Whispercast rules the schools!
When I first wrote about Amazon’s Whispercast on October 17, 2012
“This is the kind of big scale, forward thinking concept that Amazon does well…”
Well, I’m not always right 😉 but according to this
many learning institutions have adopted this Enterprise management system for Kindle books…honestly, for under three years, I would deem this a massive success.
A couple of stats in the press release:
- 130 of the 250 largest US school districts are using Whispercast
- 2,400 higher education organizations use it…including 24 of the 30 largest
That is great market penetration! It’s entirely possible that smaller institutions may not be a good fit for this, so I’m impressed that so many of the large ones are using it.
They’ve also upgraded it to Whispercast 3.0. According to the press release, new features include:
- Tiered Administration and Group Management – Whispercast administrators now have more control to easily setup organizational hierarchies and permissions, enabling scalable, centralized or delegated control—as well as organize into structures that make the most sense, whether classes, grades, groups, or other.
- Digital Transition Services – Amazon will now offer Digital Transition Services tailored for K-12 and higher education organizations with named service representatives to assist with onboarding and implementations at-scale, based on best practices.
- Easier-to-Use Interface – The updated design includes a new step-by-step setup wizard, making it possible for educators to create groups, add and move users, procure digital content and distribute to their organization, without requiring technology training.
- New Purchasing Options – Whispercast is expanding the payment methods accepted to procure digital content with purchase orders and purchase cards, in addition to credit and gift cards.
Purchase orders are a big deal for this, and gift cards may create some interesting opportunities for student organizations and alumni to contribute.
While this is not a solution for families and other non-Enterprise users, it’s clearly working well for organizations.
I don’t know what kind of income generator it might be for Amazon, but being used by school districts is always a good they are notably not agile. Once you are in, it’s a good bet you’ll stay there, because it is hard for them to change something.
I’ve always thought that Apple survived its early days in part because it was widely adopted by universities (through active effort on Apple’s part).
At the time, local government institutions didn’t really do their own computing all that much: they would get the local university to do it.
So, the court system might have Apples to be compatible with the university.
That, in turn, meant that lawyers and such needed Apples to be compatible with the court system.
Apple obviously got way beyond all that, and became a beloved consumer brand.
In some ways, Amazon is not just the “Everything Store”…it’s the “Everything Strategy”. 😉 They find a good market and go after it.
That’s something Disney has famously done. They’ve found other attractions which are successful, and done their own version. Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon, for example, is a Disney waterpark…to compete with other waterparks near Disneyworld.
For some people, it wins because it is Disney.
For many people, something wins because it is Amazon.
Angie’s List works?
Amazon recently introduced
Would I rather book somebody through Amazon, using my regular Amazon payment options?
Do I want Amazon’s “Happiness Guarantee”?
You know it!
Amazon wants to keep me as a “happy customer” (I’ve said before, that’s their most important product). I feel like they are going to make very sure this works before they put it out there.
No, they don’t always do that with every Kindle/Fire feature…but for a service like this? I think it was carefully tested.
We’ll see if it succeeds like Whispercast has…but I love it when Amazon has big ideas, and I love it even more when they work. 😉
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* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. Shop ’til you help!
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.