Just 5% of Mac users at IBM need help desk support vs. 40% of Windows PC sufferers

“IBM took part in this week’s JAMF Nation User Conference in Minneapolis, where the company explained how it began to integrate Apple’s Mac platform into the traditionally Windows-centric organization,” Neil Hughes reports for AppleInsider.

“Speaking to more than a thousand Apple IT administrators was Fletcher Previn, vice president of Workplace-as-a-Service at IBM. Big Blue began offering employees the ability to use a Mac at work starting on June 1, and adoption has been a tremendous success,” Hughes reports. “Previn revealed that IBM is now deploying 1,900 Macs per week, and there are currently 130,000 iOS and Mac devices at use within the company. All of these devices are supported by just 24 help desk staff members.”

“Further, Previn revealed that just 5 percent of Mac users call IBM’s internal help desk for assistance, compared to 40 percent of PC users,” Hughes reports. “Regarding the higher upfront cost of buying a Mac, Previn said that IBM’s adoption of Apple hardware is actually a financial benefit to the company in the long run. Macs require less management and setup effort than PCs, he said, saving IT personnel valuable time. And fewer employees are needed to support Macs than traditional PCs, he said. ‘Every Mac that we buy is making and saving IBM money,’ Previn said.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Shocker.

What a waste of productivity the Microsoft Windows Dark Ages of Personal Computing hath wrought! Wasteful and Painful. And even more painful if you lived through it as a Mac user and knew the truth while IT doofuses waddled around patching things that would never have been broken if only they were smart enough to use Macs instead of crappy Windows PCs.

Note to CEOs: Your IT department should not be making final hardware and software purchasing decisions. They should be supporting your company’s technology needs. You should get independent viewpoints (find people who recommend Macs and make them explain why) and retain the decision-making role for yourselves. Don’t settle for Windows-only shackles. A marked increase in productivity and reliability for your company is there for the taking. You can get Macs and seamlessly integrate them into your business – even if all you do at first is run Windows on them. You can explore Mac OS X and better ways of doing things according to your own timeline (hint: start by using Keynote instead of PowerPoint for your presentations and watch your audiences perk up). Just don’t expect your IT people to ever recommend Apple, as they may have ulterior motives for sticking with Microsoft. — MacDailyNews, January 2, 2007

Why are so many people so afraid to imagine an end to the dark ages of personal computing? Too many MSFT shares in the mutual fund? We have no such problem. Apple Mac will embrace, then extinguish – whether analysts grasp what’s happening or not. — MacDailyNews, March 23, 2007

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Fred Mertz” and “BD” for the heads up.]


    1. Their personal choice of platforms certainly speaks to their being more educated, at least when it comes to computer platforms…, smarter? well that’s another door, another conversation for another time.

  1. This is nothing new desktop support for Macs has always been less than for Windows PCs going back to at least 1990! Many studies have been done over the years to prove the point, i.e. Gartner Group, etc. The issue is more an IT Department’s lack of skill!

      1. Remember that management also was looking at how much equipment they could buy for their money to equip their employees.. For what the computers were to be used for (running MS Office primarily for the vast majority) buying Macs would have been overkill in price.

  2. For better or worse, Windows machines are more versatile. The hardware latitude alone is enormous.

    Apple only need to support a handful of limited hardware, their own. That’s why it “just works”, but it only does what Apple deems necessary.

    I have a Mac Pro (six-core) as my Mac machine, by the time I brought it to where I wanted it, looks like an octopus everything dangling from it. It’s still the most hardware serviceable Mac, but I still can’t choose video cards.

    Can any one company do it all? No, not even Apple. Stick to “just works”.

    1. Video card swap out on a Mac for widespread enterprise use is not important and the integrated graphics that comes with new Mac laptops are more than enough.

      I’ve worked in enterprise organizations and no one would bother with swapping out video cards or other deeper technical tasks because they are too time consuming. Better to buy a new PC with it already equipped and then re-assign the lesser machine to someone else.

      1. Corporate America is not just office workers. I used video cards as a very rudimentary example. How about a controller card for an industry standard lathe machine? A data acquisition interface for instruments? Yes, video cards if you want to do CUDA GPU tasks?, etc, etc., etc.

      2. Wow your confidence is only matched by your ignorance.

        If you want to say that Mac GPU card choices are good enough for you fine, but don’t speak for others.

        GPU cards, like nVidia Tesla’s, are optimized to perform serious calculations many times faster than the GPU you play your games with. For PROFESSIONALS who’s time means money it was a sad day when Apple decided to not be compatible with any but a few mid-range cards.

