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Supporting Mac Hardware in a large enterprise

I'm part of a very large company thats getting ready to support Macs (hardware and software) and I'm hoping the Jamf community can share some ideas on how they provide Mac hardware support (repairs specifically) for their organizations.

I came across this article, but I'm hoping to get a few more ideas from the community.

To tailor the conversation a bit though, we won't have the budget to switch to Apple Enterprise support (link) and we don't have the means to train our IT staff on how to perform in-house repairs.

If there's any kind of global or region specific support for repairs or any in-house strategies/practices you may have come up with for supporting hardware, please let me know!

Thanks!

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SOLVED Posted: 7/14/17 at 6:01 PM by rick.cohen

If you're willing to do repairs in house you can use GSX to order replacement parts directly from Apple. This method however requires that a certain number of your technicians be Apple certified for hardware repair, along with a few other requirements. It's not a bad plan if you're willing to put in the time and money to train people up.

You could make friends with the closest Apple Authorized repair center. If you kick them enough business maybe they'll give you a discount or some kind of preferred service?

Lastly, there's always the Genius Bar.

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SOLVED Posted: 7/14/17 at 7:21 PM by jason.bracy

Apple is very strict about who can perform in house repairs. We tend to just use AppleCare and the genius bar.

Apple Self-Servicing Account Program

Hope that helps.

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SOLVED Posted: 7/15/17 at 1:19 PM by davidacland

I've seen some organisations have success repairing their own machines, but it is an inefficient way to do it as you inevitably don't have enough repairs to become experts at it.

I work for a U.K. based Apple authorized service provider. We process huge numbers of repairs with our techs carrying out the repairs full time.

We really notice the speed difference when we have new / junior hardware techs. They take 2-3 times longer to carry out repairs and can often make simple but costly mistakes.

For that reason we invest in a lot of training and provide "practice machines" (all models of Macs and iOS devices) for them to learn how to take them apart and re-assemble.

Although biased, I'd say it's normally better to out source that type of specialist task.

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SOLVED Posted: 7/17/17 at 5:00 AM by philipwoods

Agree with @davidacland.

I also work for a UK based AASP and it's not as straight forward as it might sound, particularly repairing Macs where Apple have some fairly strict rules around accurate part usage and metrics measuring first time fix etc. Our senior Mac techs have 30+ years of experience between them and even then they're regularly coming across some pretty challenging repair scenarios.

A strategic partnership with an AASP (or preferably more than one to share the load) would be my suggestion for hardware coverage.

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SOLVED Posted: 7/17/17 at 10:46 AM by gachowski

So we started out with just normal Apple Care, and it worked out ok. We used a mix of the onsite team swapping machines and then shipped the machine with the issue to Apple and/or "do you live close to an Appel store" "What worked best for the user"

We were a little lucky as our 2nd biggest user base location, was an AASP and they were already fixing windows computers for us, so that onsite team didn't have to change how they work.

C

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SOLVED Posted: 7/17/17 at 10:47 AM by kowsar.ahmed

We use our Apple Re-sellers. They do repairs in-house and have their own driver so no delivery costs etc, provides a really good personable service. Usually 5 days turnaround.

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SOLVED Posted: 7/17/17 at 4:36 PM by emily

We are too small to qualify for an Apple Enterprise support agreement to do in-house repairs, so we just either take a machine to the Genius Bar or work with a local authorized repair shop.

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SOLVED Posted: 7/17/17 at 6:52 PM by Look

I'm not sure of the economics of it versus buying but we lease our machines on 3 year leases with 3 year Apple Care all arranged through a specialist leasing company and from a technical perspective it's really very low fuss as they are responsible for all hardware aspects including warranty repair and replacement and it also builds in an upgrade cycle.

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SOLVED Posted: 7/17/17 at 7:22 PM by PAC

Our Setup
200 imacs ( 1 - 4 years old)
100 Macbook Pros
100 ipads
50 Apple TV's
1200 BYOD devices ( that we do not repair or touch)

We purchased about 50 imacs each year as the school was growing.
We have the extra applecare support. so we have a 3 year support on all machines.
We buy through an Apple Supplier and vendor and they do allot of the repairs at their store. they will pickup and drop off repair jobs and also drop off new stock to us.

If anything breaks we just get apple to fix it. If staff break it then we get it fixed out of our coin or insurance.
If its a software issue then we just wipe and re-image.
Not touching the devices when something goes wrong hardware wise saves allot of money and human resources. Older macbook pro devices that are no longer used we have tweaked by putting in SSD's and more ram which is pretty straight forward, we then use these as spares for when a time comes that a device is out getting repaired with Apple.

Every 4 years we will be replacing the devices so the idea is that we have minimum time that a device is not supported under warranty.

We try and keep it simple and try to reduce the human resource value with machines.

Cheers

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