Three Important Factors when Purchasing Education Hardware and Software
All education organisations need to upgrade their computer hardware and software at some point to benefit both teachers and pupils. With schools operating on tight budgets there can be a temptation to purchase inexpensive options to get the largest number of devices within a fixed budget. This is often done without the guidance of a managed IT services provider and can lead to many issues.
While in the short term the initial outlay is cost effective, in the long term you may find the choice to save money means your school has purchased the wrong equipment. For example, we have worked with organisations that have purchased laptops online that look similar to those which were quoted by NCI Technologies. However, when the laptops arrived, they were found to be ‘grey stock’ that is unable to be supported in the UK or had an incorrect version of Windows installed.
Using unsuitable technology can lead to increased downtime and additional expenditure caused by IT procurement issues needing to be rectified.
Choosing the right hardware and software for your school can be challenging without support as there are many options available. This is where an experienced IT Services company can take the responsibility for finding and installing the perfect solution that meets your needs. There are three important factors you should consider when choosing who to purchase your IT hardware and software from.
Even if you have a fixed budget it is always important to consider the quality of the software or hardware you are purchasing. The key considerations we take into account when procuring IT equipment are:
- Does it meet all of our customer’s requirements?
- Does it have all the features they will need?
- Is it made well?
- Does it have a good reputation for reliability?
If you are obtaining multiple estimates from various sources, it is always important to ensure you are comparing like for like quotes. You should ask yourself is Quote A offering the same specification hardware or software as Quote B? If it is a more expensive option has this specific manufacture been recommended for a quality reason or is it more suited to your needs? If in doubt don’t be afraid to ask questions so you are able to make a more informed decision.
We are all working to a specified budget, but cheap doesn’t always means cheerful. Often with a cheaper and lower quality product you will find that you will need to replace the item after a short period of time. Meaning any savings made on your initial outlay dramatically increases your total cost of ownership (TCO). Remember, if a price is too good to be true it normally means it is. If you have obtained two quotes that look similar and a third that is very cheap you need to ask why that is. Again, don’t be afraid to question your supplier. If they are genuine, they will always be happy to guide you through your purchasing journey.
If you are looking to purchase a number of devices, then make sure that you tell the supplier who is providing your quote. Many manufacturers are able to provide support for projects that are over a set limit. This limit is normally around £10,000.
The last, but most important consideration, is after sales service. Is your provider going to be easily available if you have a question or problem after you have made your purchase? Are you going to be charged extra to have your hardware or software installed? Again, all these factors can later increase your TCO, making the cheaper option not so appealing after all. Other purchasing factors you should consider are:
- What is the vendor’s return policy?
- Is a warranty included with the product and how long is it valid?
- Are updates provided and applied to your product at no extra cost to ensure continued security and performance?
Using a reputable IT service company means there will always be a friendly advisor available to answer questions and solve any issues should they arise. Meaning you can focus on what you do best and not wasting valuable time solving issues with unreliable tech.
Sometimes it’s better to get things right first time! As an experienced managed IT services provider for education NCI Technologies can take the stress and strain out of IT procurement. We evaluate a whole host of factors including quality, cost and service to help choose the perfect solution for your school.