Unlike in business, determining the return on investment (ROI) for colleges and universities can be difficult. After all, what is the return on a classroom lecture conducted by a professor 2,000 miles away from the classroom?
There are obvious savings on travel expenses, but Rudy Vitti of Panasonic says that colleges and universities should always ask product suppliers to demonstrate a clear ROI figure; more often than not, administrators will be pleased with what they hear.
Vitti, the product manager for Panasonic’s digital display group, says his company’s higher-education clients increasingly want “lecture capturing” capabilities and the “ability to distribute lectures over the web” and “video conferencing for the classroom.”
In addition to cost savings, distance learning creates additional revenue streams for colleges and universities, so it’s easy to show return on investment in these technologies. Vitti says Panasonic encourages integrators to be prepared to show higher education clients ROI calculations.
In doing so, both the institutions and the product manufacturers like Panasonic benefit.
“We have gotten better at that” at Panasonic, he says. “Knowing that our products aren’t the least expensive in the market we’ve really had to learn how to show ROI.”