Business Challenge story
Shinkenzemi Plus Hybrid Style, which was recently launched by Benesse Corporation, is a new education service that combines textbook learning with the use of Apple iPad devices. Members who own an iPad can start learning with this new style immediately, and members who do not, would need to purchase a new device that will cost tens of thousands of yen. When Benesse Corporation was considering the launch of this new service, there were concerns that members might find this to be an obstacle. Therefore, Benesse Corporation decided to provide a plan in which iPads could be rented at a reasonable monthly fee.
Considering the number of people taking online courses at Benesse Corporation, hundreds of thousands of iPads would need to be secured for rental use. To do so, Benesse Corporation needed to work with a trustworthy partner who has proven is capable of handling large-scale financing needs. The company selected IBM Global Financing’s rental program because IBM proposed a unique and f lexible rental system in which new iPads can be rented out with no cancellation fees if customers terminate their contracts. This system allows IBM to rent out new iPads to Benesse Corporation, which then lends them to members for educational use. Members not only can try out the new service securely and with low initial costs, but they also can use it f lexibly with options such as returning the iPad or buying it after the rental period has expired.
The iPad rental option is contributing to the increase of registration of new members to the new education service. The results of monitoring key performance indicators monthly, such as login rates and access time, show that the new program is highly utilized. Benesse Corporation has also collaborated with major cram schools throughout Japan to start Class Benesse, a program combining Shinkenzemi and face-to-face tutoring at cram schools. Benesse Corporation anticipates that the enhancement of such initiatives will develop a growing trend for mobile devices to be used in various learning environments. Furthermore, the rental program will likely play an increasingly significant role in becoming the driving force that supports this strategy.