Apple in the hotel room
The first part of the project revolved around the deployment of the second generation Apple TVs in hotel rooms. The customer wanted the guests to be able use them to access hotel music library. The idea was to use a Mac with iTunes and Home Sharing feature. During the first testing, it turned out that after connecting the fifth device, we encountered an undocumented artificial limit. It was not possible to provide more than five concurrent streams. But I got an idea …
What if iTunes ran multiple times on a Mac and each connected to 4-5 specific Apple TVs? Instances of iTunes will run under their own user and will use a different Apple ID. The result was that the first user logged in automatically when the Mac started. This was followed by scripted automation, which logged in 10+ user accounts using Fast User Switching and launched iTunes in each.
The disadvantage was the minimal ability to centrally manage Apple TVs. We had to set them all up manually. Later I was at least able to install Wi-Fi configuration profiles via USB and Apple Configurator 1.
The client decided to replace obsolete computers in hotel rooms with iPads. We ensured their configuration and quick return to the default state using Apple Configurator 1 and later Apple Configurator 2. To a limited extent, remote administration was also provided thanks to Profile Manager MDM.
Integrations usually began with a scenario where a manager or boss enthusiastic about the iPhone bought his first Mac. Obstacles in the form of Active Directory and Wi-Fi with WPA2 Enterprise authentication stood in the way of its subsequent use at work. Their IT staff refused to do anything about it so customer asked us how to do it.
Thanks to my know-how, we were able to help clients connect unmanaged Macs to an Active Directory domain and configure a connection to a corporate Wi-Fi or VPN.
Working in Qstore
Before I started working for corporate customers, I worked for over two years in Prague’s Apple Premium Reseller Qstore stores.
A more interesting part of the work included communication with (potential) customers. First find out what their needs are, and then suggest possible solutions. Ideally one that involved selling something. I also provided technical support in the store and sometimes even in customer’s home to set up a home network. From time to time we held a small training course where I taught customers to use one of Apple’s products (mostly software).
In addition to the perfect knowledge of Apple products I had before, working in the store improved my communication skills and strengthened patience with the user.