Optima outbids multinational for NT education win

Optima outbids multinational for NT education win

Australian PC vendor, Optima, has scored another win in the education sector, this time for the Northern Territory’s Department of Employment, Education and Training.

The company will fulfill an order for 2200 G583 notebooks for the department’s Laptops for Teachers Project, which aims to encourage education professionals to integrate the use of learning technologies into the classroom and administrative practices of schools.

Optima contracts manager, Derek Kerr, said the deal was a continuation of Optima’s strategy to dominate the education sector.

“Optima’s background is in education,” Kerr said. “We started out in NSW, moved into Queensland and Victoria and now, the Northern Territory is in line with that expansion.”

Currently, education accounted for 70 per cent of Optima’s government business, Kerr said. Government business inclusive of education, made up 65 per cent of Optima’s total business.

Optima had been on a NSW education contract since 1997, when it had first implemented its business model of leverage existing contacts and in-depth plumbing of customer needs.

“We met with the customer on several occasions and have modified our systems and software to meet their needs,” he said.

Based on this ability to customise, a local presence and knowledge, Optima outbid a short-listed multinational for the contract, Kerr said.

“Optima was the first Australian company to pilot a build-to-order system,” he claimed. “We actually built to order the notebooks and that was why we were able to customise them for this deal.”

The customisation of the G583 notebooks to run on the Northern Territory’s satellite network - developed to provide geographically isolated schools with access to educational resources - proved this, he said.

“We have also installed a security system to cut down on the $15 million worth of systems stolen annually in the NSW education market,” he said. “We also addressed warranty issues by inserting a glass panel into our education market LCD screens.”

Given the Northern Territory’s remote location, Optima had sought to overcome repair and warranty issues around the bid through a free return-to-base repair scheme and a replacement notebook in the advent of extended down-time policy.

The notebook roll-out was now underway, and should be completed by the end of August.

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