School Computer Labs Made Inaccessible by COVID-19 Generate Increased Demand for Splashtop Remote Lab Access Software

Splashtop grows education-sector customer base by 700% over the summer

SAN JOSE, Calif., September 16, 2020—As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to restrict physical access to computer labs at universities, colleges, and K-12 schools, Splashtop sales figures indicate that more schools are turning to remote-access software as an alternative way to use computer lab resources. 

In the three months from June to August, Splashtop saw a 700% increase in the number of education sector customers—plus revenues more than tripling month-to-month during that period—growth largely fueled by academic institutions’ desire to enable remote access to computer labs hardware and software.

“Our team is doing demos with colleges and K-12 districts every day,” said Splashtop CEO Mark Lee. “Geographically, our sales in the education sector have trended from the Northeast United States and Canada, spreading more recently through the Midwest and West Coast regions as schools prepare for fall terms of remote or hybrid learning scenarios.”

Schools and colleges recently adopting Splashtop products and services, or adding more concurrent users, range from K-12 schools and community colleges to art schools and Ivy League universities in 24 states across the United States as well as Canada, Guatemala, El Salvador, Argentina, England, and Scotland.

“Many schools that experimented with our remote-access software in the early days of the pandemic are now expanding access to more students and instructors,” said Lee. “In one recent week alone, 150,000 users were added at schools across North America and Europe. For a growing number of schools, Splashtop has become an important lifeline for students and instructors who depend on computer lab software.”

Splashtop Sales Reflect Education Adaptation to Pandemic Realities

Increasingly, coursework at colleges, universities, and high schools—in disciplines ranging from engineering, architecture, and 3D design to music, biology, and fine arts—relies on computer lab hardware and software.

Specialized software applications in computer labs—such as Adobe Creative Suite, which includes Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Dreamweaver and After Effects; Autodesk AutoCAD, Revit, 3ds Max, Fusion 360 and Maya; Avid Media Composer and Pro Tools; Vectorworks, ArcGIS, Rhino, SketchUp and SolidWorks—often require high-end Mac workstations.

“Now, even if students can’t gain physical entry to on-campus computer labs, they can use Splashtop solutions to access these important resources from their bedrooms or living room couches, using laptops, tablets, or inexpensive Chromebooks,” said Lee.

Broad Adoption of Splashtop Software for Computer Labs 

Gartner, the world’s leading research and advisory company, wrote in a new report, “Enabling Remote Access to PC Labs in Higher Education,” Stuart Downes, Robert Yanckello, 27 August 2020, “Gartner has observed a five-fold increase in inquiry volumes between January and June 2020 from higher education organizations seeking advice on digital workplace infrastructure, primarily relating to remote PC lab access.” This observation tracks with what Splashtop has seen, too.

When the College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts (CFPCA) at Wayne State University in Detroit shut down its campus due to COVID-19, students lost access to specific, crucial software they needed for their coursework. Student-owned laptops were not powerful enough to run the software applications that they would normally use in computer labs.

“Students are able to remote in with Splashtop to the lab software from home—even using $200 Chromebooks—and everything works for them,” said Chris Gilbert, application technical analyst at Wayne State’s CFPCA. “Splashtop is a game-changer for us.”

In addition to four-year universities and colleges, Splashtop is also fielding calls from IT departments that support community colleges and K-12 schools, especially those with vocational training and CTE (career and technical education) classes built around specialized software programs running only in computer labs.

“Faculty are now orienting a lot of classes around Splashtop because there won’t be in-person classes in the fall,” said Gerald Casey, who works in the IT department for the CTE division at Laney College, based in Oakland, Calif. “Students wouldn’t be able to complete their certificates and degrees if it weren’t for Splashtop.”

“We’re prepared now whether students come in or not,” said Nicholas Adams, director of information technology for the Lenawee (Mich.) Intermediate School District, which offers more than 20 CTE programs for K-12 students. “Once we’re out of this pandemic scenario, students might need to stay home for other reasons. Splashtop will allow us to provide them with remote access. It also opens our labs for a potential 24-hour virtual lab scenario that wasn’t previously identified as a need. We can provide students with the opportunity to access computer labs any time and from anywhere.”

About Splashtop

Based in Silicon Valley, Splashtop Inc. delivers the best value and best-in-class remote access and remote support solutions for academic institutions, business professionals, MSPs, IT departments, and help desks. Splashtop is a popular alternative to VPN/RDP, VNC, RD Gateway, and other remote access software. More than 30 million users enjoy Splashtop products globally.