When’s best to refresh your team’s creative technology?

When’s best to refresh your team’s creative technology?

If you’ve had your current technology setup for a while now and it’s still doing a perfectly good job, upgrading probably isn’t even on your radar. And that’s fair enough – spending on new kit can be expensive, and moving over to fresh hardware can be a hassle if you don’t really need to. But it’s important to remember that as new software and standards are released, your tech will gradually begin to slow down. 

It’s easy to sit back, relax, and deal with something as big as a complete technology refresh only when you absolutely have to, and having the very latest hardware isn’t exactly essential. With that being said, why should you bother upgrading your kit, when exactly is the best time for a refresh, and how can you ensure you’re getting the best value for money?

Why?

If you want to stay ahead of the competition, having access to the latest hardware is obviously a major plus and should prevent you from falling behind. Powerful tech allows you to explore and experiment with new mediums – for example, only Creative Cloud users have access to Adobe’s incredible tools for things like VR, AR and 3D animation – and means your existing workflow and projects will benefit from increased efficiency and productivity no matter what your creative vocation is. Likewise, if you’ve started to notice your current setup wearing down and underperforming, it’s time to start plotting a refresh. Once your tech starts causing problems for your creative workflow, you’ll find it harder to hit deadlines and meet the requirements of stakeholders and clients.

When?

Answering the ‘when’ question is a bit trickier. A lot of it comes down to the amount of money you have available for an upgrade at any given time, what’s happening in your business (whether you’re in the middle of large projects, restructuring or hiring new staff, for example), and how critical a kit update is for your team. It almost goes without saying, but keeping an eye out for deals and sales could be ideal if you need new hardware but are limited in the budget department. So try and time your purchasing plans with upcoming sales and jump on bargains when you see them, and if you can purchase a large amount of gear in one go at a discounted rate, you could save yourself more than a few quid.

How?

When planning out your creative technology upgrade, consider searching out trade-in/buy back deals. Once you’re sure you’ve received a good offer for your existing tech, trade it all in for cash to put towards new hardware. It’s also worth staggering your upgrade process, starting with the oldest tech and working up – that way, it’ll be easier to manage and you won’t have to splash out on a large outlay.

In terms of manageability and affordability, you’ll find it easier if you partner up with a reliable supplier that can offer you expert guidance along the way, and advise you on the best choices for your creative needs and budget (like us!). It’s also well worth looking into Device as a Service (DaaS) models for your purchasing. DaaS provides businesses with a rolling agreement for the very latest hardware, and includes support, repairs, warranties and more for one price, per user, per month. Likewise, leasing arrangements are a great way of spreading the cost of your new kit, allowing for increased flexibility and simpler budgeting than a big, one-off payment. You can find out more about our leasing options here.

If you think you’re ready to upgrade your team’s setup, take a look at our Creative Kit Configurator – it’s the best way to ensure you get the perfect, cost-effective tech for your needs. Simply select the type of user you’re buying for, then customise different parts of the setup to suit your specific requirements.

For more information, get in touch with the team by calling 03332 400 888 or emailing sales@Jigsaw24.comFor all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter, or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

Your leasing options with Jigsaw24

Your leasing options with Jigsaw24

We work with leading third party finance providers to offer customers finance and leasing solutions for their purchases – but why should you lease from Jigsaw24?

There are lots of benefits to leasing, and spreading the cost of expensive purchases is just one of them. Here are a few other great reasons…

Flexibility. Leasing lets you adjust the capacity of your IT infrastructure at any time.

Easy to budget. Costs are more predictable and transparent – you can manage your cash flow more cost-effectively.

Stay up to date. Leasing keeps you up to date, significantly reducing the risk of your IT resources becoming obsolete.

Tax deductible. Lease payments count as an operating expense and are therefore fully tax-deductible.

No debt or equity. Choose from different types of leasing to take advantage of different accounting standards appropriate to your needs.

Your leasing options

Our third party providers offer different types of lease depending on your specific requirements. These include…

Master lease agreement. Provides one set of lease terms and conditions.

Operating lease. Off balance sheet funding, allowing you to rent equipment with lower monthly payments and avoid obsolescence.

Finance lease. On balance sheet funding, providing fixed terms for lease periods up to five years.

Sale and lease back. Offers funding solutions for equipment already purchased out of capital.

We can tailor-make a finance model running from 12-60 months, with repayments being made either monthly, quarterly, termly or annually.

For more information about finance and leasing options for your purchases, get in touch with the team by calling 03332 400 888 or emailing sales@Jigsaw24.comFor all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter, or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

Why buy an unlocked iPhone?

