Thursday, October 4, 2007

NComputing Gets a Leg Up in Low-cost PC Space

Recent articles praised NComputing, a company specializing in multi-user PC solutions, for its deal to provide every k-12 Macedonian student with one-to-one computer access. Prior to this, NComputing’'s customers were mostly suburban, developed-world school districts and government offices. The company has sold over 500,000 seats in less than two years. The Macedonia deal demonstrated that developing-country ministries of education may be a receptive market. This is the second foray into challenging the computer industry for NComputing’'s CEO, Stephen Dukker, who founded and led eMachines,– often credited with driving down the price of personal computers (PCs) worldwide.

NComputing’'s success shows that perhaps the needs of a suburban school in Dallas are not that different than those of a Macedonian school district. Both customers were looking for a solution that could stretch their existing technology budgets to accommodate more students. Capitalizing on existing PCs in under-equipped computer labs, NComputing’'s technology turns one CPU into individual computer access for up to seven students. NComputing built upon existing technology and previously-tested solutions to address a fundamental need to increase one-to-one computer access in emerging economies. Like many emerging-market solutions, the beauty is in the simplicity. The education market agrees. In a recent roundtable discussion with Vital Wave Consulting, Dukker explained that NComputing’'s biggest limiting factor is not demand but rather a robust enough channel to distribute the technology.

Research by Vital Wave Consulting suggests that NComputing'’s approach of adapting current technology for emerging-market needs has merit. (Indeed, the company has had more success to date than other high-profile, low-cost PC initiatives.) Vital Wave Consulting favors this approach as one of the key strategies for success in emerging markets. With straightforward technology adaptations like NComputing'’s multi-user solution, corporations could penetrate developing-country markets without undue disruption to current industry and technology processes.

Also in the news:

1 comment:

Samir said...

This comment pertains to the article "Africa says call me back".

This practice is also prevalent in India, and in fact is very useful to signal events - for eg. I'm now leaving the office, or, for a driver - bring the car to the porch, etc. IN such cases, no one (neither receiver nor caller) pays for the call, and the message gets transmitted. Not much operators can do - this aspect is the mobile serving a pager function.

Grin and bear it is the message for operators!

Samir Kumar