Why VARs Love School


Imagine having a steady stream of income from a virtually recession-proof, federally funded vertical market with a never-ending supply of customers.

According to VARBusiness research, the education market is among the top 10 vertical markets that solution providers expect to present the greatest opportunity in the next three years,in fact, it's No. 6. According to Gartner Dataquest, the education market will garner 6 percent of the overall IT spending in America in 2002,a total of approximately $79 billion.

Yet, the education vertical may be one of the best-kept secrets in the IT industry. It's a market where you can make plenty of money if you're willing to learn the ins and outs of the business. It's a market where you can be paid handsomely for doing what amounts to a tremendously good deed in your own neighborhood. And it's a market with relatively little competition.

Yes, there are downsides. Project planning can take a long time,sometimes years,although implementation is typically fast once the decision to move forward has been made and the funding has been approved. If you're willing to wait for government money, you'll be popular among schools taking part in E-Rate and other government-funded initiatives, but it may take a while to get your hands on the cash. Advocates, however, say the system is improving. Finally, the paperwork involved in some aspects of education work can be as nightmarish as preparing your taxes.

Despite the cons, VARs who have made the commitment to get into education say the

opportunity is worth the hassle. Following are six opportunities that may make education work for you.

1. CIPA

2. E-Rate

3. Wireless

4. Distance Learning

5. Unified Messaging and Voice Over IP

6. Security