Why buy an unlocked iPhone?

An unlocked iPhone is a handy bit of kit to have. With a SIM-free iPhone, you’re not tied to one network, and you’re free to find you’re own monthly plan with all the minutes, texts and data you could want – but that’s not all.  

No matter what you’re using it for, there’s a whole load of reasons to buy your iPhone SIM-free. While it’s tempting to opt for a pay monthly deal with one of the popular networks, going SIM-free gives you freedom with your phone, which you won’t have if you’re tied down to a provider.

Saves money

Smart phones aren’t cheap, and dropping a hefty sum on a handset might not be all that appealing at first, but buying a separate SIM-only deal can save up to £300 over a standard 24 month network contract. Combine your unlocked phone with a SIM-only contract, and you’re looking at a significantly cheaper deal than you’d find on almost any pay-monthly contract.

Upgrade when you want

Ever seen a new phone you’d like, but despair at the prospect of waiting for your contract to expire? With a SIM-only deal, you’re free to upgrade to the latest and greatest whenever you want – just take your SIM out of your old phone, and stick it in the new one.

Be a customer, not a hostage

When you’re searching for a SIM-only deal, you can go to any network you want and find a deal that suits you best. If you’re being used and abused, you can switch mid-term and find a more loving, caring network to spend your days with. Plus, you’ll own your phone, and you won’t be tied into confusingly complex T&C’s.

Save time

If you’re buying for business, SIM-free is your best bet. When you’ve got staff coming and going, you don’t want to be wasting time getting handsets reallocated or unlocked. With SIM-free, you can just hand your staff an iPhone and away they go.

Avoid multi-year contract commitments

Your standard network contracts are often complex and expensive. Going SIM-free means you can avoid all the hassle; buy your phone, sort out a monthly deal and forget about it.

Comparisons and benchmarking

Pricing gets complicated when it comes to pay-monthly contracts. For all you bargain hunters out there, SIM-free deals give you the freedom to shop around. You know what you’re getting, cost is clear and you can benefit from truly competitive pricing without going back and forth between similarly priced contracts from leading networks.

Cashflow

While SIM-free iPhone’s often mean a sizeable one-off payment, this can be offset by competitive leasing options. That way, you can get your mitts on an unlocked iPhone, then pay for it in chunks. It should help with cashflow, and allow for larger bulk purchases if that’s what you’re after.

Higher residual values

Unlocked iPhone’s retain their value up to 25% after two years. That’s way higher than your standard locked iPhone that’s tied to a pesky network, and it’s perfect if you’re looking to sell it on once you’re bored of it.

If you’re looking to purchase a SIM-free iPhone, we’re your guys. We’ve got great prices, lots of stock and can provide all the services and solutions you could need.

For more information on SIM-free iPhone and everything else Apple, give us a call on 03332 400 888 or drop us an email at sales@Jigsaw24.com. Alternatively, ‘like’ us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @WeAreJigsaw24.

The Jigsaw24 guide to finance

The Jigsaw24 guide to finance

Once you’ve decided your school is heading down the iPad route, the next step is to find the perfect financial option for your scheme (one that’s going to help you get the most out of your budget, ideally). To get a better understanding of the range of options out there, we sat down with our finance partners Burnetts and CHG Meridian to ask the big questions concerning finance…

We’ve never heard of a contribution scheme. What are they and how do they work?

“A parental contribution scheme is a programme whereby the parents of pupils opt to pay towards devices their children are going to be using in school, whether that be in full or in part. For a lot of schools, parental contribution schemes are the only way to make a new technology investment happen. If you’ve decided to run a contribution scheme, the first question to ask is whether you have any budget to put towards the scheme or if you need to fund the whole scheme through contributions. Don’t worry, either way works.”

How does it benefit the school?

“It’s all about providing sustainable IT. We all know the advantages mobile device technology can bring to teaching and learning, especially in a 1:1 deployment, but they can be expensive for a school to cover the whole cost, so getting parents on board is key. If they can see the advantages iPad is having to their child’s progress, they will pay towards the technology needed.”

What does a monthly payment from a parent actually pay for?

“That monthly payment pays for: the iPad (along with any associated accessories, such as cases), warranty protection for the length of the lease, insurance against accidental damage, theft and misappropriation by an authorised user. It also covers parental contribution cancellation insurance to make sure the school isn’t out of pocket if a parent leaves the scheme for any reason. Also Direct Debit collection costs and all administration costs for managing changes of payment details, and all correspondence with parents if a payment is missed.”

