Case Study:

Send Back the Old, Roll Out the New

SHI Helps Pharmaceutical Giant Save $225K in iPad Refresh

Customer Profile

A U.S. pharmaceutical company


The customer needed to pre-configure and deploy nearly 3,900 new iPads across its offices in the U.S., in an effort to replace aging technology for its field reps.


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SHI engaged its integration center, e-commerce, and lifecycle services teams to customize, configure and ship the iPads, while also providing an easy system to either buy back or return the old devices.


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  • The customer saved $225K in logistics and marketing costs
  • SHI simplified an otherwise complex project, providing ease of management and a thorough start-to-finish solution
  • SHI created a user-friendly portal for customer employees who opted to buy back their old devices

"Some assembly required." Three dreaded words that can ruin any weekend. Luckily, everything in life is not a box of Swedish furniture! End-users receiving a shipment from SHI's Integration Center know the unbridled joy of pushing the button on a device that arrives configured, connected and ready-to-use in the workplace!


A global pharmaceutical giant wanted to implement 2,675 new Apple iPads in a “plug and play” solution so their reps across the U.S. could begin using the new technology upon arrival - without the hassle of configuration, activation, setting up, etc. They also wanted to be sure the old technology was properly repurposed or returned.


To avoid what could have been a complex and lengthy experience due to the size and scope of the project, this pharmaceutical company turned to SHI's Apple experts to get started. With the help of our integration center, e-commerce, and lifecycle services teams, SHI guided this longtime customer through the process.

After selecting the new device technology, SHI customized each new iPad to meet company standards. Our Apple-certified technicians began by swapping out Apple sim cards for the preferred Verizon sim cards. Verizon would activate each new sim card after the iPad powered on by the receiving end-user.

SHI's e-commerce took the project to the next level, creating a portal on for employees looking to take advantage of the drug-maker's offer to let employees purchase their old devices. The portal captured the device's serial number and employee name, and facilitated the procurement logistics. SHI's integration center team provided customized documentation with buyback or disposal instructions in each box. Employees also received shipping labels and another box if they preferred to send their old device back.

SHI's lifecycle services team helped with the disposal of old devices – wiping them of sensitive data and shipping them back to the manufacturer.

As a final step, Apple utilized its Device Enrollment Program to automate the mobile device management enrollment of each device remotely without physically touching or prepping the hardware. The process was so simple that all the employees had to do was open the box, take the new iPad out and start using it.

Phase 1 of the project took just under three months to complete, and its deployment was so easy that 89% of the sales reps opted to buy back their old devices through the Employee Purchase Program – thus saving the pharmaceutical company $225K in logistics and marketing costs!

The deployment was indeed such a success that the company replicated the process for an additional 1,200+ devices shortly after.