Some higher education institutions complain, also, they are too often either treated as businesses, which isn’t in fact quite how they operate, or the same as schools.
Ten years ago, higher education was focused on administrative computing, then collaboration platforms. Now they’re really focusing on e-research infrastructure – and you don’t have a lot of partners that are targeting it, he said.
E-research tends to be about helping universities – which each tend to host small groups of specialists in different areas – access different pools of researchers. “It’s a hot topic at the moment,” Trump said. “I think it’s a medium to long-term opportunity.”
A recent Gartner Dataquest research note found multinationals targeting the global education market have often focused on developing specific programs in partnership with institutions worldwide that promote their technology in schools. Dell, HP, Lenovo and Apple have all played this hand well.
Local players aren’t excluded. Selling into education means a good understanding of local issues and the needs of schools and teachers on top of supplying product at the best possible price. Local, right-time support and ongoing training is essential – and for this reason the channel won’t easily be cut out of the field.
Change is also happening more rapidly as the price of laptops has come down enough for students to buy their own – meaning universities, for example, are gradually doing away with shared computer rooms, the research note found.
The channel may eventually even come up against schools themselves. Places like Singapore have started their own short-lists of PC vendors with models, specs and prices and vendors that offer credit for students to purchase PCs. Some schools subsidise PCs for students that buy them via credit from a third-party company, Dataquest noted.
“The education segment could also be targeted by companies that don’t traditionally play to the education market, such as media, telecommunications companies and ISVs,” the research note said.
“Companies such as ISPs and ASPs could be more involved by selling PCs bundled with support and services.”