Yesterday Ambuj Goyal, the new General Manager for Information Management came to visit the employees of the Toronto Lab. Although I met Ambuj in Orlando and have attended some of his webcasts, this was the first time I heard him speak to a group.
Most of the talk was in regards to Information as a Service and what it means to our customers and what it means to those of us working on DB2.
Here is an external site that links to radio broadcasts, brochures, and webcasts, and more resources if you would like to do some research:
The definition on this website is:
Ensuring that information is available on demand calls for a new information strategy. Information On Demand transforms captive data into openly available information as a new service layer throughout the enterprise.
When I think of "on demand", I think of two recent changes in the certification area that were significant:
1) We used to use a test delivery software that required an administrator to enter demographic data for the test candidate and to run a program that would make the chosen test available for that candidate. When we were giving tests at a conference, the program ran very slowly and we were sometimes required to ask the candidate to come back the next day to take their exam. Occasionally an error was made and the candidate would show up only to find that the wrong exam was made available. This caused us to make the change, re-run the program, and of course, make the test candidate wait! Painful.
Now we use a test delivery software that I call "Exams on Demand". We log into a secure internet server, the candidate enters their own demographic information (less chance of typos) and then the proctor types in a secret code to start the exam of choice. If the wrong exam is selected, no worries... the proctor just enters another code and the right exam appears. Using this system has allowed us to give more than 1000 exams to candidates at a conference in 4 days. With the previous software, we could maybe give 500 exams and there was much grief, as you can imagine.
2) Certification certificates used to be snail-mailed to candidates who passed all the required exams. If you lived in the United States, you could get your certificate within 2 weeks, assuming that the address that was entered into the system when you registered for the exam was entered correctly! For some people in other countries, China, India, and even Canada! some certificates were taking 8-12 weeks to arrive in the hands of the candidate! Who knows why.... but we changed our model to deliver electronic certificates. Now, within a week of passing the exam and meeting the requirements to earn a certificate, we send you an email telling you the website where you can download a pdf version of your certificate. Once you get it, you can print it locally. If you don't want to print it immediately, you can always go back to the website to re-access it, any time you want.
These are not the examples that Ambuj is making to executives that he meets, but for those of us involved in the certification testing area, these are real improvements in the ability to access information when needed.
If you've taken an exam, but haven't received your certificate yet, log into our new "Member Site" internet application for certification candidates. At the Member Site, you can update your own contact information, including email, postal address and company name, as well as:
* View your certifications and successful exams
* Check the fulfillment status of your certifications
* Request softcopy or hardcopy certificates
* Request merges of multiple testing IDs
* Download the IBM Certification marks (logos)
To register for the site, visit: https://www.ibm.com/certify/members
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