Apple Joint Venture Debuts Amid iPad 2 Hoopla

By Nathan Eddy

While the focus of the media was firmly trained on the launch of Apple’s eagerly anticipated follow-up to the iPad tablet, the iPad 2, the company also quietly rolled out a program called Joint Venture, designed to help businesses use Mac, iPhone and iPad devices to improve the way businesses run.

The program, which offers a variety of services traditionally performed by the channel, helps businesses set up new Apple products, trains employees to optimize performance and offers a dedicated support team. Apple will also transfer existing data—including mail, calendar and address book—from a PC or Mac, and install any additional software purchased from the Apple Retail Store or the Apple Online Store.

The Joint Venture Website gives businesses access to Joint Venture services, including schedule training, appointment bookings and tech support, and it allows users to sign up for workshops.

Joint Venture starts at $499 when businesses buy a new Mac and supports up to five systems. Site administrators can register and access systems, invite team members to join and schedule workshops, while employees can schedule a setup or tune-up, book a priority call with a Genius, and sign up for workshops.

Businesses can schedule up to three two-hour sessions of training at the Apple Store for employees. The trainers lead hands-on workshops on a variety of topics—like getting started on a Mac, using the iPhone and iPad for business, and creating presentations with Keynote, and they will work with individual businesses for customization.

"These monthly group workshops are tailored to business professionals who are working with a Mac for the first time or need to brush up on the basics," the company’s Website outlined. "So as you add employees throughout the year, we’ll show them everything they need. We also offer special workshops for your IT department and will help them build a plan for supporting Apple products in your business."

In addition, the program runs system diagnostics, updates software, will clean your keyboard and display, and offers a loaner program for a MacBook Pro or a MacBook Air loaded with Mail, iCal, iWork, iLife and Microsoft Office if an office computer needs an update or repair. 

This article was originally published on 2011-03-04