Breaking Tech Budget Barriers for Schools: Part 1

Sep 15, 2022


Think about back-to-school essentials for elementary, high school, or even university students. What comes to mind? Pencils? Expensive calculators and textbooks? Notebooks? What about laptops and tablets?  

More and more, technology is becoming an essential learning tool. Students often need laptops or tablets to complete assignments/class activities and get technology literacy skills (i.e. typing, sending emails, researching, and even coding). These skills are also important if there’s a need for remote learning, like we saw with the COVID-19 pandemic.  

However, schools often face tech budget barriers. If the school has funding, it’s often limited or has usage restrictions. Leasing providers (like DLL) work with IT manufacturers and resellers to create affordable payment options that help schools acquire IT for their students. 
This blog is part 1 of our “breaking tech budget barriers” series. We’re highlighting how tech leasing helps schools in a few our global regions/countries — this spotlight is on The Netherlands! 

Get your pen, paper (or tablet) ready — school's in session! 


Crash Course: How Schools Benefit from Tech Leasing

  • It helps them manage their budget. Rather than paying outright for the IT, the school only pays for a select period at an affordable payment.
  • It keeps them up-to-date with the latest technology. Leases typically follow the grade range (for example, “junior high” in some regions is grades 7-9). At the end of the lease, schools can work with their leasing partner/IT reseller for the next upgrade.
  • It increases the amount of technology they can get without breaking the bank. Schools often get an annual budget. Let’s say a school has a $100K annual tech budget.  In this example, the school’s $100K tech budget might not be enough to buy what they need. So, they can lease the tech and base the payments on the anticipated budget dollars they'll receive over the next three or four years. In essence, they can get three to four times the tech spend today by using future budget dollars to make their lease payments.

Featured Region: The Netherlands

Meet the Expert: Mo Oulad

A substantial portion of Mo's education customers are grades 8-12 public schools. Private schools aren't a common customer because there are more public schools in the Netherlands.

Pop quiz 

Question: Do schools in the Netherlands prefer “finance leases” or “operational leases”? A finance lease means owning the asset at the end of the term. An operational lease means paying for the asset as it’s used.

Answer: Operational (or Fair Market Value) leases are more commonly used by schools in The Netherlands. Read more below to learn why!    

What does leasing to schools in The Netherlands look like? 

Public schools in the Netherlands operate on a set budget. With leasing, they can get the most up-to-date IT for their students often without the high price tag.  

“They’re paying for the use of the technology rather than upfront cost,” explains Mo. “That means the sum of the payments throughout the lease term is typically less than the upfront cost.” 

Mo explained there’s a huge shift in The Netherlands to using rather than owning devices – this is in part because of the country’s focus on sustainability. He says a large percentage of his educational customers want operational leases rather than finance leases (where you pay to own the device).  

“Also, if their technology is on a financing structure, that means they could be stuck with outdated technology. In most cases, they don’t have the time or resources to resell it,” he says. “With an operational lease, schools can work with their leasing provider to upgrade their student’s technology often at a minimal cost.”  

What’s an example of a school-based tech leasing problem that you’ve solved?  

Mo shares an example where his team worked with a local school in The Netherlands. The school had two challenges: 

The school was manually collecting payments from parents for the students’ tablets: the school wanted an easier payment process for themselves and the parents.   

Students had different versions of the tablets: the school wanted all the students to have the same tablets, at an affordable price. Some students with older versions of the tablets felt left out. 

Here’s what Mo and his team did: 

They worked with the school's IT reseller to provide a lease for the latest tablets: “We came up with an affordable leasing solution that made sense for the parents and school,” he explains.  

They found a third-party provider to take payments from the parents: “This meant school representatives didn’t have to go door-to-do to receive the payments from the parents. The third-party provider collected the payments and then DLL invoiced the school. It was quick and easy for everyone.” 

This story was shared with other schools in The Netherlands.  

“This story is one of the main reasons why we got new school customers,” he said. “It also made me reflect on how we can be part of wider solutions. No one should feel left out or limited because of cost.” 

Is there anything IT resellers should consider when they're approaching schools? 

Mo explained it’s important for IT resellers to understand how leasing benefits them and schools: 

Leasing enhances IT resellers’ value proposition: “With leasing, they can offer schools the latest technology at prices that make sense for their students,” Mo explains. 

Leasing gives IT resellers a meaningful, consistent way to connect with schools: “I'd recommend IT resellers use the end-of-lease term as an opportunity to connect with their schools to understand their needs and with that, how an upgraded version of the IT can be part of that,” he says.  

What should IT resellers look for when it comes to a tech leasing partner for their educational customers? 

Mo summarized a few key points. Ideally, the tech leasing partner should:   

Score an “A+” when it comes to after-lease support.  This means helping the school correctly dispose of, and wipe data from the technology. Making sure the devices are properly wiped is critical in today’s  data-drives-everything world. Only once a device is clean can it then have a proper second-life.    
Be at the “top of their class” when it comes to the tech leasing process.  “It’s about making things simple for IT resellers and schools,” Mo explains. “Just as an example, if a reseller needs a leasing quote for a school, all they have to do is go to our DLL portal. They just sign in and get high quality, accurate quotes in minutes.”

Class Dismissed!

If you have questions, “raise your hand” by contacting our technology experts. We’re here to help!

Stay tuned for part two of our Breaking Tech Budget Barriers series.

Mo Oulad
Mo Oulad