Resellers will have to work harder to convince schools to spend their money
whiteboards (IWBs) because a recent change in education budgets has left
teachers confused, according to analyst
The latest figures from DTC revealed that 18,000 IWBs were sold in the UK in the second quarter of 2006, down from the 22,000 sold in Q1 (CRN, 22 May).
Colin Messenger, senior consultant at DTC, said: “From 1 April, schools were stopped being told what they had to spend their budgets on, so teachers are slightly confused. They are not sure whether to spend it on repairs, furniture or IT.
“Teachers now have more choice over what to spend their budgets on. Resellers must therefore put forward a stronger proposition when trying to sell IWBs.”
Steve Dracup, managing director of vendor Promethean AV, said: “April was a horrendous month for everyone in the industry. It was dead. May and June were OK, but April clearly dragged the Q2 figures down.
“There is a lot of confusion in schools. While some will get on with spending their budgets, others are a lot slower. However, once clarity is given to schools regarding the new allocations of funds, I think we could see a stronger Q3 and Q4 as teachers start to finally spend their budgets.”
Julian Klein, managing director of Steljes Trade, the sole UK distributor of Smart Technologies’ IWBs, told CRN: “When the British Educational Communications and Technology Agency funding came to an end last August, we knew that IWB sales would return to the seasonal trends that the education market goes through. Q1 and Q3 are always the stronger period, while Q2 and Q4 are slower.
“Schools have more choices now. This means they are taking more time to spend their budgets. VARs will need to spend more time in helping schools reach their decisions.”
Smart Technologies maintained its lead as the top IWB vendor during Q2. It had a 57.5 per cent share of the market, while Promethean remained in second place with 25 per cent.
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