        Option 1) Go with Mac, computer takes 5 hours
        Option 2) Go with Windows (yuck) but computer takes 1 hour

        Neither is good, but professionals are working for a living so have no choice now but to go with 2 or waste time with 1. Neither is a good choice.

        1. Apple has always made some design choices that doesn’t serve niche applications and that’s a choice of priorities. They would rather focus on doing a few things well that has large appeal. They also hate being held back with legacy technology (such as that required to put in dedicated cards).

          I hear you though – I would like to see the Mac Pro with more options with video and storage and more effort expended to at least keep it current.

        2. some people like the current Mac lineup which is fine but some others have other other needs so I suggest:

          1) for people who need a Mac Pro with more internal expansion etc. they should make a Mac Pro CLASSIC (like they had an iPod Classic for many years). It should have the newest subsystems and plenty of internal expansion options like the old Mac Pro , have a ‘box shape’ (only make it lighter).

          2) a Mid Tower mac.
          This should be between the Mac Mini at $500 and the Mac Pro at $3000.
          Have one multicore workstation processor, upgradable RAM , upgradable video card. Fast subsystem.

          This will attract many PC switchers who want to keep their old monitors.
          More Mac users = More developers = more good software.

          NOTE : 1) and 2) cost almost NOTHING in R&D costs (as most components will be standard) and will be very cheap for Apple to build.

          3) ADVERTISE the Macs. No serious Mac campaigns since Mac/PC guy ads (66 different ads in 4 years) more than half a decade a ago.

          Without ads to help them the sales people in Apple resellers like Best Buy are HELPLESS. I watch them unable to explain OSX vs Windows to customers (“there is no difference but you can get more Windows software” ) . (if customers are not PRE -EDUCATED by Ads all the Mac advantages go down the drain).

          (for an ex marketing guy and aapl investor I grit my teeth in frustration as Apple didn’t capitalize at all with an ad campaign all the YEARS Win 8 was floundering …. Macs are more profitable than the whole of Dell or Lenovo or Acer so they can AFFORD ads but Apple chooses not to do so for some strange reason , I don’t even see web ads …. )

          again : More Mac users = More developers = more good software.

      3. For many/most corporate environments, you are dead right. Yes, some offices won’t fit the generalization, but that’s immaterial and does not change the fact that most of the time, this is how it goes.

  3. When IBM is telling you that buying IBM-compatible clones (Dell, HP, et al) is more costly, support-wise, than Macs overall, maybe people will start listening. Maybe.

    We have known about ROI and TCO for as long as we’ve been using Mac.

    Windows doofuses, on the other hand, love buying $300 machines. Then $100 on the antivirus they could have gotten free.
    Then $100 for Geek Squad or a similar service because they still got infected.
    Then $100 for Geek Squad or a similar service because they still got infected.
    Then $100 for Geek Squad or a similar service because they still got infected.
    Then $100 for Geek Squad or a similar service because they still got infected.
    Then $100 for Geek Squad or a similar service because they still got infected.
    Then $100 for Geek Squad or a similar service because they still got infected.
    Then $100 for Geek Squad or a similar service because they still got infected.
    Then $100 for Geek Squad or a similar service because they still got infected.
    Then $100 for Geek Squad or a similar service because they still got infected.
    There was no error with this entry. 😉 😛

    1. IBM is out of the hardware business and has been for years.
      They do software and services.
      They have no dog in the windows VS. Mac fight, as they mostly use linux.

  4. We use Macs at work …. 1988-1991 we had Windows and the support bills and then we asked them to network our three computers – $12k for three new computers configed exactly the same and some $2,100 for networking BS and $1,500 for the software and hours and hours of setup and we got it to work but then stopped … Back out to office again and after hours working only to just leave the parking to failure AGAIN ….. After two months and now being charged to correct what never worked and we were upset to say the least …..

    Reading about network and actually how simple it was and how Apple, out of the box, could talk to each so we got two Macs and some phone line and in under ten minutes they were packed and talking to each other …..

    From there we got FileMaker and designed a database tracking program – got FileMaker server and setup juice network along with a network click the button to connect key to our FileMaker and have been running ever since on Macs …..

    Most every time someone sees our internal forms for our business they ask what program do we use and I say Macs and FileMaker ….

    If you’ve ever worked with FileMaker you know that is the BEST piece of software Apple makes, hands down and yes it runs on Windows too but I’ve worked in FileMaker on a Windows machine and it’s not the same …. Mac all the way!

  5. I’m kinda curious to see a breakdown of what kind of problem calls Tech support gets for PCs and Macs. Would be funny to see the majority being something like turning the monitor/printer/computer on or how to use a particular feature of a software product vs real HW problems.

