Australian reseller Volante signalled its intentions to storm the education market last week by signing a three-year, $6 million systems contract to implement a whole-of-network Compaq solution for Melbourne Girls Grammar School.
The exclusive deal also represents a major boost to Compaq as it continues its foray into the hotly contested systems and network integration market.
According to John Mullins, Volante's accounts manager: "This partnership is about bringing a serious level of service to the education sector."
Mullins claimed that the accounts to be gained from private school customers are as substantial as medium corporate accounts and shouldn't be viewed as they have in the past "as somewhere to dump old technology".
He said that traditionally the education sector of the reseller industry has been handled by a number of smaller organisations, however he claimed this partnership with two of the industry's "biggies" signals a shift in the attitude of the Australian channel towards the education customer.
"We view this contract win as a new and structured focus on the private schools sector," Mullins claimed, adding that he could envisage Volante stepping into "a large gap created by the demise of a number of smaller resellers in the education market".
The decision to enter into the partnership with Volante and Compaq was driven by the Grammar School's information systems and network manager, David Young. Young said he opted for a Volante-supplied Compaq solution for two reasons - service and price.
He added that both Compaq and Volante already hold a "proven track record at the school so Volante seemed to be the obvious choice to install such a solution".
"During term time the students go at the network full tilt and so we can't afford a part of it going down for any length of time," Mullins declared.
"Often they treat the system in ways the technology wouldn't normally be handled in the industry. So it's important to me as a systems manager, to be able to ring up a single point of service and say, 'hey we've got a problem with this part of the network, how do we fix it?'
Volante has already installed two Compaq Proline 3000 file servers as part of the solution and has orders for 500 Armada 1574d systems notebooks.