Have you heard of Groupon? It is a web service that offers you deals on events, products, attractions and days out in your local city or in cities that you are visiting.
It makes its money because it relies on linking people together to ‘bulk buy’ a product or service.
Bryan Plumb and his team at Bee-IT have developed an ingenious idea to transfer the model for education (The Hive). They have linked up with a number of top UK education suppliers to provide products and service to schools at a highly discounted price (some as much as 40% off). The catch is that in order to get the discount you have to have a certain number of schools to ‘opt in’ to the deal.
If you think about it this makes a massive amount of sense. It is better for suppliers to secure bulk deals though a single portal as saves them money by not having to ring, visit or advertise to individual schools. These saving can then be transferred to the individual establishments and creates an efficiency saving for schools.
In the past bulk deals were often available though Local Authorities but as increasingly ICT budgets are devolved to schools (particularly for Academies and Free Schools in England) then unless schools are very-organized they often miss out on bulk purchasing.
Anyway, certainly worth a look and I look forward to watching this idea and service expand over time.