prime mover in the interactive whiteboard category, Smart Technologies claims more than 25 millions users of its Notebook software. The company's ISE presentation made it clear that the company is placing enhanced focus on the business world - not least in Europe.
Mention Smart Technologies to most ISE 2010 visitors, and the chances are they would have responded, "Oh yes - the educational whiteboard company." Historically, that's probably been true. Having pretty much invented the interactive white board category, almost 20 years ago, Smart has now shipped in excess of 1.3 million units and claims more than 25 million users of its Notebook software - with the huge majority in educational establishments.
At its ISE press conference, however, it became clear that Smart has set its sights on the business world - and that it is very serious about Europe. According to vice president and general manager for EMEA Patrick Lelorieux, Smart's European manufacturing facility - opened a year ago, and located in Hungary - has a capacity of 3,600 boards per week, and all European orders are now fulfilled locally.
Turning his attention to the opportunity for collaborative working in boardrooms, meeting rooms and conference rooms throughout EMEA, Lelorieux estimated that the total opportunity represented some $9.6 billion of sales. At ISE, Smart announced new solutions designed to address the opportunity - solutions that Lelorieux characterised as an 'Information Sharing Solution' and a 'Problem Solving Solution'. Designed to bring into one place the functionality typically associated with flip charts, traditional whiteboards, projector screens and videoconferencing, the new systems include Smart Board interactive whiteboards, Smart Board interactive whiteboard systems and collaboration software and Smart Bridgit 4.0 conferencing software.