AppleCentre Taylor Square's gamble on Mac training and support has paid off with its seven-month-old academy enrolling 1170 students, passing director Ben Morgan's initial goal of 1000.
Morgan said the taylorsquare academy, adjoining the AppleCentre in inner east Sydney suburb Darlinghurst, had gone extremely well since its mid-August launch.
"We've just been flat out. We opened up the academy and, six months later, it had doubled our turnover. We now have 1170 students," he said.
A year ago, Morgan had set 1000 member registrations as a suitable goal.
At the time, industry sources said the ambitious plan would require considerable investment to succeed.
But Morgan said the interactive training sessions, Mac support and other services offered via taylorsquare academy were proving popular in a market where the Apple training available had been minimal to non-existent.
The academy also offers training and support in applications from vendor partners, such as Adobe, Microsoft and Macromedia.
Morgan said taylorsquare academy could potentially become the strongest part of AppleCentre's business.
"We are now reviewing our systems and considering opening up a facility that will be four times larger," he said.
"Its timing is right, and I think for us, as each day moves on, it's definitely where we see ourselves sitting in the overall Apple scheme."
taylorsquare academy offers workshops, free courses and master classes to casual users and members, who can apply for a ProCard for access to more discounts, specials, the centre's customer support bar -- which also serves refreshments -- and application training theatre.
Last year, Morgan told CRN that Apple resellers were having a difficult time holding on to customers, due to the paucity of support offered. Yet IT was increasingly complex and support service provision growing more important.
Morgan said then that sales were growing but customer retention difficult, because customers were forced to seek out other stores or service providers to get needed support for new purchases.
Sales staff were often too busy, untrained and unrewarded for post-sales customer service and the only help was frequently through outsourced vendor support centre, he said at the time.