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The classrooms and lecture halls are empty and now is the time for some fresh IT equipment to be installed in educational institutions up and down the country.
Aiming to strike at the key moment HP has formed a customised-to-order partnership with Westcoast to drive even more business into the education sector.
Westcoast has already been offering customised PC design, imaging and building with a promise of pulling it all together in 48 hours.
HP has quoted an IDC figure of £35m an the potential opportunity for itself and its channel partners from the education sector. It expects resellers to benefit from the chance to deliver something that is different from other rival offerings that educational customers might be considering.
“Schools, Colleges and Universities have wide and varied computing needs," said Neil Sawyer, channel director, HP UKI. “The CTO initiative empowers these institutions and their users to request specific computing requirements at a speed and scale not previously possible, rather than limiting them to a ‘one-size fits all’ proposition.”
The immediate task for the distributor will be to build a network of resellers that can take advantage of the CTO offering. The scheme starts with PCs but there are plans to include laptops at some point in the future.
HP has also hinted that it might well consider extending the CTO approach to other vertical markets to try and help smaller customers get the same customisation that larger firms have been able to command for years.
Owen Hutchinson, HP value business manager at Westcoast, said that it was naturally pleased to have landed the right to provide CTO to the education market because it would benefit, "both educator and learner alike".
Education budgets have come under some pressure in the past few months with many schools braced for cuts under a funding formula that would have caused them to tighten belts. However last month the government indicated that it would be making an extra £1.3bn over the next couple of years.