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The summer has traditionally been a key period for those selling into education, and there are signs that this year has returned to that pattern after a couple of years disrupted by the pandemic.
Not only did the coronavirus close schools, it also led to the suspension of exams, which had a negative impact across the industry. But the doors have reopened, and exams went back to normal this past academic year.
As a result, classrooms in schools and colleges were busy with MSPs and resellers over June to August, rather than pupils, as fresh IT was installed and more services were rolled out, according to reports from Zyxel.
The networking supplier has seen the education business going through its channel partners increase in the past three months by double figures year-on-year, with Zyxel continuing to encourage more sign-ups to its Education Partner Programme.
The programme gives MSPs access to sales and technical support, help with bids and extended licence options, as well as offers for education customers. The firm is also helping managed service players get to grips with its Nebula cloud management platform. The firm is reporting that sales through MSPs using the platform are up by 80% on 2021.
Some of the technology that has been in demand has included wireless access points, unified security gateways and switches that are compliant with the Everything ICT Framework.
“Summer is the optimum time for our MSP and reseller partners to communicate the value and benefits of the managed services and solutions they can offer to schools,” said Rachel Rothwell, senior regional director for the UK and Ireland at Zyxel. “We’re delighted to have supported so many MSP and reseller partners with their education sector efforts, and we’re excited to continue this push in the months to come.”
Looking to the channel
She added that educational customers were more open to cloud and managed services, and were looking to the channel to deliver.
“The cloud is now vital to every aspect of education, and fast, efficient connectivity and networking is essential,” said Rothwell. “Schools are ready to embrace the concept of remote monitoring of networks and security.”
The education market is not immune to the inflationary pressures and energy price hikes, and recent results from RM indicated that the market will be challenging in the short-term. However, overall, the educational specialist also struck a positive tone about the state of the sector.
The return of exams helped the firm, and there are signs that UK education budgets are increasing as investment continues in improving the ICT available to students.
Comments made by Neil Martin, chief executive of RM, accompanying the H1 interim results for the six months ended 31 May, indicated that there were reasons to be optimistic.
“RM is starting to build encouraging revenue momentum across the Group, which demonstrates the strength of our offer and market positioning,” he said. “Our long-term outlook remains positive, with the opportunity to capitalise on leading positions in resilient markets.”