Microsoft has opted to use Viglen to provide the hardware for its Microsoft Education Resource Centres (Mercs), ignoring education sector giant RM.
The Merc programme was set up to meet the teacher training objectives of the government's National Grid for Learning (NGfL). Its aim is to help teachers establish basic Information Communication Technology (ICT) skills.
Viglen will provide hardware and support at a reduced price to the centres.
The aim is to establish Mercs in 100 Local Education Authorities (LEAs) by the end of the year.
Both Microsoft and Viglen are angling for part of the £200 million earmarked by the government for education development.
The deal caused Viglen's share price to soar 26 per cent to 41p. However, Bordan Tkachuk, chief executive of Viglen, added that although the manufacturer would profit from the move, the main benefit would be to establish Viglen as the brand of choice for many in the education sector.
Tkachuk revealed that sales from the education sector in March reached 10 per cent of Viglen's total sales. 'We are doing well in the sector since we refocused - already we are one of the government's four education Lars. We are going after RM and have gazumped it with the Merc programme. Our selection for Merc further enhances our credentials.'
Mark East, group education manager at Microsoft, said: 'Microsoft is partnering with only a limited number of education specialists to ensure that high-quality training of basic ICT skills is delivered effectively to teachers.
'Our decision to select Viglen was based on its understanding of the demands of the education market, as well as considerable experience in this sector.'
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