Microsoft named ‘Principal Partner’ in 1-2-1 device initiative

Microsoft has been confirmed as the Principal Partner in a new education devices programme, aimed at closing the gap on the UK’s digital divide.  The initiative, Devices for Education, has been created by IT specialist, Consenna.

Simon Yates, Chief Operating Officer at Consenna, said: “Increased attention on the vital role of technology in teaching and learning over the past year has shone a light on the mismatch of devices that students use and the challenges that this creates for IT leads and teachers.  It has also highlighted that far too many students continue to have no access to a fit for purpose device at all.

 “We wanted to do something positive to make a difference and address this imbalance but knew that any workable solution not only needed to be simple, affordable and sustainable, but that it also had the backing of the IT community.  To have Microsoft as the initiative’s Principal Partner gives Devices for Education the energy and influence needed to make a real difference.”

 The mission behind the initiative is to help connect one million students with a fit-for-purpose device in the first 12 months, whether that’s via an outright ownership, leasing or parental contribution model.  Simon continues:

“Whilst other 1-2-1 and leasing programmes exist, there are several key differences with Devices for Education.  Not only is it equitable in ensuring that every student has access to a device of the same standard, but it is entirely transparent from a cost and device life-cycle management perspective.

 “We don’t believe that schools in England will have been presented with such a straight forward approach to 1-2-1 procurement before now.”

 In being named Principal Partner in the initiative, Microsoft has utilised its reach and influence to secure the support of some of the leading hardware partners and resellers in the market, with more anticipated to join the mission in the coming months.  The hardware partners announced  in the initiative are HP, Tactus/GeoBook and MS Surface and, importantly, to turn a this into a real solution Beeso IT, System Active, Total Computers, Academia, Stone, TME, XMA, Computacenter and BT have all signed up from the reseller community.

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