The cost of doing business!


I have been in business for more than 28 years and nothing surprises me anymore.

I was just blackmailed by a customer (the principal of a Christian school to be exact) to comply with his requirements or he would go to his association list of principals and essentially dirty our company and our product name!

A very easy choice for us. We cancelled his service immediately and refuse to have any further dealings with him, his staff or his school.

Will it hurt us commercially?

I really don’t know? Unfortunately, you cannot control what people say or do. Unfortunately, if he proceeds down his intended blackmail path, we will not know and neither will we be afforded the right of reply.

The take away I have from this unfortunate saga is I will sleep well tonight knowing my staff respect me; and that matters a lot!

You be the judge!


We believe in total openness and no agendas here at TV4Education & functional Solutions.

We believe if it cannot be put in writing and held accountable then don’t do it, don’t say it and if at all possible don’t even think it!

I am staggered at the increasing frequency prospects and sometimes clients ask “please don’t send it or communicate it to anyone else here, I am handling it” or “don’t communicate with anyone else, just me”.

Generally, in business, we like to keep it open and cc ALL decision makers and all interested parties to get everyone’s input on both sides.

Doing business for us is about partnerships where everyone is in the picture for the good of both organizations.

Without counsel, plans go awry,
But in the multitude of counselors they are established”.

A call to us for privacy sends up a red flag that there is another agenda going on here!

We have yet to be proved wrong!

Maybe we are just stuck in yesteryear and have not updated our business practices…. I don’t think so!

What about you?


My grandson (our first) is 18 months old and I just spent the weekend with him – it was not long enough!

If I had eternity with him, it would not be long enough. If you have not figured it out, I just love him and cannot figure out life without him.

To me, he’s just an amazing gift from God!

His arrival has caused me to totally rethink my whole value system.

I live to make myself accountable to always do “the right thing” to make the world better for the generations that come after me.

What about you?

What an opportunity!


Today I received 4 emails promising exclusive amazing opportunities to run a seminar for the education sector at some so-called big gig in NSW.

Yesterday I received 2 emails from the same mob inviting me to attend an amazing seminar in NSW by talented presenters.

Their email campaign for attendees and sponsors is relentless for at least six months of the year.

I did some mental maths of their entrance fees based on last years attendance plus sponsorship cost based on this years asking fees and I can’t help begging the questions: –

  1. Given the fees paid to presenters, was the information provided bought and therefore irrelevant because authoritative voices were excluded?
  2. Given the size of the sponsorship fees, were products and services promoted a true reflection of innovation or was it rather products and services of the financial elite.

What an opportunity, YES. But for who?

Is it really about education?

Keeping up with the Jones, Smiths, Johnsons and everyone else!


Why ?

Who was the nut that started this gig of competitive social behavior that belittles everyone and amazingly no one wins ( except just the suppliers )!

I am told its good to have something to strive for and strive to achieve.

The principal is great BUT who decides what and who the Jones are and why do we have to keep up with them anyway.

I have a friend who I will call my Jones. But was mortified to learn he will be losing his house and marriage because of debt. He was the picture of success and now so sad that internally he kept borrowing to keep up the façade.

Suppliers bait prospects with slogans like “everyone else is converting”,  “all the other schools have already installed” etc.

Generally, we never ever investigate these claims until after we commit only to find out it was misleading.

In any event, so what if everyone else ……

We are all created as individuals so let’s celebrate that.

The next time you hear “everyone else is ……”let us just take the time to stand still and say with genuine heartfelt honesty; “good on them” and be happy for them and save your money!

We define society, let not society define us.

Teacher tools, do we need them?


It would be great if there were 36 hours or more in a day to get done what needs to be done with all the demands placed on us with work, family, social etc.

Unfortunately, it’s never going to happen. Somethings got to give and usually, it is not just one thing but a bit of everything suffers.

If you are a teacher, let us at TV4Education get our team to do your research for you. Use “Ask Mike” to do your research and source world-class quality content for your teaching.

What we will guarantee is within 48 hours we will source world-class multimedia and lessons from the best of best educational content creators and providers to lessen your teaching workload.

That’s what we do and we love it!

Is it about research and how to do it?


Like it or not students in this digital and social media age are very proficient in doing their own research from food outlets, shopping, lifestyles, music and videos just to name a few.

We need to migrate our teaching from presenting facts, information and research to distinguishing truth from fiction and how to evaluate truth and misleading information.

It is stating the obvious.

No software or digital tool will fill this educational requirement contrary to claims made by software and product vendors peddling their own self-interest.

The only solution I believe is professional teachers dedicated to their calling encouraging students on embarking on their world of discovery!


Integrity at work and at home, does it really matter?


I have always taught my kids to let your “yes” be yes and your “no” be no.

Integrity is about doing, saying and standing up for the right thing.

It goes to the core value of what relationship and community are built on.

I get dismayed by claims made in the marketplace by companies about their services and products which is clearly made to deceive to obtain the sale at any cost.

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Does it really matter what is said, done and promised as long as the company continues to be viable and families of the employees have a roof over their head and food is on the table?

Integrity is an old fashion value that seems to be going out of style and demand.

A good example is the current Banking enquiry, The Enron oil leak, The Bitcoin marketplace.

When we lose integrity, we lose society and unfortunately it is not us but the generations that come after us that pay the price!

I believe it does matter and we all need to make a stand especially for the legacy we leave for those that come after us who have no say in the matter!

Reflections on how and why did TV4Education start!

Thoughts from the CEO

Here is a history lesson for all you content users. The history of TV4Education and how it all started.


About 7 years ago we had a library system called eLibrary. One of our biggest users put the question to us “why don’t we catalogue and stream “VEA content”?

Having never heard of streaming let alone “VEA Content” we decided to investigate on behalf of our user.

