A leading cybersecurity company needed to move away from a patchwork of training technologies to a single, reliable platform that could accelerate the pace of course delivery, improve customer and instructor satisfaction, and support a growing need for virtual technical training.
With Skytap Virtual IT Labs, training delivery was 66% faster with greater reliability and ease of use. Customer satisfaction soared, and the company was able to easily support a sudden shift to nearly 95% virtual training.
For this leading cybersecurity company, technical training is paramount to ensure employees and partners are kept abreast of current offerings, in addition to training and certifying the next generation of security professionals.
Encountering customer dissatisfaction due to unpredictable uptimes and ongoing operational inefficiencies with its existing training solution, the company needed a different approach.
The company’s training team relied on a combination of multiple different homegrown technologies to deliver technical training and virtual hands-on labs: a Learning Management System (LMS), backend systems, a virtual labs solution, and systems to develop curricula. Initially, training was approximately 80 percent instructor-led, in-person classes and 20 percent virtual, but the rising popularity of on-demand virtual training shifted the focus to become nearly 80 percent virtual.
Virtual instruction consisted of a live instructor and virtual hands-on labs. However, the patchwork of technologies couldn’t deliver reliable, quality virtual training as demand grew, and the training team’s resources became increasingly strained.
Students frequently complained about system downtime, but the team was unable to respond to customer concerns or provide the level of training employees, partners, and customers wanted. Customer satisfaction scores dropped.
Cumbersome processes and fragmented technologies made it operationally inefficient, time-consuming, and costly. For example, some of the company’s very large solutions required significant time and resources to set up environments for each training, followed by hours uploading the resulting content and labs into the backend systems. It became increasingly difficult to deliver training within 90 days of a new product release.
The team needed a solution that would allow them to present a seamless experience to students using their LMS in concert with virtual hands-on labs. Key drivers were reliability and ease of use for administrators and instructors.
With Skytap, the team can provide a unified experience to instructors and students while using its current LMS – at half the cost of building their own cloud-based solution. Reliability has improved significantly, with complaints about uptime issues virtually nonexistent. Customer satisfaction scores have soared, while the focus can be on improving curricula rather than configuring, managing, and supporting multiple cumbersome training technologies.
Configuring complex environments for large product offerings is much faster and simpler, allowing the team to consolidate and use an environment for multiple classes, saving time and money because they no longer need to create multiple similar images.
Course Manager’s ease of use allows the team to deliver even smaller classes much more quickly. Instructors can easily spin up classes and virtual hands-on labs and use the over-the-shoulder feature to provide one-on-one instruction for students with different skill levels, even with 15-20 students in a class.
The team can now support large numbers of multiple concurrent lab environments. Improvements in efficiency allow delivery of training on new products, releases, or upgrades closer to 30 days after release, rather than the 90 days it took before Skytap.
Skytap’s pay-as-you-go model and scalability made it easy to ramp up virtual training to meet a rapid shift to 95% virtual training that resulted from the pandemic, while providing significant cost savings from the elimination of travel expenses for in-person training.