Sticking to this theme, what makes this CA Education case study so interesting? A global enterprise software company like CA Technologies has hundreds of hands-on classes to offer in support of successful customer adoption, and new course titles arriving daily. Managing all that curriculum, and the software images running underneath it without creating a coding and configuration conundrum is only half the battle.
The big impact for CA is reaching a global base of thousands of end users looking for training on these software titles on any given day. Business users typically have a lot of ongoing work to do, and blocking out time for hands-on software training is difficult with busy schedules, even if software instructors fly out to meet students.
Recently I got to catch up with Stephen Carlino, an IT director at CA Education, in his element running training labs at their CA World conference in Las Vegas, where I got to see a beautiful thing going on — a transformation in how they put control of software education directly into the hands of users.
At the time I stopped by the software labs on “Day 0” during the CA World pre-conference, there was a lab room full of training workstations, as you would expect. Maybe 20-30 learners in there clicking through some software training – not surprising. All these workstations were hooked into Skytap virtual training and their portal/LMS, which can dynamically launch training labs via API upon enrollment, or let students resume their sessions and continue working. That was cool to see live, but that’s only looking at the room as half empty.
Stephen then called up the actual number of simultaneous labs — more than 180 instances already running off Skytap that day. You see, these users could be part of the pre-conference training from anywhere. Local attendees can just get a lab delivered by a link in their email, and head back up to their room to continue. Virtual attendees could log in and learn simultaneously from anywhere in the world.
By the end of the conference, Stephen reported that 6X more classes were delivered via virtual training labs than the previous year’s conference. Why limit training delivery because of manual installs, travel requirements, long provisioning lead times and rigid lab schedules?
Sitting in a physical classroom, witnessing the old way of delivering software education virtually transforming right in front of me, had a huge impact. I invite you to read the whole CA Education virtual training case study and watch the interview video.