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One-millionth SMART Board rolls off production line


The one-millionth SMART Board interactive whiteboard has rolled off production line of SMART Technologies in Calgary, Canada.

The one-millionth SMART Board interactive whiteboard has rolled off production line of SMART Technologies in Calgary, Canada.
SMART is the first interactive whiteboard manufacturer to reach this significant milestone, and the company estimates that, since 2002, close to 3 000 SMART Board interactive whiteboards have been sold in South Africa.
"Our strength lies in our partner model," says Gary Bekker, CEO of Edge Interactive, SMART's Africa distributor. "We have been able attain our market leadership position in South Africa through setting up two structures – one for distribution and a reseller channel for supplying and supporting products."
Edge Interactive pioneered SMART Board interactive whiteboards in schools through its Edugrant investment programme. "This gave us our initial momentum," says Bekker. "Between 2007 and 2008, we have achieved growth of more than 250%. The essential elements are a good product, people, services and – of course – training."
Globally, over the past 17 years, SMART has sold approximately three times as many interactive whiteboards than its closest competitor. According to first-half data for 2008 for the interactive whiteboard product category, SMART has a 53,3% global category share, up from 45,5% in the first half of 2007. The information comes from Futuresource, an industry-leading global research company that has tracked interactive whiteboard sales for the past eight years.
SMART has continued to develop and refine its SMART Board interactive whiteboard by improving hardware design and upgrading software. The company has steadily expanded its Canadian-based operations to meet increasing global demand for its wide range of popular education, training and collaboration products. In October 2007, the company opened a new,
purpose-built facility to provide the flexibility required for accelerated market expansion. With greater production capacity, SMART predicts it will produce its two millionth SMART Board interactive whiteboard within the next couple of years.
"Since we first conceptualised the interactive whiteboard, we saw the potential for the product in numerous teaching, learning and collaboration environments," says David Martin, SMART's cofounder and executive chairman.
"It's rewarding to know that a growing number of customers have come to appreciate the product's benefits, and we are very proud to have reached this milestone."