New Poll Shows 75 Percent of Companies Considering Virtual Training Solutions in the Cloud

Tina Aarsvold

SEATTLE, Wash. – July 15, 2009 – Skytap, Inc., the leading provider of cloud-based IT labs, today announced results from a recent poll on the delivery of hands-on virtual training solutions. According to the survey of over 230 training organizers, 75 percent said they are considering more virtual classroom training delivered with e-learning solutions. Of those surveyed, a significant number were faced with reduced IT budgets for training programs, making the cloud the most cost-effective choice for course delivery.

The economic downturn has led to budget cuts and cost cutting measures for today’s training organizations. In fact, nearly 50 percent of the companies surveyed said they were operating under reduced training budgets for the next year. In addition, many training programs offered in a physical classroom format have challenges including ongoing capital expenditures for lab equipment, inefficient lab set-up and re-use processes, variable class sizes, expensive real estate costs and student travel costs. With over 50 percent of companies currently offering training through physical classrooms, organizations are in search of a new way to provide the interactivity and instructor direction of a physical classroom in an online environment.

“Skytap is a powerful tool that gives students access to a ‘hands-on’ virtual lab over the Web, which improves the customer learning experience and retention rates,” said Mark Filley, technical operations manager at Lombardi. “Using Skytap, we were able to double our virtual training classes in the second quarter of 2009. With its ability to dynamically create online classroom labs in seconds, Skytap provides us with an on-demand platform for our global training programs and provides the ability to cost-effectively and efficiently deliver more training for our customers.”

Skytap’s cloud-based lab manager is a complete virtual training solution available as a secure, on-demand service over the Web. Using the cloud, organizations are able to offer Web-based distance learning courses, faster classroom set-up and deployment, and a true hands-on lab experience for students. Skytap allows training lab administrators to create classrooms and assign classroom access rights to students and instructors. Once logged in, instructors can rapidly provision training labs as needed and deploy individual student labs with the click of a button. With Skytap, training organizations can scale classroom resources up and down as needed using Skytap’s cloud infrastructure. This allows them to respond to market demand, while paying only for what they use and without under or over-provisioning physical hardware resources that requires capital expenditure.

“The cloud provides the lowest total cost of ownership for training organizations faced with reduced IT budgets,” said Scott Roza, CEO of Skytap. “Using Skytap, instructors can focus on course delivery instead of training lab logistics, while students experience a far superior learning environment. Skytap saves companies significant money while increasing the number of students they’re able to reach using distance learning.”

The poll was conducted by Skytap as part of its “Beating Budget Cuts Delivering Hands-On Virtual Learning” Webinar with Training Magazine in June 2009.