Primarily, because they’re doing doing important things like systems design, so we want to make sure that we were contained enough, so that we can actually go out and ensure great start with the right kind of communications and the tools and the messaging and the support, so that when you’re going to get started, we support it in the best way.
At some point you’re exactly right, and this could flow out to become a much broader self-sustaining thing, but usually it’s not the best way to start when you want to ensure that the experience is really first class for students.
Q. But if I understood correctly, the experience in the Indian context is being provided through the faculty of the institution? Are they a key enabler in the whole equation, that the support is expected to come from them?
A. We have an office in India where we’ve got applications engineers, and we do a lot of work for educators so they can gain training from us. We also do events where we invest in the relationship, the communication, the information and the supporting elements. Thus there’s a real strong relationship in India with many of the institutions that we go to. And then yes, often times in those institutions there will be lab managers who will be educators that know things. We even have a program where there are LabVIEW student ambassadors, the students that we invest in and they learn about the technologies and can actually go and work with other students. This is all part of this first class experience to make sure that all of these things blend together.
I’ll give you another example. We talked about other smaller targets, but remember that on those targets you’re typically not doing things like fast Fourier transforms or Kalman filters. You might be doing some type of closed-loop control, but maybe not fuzzy logic and things like that. All of that stuff can run in here – all of the image acquisition libraries, image morphology, image dilation, the complicated digital signal processing, it all can be done in here. This is just a treasure trove of different functionality.
I’ll give you another one – MathScript real-time operating: we’re actually running and doing all the complex MathScript calculations real time on this. This is a whole platform. So our communications and working with universities, we have to make sure they understand the pieces, and then getting this out to students. Now students will typically attach to those programs, they can come in and buy it, often we’re finding that they’re doing that through the universities themselves.
Q. Just to get again a bit of the Indian context, what is the filtration process in India to figure out the person who’s ordering a myDAQ or myRIO is a student or not? Is there a validation process?
A. We try not to do that. The more you try to do that, the more people try to find ways to circumvent it, so goodwill is the best way. There are some spot checks you can do, like when you come in and say who you are and your university, we may ask what course you’re using it in, and we can go to universities and ask which class this is being used in. It’s one of those things where everybody understands that the things we do for students have a lower profit margin, so the student can gain an experience. That’s the right thing to do. We’re not at the profit level, because we want to help students and we hope that the people out there would respect that.
Q. Is there an interconnect between the academic program and Planet NI? Planet NI is more about the start-ups and a lot of students actually go into start-ups, right?
A. That’s exactly the answer. There’s this threshold between what the universities are doing and spitting people out, and that’s a question between this and how we go out and get the small and medium enterprises up and running, we’re very interested in it. Planet NI helps to take, give and make sure that the technology is available for an effort that was going to happen in part of the world where you could actually begin to spin professional knowledge and participation. And so yea, we look at the universities a lot, and when they start to come through to go to industry, and Planet NI sometimes as well get involved to make sure that this happen.