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Apple to Educators: We don't want your kind

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Chris Jacek
Apple to Educators: We don't want your kind
on Jun 27, 2011 at 7:01:03 pm

I just finished an infuriating phone call with Apple. For months I had been working with an Apple educational sales rep to purchase 30 laptops for my department's media program at a small college. He worked up a great quote for me, including 30 ELP licenses for Final Cut Studio. For those unfamiliar with ELP, for about $90 a year per seat, we would get phone support and free upgrades to all versions of each component of the Final Cut Studio. Also included, is access to all PREVIOUS versions of the software. A really great deal. Apple promised that yes, I would get free upgrades to FCP X when it was released, too. A win-win right?

The order was submitted last week, with a purchase order from my school. Today, I get an email telling me that they cannot fulfill the FCS portion of my order, but that I may buy the new FCPX, Compressor, and Motion at the Apple store.

Of course I called to clear things up. I was told that Apple has discontinued the FCS (which we all knew), and with it, discontinued the ELP licensing for it. No more access to previous versions unless I had completed my order before the release of FCPX. Also, in addition to removing ELP licensing, I was told that they also removed educational pricing altogether. That's right, no educational pricing!

For my story, there is still a glimmer of hope. The rep said that they had extended new licensing until this past Saturday. Basically, any order placed, and in "shippable condition" before the end of the day last Saturday (6/25) would still be honored. Great! I said, because the final PO was placed on Friday. I just made it right? Wrong! They re-iterated that my order wasn't in "SHIPPABLE CONDITION" because they had run out of copies (which I'm not sure I believe), so tough luck for me. I then told them that I don't need the physical software. I'm an FCP trainer, and have my own set of discs. I just need the licenses. The supervisor I spoke to offered to escalate the case, and see if they could make an exception to sell me the originally quoted licenses after the fact.

I updated my rep on the drama, and let him know that the whole deal might be in danger, since my superiors approved $90 per seat for this year, not $400 per seat to buy the inferior FCPX with Compressor and Motion. His response was "Hang tight because we still don't have any idea how FCP X is going to fit into AELP. $400 per seat? No." Of course, this whole time, my butt is on the line, because I spent the past year convincing my superiors that this is way to go (apparently, I should have accomplished it in 51 weeks).

What I want to know is how in the heck can one week mean the difference between full forward and backward access to Final Cut components at $90 a year, and having to pay full commercial price for a lesser package with no included forward or backward access. And, the the date that this change would happen was never even announced.

So, among all the other angering factors surrounding this experience, it definitely shows the absurd lack of organization that is happening at Apple. They have left their own sales reps in the dark to the point that they don't even know what to charge for their software, while their educational sales support person tells me that they don't even do that kind of licensing any more. Nobody knows what's going on for sure. Of course, the sales rep is probably not a concern, since Apple has shown complete disregard for anyone whose livelihood depends on knowing what's going on with their FCP.

One thing that seems clear is that Apple gave little to no consideration to how the release of FCPX, and subsequent removal of FCS, would effect their educational market. It seems that the only logical conclusion is that Apple is either completely unconcerned about the educational market, or they are actively trying to purge it. Sad either way.

Professor, Producer, Editor
and former Apple Employee


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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: Apple to Educators: We don't want your kind
on Jun 27, 2011 at 10:59:04 pm

Chris, thats... that really is.. pretty awful stuff -
people here are trying petitions and stuff, but I honestly think, no more than the rest of us - particularly with your own tale, its clear, highly relatable, and deals with education -
I would advise you to email the tech corespondents for ZDNT, CNET, maybe contact MG Siegler at Techcrunch, he's tweeting at [ http://twitter.com/#!/parislemon ] email David Pogue at NYT or tweet him @Pogue - Pogue is actually a really decent receptive guy - he responded to ranting tweets from me - write emails to any and all of them over an hour or two, basically introduce yourself and paste in what you've told us above - apple as a company have one gold standard - the smiling stores, the smiling staff, and the happy products - bad public perception of their cultural role is a pretty serious deal for them - it should be. Sorry - you've probably thought of half this stuff anyway, but honest to god, I'm reading your thing and I'm the bit boggled, it goes with other stories that this release is some weird orphaned mess within the company - public pressure from media organisations can at least serve to clarify the situation for all of us with a vested interest. Sorry - that was super long. I really do commiserate with your situation.

[edit] i just read you sign off credentials man - sorry - you probably read techcrunch as much as I do - the education thing had me spoonfeeding *weird* techblogs to you - but I still say - this is worth telling and it has much better resonance then half the rantings of the likes of me on this board. I say relate this to people - it's a decent indication of the state of apple's behaviour.

Apple have not performed well here, and that is an understatement.

best,


http://www.ogallchoir.net
promo producer/editor.grading/motion graphics


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Chris Jacek
Re: Apple to Educators: We don't want your kind
on Jun 27, 2011 at 11:48:36 pm

Thanks for the tips. I will definitely follow up with those ideas, especially if I don't get my way with Apple. But I think I'll give them tomorrow to fix this, just in case there actually IS an educational strategy, and really just lousy communication with their reps. But if it is true that there is NO educational pricing, and NO ELP licensing, I will definitely report my findings to everyone who will listen.

