RM Education: Ensuring internet safety in the classroom


For many school network managers and ICT co-ordinators, RM Education won't need any introduction. For over 40 years, the company has been creating innovative, award-winning products, solutions and services designed to meet the specific needs of education, working as a key partner for thousands of UK schools.

At Bett 2017, RM plans to showcase its full range of network solutions and cloud-based services, its school Management Information System and a compelling new security and online safety proposition, all reflecting its shift from a primarily hardware-focused company to the partner many schools across the UK trust for guidance and support in a fast-changing world.

"RM has been around for a long time, but up until about five years ago you might not have heard of us if you weren't a network manager," says Rebecca Wren, Marketing Brand Manager at RM.

"Our range of software and services has expanded significantly since then and we are now highly focussed on supporting and empowering not only Network Managers and technical staff but the wider Senior Leadership Team."

RM began selling computers in 1977, starting with the RML 380Z, and ceased production in 2013 to concentrate on the development of software and services. Yet while the company's products have changed, its focus hasn't.

"It's always been on education," says Wren. "Throughout the decades we've been operating, our sole focus has always been on supporting schools. Because of that, we know the education market inside out and understand the issues and challenges schools face, which puts us in a unique position to support them."

Today, RM provides schools with solutions in networking, cloud services, broadband connectivity and online safety, while still delivering laptops, desktops, tablets, and associated infrastructure from its partners into schools. On top of this, it provides the biggest online Schools Management Information System on the UK market RM Integris, as well as RM Unify; a single sign-on platform providing access to all the apps and services the school uses through one central console.

"We talk to schools about what their situation is and what their vision is, and run workshops where we'll go in and sit with the SLT, network manager and ICT co-ordinator to explore and identify what they really want to do," says Wren.

For RM, it can be a case of helping schools understand the options available, with all their pros and cons, or even showing them what more they can do with their existing infrastructure.

"We provide technology that makes a teacher's life easier. With budgets getting tighter and time getting shorter, the technology a school uses can really help them work more effectively, and we want to support that."

RM will make a Buzz at Bett

At this year's Bett, RM will be showcasing products and services across its range, covering everything from cloud services to RM Unify, RM Integris and more. As part of its focus on online safety, it will also be offering a free eight-week trial of a RM Buzz, a new device-specific internet-safety product where schools pay per device rather than for an overall licence.

RM Buzz is currently only available on Google devices, with plans to incorporate Windows devices in the near future. It will ultimately be device-specific, which will protect students wherever they go, giving them the freedom to work without limits.

Beyond Buzz, RM will also be looking to create and develop more working partnerships with schools.

"We know that budgets are getting smaller, and we want to help schools to use that money in the most efficient way they can. The vision and planning session is about finding out what schools want to achieve from their IT, and how they can get there."

Part of that is having frank discussions about cloud-based services and how these may or may not fit the school.

"We've got a lot of advice about moving to the cloud, and we're keen to talk about it at Bett. This is about helping customers think through their journey to the cloud and how they move there, if they decide it's the right step for their school."

As Bett veterans, the team at RM appreciate what an important show it is. "We've been going to Bett for 25 years and it's always been fantastic. It's busy, everyone's there and it's a chance to catch up with our customers and reach out to a wider audience. People want to leave Bett with lots of fresh ideas and we're confident we can help them do that."

Come and see RM at Bett on stand C190

To find out more about Buzz head over to the RM website.

Stuart Andrews

Stuart has been writing about technology for over 25 years, focusing on PC hardware, enterprise technology, education tech, cloud services and video games. Along the way he’s worked extensively with Windows, MacOS, Linux, Android and Chrome OS devices, and tested everything from laptops to laser printers, graphics cards to gaming headsets.

He’s then written about all this stuff – and more – for outlets, including PC Pro, IT Pro, Expert Reviews and The Sunday Times. He’s also written and edited books on Windows, video games and Scratch programming for younger coders. When he’s not fiddling with tech or playing games, you’ll find him working in the garden, walking, reading or watching films.

You can follow Stuart on Twitter at @SATAndrews