How do we make sure we’re getting the most out of our budget?

“As the lease agreement is with your school rather than with individual parents, we don’t need to run any credit scoring or background checks. Instead, you can use public sector borrowing power to get lower finance rates, and students and parents pay you back a monthly fee based on that rate, rather than the higher one they’d be offered in the high street. You will need to pay the VAT upfront, but you can claim this back at the end of the scheme (to do this you need to prove the device is essential for learning, so you’ll need to offer it to all pupils within a year group or across your school to qualify).”

Do we have to organise all the admin side?

“Nope – Jigsaw24 have all the admin legwork covered, providing an exclusive digital portal, branded to fit in with the rest of your school website. Parents can log in to this using a secure username and password, then choose from a pre-selected list of devices and accessories. They then register their Direct Debit details so that Burnetts can administer their monthly payments on behalf of the school.”

How do we collect Direct Debits, and what happens if a payment bounces?

“When a Direct Debit collection fails, we know straight away. Burnetts will agree with you in advance how you would like this to be managed, then the team will contact parents on the school’s behalf and make alternative arrangements, all being discussed with you to make sure you keep control of your scheme. For example, you might want two collections to be made the following month, or might choose to spread the missing payment over the remaining period. If a parent stops paying, you can protect your school by taking out Burnetts’s Parental Contribution Cancellation Insurance.”

So who actually owns the devices?

“Good question. The leasing company technically owns the device, but the agreement is with the school directly. It is possible for school to pay a portion of the cost of devices (so things are cheaper for parents) and the monthly cost for parents can be adjusted to compensate for any extra investment from the school. The title to the devices can be transferred to parents by paying the residual value of the iPad as a one-off payment at the end of the scheme. Alternatively it could be built into the monthly contribution amount from the start.

“This can also be extended to staff. We’d advise setting up a separate login area for staff, showing a pre-agreed list of devices (which could extend to Mac notebooks and other additional devices) with options for monthly payments, but the mechanics of the system would be the same as the student purchase scheme. We can also offer salary sacrifice schemes for teaching staff.”

How do we get started?

“We can help you with everything from all the equipment, including iPad devices, WiFi, software and apps, to a compliant operating lease, theft and accidental damage insurance to make sure your devices are protected, as well as a system for collecting contributions from parents. If you’re looking to run one of these schemes, one of the Jigsaw24 education team can come to your school to have a chat about it with a representative of both CHG Meridian and Burnetts.”

Want to know more about options for financing your IT vision? Get in touch with the education team on 03332 409 217 or email learning@Jigsaw24.comFor all the latest news and reviews follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or ‘Like’ our Facebook page.

Student purchase scheme FAQs: Who do Jigsaw24 work with to provide this scheme?

Wondering if a student purchase scheme is for you? Here are some of the key questions colleges usually ask us before they get started. If you’d like more info, you can always get in touch with the team on 03332 409 333 or email learning@Jigsaw24.com

How do I organise the admin of a scheme like this?

Jigsaw24 work with CHG, who act as the primary lease provider, and Burnett & Associates, who provide the insurance and collect Direct Debit payments.

For more information, call 03332 409 333 or email learning@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news and FAQs, follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook


Student purchase scheme FAQs: How do I organise the admin of a scheme like this?

Wondering if a student purchase scheme is for you? Here are some of the key questions colleges usually ask us before they get started. If you’d like more info, you can always get in touch with the team on 03332 409 333 or email learning@Jigsaw24.com

How do I organise the admin of a scheme like this?

Jigsaw24 provide an exclusive digital portal, branded to fit in with the rest of your website. Parents and students can log into this using a secure username and password, then choose from a pre-selected list of devices and accessories. They then register their Direct Debit details so that the insurance company can administer their monthly payments.

For more information, call 03332 409 333 or email learning@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news and FAQs, follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook


Student purchase scheme FAQs: Is it possible for us to pay a portion of the cost of devices?

Wondering if a student purchase scheme is for you? Here are some of the key questions colleges usually ask us before they get started. If you’d like more info, you can always get in touch with the team on 03332 409 333 or email learning@Jigsaw24.com

Is it possible for us to pay a portion of the cost of devices, so things are cheaper for the students?

Yes, the institution can pay a portion of the device cost. The monthly cost for parents/students can be adjusted to compensate for any extra investment from the school or college.

For more information, call 03332 409 333 or email learning@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news and FAQs, follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook

 

Student purchase scheme FAQs: How can you pass VAT savings onto parents and students?