Professor, Producer, Editor
and former Apple Employee


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Chris Kenny
Re: Apple to Educators: We don't want your kind
on Jun 27, 2011 at 11:58:17 pm

[Chris Jacek] "Thanks for the tips. I will definitely follow up with those ideas, especially if I don't get my way with Apple. But I think I'll give them tomorrow to fix this, just in case there actually IS an educational strategy, and really just lousy communication with their reps. But if it is true that there is NO educational pricing, and NO ELP licensing, I will definitely report my findings to everyone who will listen."

Not only is FCP X brand new, but the Mac App Store is pretty new as well, and FCP X is the most expensive Apple app sold exclusively though it to date, and probably the first app where Apple is seeing really significant interest from business and education customers. It's frankly not all that surprising that things are a little screwy, and I wouldn't read too much into it.

Apple recently published details about how Lion (also an App Store exclusive) will be handled for business and education customers. I suspect there's going to be a solution for FCP X, but Apple just hasn't had a chance to put the pieces together yet.

--
Digital Workflow/Colorist, Nice Dissolve.

You should follow me on Twitter here. Or read our blog.


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Chris Jacek
Re: Apple to Educators: We don't want your kind
on Jun 28, 2011 at 12:22:12 am

[Chris Kenny] "Not only is FCP X brand new, but the Mac App Store is pretty new as well, and FCP X is the most expensive Apple app sold exclusively though it to date, and probably the first app where Apple is seeing really significant interest from business and education customers. It's frankly not all that surprising that things are a little screwy, and I wouldn't read too much into it."

That's what my hope is. But obviously somebody gave the word to some of the educational support staff to "Just Say No," and hope that nobody would pursue it further. I guess what's more concerning is that there wasn't an educational strategy for this release, or they never communicated it to the people who needed to know. I know it's summer, but that's still a serious bonehead move (of lack of movement).

Professor, Producer, Editor
and former Apple Employee


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Chris Jacek
Re: Apple to Educators: We don't want your kind
on Jun 30, 2011 at 10:00:15 pm

UPDATE: After having to escalate my case up the chain (the person who finally settled my case had one of those first-name-only apple email addresses), the finally agreed to fill my original order of 30 ELP licenses of FCS 3, with this caveat. My license will expire in one year, and WILL NOT be able to be renewed, like every other ELP license has been able to.

For me and my school, I guess this is a "happy" ending. Basically for about $90 a seat I was still able to get FCS3, and I will be getting the free upgrades to FCPX, Motion, and Compressor for my one year. Now, I'll be able to teach FCPX to the beginners in my intro class, and then "upgrade" them to FCP7 in the advanced class, so they can actually be employable in the next year or two. OF course, I will also be teaching them more more Premiere than in the past, and maybe even Avid if I can swing it.

At the end of the day, it is QUITE clear that Apple wants to kill FCP 7, and burn the body. What is NOT clear is if there will ever be the kind of licensing that educational institutions depend upon. If not, they will definitely lose the market. They will probably lose the market anyway just from the damage done in the past 10 days.

Professor, Producer, Editor
and former Apple Employee


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Peter J. DeCrescenzo
Re: Apple to Educators: We don't want your kind
on Jun 28, 2011 at 12:23:32 am

"Thank You For Smoking"







---

http://www.peterdv.com


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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: Apple to Educators: We don't want your kind
on Jun 28, 2011 at 12:07:30 am

I hope they get their act together for you bud -if not, please, please do give them a bit of the public discourse.

As a total aside/funny story - it's been pointed out previously, almost as a parable, that there actually isn't a way to get V.A.T purchase receipts with the software in Europe - I mean that's how shrink-wrapped consumer the software is - the people preparing this software - the itunes team apparently - weren't in a position to even intellectually consider the VAT position - strictly speaking, the way they're selling the software to businesses in Europe is legally in breach apparently, I'm not a hundred percent on this, but the professional airing the grievance seemed specific and truly irritated - I mean - if that's actually true, the point Apple have now come to as as a professional services software company - is they can't handle European business V.A.T receipts. Which is rather mad, if true.


http://www.ogallchoir.net
promo producer/editor.grading/motion graphics


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Dave Barnard
Re: Apple to Educators: We don't want your kind
on Jun 28, 2011 at 1:16:24 am

According to Larry Jordan at the FCP Supermeet in London, there is no educational pricing for FCP X. No shared storage working either.

I'm pretty sure I heard right. Of course things may change, but I'm not holding my breath.

Dave Barnard
http://www.cinedigital.co.uk
London, UK



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Dave Barnard
Re: Apple to Educators: We don't want your kind
on Jun 28, 2011 at 12:18:32 am

Yes, to completely alienate your two major customer bases in one go takes some beating. Way to go Apple! Not!

Steve said that FCP X would be kickass, I'm starting to think there is a hidden depth to that statement :)

Really, the only way this can be prevented from happening again is to use Open Source - as high end VFX houses do worldwide.

Sadly, the education system (at least in the UK) does not teach the skills needed, as the recent Skillset/NESTA report confirms

http://www.nesta.org.uk/areas_of_work/creative_economy/skills_review

The best bet for OS editing software ATM looks to be Lightworks - as used by Martin Scorsese's editor Thelma Schoonmaker

http://forums.creativecow.net/thread/335/4574

Keep Thinking Different(ly)!

Dave Barnard
http://www.cinedigital.co.uk
London, UK



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Tom Daigon
Re: Apple to Educators: We don't want your kind
on Jun 28, 2011 at 12:20:07 am

To borrow an old phrase...I think Apple has gotten to big for its britches. ;-)

Tom Daigon
Avid DS / FCP / After Effects Editor
http://www.hdshotsandcuts.com


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