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School Web Filter Comparison: Advantages and Disadvantages Based on Solution Methodology

For your convenience we’ve compiled a list of advantages and disadvantages for comparing two different approaches used by vendors for web school content filtering for schools: Best-of-Breed or Niche Vendor vs. All-in-One or Single Provider.

Best-of-Breed or Niche VendorAll-in-One or Single Provider
Advantages: Disadvantages:
  • Specialized Solutions—Solutions by niche vendors can be built based on the needs of a specific market. Industry-specific knowledge enables the vendor to be innovative and develop features that master the challenges of using the Internet in that niche.

    In education, applications, such as school content filtering and MDM, are designed to deliver a richer set of features than an all-in-one solution to overcome the specific challenges of using the Internet in schools.

  • Lack of Specialization— Although offering a complete suite of solutions is convenient, each may lack depth and the rich functionality needed to support a niche market.
  • For those all-in-ones designed specifically for education, the vendor is focusing on many applications simultaneously and may not have the resources to fully develop a specific application.

    In education, solutions may not include all of the features needed to maximize learning. Lack of focus and resources can impede innovations specific to schools.
  • Niche Vendors Partner—Niche vendors can partner to provide fully integrated solutions that unite full-featured applications specific to a market.

    In education, school content filtering and MDM niche vendors can integrate their applications to deliver a solution designed specifically for schools.
  • All-in-One Developers->May operate independently and miss out on joint opportunities.
  • Flexibility—Ability to quickly respond to the needs of a market by rolling-out new releases, without affecting other systems. Each solution is independent of the others, so upgrading is less evasive.
  • Decrease in Agility—Single vendors may offer solutions with less depth of functionality. Also, less attention may be given to each component. Therefore, the solution may not be as responsive to the needs of the market.
  • Independence—Not locked to a single vendor so it may be easier to change applications.
  • Dependence—Using a single vendor for a total solution may create tremendous upheaval if the relationship ends.
  • Better Performance—Customer experience may be better because of robust functionality built for a specific market.

    In education, this maximizes the potential of software delivering features which support Internet-enriched learning.
  • Reduced Performance—Greater potential for gaps in functionality.

    In education, learning may be limited if the solution frustrates IT and teachers.
  • Better Support & Service—Vendors that specialize on a function, such as filtering, are more knowledgeable and better at troubleshooting.
  • Dependency upon a single vendor for support across multiple applications can lead to frustration if it’s lacking.
   
Disadvantages: Advantages:
  • Higher Cost—Potential for greater total cost of ownership when maintaining separate solutions.

    In education, if the solution reduces demands on the IT staff, while also enabling educators to easily use the Internet for instruction, the improvements in outcomes may outweigh the potentially-added expense.
  • Lower Cost—Most likely a reduced total cost of ownership, but at the risk of also compromising performance and user effectiveness.
  • Complexity—Can add complexity to the application and additional burdens for integration. Niche solutions offer more depth in functionality. However, if the application is well-designed, it will still be easy to use. Integration can be simplified when niche vendors partner.

    In education, if niche vendors partner, the combined solution can be fully-integrated and supported by very knowledgeable PK-12 technologists.
  • Simple to Implement—Simplicity is a benefit because there is a single point of contact. This could also be a disadvantage since each application within the solution may not be easy to use
  • Multiple Vendors—This can also be an advantage if vendors partner to deliver fully integrated and supported applications.

    In education, school content filtering and MDM niche vendors can integrate their applications to deliver a solution designed specifically for schools.
  • Single Vendor—This can also be a disadvantage if the vendor isn’t responsive or even aware of the needs of education.

 

Learn More about BASCOM’s Web Content Filtering for Schools

Learn about the advantages of using BASCOM’s best-of-breed, web content filtering for schools by reviewing this web filter comparison. Fill out a contact form or call us today at 1.888.922.2726 to schedule your personal demo.

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