<p>I've been hearing rumblings of <a href="http://www.apple.com/retail/jointventure/">JointVenture</a> for quite awhile and have been eager for it to launch just so that I could finally learn some details. The short of it is that I think JointVenture is a fantastic program. I'm especially impressed by Apple’s willingness to lend out computers while yours is in the shop. People have been asking for that for a very long time. A few have asked me how I feel JointVenture will effect <a href="http://static.squarespace.com/static/5122aacae4b02be7ede01c25/5122da46e4b03c5054a8ebf3/5122da62e4b03c5054a8f011/1361238626230/?format=original">the Mac Instructor</a>, so here are my thoughts.</p>
It still stands that the service Apple offers which is most similar to the Mac Instructor is One to One. One to One is $99, offered to those buying a new Mac, and provides an individual with a year's worth of training. It is honestly the best $99 someone can spend at the Apple Store, especially since they also toss in a basic data transfer from your previous computer. It is an extremely popular program, and in fact, I have trained hundreds of One to One members when I worked in Apple Retail.
While both One to One and JointVenture offer training services like mine, there are also differences. First of all, Apple's services are and always will be performed within an Apple retail store. While I worked with Apple, I heard many individuals voice a desire to have training within the quiet, comfort, and convenience of their own home. I heard this expressed so many times that I finally decided to take the risk to leave Apple and start the Mac Instructor. The type of clients I now attract are often turned off by the noise, random assignment of trainers, and limited availability of a packed and loud retail store. That’s no knock against the Apple Store, just a comment about the preferences of certain types of people.
A funny thing is that most of my clients are One to One members. These days, I almost always run into a client when I go into the Apple Store myself! I encourage people to sign up for One to One, as it dovetails very well with what I offer. Now that JointVenture has launched, I think the same thing can be said for it as it stands in relation to Apple certified business consultants. JV will be great for getting small businesses up and running, but as the needs of that business matures past solutions branded by Apple, I honestly believe they will want training on-site, on their own hardware, within their own facilities. An excellent example of such training is through my friend Matthew who runs BlackTip IT in Orlando, FL. Expertise with Apple products is just the beginning for Matthew and his team. Daylite, Billings Pro, LightSpeed, Hansaworld, Microsoft Office, and Parallels are just a few of BlackTip’s certifications. Training and deployment of these products are not covered under JointVenture. So, you can hopefully see how JointVenture would only be one part of the solution if a business wanted to make sure they’re utilizing Apple tech.
The main reason why I don't feel threatened by JointVenture is because my services are mostly geared towards individuals at home, not businesses. While I have helped train entire office staffs and groups as they get acquainted with new Apple hardware, this isn’t the bulk of what I do. My group training for businesses usually consists of Mac basics, iPad workshops, and iWork deployment. If the needs of your business extends past these services, I can help you find the right fit for your team.
Maybe someday I will branch into the small business consulting world, but for right now, I love working in the residential space. I get the pleasure of knowing my clients extremely well, hearing their stories, and working with them to make sure they’re getting the most out of their Mac.