Do current budgets realistically allow schools to provide high-quality tech?
High quality doesn’t necessarily equal high cost and any equipment investment should consider the overall total cost of ownership, taking into account costs such as maintenance, consumables and any operational efficiencies the kit can bring. By investing in the right technology, schools should be able to achieve cost savings. For example, high speed print equipment can lead to schools being able to reduce the number of print devices they operate, which in turn reduces overheads and admin time.
‘Smart’ software can lead to enormous reductions in print costs. A number of UTAX multi-function print devices (MFDs) come with three-tier printing, which saves schools money on colour printing. The cost of colour print is generally based on 20% coverage; however, if you’re printing a document with a small amount of colour you’ll still be charged the same high price. The three tier system means that there are three billing options. Schools can print out with up to five per cent colour coverage, or up to 20%, or more than 20%, and the costs reflect that.
Do you think all schools now see investing in technology as a priority?
We’re certainly seeing a move towards technology becoming a priority investment. Manufacturers have recognised the importance of the education sector and school business managers are now better informed of the benefits technology can bring. Together, the importance of technology has been highlighted. The best suppliers have moved to a solutions driven approach, rather than simply selling equipment, which has helped schools to realise the full potential of good quality technology.
Are businesses working alongside schools able to offer top-quality service that stay within a school’s budget?
Most definitely. The best suppliers will work with schools to provide solutions that are cost-effective and efficient, forging trusted long-term relationships in the process. UTAX partners work with schools to rationalise hardware line-ups, ensure document workflows and manage print set-ups work within existing IT networks and maximise budgets by controlling the use of colour printing. This reduces duplicate printing and ensures pupils can only print during class time, saving energy, cost and precious space.
Partners will also work to ensure schools maximise the potential of their hardware. We all know that MFDs can be used to copy and print, but what else do schools want them to do? Efficiency goes hand-in-hand with value. By adopting a collaborative approach schools can stay within budget while reaping the benefits of top-quality service.
What three things do schools need to think about when looking for the most cost-effective, high-quality technology?
Find a trusted supplier who will find the right mix of hardware and software for the long-term, ensuring overall ICT strategies are looked after while rationalising and reducing hardware fleets if required. The best suppliers will help schools utilise as many features of the technology purchased, maximising return on investment, and have a track record of education sector success.
Does your supplier have a track record for integrating top-quality technology seamlessly and back it up with expert technical support and training? After all, technology is only fit for purpose if it’s installed and used correctly.
Document security is of the utmost importance so think about the security of data within the school environment. It’s worth noting that an MFD is essentially a PC. It has a hard drive, it has memory, and it’s processing data and that data can remain on the machine. You should therefore be looking for robust data security software to protect your devices from unauthorised and potentially harmful access.