By Robert Phillips, Senior Architect
Binary Tree, by today’s standards, is a “virtual” company. Sure, we have a corporate headquarters in Newark, NJ, but not many employees consider it their “office”. Our brainpower is spread around the world and is definitely one reason we’re so successful. We can pull quality talent from every city in America (actually …across the globe) all the while working together as a tight-knit company. So, how do we do this and stay competitive? Well, it takes every available means of communication from mobile phones, audio conference lines, instant messaging, screen sharing applications, and employees that you can trust. It works for Binary Tree and it’s also very effective as far as keeping overhead at a minimum and doing our part to help the environment. Most importantly, however, it’s helped us to better understand how to train and communicate with our partners more efficiently while enabling and empowering them.
Early this past spring, I was asked to evaluate and improve Binary Tree’s Training and Enablement Program. My first thought was, “how do we mentor and train our own consultants?” I had a good idea as to why our training and enablement program wasn’t successful in the past, but I wanted to hear it first hand from our partners and employees. So, I conducted a few weeks of online interviews and received my validation. Our training, while very encompassing and superior, was not getting enough interest from the people it was created for – the Binary Tree Partner Community. “Why was that?”, I wondered. The problem, it seemed, is summarized in a few simple statements from our partners:
It was expensive to travel to locations for a two-week time period.
It wasn’t realistic to pull billable resources off projects for training, leading to lost revenue.
It was hard to plan for the training as most partners wait until a project comes to fruition prior to scheduling.
How do we fix these issues and still provide the best training available? The solution was to create a self-paced, virtual Partner Training and Enablement Program called CMT University. We now allow partners, employees, consultants, and even our customers to access to our CMT Product lines and resources in CMT University. These resources include guides, manuals, training labs, technical forums, and deliverable documents.
Around the same time that we created CMT University, we also evaluated and implemented a cloud based “Virtual Server” training environment called Skytap. While there are many useful areas for this type of technology, we felt it really would allow us the ability to offer hands-on laboratory workshops that aligns with CMT University. The world is forever changing and people will continue to get busier and be on the go more and more. Binary Tree’s CMT University and Skytap allows us to accommodate our partners’ busy schedules by providing them with online, "schedule and travel friendly" training resources.
As I write this blog entry, I’m sitting in a hotel in Paris after a day of onsite training at Microsoft France. For the last few days I’ve been providing onsite training here in Paris while I continue to support Binary Tree’s virtual trainees during the evening hours. “To each his own”, they say. Some people still want things the old way (onsite training), but the scales are tipping each and every day in the other direction (virtual training). I just walked past a LED TV on the walls of Microsoft that was showing a commercial of the future. A future where all of our daily technology needs will be delivered to a device the size of a credit card. Wow! Now my mind is ticking, how can we use this to train or make Binary Tree even more competitive? I can’t wait to find out.
For more information regarding CMT University and SkyTap, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1/19/2011 11:17:07 AM