Network and Classroom Management Thread, RM - a company in crisis? in Technical; Morning all
Just thought I'd get a few thoughts on the above company. I know that they will stop selling ...
22nd November 2013, 10:22 AM #1
- Rep Power
RM - a company in crisis?
Just thought I'd get a few thoughts on the above company. I know that they will stop selling desktop hardware shortly and we have just found out our account manager has "left" (Mutual consent or pushed?).
I for one am very wary over which way the company is headed and am now actively considering the move to a plain Windows network - which again will present it's own challenges in untangling the "load balancing" mess that RM have created...
22nd November 2013, 10:58 AM #2
People still use RM?
Seriously though, running a vanilla network has been a no brainer for a while now. All the tools to run an educational setup with group policy work really well.
There is no need for 3rd party companies these days.
22nd November 2013, 11:23 AM #3
- Rep Power
I agree completely -having just taken over at my establishment in April this year the decision to upgrade to CC4 had already been taken and signed. In my mind this was a serious waste of money, but we will not be in a position to change until next summer now. The current course of action is looking at putting proper infrastructure in place - overriding the current setup of an admin and teaching domain, placing all shares on one area of our SAN as opposed to space being allocated per server (no idea why it was done this way - an excuse to sell more servers than needed?)
The difficulty here is changing the perceptions of the existing support staff and showing them there is life after RM
22nd November 2013, 11:32 AM #4
As we're already aware, education isn't a one size fits all solution and RM provide software to help a certain type of establishment. Mostly the types of establishments with no on site technical expertise or outsourced support for a minute amount of time. They appear to do that quite well, and I will stand up for the services they provide to that effect. In some cases it is cost effective, in some it is not, and truthfully not many people are in a position to say otherwise. In an ideal world there would be a "best practice" solution for all schools to follow where best practice is also best value. If that would involve someone like RM or not, who knows. I successfully look after 2 schools on vanilla networks and one on an RM. All are relatively maintenance free, although for different reasons. I think RM are possibly making the right moves to concentrate on the services side of the business as said as it is to see some of the hardware history go, but the first name in ICT education will still be RM for many years to come.
Will watch this space.
22nd November 2013, 11:36 AM #5
- Rep Power
Very good point synaeasthesia. I agree that their services could be the way for them to go, but I do feel for organisations that have no real world experience within their IT department. I have found RM a useful took and they can certainly provide a service - however it is not based around what would be best for the customer but more a "this solution is what we sell, therefore we will shoe horn it to fit your needs". That kind of approach is outdated and I would say is one of the biggest reasons why I think that they will be disappearing quickly from the market as more and more schools appoint IT Managers from outside of education
22nd November 2013, 11:46 AM #6
The issue with RM is that they often provided ICT services that helped fulfil the role now filled by co-ordinators and techs onsite. Once upon a time RM were there as the playthings of a Head or a part time ICT tech who didn't want go get their hands dirty. With BSF most schools now have people in house so the need for the services RM provide are simply dwindling. They can no longer charge a premium for their products or services as they are no longer the best out there and don't have the dependency they could once command.
22nd November 2013, 02:02 PM #7
On the other hand RM seems to be on a winner with it's Unify product.
Thanks to speckytecky from:
funkyfin2000 (4th December 2013)
22nd November 2013, 02:09 PM #8
I disagree somewhat. Having a CCx network doesn't immediately mean you can manage it in 5 minutes. It can still be a full time job to manage it just like a vanilla network and you still need a certain degree of knowledge. It just means in some cases time can be alleviated from doing certain tasks and used elsewhere instead.
Mostly the types of establishments with no on site technical expertise or outsourced support for a minute amount of time.
22nd November 2013, 02:12 PM #9
Especially when the RM stuff stops working... Or what you want to do isn't actually possible with the RM way of doing things.
Originally Posted by Edu-IT
22nd November 2013, 02:27 PM #10
Hence why you have someone on hand with a relevant SLA to resolve those issues for you, whether that's relating to an actual machine/network issue, user issue or training.
There's only so much you can do with some schools, you can of course change the way the school works but that's often more difficult than a network design & setup.
30th November 2013, 07:08 PM #11
I agree with that but I think RM used to aim at where schools didn't have ICT input into strategic decisions and they could send along a salesman to recommend a product ( Gp's too hard sir? I agree, here, have CC! ). They also spent a lot of time trying to persuade teachers that RM was ICT in schools ( Vacuum, hoover)
Originally Posted by Edu-IT
30th November 2013, 07:21 PM #12
I found out this week that our account manager had left, a couple of weeks ago! But nobody at RM had bothered to get in contact with us or let us know who our new account manager would be.
30th November 2013, 08:09 PM #13
I have to say I suspected this would lead to a bit of RM bashing (makes a change from Apple and Microsoft I guess) but as a school that uses RM I was concerned when I heard of all the changes that were happening. However having spoken to various people in the company - including the CEO on Friday I feel somewhat easier about the situation.
Their decision to exit the hardware market is not entirely surprising as the margins are very small and other companies have done the same. Software services is a growing and profitable market so it's also no surprise that they have chosen that route. It's still a shame though, as the RM One is still the most robust of all the all-in-one PCs I have used.
I do get the impression that there is a certain amount of tech snobbery here at times i.e if you use a product like CC4 and don't spend lots of time running powershell scripts or manually editing GPO's then you aren't a 'real' network manager or technician. Using CC4 forms a small part our day and there are many other tools that we use to compliment them. However what it does do it does very well IMHO particularly in a very large school like ours. It's not everyone's cup of tea and for some schools is probably overkill and a waste of money. If you like spending the time fiddling around with GPOs and have the time to do it, then knock yourself out!
As for more network managers coming into schools from industry - I'm not sure why as quite frankly you'll earn better money and get less grief staying where you are!
Finally I should say that I'm not a spokesperson for RM and they do get things wrong but they are no different from any other company in that respect
Thanks to truebluesteve from:
funkyfin2000 (4th December 2013)
30th November 2013, 09:25 PM #14
I think the vital point here has to be that RM have always targeted a certain market within education. Companies that decided from the outset their strategy would involve a particular focus will provide their best service when they hold true to that philosophy. We can also point to a history of RM trying to do too many other things and not always doing them very well. On that basis, if they now want to return to focusing on what they do well, I think that's a good strategic move for them. It could be fair to say that RM is to IT in education what Apple is to IT in general. Both companies target particular markets, both have proven successful and both are at their most innovative when they return to what they do well. All the best to them, I say.
Last edited by Ephelyon; 30th November 2013 at 09:26 PM.
30th November 2013, 10:33 PM #15
There are rumours of rm being taken over by systemax I.e misco as they are known in the uk
Not sure how true it is
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