    1. It could be argued that those that used Macs in the past in the workplace chose those machines vs PCs being assigned to users that had no personal interest in using computers. As Macs proliferate and are assigned, I suspect the tech support rate will rise, though maybe not as high as PCs.

      1. True though as many more people are familiar with PCs you could also argue that those who do change from PCs would need more help not less so that factor would likely even itself out. Also I am not convinced that almost anyone working for IBM was not pretty familiar with PCs even those who had Macs at home, so the familiarity factor is probably, if anything more likely skewed against the Mac World as overall far less people are familiar with the environment and most PC calls would likely be in a mature experience environment.

        1. The adjustment period is a few months. After that, the Mac environment is known, so those problem calls go away. That is, assuming that people even made them (if they were already familiar with PCs, learning a Mac is easier and so they’d be able to figure it out without help desk support). Sorry, but no.

    2. The five percent figure from the article represents one in twenty, twice as better as your one in ten. As for the forty per cent claimed, it was sxty-five in the dozen or so firms I hired out to in the past. — Which could mean that Windows is getting unbuggier, or that Windows users are less complainy. My evidence is of course anecdotal, as is everyone else’s; statistics can’t change that flaw of human nature; it can only mitigate the effect of outliers (a polite way of saying throw out the liars) and put forward the hopeful axiom that most data points represent people faithful to some semblance of the truth. — Yet Nature herself, according to quantum field theory, respects no “laws” made up by presumptuous apelike beings, but does as she pleases.

      That was more fresh than the Mark Twain quote about statistics, at least. 🙂

      Decison-making under uncertainty is the overarching problem of H. sapiens. Neurologically, one might say it’s the crowning glory of the species, and potentially its fundamental curse. We get quite a lot right about the future. We still get most of it wrong, whilst believing ourselves right.

      1. Yet Nature herself, according to quantum field theory, respects no “laws” made up by presumptuous apelike beings, but does as she pleases.

        Attempting to not personify the situation: As I always say “We humans never know everything about anything.” Even our highly praised understanding of physics turns out to be based on incredibly wrong and ignorant premises. Add to that the willful ignorance many humans prefer to the pursuit of understanding. My favorite example continues to be the disagreement, somehow or other, regarding the definition of the word ‘light’. The mind boggles.

        I call this whole primary failing of humanity the problem of deceptive ‘truth’. What do we actually know to be ‘absolutely true’? Nothing. There’s always more to know. The closest we can come are the game terms we dictate, like ‘my name is absolutely “Derek”‘. Great. So what does that mean?

        Meanwhile, we comprehend remarkable things compared to, say, my cat. We create! We strive to develop this thingy we call ‘spirit’!

        It’s just that there is SO MUCH MORE going on in our miracle world around us.

        Off topic, but my favorite subject.

        1. “Even our highly praised understanding of physics turns out to be based on incredibly wrong and ignorant premises.”

          Au contraire, it is physics that tells us that nature does as she pleases, and that we CANNOT know everything about everything. Heisenberg showed that quite eloquently. Nature is replete with complimentary variables, who’s values cannot be know simultaneously with arbitrary precision. This rules out the very meaning of even an absolute trajectory.

          So though we agree on the meat of the matter, ignorance as a law of nature, humans have figured out what they cannot know.

          1. Well, I did say I was attempting not to personify. Good point otherwise. As for ‘humans have figured out what they cannot know’, that’s not going to be the case specifically because of what we’re talking about. But I certainly agree that when we can have practical experience with nature, we are very good at figuring out what we cannot know. Once we get into anything theoretical, however, we’re back in the weeds of maybe we figured out what we cannot know and maybe not. Dead cat? Live cat? Something we didn’t expect instead?

            1. Now we get into the really fun stuff. How is it that mere human thought and intent can affect the outcome of our experiments? Are we communicating something on the quantum level? There’s a spooky thought for Halloween!
              👻 👽 💀

            2. Well it’s because in any quantum system, one must always count the observer as an integral part of the system, as there is quantum interaction between the observer and the system.

              Happy for your cat btw…

  6. Nice to know that what I have been preaching for 25 years is now backed up by Big Blue. I have certainly saved thousands since 88, despite larger up front costs and it really does amaze me that it has taken so long before the Corporates, with their supposed interest in cost saving, cottoned on.

  7. A great deal of their success is because of IBM’s user of JAMF Software’s Casper Suite. I just attended a JAMF user conference where I watched an excellent presentation by IBM talking about their successes with deploying Macs. Casper is an awesome product.

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