First time sponsor Interskill talks about smarter mainframe training online and why they wanted to be at Impact 2010.
Shaku Selvakumar 060001XT47 firstname.lastname@example.org | | Emneord:  business_partner mainframe ibmimpact ibm training technology zzone
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Offering the mainframe computing industry’s up-to-date, comprehensive, e-learning curriculum, Interskill’s low-cost, versatile, mainframe training has formed the backbone of mainframe education initiatives for over 1,000 corporations and government bodies worldwide.
Interskill will be at the zZone at Impact 2010 and we caught up with Darren Surch, COO, Interskill to chat with him.
IBM: Hi Darren! Interskill is known for its leadership in serving the mainframe community. Why do customers rely on Interskill solutions?
Darren: You may be surprised to know that Interskill’s mainframe e-learning is the only up-to-date, broad spectrum, e-learning curriculum available to the mainframe industry. Over the last 15 years we have worked with more than 1,000 corporations and government bodies worldwide to provide low-cost, high quality, incredibly versatile mainframe training solutions to their personnel. It really has become a mainframe education standard. We currently have over 150 web delivered courses for mainframe operators and programmers totaling over 800 hours of course content. These courses span IBM’s z Operating System and mainframe programming languages, as well as Tivoli, CA and BMC products. It’s a very comprehensive training solution!
In this tough economy, mainframe managers are finding it almost impossible to provide their personnel with all the training they need. Despite dwindling budgets, Managers must not feel trapped into just cutting training! By prudently using the classroom method only when necessary and “bulking up” annual training programs with some of the versatile, new technology training methods now available, the cost savings can be astounding! The bottom line is that we offer significantly more training for substantially less money!
IBM: I understand IBM and Interskill have joined to deliver some very exciting ways for folks to learn new skills or refresh their skills with the very latest information. Tell me more.
Darren: IBM clients worldwide can now get Interskill Learning’s mainframe e-learning through IBM’s Learning Portal as two different product types:
Firstly, the Enterprise e-Learning Solution which is an ultra low-cost, versatile, comprehensive mainframe training resource that forms the backbone of an organization’s mainframe education program. It’s annual, enterprise-wide, mainframe education at just dollars per course!
And secondly, Mini e-Learning Bundles aimed at individual users. There is a z/OS Mainframe Programming e-Learning Bundle (EZ120) and a z/OS Computer Operations e-Learning Bundle (EZ110) offering 3 months access to 50 courses.
IBM: Interskill really changes the way companies can deal with any challenges in meeting skills requirements and training needs at a time when education and travel costs are really tight. What are some of the messages you'll be sharing to help customers thrive in today's economy?
Darren: In an ideal world, Mainframe Managers would want their people to train often, and train on all facets of their complex mainframe job roles. The two limiting factors are time and money: budgets not allowing for all the training needed and busy mainframe personnel not having the time to train on all the areas they need.
We can cut money out of the equation. For the cost of one day of classroom on only one mainframe topic, Managers can give their mainframers 12 months access to over 150 mainframe topics! So, rather than 3 classroom days per year, give personnel 2 classroom days and 12 months open access to 150 e-learning courses. Imagine the versatility and breadth of knowledge that mainframe team could have!
We can also cut time out of the equation. Utilizing e-Learning offers mainframe personnel the ability to train anywhere, anytime: courses are broken up into one hour “bite size” pieces that can be done in breaks, during lulls at work, in the evenings, at home … anytime. Over the course of a year, students can complete hundreds of hours of training on a multitude of topics!
The mainframe industry’s staple training has always been classroom type training. We need to be a little smarter and use e-learning for the heart of the training program and use classroom where it is needed rather than as a default. We can deliver many, many more times the training at the same cost or less.
IBM: Tell us about your decision to participate at Impact 2010 and why it makes business sense?
Darren: Impact was a “first choice” conference for us in 2010 for a number of reasons. It offers an exceptional forum to talk “mainframe training” with Senior Mainframe Management, who keenly understand that managing a mainframe workforce possessing anything less than the optimum skill and knowledge levels has serious repercussions on the organization’s (and their own) performance and results. With education spending kept to a minimum in this down economy, all Mainframe Managers are looking for smarter ways to provide the comprehensive training their mainframe team needs.
We are also delighted to release our new CICS Transaction Server 4.1 e-learning curriculum at Impact 2010. This comprehensive new training curriculum will further enhance our extensive library of over 150 online mainframe courses.
IBM: Is there any one thought that you would like to leave IBM customers with?
Darren: I would simply ask that IBM customers never leave their mainframe personnel without training. Even in the short term, it hurts the personnel and it weakens the company on so many levels.
Try and investigate ways that you can train smarter: maximizing your budget dollar, your team’s time and your training ROI.
Impact 2010 is the premiere conference for business and IT professionals. Attending Impact 2010 in Las Vegas will provide you with education, hands-on labs, demos, access to industry experts, thought leaders, our business partners and analysts.