As we shine our spotlight on the Education sector this month we’ll be looking at the myriad opportunities it presents for retailers and resellers.
But what is the feeling among those who are already targeting the education sector?
We know it’s a growing segment, with figures from the British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA) indicating that 71 per cent of primary and 76 per cent of secondary schools are making use of tablets in the classroom, compared to 56 per cent of both school types last year.
One way to find out the views at the coalface is to analyse the results of the PCR Dealer Insights Survey 2015, in which we polled over 150 UK tech retailers and resellers about the markets they operate in.
The obvious top line stat that came out of the survey is that 35 per cent of you are already working within education in some capacity.
Of those retailers or resellers already working with educational institutions, 80 per cent provide both hardware and software, while 30 per cent are supplying various managed services.
Looking only at answers from ALL respondents who offer managed services, 33 per cent said they supply the Education sector.
It does appear, however, that education isn’t a straightforward market to break into for newcomers – 42 per cent of respondents already targeting education said it was ‘hard’ and 21 per cent ‘very hard’.
Conversely, just 20 per cent considered it an ‘easy’ task to make a mark from scratch, while no-one thought it was ‘very easy’. If it was, everyone would be doing it, right?
But fear not – we also asked respondents what their advice would be for any dealers looking to break into the education market. Here’s a selection of the most useful/terrifying/cliched:
Prepare to bid correctly
Get a foot in the door with cheaper items and build from there
Don’t [get involved with education] unless your extremely large or have a unique offering
Make good contact with the local education sector
Contact local schools directly
Contact the LEA (Local Education Authority)
It’s who you know that matters
Use a disti that is already operating within [the education] channel
Keep chipping away at it, very hard to get into and very easy to get out of it. Not easy to keep in with [education institutions]
Expect decisions to be made totally on cost
Tenacity and enthusiasm
If the above has whetted your appetite we’ll be posting a slew of content about the education sector to the PCR website during August, encompassing interviews with key players, analysis of emerging trends and opinion from top execs.