Bob Hill, North America & EMEA Channel Marketing Manager @ Ergotron
From what I heard at FETC in Florida, show attendance was up over last year. Ergotron education products were placed in the CDWG, Dell, GovConnection and SHI International partner booths, but the one product that was garnering the most attention? As you might guess, Ergotron’s Tablet Management Cart (TMC).
It is evident that tablets are just now hitting a critical mass and acceptance by IT directors within schools. These teams are now seriously considering large rollouts, or have just purchased fleets of tablets. In many cases, it is a brand new venture for them and there is some education required to learn how to logistically manage them.
Over and over again I heard, “We just bought 2,500 iPads…” Or, “We are looking at rolling out tablets to all of our students…”
These conversations were great and very invigorating, often encompassing the larger tablet ecosystem:
- Tablet (pros/cons of iPad vs. Android options)
- Tablet Management Carts
- Mobile device management software (which required category education for customers)
- VDI (VMware & Citrix)
At this point, schools already seem to know whether they are going the route of school-owned devices or bring your own device (BYOD) or a hybrid of both. BYOD makes for a nice buzzword, but is not the clear winner yet.
In our research we knew how the Tablet Management Cart fit with schools that own and manage their own USB-charging devices, but I also learned that our 16-tablet stand-alone modules have a really nice fit in BYOD environments.
The example I heard several times is that the module can be used as a charging station in a library or media lab setting in which a student could securely hand their personal USB-charged device to a librarian behind a counter who would then “coat check” it for the student.
Here are the Tablet Management Cart features most attendees were excited about, FYI:
- USB tablet/device charging cart
- Small and agile (multiple times: “Oh, it’s so cute.”)
- Charging technology (contrasted against timer-based)
- Mass syncing (only pertained to iPad audiences using iTunes)
We will be blogging more about tablet adoption in schools. Having a clean understanding of mobile device management software can help accelerate adoption/acceptance of mobile devices whether school-owned or BYOD. Is your school heading toward tablets? We’d love to hear more about your experience.