Reaffirming the strong association between quality, reliability and cost efficiency that is synonymous with HP's portfolio of IT solutions, Tarsus Technologies and Karabo Data Solutions have proudly announced the successful conclusion of a R8.5m rollout of HP infrastructure for the Free State Department of Education.

The solution delivered by Tarsus and Karabo Data has furnished 28 computer laboratories across the Xhariep and Motheo district municipalities with 24 learner desktops, one teacher desktop, one server and one printer each.
Jason McMillan, HP business unit manager at Tarsus Technologies says that the key to this successful project was the close working relationship between Karabo Data and Tarsus on this project, thus enabling them to present the best solutions and deliver on the department's requirements.
"Karabo Data and Tarsus dedicated a great deal of time and effort to making pricing extremely compelling and reassuring the department of the brand's quality. We also worked closely together on the delivery front to ensure that deadlines were met and relevant skills were passed on from Tarsus to Karabo Data's engineers in the implementation phase," he says.
"This is the way a partnership is supposed to work," he adds.
Molahlehi Mahabuke, Accounts and Operations Manager at Karabo Data echoes these sentiments. "We have been dealing with Tarsus for many years and during that time have built up something far more valuable than just a simple supplier/customer relationship. HP is also a brand we place a lot of trust in  – but at the end of the day it's not only about choosing the right brand, but also about selecting a distributor that you have strong faith in."
According to Tebogo Lioma, Deputy Director General of the Free State Department of Education, the HP brand was chosen primarily because of its strong track record and the inherent value the department places on Karabo Data's recommendations.
"Karabo Data has been focused on the public sector space for some time now and we found their background to be extremely impressive and convincing. Our investigations into Karabo's background also reflected trouble-free dealings with all of our peers," Lioma explains.
"Additionally, when one looks at the company's structure, you immediately realise the weight the young people within Karabo bring in to the mainstream economy of the IT sector. With an average age of 33 years, it's clear that under the circumstances, these young individuals have done wonders for their company – and this same spirit is replicated across all of Karabo Data's dealings with customers," he says.
"Karabo Data showed us the difference that HP's quality, extended warranty periods and bundled software (adding to the user-friendliness needed for school children) would make on the costs over the long term. Their pitch was so compelling, we had no option but to trust them – and thus far, we are thrilled with the quality of work received from Karabo Data Solutions as well as the quality of the HP solutions delivered."
Lioma says that the ease-of-use and cost-savings has also made a difference to the department on many levels.
"The cost-savings obviously allow us to do more with a limited budget," he says. "The improved quality and user-friendliness on the other hand, helps students gain access to ICT knowledge sooner, making for a smoother transition to tertiary institutions where many of them would be using a computer for the first time.
"We as a department, believe that it is our responsibility to ensure that our learners are not only ready to embrace technology on arriving at Technikon and University level, but that those not lucky enough to receive tertiary education are ready and fit enough to enter the job market with some IT capability," Lioma adds.
Looking forward, although this deal was significant in value, Lioma confirms that his department is responsible for hundreds of other schools that need similar solutions.
"The department is aiming to provide every school in the Free State with a computer laboratory by the year 2012," Lioma says, "and it would be to our advantage if Karabo Data were able to continue assisting us in reaching that goal," he adds.