In an effort to boost channel sales in the education market, Corel has introduced a new K-12 site license for elementary and secondary schools throughout North America.

“We are responding to the need for a program that is simpler to use,” said Shawn LeBlanc, Corel’s senior manager of education.

“We spent a lot of time talking to customers and discovered that a complex licensing system is a barrier for schools. The K-12 site license eliminates those barriers.”

Schools can now purchase licenses for one, two or all five products in the company’s education portfolio, which includes Graphics Suite 12, Corel Painter IX, WordPerfect Office Student and Teacher Edition, Paint Shop Pro 9, and Paint Shop Pro Studio.

The suggested retail price for one application ranges from $1,000 (all prices U.S.) to $1,700. Two products will cost schools $2,500 while all five will cost $3,500.

According to, the new K-12 license will make Corel software more accessible to schools because they won’t be required to track seats. The one-time licensing fee allows every computer in a school to be equipped with Corel software.

Headquartered in Ottawa, Corel was acquired by Vector Capital in August 2003. Since the acquisition, Corel has made channel development one of its top priorities. Last year it recruited 3,000 new partners and sales through the VAR channel increased by 20 per cent.

While Corel is providing its resellers with a more attractive licensing system, it’s also thinking about future sales. It hopes it has a captive audience in students. If the company has its way, they will become attached to the product at a young age and become future consumers.

“We recognize the value of getting students in the K-12 zone using the software,” said Chad Hoke, who joined Corel as vice-president of channel sales in December. “We’re getting new customers in the fold. We also see it as adding value for the channel, so we are killing two birds with one stone.”

Scott Knight, manager of government sales, with London, Ont.-based SaltSpring Software, said the Graphics and Paint Shop components of the license will help resellers pitch the product to schools. Also, he said the existing popularity of WordPerfect within the education system could be used to the resellers’ advantage.

“As far as the site license goes, you have to work from the top down – starting at the board level. We’re going to back-in at the grassroots level through the schools and we’re going to be doing major presentations at the board level as well,” commented Knight.

“There’s enough people in the general population of the schools who will always have a soft spot in their heart for WordPerfect, regardless of how much Microsoft’s hold is,” he continued. “And now especially with (WordPerfect) 12 being completely seamless and compatible with (Microsoft) Word, there’s now a reason to re-embrace it.”

Knight said he expects sales of the K-12 site license to be strong in the Maritime provinces, where public sector usage of Corel software is already high.

“There’s no question that the East Coast – New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, P.E.I. – have resisted the urge to fall prey to Microsoft at this point. They’ve always been big proponents of Corel. Their adoption rate is really high.”

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