31 August 2021 | Written by: Alexander Ziegler
Categorized: Global Training Providers
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IBM Training have teamed up with 7 Training Partners to provide and deliver training to our Clients and Business Partners across the world.
In a new Blog series, we will be getting to know each of these partners over the coming months.
The first in this series is Tech Data.
IBM’s largest Global Training Partner and twice winner of the IBM Training Excellence award, provides instructor led and self-paced training covering the entire IBM portfolio.
We asked representatives from each of our partners to introduce themselves, tell us more about their company and answer a few questions.
My name is Mark McCreath, and I am Vice President and General Manager of Education Services for Tech Data.
This year marks our 20th year delivering leading edge IT training to our corporate, government, and partner audience. We offer certified training from 35 vendors in addition to our robust suite of open-sourced and cloud-native training offerings.
Our primary focus is offering best-of-breed training offerings, vendor-certified where applicable, with a demonstrable track record of both quality and results. Our relentless pursuit of quality has been validated by the numerous awards given to us by our Vendor-partners.
Today, Tech Data offers over 9500 IT training courses, enabling our customers to enhance and validate skills and a lengthy list of awards, we can definitively say that nobody does it better than us!
Which industries, training areas and geos does your company focus on?
Our portfolio is diverse, from cloud to on-premise, soft skills to coding. We offer the industry’s largest portfolio of training that spans the entire need of an IT organization. From off-the-shelf offerings to bespoke learning engagements, software upgrades to enterprise transitions, our experience and relationships are unmatched in the industry.
We offer training in all major geographies globally, with physical training facilities in many of the world’s major centers. In 2020, we delivered training to students in over 100 countries!
How are you helping clients accelerate the deployment of their hybrid cloud and AI solutions?
We have found that many clients struggle to train their staff adequately when making a large digital transformation. They can, for instance, decide to move to the cloud, choose a cloud vendor, then take that vendor’s authorized training. That is a good thing, but they might be missing some pieces to the puzzle. If the client plans to use a hybrid cloud, then there are questions about which technology to use to bridge the on-prem to cloud gap. They might use Red Hat OpenShift, or Cloud Foundry, or possibly just Kubernetes. We work with the client’s technology leaders to produce the right mix of vendor and open-source training offerings to get their team ready for the transformation. Similarly for AI, often the prerequisite training in a language like Python is required before tackling advanced classes. We assess the candidate’s readiness and suggest a proper training path.
What makes you stand out?
The quality of education provided by Tech Data is unparalleled in the industry. Driving end-to-end customer success ensures that organizations achieve outcomes required to drive business results.
Tech Data’s portfolio can be delivered through any training modality, whether at customer sites, in one of our physical training classrooms, or through our industry leading iMVP virtual platform. In the past year, iMVP students have logged over 300,000 hours (Individual Multimedia Video Presence), reporting outstanding satisfaction with their training — giving iMVP an average rating of 4.79 out of 5. In addition, Tech Data has a full suite of digital offerings, with content curated by the leading technology companies globally, including IBM and Red Hat.
Specific to IBM, we maintain a dedicated IBM team with over 50 years of hands-on IBM training delivery and sales experience. As a result, Tech Data consistently performs as a top IBM training provider for quality scores, portfolio coverage and schedule availability. In addition, we are the leading issuer of IBM digital badges as a credential, as well as offering the largest Guaranteed to Run (GTR) Training schedule in North America. Most importantly, we take pride in having trained more IBM students globally than any other authorized Global Training Provider (GTP), and have done so annually for the past 4 years! As recognition for outstanding effort and performance, we were awarded IBM’s Global Training Provider Excellence Award Winner in 2019 and 2020 for IBM Training.
Tell us about a recent training success.
We were introduced into the Alliance team for a global systems integrator by a specific vendor to implement a program of authorized training. In speaking with various team members before, during, and after the successful instructor-led training deliveries, we uncovered that there were other gaps in their skills. We were able to provide not only IBM product training programs and cloud vendor training, but also the cloud-native open-source training in tools like Mirantis (Docker) and Kubernetes that they needed to make their cloud teams project ready. This has turned into a repeatable program that we deliver continuously and provide substantial qualitative feedback for management.
How do you see yourself working with IBM moving forward?
We remain focused on raising client awareness to the advantages, features and functionality of IBM products through enablement and training. Given changing market conditions, we are hard-wired to embrace new IBM technologies while also enabling IBM customers to maximize their investment of time and money with IBM solutions. We will continue to work closely with the IBM Brand teams and Education leadership to align our strategic approach in the market to maintain our standing as a leading IBM Partner and Global Training Provider (GTP).
What makes you smile?
I get enjoyment from reading the post-course feedback provided by our customers. We are unique in that, while serving business-to-business, we actually make a difference in the lives of the people we teach. Whether it prepares them to do their job better, helps them attain their next role, or serves as a platform for developing new technologies, our training has a significant impact on our customer’s lives, and that is truly rewarding!
What one thing have you learned in the last 18 months?
That rumors of Instructor-Led training’s demise have been greatly exaggerated! Recent events have unquestionably changed the way training is consumed, it did not lead to fewer customers choosing Instructor-Led training. In fact, we delivered more virtual Instructor-Led training in 2020 than any previous year! If anything, the last 18 months enhanced a need for a more social and engaging learning experience, and the power of today’s technology stack allowed us to attain an unparalleled level of quality and customer experience.
Thank you to Mark and Tech Data for sharing their insights and perspectives and we look forward to sharing more from our partners in the coming months.