Fed IT wins $2m school deal

Fed IT wins $2m school deal

Education and government reseller, Fed IT, has scored a $2 million contract to supply 800 notebooks to Melbourne-based secondary school, Methodist Ladies College.

The deal is the third straight win for the reseller with the institution. Fed IT won the original tender from former supplier, Acer Australia, in 2002.

Company director, Steve Bowtell, said the school ran 2100 notebook machines, rotated over a three-year period. The latest tender rollout would see the school decked out with an entire fleet of Fujitsu-based machines, he said.

Although Fed IT had won the previous two annual contracts, Bowtell said the reseller had still faced stiff competition from other suppliers. These included IBM and Acer as well as other education resellers.

"Every year we front up to win the tender," he said.

"The education market is very tough: there are a lot of players. You still need to have the right machine each time."

Fed IT will supply the college with Fujitsu's Lifebook 6220 series notebooks. These will be fitted with additional USB ports, as well as multi-DVD players.

"The college is a leader in multimedia usage, and the notebooks are used to do a lot of presentation work," Bowtell said. "The machines are also in the sub-2kg class, which was part of the criteria."

As well as supplying the products, Fed IT has two full-time staff members located at the college to provide helpdesk and technical support.

Bowtell said it had chosen Westan as its wholesale supplier for the new contract, in preference to former distribution partner, Ingram Micro.

Westan's new storage and rollout facilities in Melbourne, as well as its strong presence in Victoria, were key factors in the decision, he said.

"Westan were able to offer us use of their facilities, vehicles and, over a period of time, took a keen interest in what we are doing," Bowtell said. "They have also been able to tailor their invoicing for us."

The distributor's recent deal with HP for a series of whitebox-style desktop machines was also a strong reason for partnering with them, he said.

"We see it [the HP whitebox deal] as a large opportunity for the education market," he said.

Originally focused on government tenders, Fed IT's business across the education sector now represents about one-third, or $15 million, of its total annual revenue. The majority stems from Victorian-based private institutions, Bowtell said.

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