REA Group

Employee choice & procurement model lifts productivity at REA Group

As Australia’s #1 address in property, REA Group is at the forefront of technological advances and understanding how it can drive growth. Its model focuses on flexibility and mobility. 

REA Group has proven that by providing its employees across Australia with their choice of device, they are happier and more productive. But the right IT procurement partner was essential to maintaining those gains.

REA Group’s trajectory began in 1995 from the idea: could the internet change how people find property? Today, this technology focused, publicly listed Australian success story is a global digital business spanning eight countries.

The Challenge

The preferred procurement partner needed to simplify the purchasing and support of REA Group’s Apple devices, including iPhones, and Apple accessories used by 1,300
staff across Australia.

The Solution

CompNow, in conjunction with the efficiencies of the Apple at Work enterprise environment, is an essential component of REA Group’s devices lifecycle. Stock of selected Apple models, warehoused for REA Group by CompNow, results in rapid deployment and break/fix services.

The Benefits
  • Lower cost, simplified procurement
  • Pain free break/fix experience for IT team and staff
  • Devices pre-enrolled via DEP/ABM for seamless integration into MDM
  • Customised portal for centralised tracking, quoting, invoicing, serial numbers
  • Dedicated on-site account management

With our Apple procurement in Compnow’s hands, it’s frictionless for us. The process of deploying or replacing equipment has become a painless experience for staff as there’s minimum disruption to their day.

Fabian Serruto Support Services Manager,
REA Group

The Challenge

Of REA Group’s 1,300 local staff, 800 are housed at its Melbourne headquarters, with the balance covering the remaining capital city offices. While REA Group has a large salesforce, the majority of its people are in IT developer and engineering roles.

REA Group is a cloud first, mobile first employer with a fleet of laptops, mobile phones and tablets. Each individual hotdesk – with display, chargers, keyboard and a mouse at each workstation – is located within ‘neighbourhoods’ of function-based teams.

At the end of the day devices are either stored in employee lockers or taken home. In addition to a small number of desktops, there is a 50/50 split of 600 Apple & 550 Windows personal devices in REA Group’s fleet. Other assets also include Mac Minis running REA Group’s Zoom rooms and iPads inside and outside each meeting room to provide seamless room control, ad-hoc bookings and room availability.

“We’re a highly mobile operation – by nature and technology preferences – largely driven by the staff not having dedicated desks. We give staff a choice of device because they’re happier and more productive with choice. I can’t emphasise how powerful that is for staff,” says Fabian Serruto, Support Services Manager at REA Group.

“While we wanted to give them the tools they were comfortable with, we also realised that from administrative and cost perspectives the number of options had to be rationalised. We identified specific role types that are better suited to a particular platform and style of device,” he says. As an example, in the Apple space, REA Group offers staff 13” or 15” models of MacBook Pro with Touch Bar – the larger screens and higher performing models are better suited to developers and designers who often perform CPU-intensive tasks.

REA Group’s internal IT team are highly proficient and self sufficient. “In the Apple space we act as a Genius Bar for staff. But we needed to free ourselves from procurement and break/fix servicing.

“One of the goals with CompNow was to create an amazing customer experience for REA Group staff. That meant working together to make our processes as painless as possible – there are already enough challenges in the workplace!” he says.

The Solution

CompNow’s expertise in procurement has built a comprehensive, nation-wide service offering. Key to the success of CompNow’s procurement solution for REA Group is the warehousing of buffer stock. This ensures high availability of selected Apple models as well as accessories such as cables, adapters and chargers. This strategy results in the immediate dispatch of devices – to anywhere in Australia – be they new orders or replacements for failed equipment. This pool is drawn down on and topped up as needed.

Backing this service is CompNow’s strong, direct relations with Apple, a client portal customised for REA Group, and dedicated on-site management.

REA Group has the advantage of employee device choice, and Apple at Work centralising its processes and keeping enterprise data safe. “If anything is lost or stolen, it’s locked to REA Group – that’s something Apple currently has over Windows. And between CompNow and Apple’s automation, we have light touch deployment,” Fabian says.

Each Apple device is enrolled by CompNow via the Apple Business Manager’s Device Enrolment Program (ABM/DEP) for quick deployment and seamless integration with REA Group’s WorkspaceOne Endpoint Management tool.

The CompNow client portal allows the REA Group team to place and store quotes, invoices and serial numbers for all purchased items, as well as book repair jobs and track open and closed tickets.

Scott Fraser, CompNow’s Account Manager is onsite at REA Group’s Melbourne headquarters for half a day per fortnight. This relationship building commitment ensures CompNow is up to date with REA Group’s plans and can continue to propose solutions, and secure great pricing and delivery.


The Benefits

“We’re a mobile first, cloud first organisation. Having uninterrupted access to our devices is critical to the business and our people. From a toolset point of view, whether it’s driven by employee preference or the current pandemic, our staff need to be able to switch from working in the office to home without any issues,” Fabian says.

“CompNow’s support is essential to our strategy. With them facilitating our Apple procurement, the process is simplified and clean. The effort on our side is minimal and we can get new hardware into the hands of our staff within a day.”

REA Group has measurably reduced its support costs by commissioning CompNow’s procurement services. The time saved is a large measure of the relationship’s success. REA Group is not dealing with multiple 3rd parties, fiddling with hardware swapping or calming frustrated staff.

“When a damaged laptop is brought to us, we’re able to log the issue via our CompNow portal, a courier arrives with a ready-to-go replacement and returns the problem device to CompNow for repair and return to our stock pool in their warehouse. And with iPhones, we issue a temporary device while CompNow completes the repair and returns the original within the week,” he says.

At REA Group’s Melbourne office, team members can use their staff card at a sophisticated vending machine for immediate access to peripherals such as laptop chargers and dongles. REA  Group is working with CompNow to move from a standing order system towards an automated restocking process for just in time, proactive delivery to that machine.

CompNow has been REA Group’s service provider for close to a decade, but REA Group goes to market on a regular basis to ensure it continues to secure the best service and pricing. “We look at different providers in terms of their value add, and it’s fair to say that CompNow has been a consistent winner for us. Their warehousing solution is a stand out and very few have their national coverage. CompNow’s relationship with Apple and its certifications means we have access to the best & fastest solutions,” Fabian says.

While CompNow is primarily REA Group’s Apple procurement partner, the Group often calls on CompNow’s wider expertise “to take on projects we don’t have capacity for, such as email migrations or key licence renewal negotiations to win us better pricing.

“REA Group is about imagining what’s possible and delivering exceptional experiences to both our customers and consumers every day. CompNow takes the same approach to its proactive service. They always find the right people and the right answers. They’re on the front foot, helping us stay on top,” Fabian says.

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