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By | Paul Kunert 3rd December 2013 18:02

RM to schools: You can have third-party kit, just not from us

Signs commission-based hardware referral plan with reseller Misco

Education supplier RM has told customers they can buy discounted third-party hardware from Misco after finally shuttering its own reselling operation and closing the PC production order book.

A hardware referral agreement was always on the cards, as revealed by CEO David Brookes last month and Misco has beaten rivals to what was branded by some channel folk as a low-margin contract.

AIM-listed RM did not make a statement to the City, but revealed it had "entered into a strategic partnership with Misco to facilitate the provision of hardware".

It promised procurement heads in schools that they will be able to buy kit via Misco "with preferential rates" and the usual services and terms that a large reseller provides.

Sources told us that deal makes sense for RM because the single-digit margins it made from reselling diluted the wider margins from software and services.

And it will get a sales commission from Misco based on the hardware volumes it resells, so is "pure profit". That is providing customers choose to use the strategy partnership RM has struck.

RM added: "We will continue to offer infrastructure hardware solutions alongside products including Community Connect 4, RM Neon and network application software".

Infrastructure solutions include storage area networks, routers and WAPs for wireless managed networks.

"We will also be honouring existing valid quotations for hardware while continuing to meet our contractual obligations with respect to hardware fulfilment for Free Schools, Academies and those benefiting from a managed service with us," it stated.

RM closed the book to future orders at its PC production line at the Oxon HQ though engineers expect to be working into 2014, which will be factored into their redundancy period.

RM confirmed to us that "the factory will stay open to fulfil the current order book until summer 2014".

It refused to state the number of PC orders that are outstanding, the volume expectations of its deal with Misco or the commission it will make. ®

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