Facing latency issues due to the location of its physical data centers, LearnQuest needed a cloud-based virtual labs solution that could rapidly deploy classroom environments globally. Additionally, LearnQuest sought to reduce the time to configure each class, make edits and create templates as it continued to experience rapid growth.
With Skytap Virtual IT Labs, LearnQuest saves invaluable time configuring classes, can support virtual labs globally at high speeds and no longer bears the cost of a physical data center. Skytap enabled LearnQuest to deliver a better classroom experience for learners and better working environment for staff when creating and editing classes.
For over twenty-five years, LearnQuest has been the leading provider of global IT and Business Skills training for corporations and government agencies. An award winner for Innovation in Learning Effectiveness, LearnQuest offers classroom, virtual, and self-paced training in a wide variety of formats to match today’s learner needs. LearnQuest designs, develops and delivers training on hundreds of IT topics.
Facing an accelerated global expansion, LearnQuest needed to find a virtual IT labs solution to scale its classroom offerings and deliver strong deployment and speed. With its own U.S. data center, the company was creating and hosting its own virtual labs, but after going global in 2015, LearnQuest quickly realized it suffered latency issues when deploying and conducting virtual labs outside of North America. The company sought a solution that would give it access to data centers spread out across the world to not only boost delivery speeds, but to also eliminate the cost of building and maintaining its own data centers.
Additionally, with rapid growth in the number of virtual labs it was supporting, LearnQuest needed a solution to scale its operations. The team sought a tool that would allow them to quickly configure templates, make edits, input curriculum and integrate with a learning management system (LMS) to provide a strong student and instructor user experience. A challenge when delivering classes virtually through its previous solution was various access issues. When students would access the lab environment, there were several remote access tools not capable of HTML5, which led to issues with plugins and security. As a result, LearnQuest’s team was facing a high volume of calls to fix issues each time a class started.
After being highly recommended by several of its clients and conducting thorough research on available providers, LearnQuest selected Skytap as its virtual labs solution. The company identified the following key requirements for a solution, which Skytap Virtual IT Labs offered:
- HTML5 access to eliminate virtual access issues
- Access to multiple data centers across the globe
- Speed of deploying the virtual labs and making edits
Skytap enabled LearnQuest to save money and reduce staff by eliminating its physical data center in the U.S. The company now utilizes Skytap data centers in North America, Europe and Asia to deliver fast speeds wherever its students are located. Skytap also empowers the internal LearnQuest team to save time and work more efficiently as they can now provision labs in just 10% of the time it took previously by leveraging templates.
By using Skytap Virtual IT Labs, LearnQuest has received “an increase in positive feedback from our students, instructors and the rest of our staff,” according to LearnQuest’s IT Operations Manager Nik Opalenik. With Skytap, Opalenik and his team can quickly provision hundreds of labs, improve delivery speeds for students in 10 different countries and no longer field a high volume of calls from students with access issues. “It takes 10% of the time that it previously did to create and deploy a class compared to using our own environment. What used to take 2 hours now takes 10 minutes.”
Since the company began utilizing Skytap Virtual IT Labs in 2016, LearnQuest has leveraged the solution to scale its labs and classrooms across the globe and deliver strong connection speeds regardless of location. In addition to being able to effectively deliver the required training services for its clients, the Skytap solution improved the classroom experience for students and instructors and made it easier for team members to configure classes. Thanks to Skytap’s many integrations, LearnQuest connected its LMS to deliver a seamless experience for students who each have their own unique access URL to join a class.
By using Skytap, LearnQuest was able to:
- Eliminate its physical data centers and utilize Skytap’s global availability
- Reduce the time it takes to configure each class from 2 hours to just 10 minutes
- Improve classroom connection speeds for learners across all regions
- Utilize HTML5 to eliminate access issues for students
- Seamlessly connect with its LMS to deliver a strong user experience
“The biggest value that we’ve derived from Skytap is the ability to utilize different data centers spread out throughout the world. It’s been a huge help for us in being able to successfully deliver global training with global labs to all of our clients and customers that we train throughout the world. Compared to what we were using before, the speed of Skytap is just amazing.”
Nik Opalenik, IT Operations Manager, LearnQuest