The partnership is focused on the Chrome platform, particularly on utilizing the Chromebox to power digital signage displays, kiosks, video conferencing and beyond.
The Chromebox initiative is good news for colleges and universities, especially for those that already use Google Docs and Gmail. Rich Ventura, VP of product marketing and solutions operations at NEC, says because so many colleges are already using the Chrome platform, the Chromebox is an easy addition to the classroom.
“A lot of them are already in a Google environment,” says Ventura. “From a higher education perspective, if they are running Chrome for education, all they’re doing is adding a Chromebox. They’re not adding a lot of infrastructure behind it, just an additional Chromebox. Many are already managing Chromebooks in their environment. It’s just basically adding an additional managed device.
“If they are not running Chrome for Education, many are utilizing Google applications and can easily bring in the Chrome ecosystem,” he says.
Ventura also says the Chromebox initiative will provide colleges with multiple benefits, especially colleges that have small IT departments.
He says those benefits include:
- Low cost
- Ease of use
- Ease of management
- Easy deployment
Ventura says another huge benefit of the Chrombox is its security features. “One of the things that I like about the boxes is if I’ve configured one in my office and I have to give it to someone else, I can have it wiped and rebooted in under three minutes, and then install the software,” he says.
Ventura also says NEC tested out the Chromebox during the Digital Signage Expo, which was held at the Las Vegas Convention Center two weeks ago.
“The ease of it is pretty amazing,” he says. “We were running Chromeboxes in our booth at DSE, and we had partners throughout the show that were running Chromeboxes with our screens. It was a very easy setup. It’s almost true plug and play. We didn’t have to do any rebooting, we didn’t have to monkey-around with anything. It was off and running and we just turned them off at the end of the show.”