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22 | ROUNDTABLE: TECHNOLOGY BUDGETS | PRIMARY AND SECONDARY


"SUPPLIERS ARE FULLY AWARE OF THE BUDGET CONSTRAINTS FACING THEIR CUSTOMERS."


SM: Our experience is that nearly all of the education institutions we come into contact with see updating ICT equipment as a priority. The problems we encounter are budget restraints. This is difficult to overcome, however we have supported a number of schools to help with a rolling upgrade of new technology.


PC: In my personal opinion some schools are way ahead of others in this area, but overall there is a trend towards ICT becoming a priority. The most forward-thinking schools view ICT equipment as a cross curriculum resource and have reaped real benefits. If I look back to my education and the world I grew up


in, there wasn’t necessarily the need for my learning to be technology based. However, in this modern world, where the rate of


development is astounding, I think schools have a moral obligation to prepare pupils for the ‘future,’ whether it’s 3D printing, augmented reality or any other development, by creating a tech mindset, schools are equipping students for success.


Are businesses that work within the education sector able to offer a high-quality service while staying within budget?


GP: Suppliers are fully aware of the budget constraints facing their customers – particularly those operating in the public sector. As a business with a high volume of our customers


in the education sector we invest a lot of time in improving the level of service we provide to universities, schools and colleges in the UK. Our trade-in initiatives, buy-back schemes and low


TCO of products have all been introduced to help these ICT professionals achieve a high-quality service while staying within budget.


JR: The short answer is no. There is considerable variation in the standard of service in the technology industry, whether they are IT or AV suppliers and integrators. This is problematic as what universities need is consistency and cost-effectiveness. We have replaced older computers with iMacs as they


offer a dual boot of operating systems and the hardware has proven to be more reliable, offering us greater value in TCO over five years. In terms of audio visual suppliers, we standardise


on manufacturers that offer excellent service, with next-day swap out of faulty equipment and UK-based service departments. The quality of service provided by our audio visual integrator is developed from an honest and open working relationship that has been developed over time to ensure we get what we need as well as what we can afford.


PC: It’s not a question of can rather companies must! High-quality service and high-quality products allow businesses to eradicate costly errors and focus time and resources on service delivery rather than complaint resolution. ET


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