Specialist education IT supplier RM has issued a warning that results for the year ending September may fall below expectations as market conditions remain challenging on both sides of the pond. The market reacted badly to the interim management statement for the trading period from April Fools' Day to 21 July, sending the share …
Educational market suppliers are some of the worst people on the planet. Extremely high prices on everything with regional, state, and local government contracts forcing them into paying the insane prices. The quickest way to save big tax spend on education is to eliminate those contracts.
An example: an 'Interactive Sensory and Spatial Skills Development Kit' cost over $500 - it is an unprinted brown cardboard box of 48 UV sterilized PVC plumbing fittings with numbers painted on them that children with developmental difficulties can fit together into different configurations. Just like plumbers do when they are bored. Cost at home store about $6.00 but contracts prohibit teachers from getting them from the home store, they have to buy from the "educational supplier".
Software is the same, crappy applications that have questionable value but teachers are forced to buy for the same contractual reasons.
Crap I say. All crap. Burn 'em to the ground.
I have little sympathy
for the company that was instrumental in driving Acorn out of the educational sector.
Take a look at what they offer now. Apart from some innovative case options, they appear to be able to offer little that is any better than any other box shifter, and in many cases, a thin client visualised solution would be better. And having read some of the comments on the quality of the kit, it appears that they offer the cheapest components they can source at prices that are not budget.
Even their educational software offerings look like they've employed programmers who last worked in the 1980's.
I can't say this upsets me much
Couldn't happen to a nicer company.
Memories of RM, a BNC network of "dumb terminal" 386 Nimbuses connected to a Server that booted them up with a remote install of Windows 3.0 (this was way before cloud computing was a seed in a marketer's brain). Unfortunately took about 3 or 4 minutes to boot up.
Their Pentium 1 offerings were marginally better (they booted the OS up locally at least), but even so just PC clones.
With the economic meltdown, budget cuts to education, schools just can't afford shiny new computers.
Especially when last year/the year before's Windows XP/7 machines with Office 2003/2010 will give kids all the skills they need for most IT functions in the world of work (if they can find a job)
RM find themselves with their foot in the door of an empty room
I sense their market share owes much to them being the first PC some schools bought
Or rather some bod in the Local Education Authority *required* them to buy.
I'd love to hear a school sysadmin defend them.
But I don't think I have so far.
Mandatory Open Standards coming to a street near you
UK Government ICT Strategy (March 2011)
'....impose compulsory open standards, starting with interoperability and security'
'....avoid lengthy vendor lock-in, allowing the transfer of services or suppliers....'