An open letter to Smart Technologies
We the undersigned met recently at the NYSAIS Education and Information Technology Conference held this November 12th -14th 2008 at The Mohonk Mountain House. During a session entitled “Smartboards Do Not Work Very Well” we attempted to identify the common problems we all have with our Smartboards. It was clear from our conversation that most of us had made significant investments in Smartboard technology and wished to continue to integrate interactive whiteboards into our communities. However, the stability of your product continues to hinder adoption among our faculty. The major issue we were able to identify was the shortcomings of your Macintosh software and drivers as compared to the Windows version. It was unquestionably clear from our conversation that the Mac version of your product not only lacks in features compared to the Windows version, but the stability of the product is seriously deficient. Many of us in the education community have a large commitment to Macs, and your product crashes more and is less reliable on the Mac operating system. Some other cross-platform concerns that arose included the continually changing file formats between versions of the Notebook software. Indeed, for both platforms your initial releases of new software can be very unstable, feeling more like beta releases. There is also a great need for better overall tech support. As a presentation technology aimed at regular teachers your software needs to be rock solid, and it is not. We are writing you this letter to implore you to put more resources into the stability of your software and support and to ensure the Macintosh version is as stable, quick and full featured as your Windows offering. There are other vendors in this space, and we will be forced to look at another solution if Smart cannot address our concerns in a timely manner. Thank you, Jeni Berry Director of Technology Columbia Grammar and Prep School Adam Gerson Assistant Directory of Technology Columbia Grammar and Prep School Pat Hough Lower School Technology Coordinator Columbia Grammar and Prep School Joel Levin Technology Integrator Columbia Grammar and Prep School Matthew Lipstein Director of Technology Brooklyn Heights Montessori School Robin Newman Technology Coordinator Horace Mann School Mary Beth Vrazel Computer/Library Teacher The Caedmon School YongSoo Ha Director of Technology The Brearley School Colin Anton Samuel Director of Technology Convent of the Sacred Heart John Neiers Director of Technology The Dalton School Stacy Hunter Lower School Technology Coordinator Poly Prep CDS Fred Bartels Director of Information Technology Rye Country Day School Jay Trevorrow Director of Technology Ethical Culture Fieldston School George Orio Director of Technology Friends Seminary Akbar Ali Herndon Director of Technology Grace Church School Julien Laveyssieres Director of Technology French-American School of New York Ellen Baru Director of Technology The Cathedral School, NY, NY Anne Marie Rowley Director of Technology Windward School, White Plains, NY Bill MacKenty Instructional Designer Hunter College High School Hunter College Elementary School Jonathan Mamelok Director of Technology Chapin School, NY, NY Basil Kolani Director of Information Services The Dwight School Herschel Kaufman Director of Information Technology Ramaz School, NY NY Cordenia Paige Technology Integrator Brooklyn Friends School; Brooklyn, NY Tom Jordan Director of Technology Elmwood Franklin School, Buffalo, NY Pax IT & Technology Specialist The Churchill School, New York, NY Joseph Knowlton Director of Academic Technology Greenwich Academy, Greenwich, CT Yumi Nakanishi Technology Coordinator Greenwich Academy, Greenwich, CT Brandon Wolf Technology Coordinator Brooklyn Heights Montessori School Ahsan Karim Director of Technology The Buckley School John Hutzler Director of Technology Abraham Joshua Heschel School Jill Kaplan Director of Technology Village Community School, NY, NY Leon Silver Systems Administrator Village Community School, NY, NY Christopher Kavanaugh Technology Coordinator Packer Collegiate Institute, Brooklyn, NY
Thank you for taking the time to provide us with the opinions expressed in the open letter. We are sorry to hear that you have experienced problems with our software. We appreciate your feedback. This letter is to respond to your concerns as well as offer some potential solutions and additional support. SMART Technologies takes customer satisfaction very seriously. We have built our success on a strong foundation of quality product and excellent service and we want to ensure that our customers are completely satisfied with the products that SMART offers. To that end, I want to assure you that we hear you and we recognize that you are dissatisfied at this time. We are committed to improving your experience of SMART Technologies products now and in the future. In response to feedback received regarding our Notebook v.10 for the Macintosh operating system; we have been working on a service pack that is dedicated entirely to improving Notebook’s support of the Macintosh OS. The release date will be spring 2009 and we anticipate that this will solve any problems you are experiencing. We encourage you and your group to interact with us more closely to ensure we are addressing your concerns. We would like to invite you to participate in a conference where we have our representatives on hand to address any outstanding concerns. We value your business and any feedback obtained will help us to improve our future product releases. Another way to offer feedback is to participate in The Exchange, our online forum for customers http://exchange.smarttech.com/forums. What we are most interested in, however, is getting a face-to-face focus group together. We hope you feel the same. As an additional resource, Chris Klein is a Macintosh Specialist and Education Consultant here at SMART. Chris would also like to extend an invitation for any of you to contact him directly so he can answer any questions or address any your current concerns. You can contact Chris via email at *** or phone at *** Thank you for letting us know about your concerns about SMART Products; we will be in contact soon to provide more information regarding our upcoming conference. Sincerely, Sandra Coates VP, Services SMART Technologies
© 2011 Adam Gerson.