Peter Wells, UNSW AustraliaPart of XW15
Providing excellent Mac support is as much about knowing who your Mac customers are, and how they differ to the typical PC user, than it is knowing how to ssh into a server.
Excellent Mac support requires a little more flexibility, and a lot more talking to the customer, and each other. It’s about offering advice as much as support. About knowing what works, and what doesn’t, in the Mac space. Sometimes the best support is to honestly admit the Mac’s shortcomings, and working around that.
My discussion will focus on how UNSW Australia has changed its focus with Mac customers from a rigid, locked down SOE environment with networked accounts, to a more open MOE environment, with local accounts, admin rights for the users, etc. I’ll discuss how this has resulted in much happier Mac users, and how we’ve grown the MOE to more departments within the university.
I’ve been working with UNSW IT for the last 3 years, developing the SOE and working with our two main Mac areas – Faculty of Arts and the School of Art and Design – to design a SOE that gets out of the way of the user as much as possible, given a close to retail experience.
I’m an Apple Certified Technical Co-ordinator andTrainer (10.6, 10.7) with over 10 years experience building, supporting, and deploying desktop images to Apple computers in many environments. I complement my technical knowledge with excellent interpersonal skills thanks to many years of working in customer service roles.
From 2009-2011 I was contracting with Key Options Technology, providing on site and remote support to over 30 clients, from large Architecture firms, Television production companies, schools and smaller media agencies, via Remote Desktop and VPN. I was also sub-contracted to UNSW Australia and Screen Australia during this time, until I was offered the Sales and Training Co-ordinator role.
In that role, I became an Apple Certified Trainer in Support Essentials and Server Essentials, and working closely with our Business Development Manger to design proposals for new clients. Working directly with Apple Australia, I also wrote a course on iOS Deployment Strategies.
Personally, I’ve ran Australia’s largest Apple Community, mactalk.com.au for a number of years. I’ve been interviewed by the SMH and The ABC as an Apple consultant, and have spoken at conferences as diverse as Ad:Tech Sydney, SxSW, Swipe, OneMoreThing and the AUC’s /dev/world.