With the UK’s schools increasingly embracing technology in all areas of learning, the need for reliable, hard-wearing and up-to-date hardware and software is paramount.
But with many schools constantly battling shrinking budgets and regulatory concerns, many need to ensure they are getting the most from their technology.
At this year’s BETT 2020 event in London, Dell was once again keen to show it can be a vital partner for schools and other educational institutions of all sizes, offering a range of products and services tailored to the education sector.
“We’re heavily invested in education – both from a higher education perspective and equally from a student’s perspective,” Brian Horsburgh, Dell’s UK Director for the Public Sector told TechRadar Pro at BETT 2020.
With over 30 years experience in the education sector, Dell can call not just on a huge amount of expertise, but also long-running partnerships with the likes of Microsoft, Google and Intel to ensure it gets the latest technology included in its offerings.
“We’re building products that are designed for schools, and we’re listening to the feedback from teachers that we’ve got,” Horsburgh says, highlighting products ranging from ruggedised laptops to 86-inch touchscreen monitors designed for classroom collaboration.
Dell is also fairly unique in the technology industry by being able to build the entire end-to-end infrastructure, with its family of associated businesses such as EMC and Secureworks meaning it can approach customers with the whole suite of services.
When examining how digital technology can enrich the learning experience, this means that Dell can not only offer its latest laptops, but also a suite of software services such as security tools, and the cloud infrastructure to host and support all this.
As Horsburgh says, “we’re talking about the whole journey”, noting that Dell also offering a “pay as you grow” PC-as-a-service model that will let schools scale up or down as they expand.
And despite the myriad of hurdles linked to working in what is often a challenging industry, Dell is optimistic when looking to the future of its education business.
“The next generation – of students and teachers – will ultimately probably have the same demands as everyone else,” Horsburgh says. “If the technology isn’t working for them, they won’t utilise it.”
“People are impatient, so if the technology isn’t up and running, they go back to the old ways of doing it,” he adds.
“We want to make sure that when they have the devices and the technology in their hands, regardless of what generation they’re in – they need to be able to use it with the applications…simply, it needs to be there for them.”