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Plymouth University

Amsys Case Studies

Amsys / Case Studies / Plymouth University

Project Description

Amsys provides a high quality, flexible and agile Apple Mac based managed service elevating the Student Experience

Staff and students using Apple products at Plymouth University are now underpinned by a high quality, flexible and agile service delivered by Amsys. The innovative service also provides The CORE, the first Mac walk-in Service Desk at a University in the UK.

The Challenge:

Plymouth University has approximately 600 Mac OS X computers and a large number of iPads and iPhones. The University support services for the Apple fleet have struggled in recent years driving a desire to take a new approach to technical support, maintenance and general IT services for these devices.

As part of this process they were interested in out-sourcing the Apple Support aspects as well as to plan and role out a new management and deployment infrastructure.

As the most popular single brand of IT equipment with staff and students the demands placed on the traditional IT support mechanisms were not in-line with what was being delivered on campus and available else where.

The business issues that any new service needed to overcome and satisfy were:

  • Skill gap – difficult to acquire the right people in the right timescales.
  • Quality – in house service was not delivering what was required or agile enough.
  • Costs – wanted to lower costs but increase flexibility, predictability and introduce innovation

It is always a pleasure to work with such an innovative and forward thinking customer who is able to experience the full benefits of what the team at Amsys can deliver. Seeing innovation being created and delivered, such as The Core, leveraging extraordinary benefits is a testament to the partnership. I am particularly pleased that the project involved working with the student body in a truly collaborative way
Alex Hawes, Managing Director, Amsys

Solution:

Amsys & Plymouth University worked together to design a campus based service that was cost effective and open to all, supplemented by an innovative service offering that matched the Genius Bar for support.

Outsourced Support:

With the goal to deliver an effective, flexible and resilient support service Amsys are delivering a fully managed service. All technical, staffing and SLA requirements will fall to Amsys.

As part of the solution, Amsys provide 3 full time staff members to man the University Apple Support Desk and provide first to third line support to Mac users at the University. With the full weight of Amsys behind them, any issues they couldn’t tackle are escalated internally to ensure a speedy resolution.

1st line support procedures for imaging and initial troubleshooting of Apple devices have been simplified. This enables them to fix more issues first time, improving general user satisfaction.

Amsys are responsible for:

  • Day to day support
  • Image building
  • Device deployment
  • Re-imaging

Management and Deployment Infrastructure:

For this aspect, Amsys installed the Casper Suite, a Mac and iOS management solution that would help in the management of the Mac estate. Casper is the tool of choice for Amsys due to its powerful deployment and settings management capabilities.

Its ability to integrate with Apple’s enterprise sales and warranty system and its rich set of open APIs make it an extremely useful tool when you are dealing with large numbers of Apple devices and put it head and shoulders above its competition.

Amsys configured the Casper Suite using the university’s virtual server infrastructure to leverage enterprise grade redundancy and to help reduce the overhead of managing additional server systems.

Casper was configured to provide the centralised management and deployment services (both initial and on-going), which would improve the management processes for the client computers.

Walk-in Mac Support Service

The service, which is staffed by Amsys Apple Certified Technicians, provides staff and students with a walk-in Mac support service, similar to that of the “Genius Bar” at the Apple Store.

To establish the walk-in area a competition was run, in conjunction with the University and Students Union, for students to design and name the area.

The winner, Plymouth University’s 3D Design students, designed and built “The CORE”, as it has been named, the first walk-in Apple Support Bar in UK Higher Education. The service not only significantly improves staff and student access to Apple support, but has also given students an opportunity to solve a real world business problem.

This service, which is more than just a support desk, it provides members of the University with a visible presence of IT that allows the business and students to gain the benefits of highly skilled staff without the usual pain of process and call logging that normally applies.

The CORE is a great opportunity to change the method of IT service delivery so that it is right where the users need it. We’re delighted to be in the flagship Roland Levinsky building and to provide this very user centric support service for the University.
David Acland, Technical Director, Amsys

The Results

Amsys have transformed Apple device support and enriched the lives of students and staff. Support now meets the needs of a leading modern University, delivering a predictable, high quality, agile and sustainable service.

Amsys have formed a partnership with staff and students that has moved Apple support from behind “closed doors” and into high traffic staff and student space. Resulting in rapid resolution to issues with either the University’s machines and/or their personal iOS devices.

“The CORE” has been a ground breaking, resounding success with an 85%+ first time issue resolution rate.


“It’s great and also refreshing to work with innovative partners like Amsys who understand and can interpret our requirements to deliver high quality services. This has enabled us to move Apple support from behind ‘closed doors’ and into high traffic staff and student space.
Adrian Hollister, Head of Strategy & Architecture, Plymouth University

Project Details

  • Client Plymouth University
  • Industry Education
  • Services Pro Services, Mac Support & Recruitment

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