Understanding how schools and teachers view printing is an essential aspect for resellers to understand. Here are the facts you need to know.
Whether it is printing out information posters for the classroom, worksheets for the students to use, or those end-of-term reports, teachers spend a good proportion of their week by the printer.
In terms of IT focus, printers play one of the most essential functions in the education setting. High-frequency printing is needed, but this must be done within defined cost parameters.
For resellers, they must be furnished with an understanding of the print challenges and requirements of the education sector to boost their chances of securing business.
In the Kyocera’s report – ‘What Teachers Think’ – 501 school staff were asked their thoughts on printing and the results provided the types of insights vital for resellers looking to better understand their potential and current education end-users.
The report found that only 41% of teachers believe that processes within their schools are keeping up with technology-led change, while 50% state their schools are only somewhat keeping up with this change.
Meanwhile, 35% of respondents believe a better quality of printing would boost their school’s technology offering.
This demonstrates both the opportunity for resellers to provide further print solutions, but also the acceptance from school themselves that many of them are being left behind in terms of what technology can offer education.
While the reaction from many in the education sector might be that the requirement is there, but the money isn’t, it is important to note the cost-saving aspect of evolving a school’s print set-up.
As more than half (56%) of teachers believe that their school printed more than 3,000 sheets of paper in an average term, these figures suggest that a huge potential cost savings opportunity is being missed.
Despite almost four in ten (39%) teachers claiming that reducing costs and creating educational collateral are important technology considerations in their role, more than a third (35%) were unaware whether the cost of printing is accurately allocated in their schools.
The education sector is under constant pressure to scrutinise and reconsider their costs in line with current Government policy. Technology has had a notable impact on British schools, but there is still a lack of awareness about the cost-cutting benefits it brings.
Resellers should be encouraging schools to invest in smarter, more efficient print technologies and print management.
Many schools in the UK have moved to monthly rather than yearly budget and this has impacted their buying behaviour. Large up-front investments can prove more difficult for schools as a result, but this does not need to impact a reseller’s ability to support them.
Leasing is an increasingly popular option and through Ingram Micro, there are several flexible financial solutions options, including:
• Purchase lease/Rent back, for resellers wanting to pull capital out of the equity of assets
• Solution Financing, which provides bundled financial structures for more complex product and services requirements
• Managed Services, which includes support for the schools’ workspaces and cybersecurity services.
To learn more about Ingram Micro’s flexible financial solutions and further distribution support, please head here.
Getting the right technology
Vendors such as Kyocera, Canon and Xerox have a wide range of education-focused print offerings for resellers to provide end-users.
Kyocera focuses on the education sector to help reduce waste, increase efficiency, improve productivity and lower carbon footprints. “We’ve made considerable cost savings over the years with Kyocera,” Garod Barker, head of IT, College of North West London, comments about its relationship with the vendor.
The firm’s software development platform HyPAS (Hybrid Platform for Advanced Solutions), expands the core capabilities of printers to address workflow needs.
For the education sector, Teaching Assistant, a HyPAS app, creates, marks and analyses tests, providing detailed or summary information on individual and class performance. It transforms a Kyocera printer into an on-demand test and survey creating, marking and analysis hub. Designed to work with Excel and management information system SIMS for easy integration, Teaching Assistant will save valuable time so teachers have more time to spend on teaching and lesson plan development.
Security-wise, Kyocera’s BioStore biometric printing offering allows a simple and secure method of identification which uses an algorithmic system, where the fingerprint image is converted to a complex number string which removes the need to store any images, relieving any issues or concerns about data protection.
When it comes to primary and secondary education, Canon has its PIXMA TS8250, a compact inkjet printer, easy to connect to smart devices and an excellent choice for creative student printing needs. There is also the Canon PIXMA TS9550 – an A3 capable All-In-One printer or the i-SENSYS LBP710 Series, which allows multiple students to use the same printer.
Xerox takes a three-stage approach to increase efficiencies and productivity in an education setting: ‘assess and optimise’ and design a solution that can reduce costs by up to 30%; ‘secure and integrate’, ensuring that devices are connected in a secure manner; and ‘automate and simplify’, evolving beyond print by transforming documents to digital. Education printers from Xerox include the Phaser 3260, a black-and-white laser printer which prints up to 28 pages per minute and has automatic two-sided printing and built-in Wi-Fi. Xerox has also placed a great deal of focus on the role of colour in engaging students in their learning. Its Phaser 6020, where the 1200 x 2400 dpi enhanced image quality delivered by its Hi-Q LED print engine provides high-resolution colour printing with precise image alignment and fantastic detail.