Our developers started investigating what needed to be done to stream multimedia content and I decided I would contact this company called “VEA” from country Victoria”.

Chasing VEA was a project in and of itself. We left numerous messages and letters putting forward our request and explaining how we would grow their user base by streaming their content from our library system (something that had never been done).

After persisting for 6 months, someone from VEA did answer my phone call. I remember the day and the phone call very well because of the response I got to my request.

I was told if no one responded to my calls and communications, I should be well aware that they were not interested in talking to me!

My shocked response was “my goodness, what a response, all you are doing is setting up a competitor”. Her response on the phone was “whatever, good luck” and she hung up!

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The rest is history and was born about 24 months later after lots of development and even more discussions with our end users on how they would like to see the product develop. is never standing still as we constantly keep talking to teachers, curriculum coordinators, and education professionals.

In a world where cost is escalating almost monthly, our cost to users are trending down as we continue to grow our subscriber base – and that’s in line with our business ethos that “education is a right and not a privilege”.



My friends keep asking what project I have been working on?

Thoughts from the CEO

Just finalized and released SmartSuite CLOUD project this year – and proud of my amazing staff

At Functional Solutions International Pty Ltd, our core belief is that “Education is a right and not a privilege”.

Everything we do is predicated on this belief and hence to make sure no educational institution is disadvantaged because of financial constraints and any technology constraints.

No other hosting provider provides a more innovative, robust, cost effective FIXED cost hosting solution for educational institutions – guaranteed!

We built SmartSuite from the ground up to be an educational platform that would give any school a set of world class educational tools that would require: –

  1. Zero local IT support.
  2. Run on any current browser.
  3. Would be device independent.
  4. Would totally integrated not modularize to have escalating cost for implementation.
  5. A FIX affordable cost for all educational institutions with no hidden convenient extras.
  6. Unlimited CLOUD usage, storage, and accessibility.
  7. No penalties, no exclusions, no exceptions.
  8. One simple annual subscription cost for EVERYTHING including hosting.
  9. Definitely no Ransomware behavior on exiting the service by holding data.
  10. Comprehensive list of modules growing every month.
  11. Sophisticated Library Management.
  12. Incredible growing educational multimedia content library comprising over 150,000 curriculum records from day one growing by a minimum of 150 records a week.
  13. A digital delivery system.
  14. Digital lesson creation module that can build lessons from any number of parts of any number of multimedia records and digital objects.
  15. A classroom management system to manage the delivery and teaching of digital lessons.
  16. Work and integrate with any other digital system.
  17. Audit and track all digital activity of all students and staff.

Our feature and function list keep growing every month as institutions come on board and request additional functionality which is provided at no extra cost.

SmartLibrary CLOUD is the most innovative cost-effective product to hit the education space, ever!

We believe we have achieved our goal to bring World Class Educational CLOUD solutions to any educational institution without requiring “big budget expenditure” and delivering a CLOUD solution that far out rivals anything in the current market on functions and features.

As we keep saying “Education is a right and not a privilege”.

I am so proud of my team of what we have achieved and continue to achieve for education!


Free offers – traps to get your money!

Thoughts from the CEO

Some things I don’t understand like, x months free offers.

My old cynic self-says: –

 trap the princess bride christopher guest its a trap count rugen GIF

  1. any company giving away 6 months or 50% of their product for free is not traveling financially securely.
  2. If I have to sign ANYTHING to take a free offer, then it’s not free and worse somehow, I will get tied up with this company simply by signing.
  3. Like all free web offers am I being enticed by a trap to get caught later – been there and done that; never again.
  4. If the product is so good, why do you have to trap users by free give aways?
  5. If it’s free, why not disclose the TOTAL cost so I am better informed to make a decision to take on what is free.
  6. The reality is anything that’s free should have no strings attached otherwise it’s not free, so why ask me to sign or agree to anything?

Will we ever consider offering anything for free? Not really as I would never be able to cross off my own 6 points above.

Nothing in this commercial world is free, it’s usually just a con or worse still, a trap!

I once put my Gmail account on the web for 1 month and said ANY free offers send it here….

 help pen pineapple apple pen desi hacks retire GIF

Stupid me, I thought I would be able to then sell all this free stuff and retire, sadly I am still here working, and charging a fair price for a fair days work.

Michael – CEO



Ramblings of the CEO

Thoughts from the CEO

Things I just don’t understand in the education space and probably never will!

  1. Why run an education system to prepare our youth for the workforce and on the other hand shut down Australian industry by using foreign products in the education process? It just does not make any sense! Image result for made in china label
  2. Why not just have a simple “We only buy Australian” policy.Image result for australian made
  3. Why whinge and whine about low wages, but use foreign products and services; sending Australian currency overseas and worse still diminish our tax collection base from which we build our education budgets! It’s madness.Image result for sending money overseas
  4. Why whine about shrinking education budgets at schools when schools are locking themselves into multi years contracts for products and services that are becoming cheaper almost every month? baby money cash make it rain little rascals GIF
  5. We teach students to “question everything” but when it comes to school purchases, it’s just the opposite; we believe all the marketing and professional presentations and question nothing? robert downey jr iron man question excellent question GIF
  6. What’s happened to common sense and openness? What’s wrong in asking all your suppliers to provide product comparison grids (so you can build your own). Or is it we are not after the best, we just want what we want because it’s familiar and learning something new is hard work!Image result for comparing a business

Are we doing the best for our school, our students, our community and our country or are we just occupying till retirement simply because no one else cares and it’s easy?

When I go to bed at night I always asked myself, did I make a difference in this world today and if there was a God, would He be happy with me?

I have three children and one grandson (I hope there will be plenty more), I want to make sure my legacy will be around for them and all the others on this earth long after I and my family turn to dust!