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.

history

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 www.tv4education.com 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.

www.tv4education.com 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: –

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  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….

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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!

Michael

Our amazing History!

Atom Studyguides, SmartLessons, Thoughts from the CEO

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Functional Solutions more than 25 years ago by the grace of God was given $100,000 by Ferntree Computers to take over their 85 school library customers of the Ocelot Library system as they were pulling out of this market and would be dumping these schools.

To put perspective behind this history; the average wage back then was $28,000/year,  all library software licenses were a minimum of $35,000 to purchase plus $6,000 annual support and there were 28 library products to choose from.

A gift of $100,000 went in the face of all commercial business decisions, especially from a corporate organization. This so inspired us that we decided we would honour this legacy and as we had “freely received, we would freely give”.

We decided to freely give away our software free of any purchase or license fees and only charge a nominal support fee of $2,000 for primary schools and $5,000 for secondary schools. Additionally, we also committed never ever to charge for upgrades.

This went against the grain of all commercial business practices, especially in the education sector.

What surprised us then and still continues to surprise us today is the ridicule and negative reporting from education departments and our competitors about our business practices in regards price.

Now in July 2017, I am pleased to report we have been vindicated against all the naysayers and our competitors (most of whom are no longer in business), we are still here. Additionally, our competitors no longer charge excessive obscene license and purchase cost.

The big benefit for education is funds are rightly being placed where they should be; in material resources and NOT services.

We believe we have single handily brought down the cost to market realistic terms.

Well, what about the future?

My next blog we will tell you our direction and how we believe we will also succeed in this new direction.

Why?

Our business ethos is “education is a right and NOT a privilege”. Anything we can do to make our ethos a reality for every student is our goal!

Michael Fernandez, CEO Functional Solutions International P/L