Reseller rivals of RM have said they see opportunity in its exit from the PC market, and have not ruled out snapping up some of the 300 staff who are set to be made redundant over the next 12 months.
Yesterday, the Oxfordshire-based firm announced it is to exit the PC market, cutting 300 UK-based jobs in the process.
RM said it did not want to keep investing in the low-margin, shrinking PC market, and that it would instead focus on software and services.
The PC market has had a troublesome few years lately, with the most recent IDC figures pointing to a 7.6 per cent global slump in shipments.
Rival UK system builder Stone was keen to chime in on RM's developments, stressing that its shipment of 140,000 PCs in its last financial year helped propel it to a £13.1m profit. Its chief executive Simon Harbridge (pictured) said its core hardware business is growing and that RM's exit is good news for his business.
"We are always ready to respond to changes in the market as quickly as we can, and this is obviously a big one – we're having a good look at it at the moment. It's certainly an opportunity for us.
"The suggestion [that] PCs are finished – there's a long way to go yet before that is truly the case. There is a change going on in the market about which kinds of devices people want to use... but there is a place for PCs."
RM announced that a consultation would begin immediately for those 300 staff affected by the redundancy news, and Harbridge said he had his eye on taking some on at Stone.
"You can never have enough good people so clearly if people come into the marketplace, we're always looking for good people - that is something we will consider," he said.
London-based education reseller Joskos is also on the lookout for new staff, and according to its managing director Nick Madhavji, the cuts at RM could be a good place to start.
"Instead of cutting heads, we are looking for them. It's a shame to hear about the loss of 300 jobs [but] Joskos are hiring and we are always on the lookout for great people," he said.
He added that while he sees opportunity in RM's exit from the PC market, it should act as a wake-up call for schools that services are the way forward.
"When you're manufacturing, a lot of the time your default response could be to do with what is in stock, not what the school wants," he said. "It should act as a wake-up call and a message to education establishments [that they] should be working with partners focused on services and solutions – not just on what they're producing. It's not about the tin, it's about the impact that solution has on the lives on learners."
He added that PCs still have a place in schools alongside a range of other technology, and that all offerings should be sold with schools' needs firmly in mind.
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