apple is well worth $500 and a good incentive to migrate from windows.

Just, poor pro care.

At home I already have an iphone, ipad, mac mini, macpro and mackbook pro and of course cinema displays (Is that a separate system not including the tower?). That's easily five as the article implies. As an individual I was able to do most of what Joint Venture offers for $100 just not with up to 4 other people and no training for anyone (but me I suppose).

My personal needs are unique obviously and an office would have "systems" spread out. Even if "everyone" has an iphone and an imac; that could be two people, a server and a pretty good deal, I agree.

I don't recall pro care asking how many systems I had, but I didn't send people for training either. It was merely a "get out of jail free" card If any hardware failed. For me personally (which I guess I would need this plan to myself ) I wish it was still $100, but I'm not who Apple is after. I didn't really use the service what it was for.

I remember them asking me about my business when I was in the Mac store about 6 months ago in great detail. He seemed to imply Pro apps weren't included when I asked if I could send interns to play on FCP. I would definitely pay for that and I think they'd appreciate it. Frankly we don't let them "play" very much at all.

I guess I could maintain my personal "cache" for $500, but that seems silly to hop in line real quick.
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post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by spliff monkey View Post

Yeah I couldn't find it in the store either. I never used it but a couple of times. What "joint venture" is is basically what pro care was for less.


I don't think the old Pro Care includes cleaning the keyboard and display too, does it? I never subscribe to them even when I got one for free with my Apple Store opening goody bag years ago (not my choice, my local store was 5+ years late to open )
post #15 of 17
Quote:
In order to help businesses "stay running," the Cupertino, Calif., Mac maker will offer Genius phone support to qualifying members for the first time ever. Members will also receive priority when making Genius Bar appointments.

Actually, as an ACN, I like this. The efficiency of phone support is extremely limited. Even a minor issue can be very difficult for a knowledgable support tech to guide a novice user to the solution. The support techs out there know this drill:

"Please open your Home folder and find the Library folder. No, the Home folder is the one where your Desktop, and Documents folders are. I see, you, apparently have a documents folder on your desktop, but we're looking for something else. Lets try it a different way. Open up the hard drive first. Do you see the icon on your desktop? No? That's probably because Snow Leopard hides it by default. Do you see the word "Finder" in the upper left of the screen?"

And so it goes, doomed to frustration. When the user finally melts down, they have no choice but to haul the machine into the madhouse of the Apple Store where the problem will not be reproducible because it was a network issue or something. $500 and the entire day will be lost trying to "Stay Running."

As for the "Group Training," I presume this is going to take place at a spare table in the middle of the store like all the rest of their training. I fail to see how any training can be effective as crowds of people surge all around and the participants have to shout to be heard.

Nice work. Keep it up Apple.
post #16 of 17
Does this also extend the hardware warranty like AppleCare, or would I still need that too? Because I'm already paying $300 every time I buy a MacBook Pro and I would definitely add $200 to get access to the loaner service (I had to give up my computer for three days earlier this week for a logic board replacement and it was hell!).

But if I had to pay $300 for AppleCare plus $500 for this service, that would not be worth it.
post #17 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sirius2112 View Post

Actually, as an ACN, I like this. The efficiency of phone support is extremely limited. Even a minor issue can be very difficult for a knowledgable support tech to guide a novice user to the solution. The support techs out there know this drill:

"Please open your Home folder and find the Library folder. No, the Home folder is the one where your Desktop, and Documents folders are. I see, you, apparently have a documents folder on your desktop, but we're looking for something else. Lets try it a different way. Open up the hard drive first. Do you see the icon on your desktop? No? That's probably because Snow Leopard hides it by default. Do you see the word "Finder" in the upper left of the screen?"

And so it goes, doomed to frustration. When the user finally melts down, they have no choice but to haul the machine into the madhouse of the Apple Store where the problem will not be reproducible because it was a network issue or something. $500 and the entire day will be lost trying to "Stay Running."

As for the "Group Training," I presume this is going to take place at a spare table in the middle of the store like all the rest of their training. I fail to see how any training can be effective as crowds of people surge all around and the participants have to shout to be heard.

Nice work. Keep it up Apple.

So true! Now...if the stores would only get back to ACN referrals (I'm one, too). The OnForce thing has me scratching my head.
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