IBM employees with Macs call for tech support significantly less than PC users

MacBook Pro in low light
MacBook Pro in low light (Image credit: Rene Ritchie / iMore)

Since giving employees the option to use Macs in place of PCs, it looks like IBM has been able to cut the workload for its help desk staff on the back of Apple's penchant for simplicity. Speaking at the JAMF Nation User Conference, IBM's Vice President of Workplace-as-a-Service, Fletcher Previn, noted that, not only is IBM deploying a large number of Macs to employees, but those employees are significantly less likely to call the help desk for support when compared to the company's PC users. From JAMF Software:

To much fanfare from the crowd, Previn said that IBM is deploying 1,900 Macs per week and currently have 130,000 Macs and iOS devices in the hands of users. And all of these devices are supported by a total of 24 help desk staff members, meaning that each staff member effectively supports 5,375 employees. One stat that particularly stood out was that 5% of Mac users call the help desk, compared to 40% of PC users. This shows how simple it is for the staff at IBM to use the Mac platform, and reflects the hard work the team has done to make the experience seamless.

Previn went on to say that while the cost of a PC up front is lower, Macs retain their value for longer, finishing with "every Mac that we buy is making and saving IBM money."

IBM and Apple have significantly ramped up their partnership over the last year. What started out as an agreement that would see IBM creating new enterprise apps specifically for iOS has moved on to a deal that has seen IBM commit to deploying 50,000 MacBooks to its employees by the end of the year.

Source: JAMF Software; Via: Apple Insider

Dan Thorp-Lancaster
  • Duh Sent from the iMore App
  • Mr. Previn left out a lot of information needed to ascertain whether this is meaningful data or not. Did they keep track of hardware versus software calls? What was the call rate of the people who switched to Macs before they switched (ie when they were still on PC's?). Is this a self-selecting bias where those more into technology are requesting to use a Mac, and thus are less prone to call for help? Are they using the same software programs, or do those on Mac's only use the web, email, and word processing while their PC counterparts are using more complex programs to get work done? In the link it is noted that a special setup was done for the Macs to make them easier for the end user: "Previn says the plan was to manage the Macs in a way that was typically reserved for mobile devices. With a goal of driving self-sufficiency and simplifying the environment so users could help themselves instead of solely relying on their help desk." What would the call difference have been if they would have setup a similar method for their PC's? Would it have been cheaper to setup a similar "self-serve" method for the PC's than buying all new Macs? What would it have been like it Microsoft gave them the same hands on service that Apple gave them? I think VP Previn needs to dig a bit deeper to justify the switch. Or maybe he is just covering himself and the nice MacBook he got himself and all his friends :).
  • Doubt much? Sent from the iMore App
  • Yeah but we already knew macs require less IT support anyways. This just backs that up. So everything you just said is irrelevant noise.
  • In summary: IBM allowed people to get a brand new shrink wrapped Mac, then used Casper Suite to allow the end user to install a select set of pre-approved software (unknown which programs), with Mr. Previn stating: "We do use Self Service as the one and only way that software is distributed to our Macs". Thrown into this mix is the statement that 5% of Mac users are calling the help desk compared to 40% of PC users, and that we don't have the data to say why that is.