Ilona IT digitalises schools on a turnkey basis

5/28/2015
Responsibility for the IT strategy in schools is increasingly shifting from municipal IT departments to educational administration. Educational technology consultancy Ilona IT seeks to help schools navigate the constantly changing jungle of technology and mobile devices. The company's shift from product seller to solution provider has been accelerated by Tekes's Learning Solutions programme.

The idea for Ilona IT came about in 2009, when seasoned experts in educational sector marketing understood that the world of education was experiencing a revolution.

"The strong onset of mobile technology changed basic education. This led us to establish our business in 2010. Back then, our concept was centred around teaching equipment and software", says Christian Alopaeus, Managing Director of Ilona IT.

Schools need digitalisation plans

Educational technology consultancy Ilona IT has expanded from selling products to selling solutions. It sets out to meet the full range of IT needs within schools, from the acquisition of equipment and user training to consultancy and funding. The company's clients include Finnish educational institutes, from preschool education to university level.

"Our offering has naturally expanded over the years, from devices and software to services. Many schools and municipalities think that digitalisation equals a truckload of devices, but it goes beyond that. It is a question of a larger paradigm shift in the teaching culture, and schools need us to spar and support them through it. We help our clients to plan a sensible strategy to follow", Alopaeus explains.

"The debate is ongoing on whether or not increasing use of technology in teaching is a good thing. We think this no longer represents a choice. Schools need to keep up to date with the latest developments, since future pupils will need completely new skill sets. We need to consider what skills are indispensable for the future", he adds.

Tekes supported the firm's growth into a solution provider

Ilona IT participated in Tekes's Learning Solutions programme, developing its services by exploring technical issues from the viewpoint of independent schools.

"We asked ourselves what products and support a school would need in order to operate independently. Our starting point was to provide schools with everything they need on a turnkey basis. Finally, we arrived at a comprehensive understanding of the nature of education in the future. The project also involved basic strategic work that strengthened us as a consultancy", Alopaeus says in praise of the programme.

In addition to the Learning Solutions programme, Ilona IT benefited from the Systemic Learning Solutions value network project. Exchanging information with businesses and research institutes in the network encouraged Ilona IT to continue on its chosen path.

"In a way, the external support we received is more valuable than money. It built our self-confidence", Alopaeus adds.

The company is also planning to expand into foreign markets. Alopaeus thinks that forming partnerships with other players would be the best way of aiming beyond national borders.

"We are looking for a partner in going international. Alternatively, Ilona IT could participate in an educational export project", he says.

Further information

Managing Director Christian Alopaeus
christian (at) ilonait.fi
Tel. +358 (0)400 412 158


Text: SST Viestintä

Pia Mörk
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