Unisys bites into AU$10M Apple hardware-support contract

Unisys will take over Apple desktop and laptop hardware support for customers of Apple reseller chain Next Byte.
Written by Spandas Lui, Contributor

Vita Group, the owner of Australia's largest Apple reseller chain Next Byte, has outsourced its Apple customer hardware support to Unisys in a contract worth up to AU$10 million.

The five-year agreement will see Unisys service Apple Mac desktops and laptops through Next Byte's 19 retail stores nationwide. When Apple users drop their hardware to a Next Byte store for repair, the service provider will fix the hardware on behalf of Vita Group under a private label model for both in-warranty and out-of-warranty products.

The deal covers on-site support for Next Byte enterprise, government, and education clients, making use of Unisys' network of field support staff. The service provider will also be involved in services for IT support, break-fix hardware support, parts management, logistics, product support, call centre, and implementation.

Next Byte already works with Unisys for engineering services, and this new development expands on the existing relationship. Unisys has been an Apple national service provider since 2006.

"Next Byte explored many options, and eventually chose Unisys as they were the only Apple service provider with a national reach and the required level of capability," Vita Group joint CEO Maxine Horne said in a statement to ZDNet. "With our expanding metropolitan and regional retail footprint, we needed a service provider with that national and regional reach."

Prior to the new contract, Next Byte handled hardware support for Apple desktops and laptops through an internal team. According to Vita Group, some of the staff in the internal support team have been recruited by Unisys, while others have been redeployed within Next Byte.

Next Byte will continue to honour its policy to "repair within four business days" through Unisys. Customers in regional areas will not be impacted by the new arrangement.

The decision to outsource hardware support to Unisys aids Next Byte's plan to significantly expand its store footprint across Australia.

The agreement officially begins on November 1.

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