Wondering if a student purchase scheme is for you? Here are some of the key questions colleges usually ask us before they get started. If you’d like more info, you can always get in touch with the team on 03332 409 333 or email learning@Jigsaw24.com

How can I pass VAT savings onto parents and students?

Your school or college will need to pay the VAT upfront, but can claim this back at the end of the scheme.

In order to claim back the VAT on a scheme such as this, the device will need to be essential for learning, and therefore will need to be offered to all students within a year group or across campus to qualify.

For more information, call 03332 409 333 or email learning@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news and FAQs, follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook

Top production deals: 3 years’ finance on TriCaster lease hires

Top production deals: 3 years’ finance on TriCaster lease hires

We’re long-term fans of NewTek’s TriCaster: it’s a really scalable, versatile mixer with a simple workflow and one of the most powerful chromakey setups available thrown in for free! To celebrate its glory (and to help you get the best setup for your needs) we’ve gotten together with NewTek and JVC to put together some streaming starter kits with different specifications that include TriCaster units, JVC cameras, training and support – everything you need to kick start content creation. And not only that, but we’ve arranged for 3 years finance deal for anyone who wants to lease the kit rather than buy it outright (and who passes a credit check, obviously). Never say we do nothing for you…

First up: what’s in the kit? 

We’ve got four key kits for you to choose from: one with a TriCaster 40 and three JVC GY-HM70 cameras, one with a TriCaster 455 and three JVC GY-HM650 cameras, one with a TriCaster 855 and four JVC GY-HM750 cameras, and a final one with the almighty TriCaster 8000 and four JVC GY-HM790 cameras, in case you’re feeling especially ambitious.

All of these bundles come with free support courtesy of our in-house tech team and half a day’s training from our on-staff NewTek Certified Operator, so there’ll be nothing to stop you hitting the ground running.

Why would I want to lease rather than buy? 

While we reckon TriCaster units are excellent value for money, the fact remains that for a lot of users they represent a serious investment. With video production being quite a changeable industry and new standards and connections cropping up all the time, NewTek’s updates to TriCaster tend to be quite significant, and if you can’t afford to update your hardware regularly, there is the potential for you to get left behind. A lease hire scheme allows you to spread the cost of a unit over a longer period of time, and gives you far more flexibility over which hardware you use. If you need to use a new standard, you simply return your existing unit and hire a newer machine. If you’re working on a project that requires old school equipment, you just hire the previous version of TriCaster. Simple.

There are financial benefits, too – leasing equipment on a month-by-month basis can go down in your books as a (tax deductible) operating expense rather than a (non-deductible) capital expense. Plus, this may well work out cheaper for you in the long run.

Which is right for me?

I work in education, and need to create HD content on a budget. Go for the TriCaster 40 and JVC GY-HM70. The only downside here is that the TriCaster 40 is only component, not SDI, so you won’t get quite as high image quality, and will need to use an extra output to get audio. That said, we reckon that component will be plenty good enough for any education types looking to record and share lessons or lectures, and will look fine if what you really need is HD now, and cheap – it just means you have to plug in a couple of extra cables.

I want to create content for my own digital signage, or I’m in education but I still need SDI. If you want the superior image quality of SDI but don’t want to break the bank, go for the TriCaster 455 and JVC GY-HM650. Allowing you to work with up to four cameras in ready-to-edit formats, the 455 offers increased functionality without complicating the TriCaster workflow. The GY-HM650’s wireless capabilities make it perfect for anyone who needs to stream footage back to a central facility (be that a studio or a classroom) while they’re still in the field.

The 855, on the other hand, is a durable rack mount system that we’d recommend for any sports or ENG team. It provides the highest quality, 32-bit floating point with 4:4:4:4 video processing, while the lightweight GY-HM750 will let you shoot SD or HD footage and comes in a form factor that’s perfect for events work, or anywhere you need to move quickly to cover the latest action.

I’m an OB and live streaming pro, or a house of worship. The TriCaster 8000 is for you. It has the widest variety of connections and inputs, and its built-in social media sharing options mean it’s the easiest way to share your content instantly. You’ll also benefit from having the versatile GY-HM790E, which can shoot SD or Full HD, and is equally at home as a standalone camera if you’re shooting in the field or as part of a studio setup if you have your own facility. (If you’re working on greenscreen, it’s also worth bearing in mind that the TriCaster 8000 gives you the most options possible when it comes to creating virtual backdrops, allowing you to create custom virtual studios to drop in behind your presenter, so you can ensure the entire production is on brand.

Want to know more about your TriCaster options? Give our team a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest updates, follow @Jigsaw24Video on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook