I have been working in the industry for 25 years and its weird how your career can come full circle. Back in the late 80’s and early 90’s I was speaking to SME’s about putting a TV with a green screen and a keyboard into the corner of their office to do the accounts and to replace the typewriter. This later progressed to putting colour screens around an office and joining them together with a bit of wire, so they could share files and printing.
Our experience in this area led schools to approach us regarding installing IBM compatible networks after they had struggled along with BBC B’s and Acorn Archimedes. Microsoft became the de-facto solution, and was adopted with great aplomb at a faster rate than was happening in the business market space. Our business in education grew really quickly in the late 90’s and early 2000’s leading us to make inroads into installing SmartBoard Interactive Whiteboards
, and the rest, as they say, is history.
became a really big part of our business, and by mid 2005 we were being approached by business people who had seen them in schools and wondered how they could help their business.
Today, my part in Rapid Technologies
is totally dedicated to providing SmartBoard
and collaborative meeting room solutions, and, like the education market back in the 90’s, is growing really fast. SME’s and corporations are really getting the Smart bug at the moment, and I can’t help tipping my cap to my old education clients. None of this would have happened if it wasn’t for schools pioneering this type of technology, something they continue to do to do this day.
A big part of my education regarding ICT in schools has come from attending BETT
every year. In its 28th year, BETT
(formerly the British Education Training and Technology Show) is an event held every January at Olympia in London, showcasing the very latest in ICT that is going into schools.
Basically, things you see in this show start showing up in businesses a couple of years later and why is that you ask? Well, the reason is simple, students are growing up with this technology, and because they have the time to be creative with it they are maximising this technology to its full potential, and as they progress from the education system into the world of work, they carry this knowledge with them. Long may this continue.
The event is great at helping to develop people who are fully engaged with the latest technology, and helping businesses in the 21st century. Don’t take my word for it, just ask the 29,000 people from 100 different countries who attend every year to carry this knowledge back to their respective states.
So I’ll find myself attending again on Wednesday, not however, to meet new prospective education customers, but to escort some enlightened business customers around this unique event, and show them what tomorrows workforce is doing today. If you’re in London this week it’s well worth a visit, I will be tweeting on @rapidtechtoday
#BETT as usual with my observations.