Informatica Global Education Services able to provide stellar customer experience while reducing lab provisioning time and expenses after using Skytap

The most important thing that really caught our eye in the beginning is that we can integrate with our learning management system and fire off labs that would be available to students within two to three minutes from the point of registration.Alex Gurevich, Senior Manager of Informatica Global Education Services
Challenges
  • Deliveries to custom and internal hardware were inaccessible externally
  • Provisioning delays resulted in confusion and poor experience for customers and instructors
  • Increase in support tickets opened increased costs for GES team
  • Unable to quickly scale up and down or integrate with learning management system
Solution
  • Move on-site training facility systems to  on-demand virtual training labs in Skytap
  • Ramp up new class launch speed and offer student self-enrollment to increase remote training
  • Track adoption rates and efficient infrastructure utilization through reporting metrics
Benefits
  • Ability to scale quickly up/down has resulted in improved customer experience, and easier product adoption while reducing costs
  • Labs can be provisioned and made available to students within two to three minutes from the point of registration
  • Informatica instructors and developers report the experience to access labs is now seamless

Informatica Global Education Services (GES) provides more than twenty courses that span Informatica’s entire product line and are available to be completed onsite, in training centers around the globe, or in an innovative virtual academy. These courses are designed to help customers, partners, and internal employees fully adopt and optimize Informatica software in order to reach business goals.

Along with supporting Informatica’s developers, trainers, partners, and enablement managers by maintaining the company’s infrastructure and delivering rich content, the GES team is required to generate revenue for the company—while reducing the cost to do so. This led Informatica to turn to Skytap to help increase efficiency and operate in the leanest possible way, so that the company could continue to consistently improve customer experience.

Business Challenges

The main challenge Informatica faced before leveraging Skytap is all too common in training departments that operate at a global scale. Many of their deliveries are done on custom hardware or internally hosted infrastructure and are inaccessible externally. Provisioning these deliveries for self-paced virtual training would take anywhere between eight to sixteen hours and caused headaches for customers and instructors alike.

Another challenge was dealing with confusion from students who struggled with how to access their labs or interact with a training interface. Because of the delay between deliverables, students would often open a support ticket and then be told to expect their class in as little as fifteen minutes, or as much as eight hours. This generated additional expenses for the GES team, and time had to be spent attending to customer concerns, instead of working to deliver a rich customer experience.

Long, unpredictable provisioning times also negatively impacted Informatica’s instructors. Being in front of customers prevented instructors from being able to take the time to troubleshoot time-sensitive problems. The GES team is responsible for not just improving the experience for customers and students but also the instructors themselves, and this is difficult when working with non-standardized hardware or multiple vendors.

Benefits

Informatica delivers content to customers, partners, and internal employees on a daily basis, and the GES team plays an important role in generating revenue by helping these groups quickly promote integrations and adoption of the company’s product. The wide range of benefits that Skytap provides allows the GES team to show Informatica leadership the cost-effectiveness of their operation, and their contributions to the company’s overall goal of a positive customer experience.

Accelerate Training Delivery

Skytap has given Informatica training managers the ability to quickly provision new virtual labs and classrooms and run multiple classes instantly and in parallel. These classrooms can be easily scaled up or down to match the company’s changing training needs. “We can replicate environments with within a matter of minutes,” says Informatica Global Education Services senior manager Alex Gurevich. “It provisions very, very fast.”

Improvements to Student and Instructor Experience

Training managers are often looking for ways to improve the student experience, but quick lab access, and a simple UI are just as important to provide to instructors leading on-site or virtual classes. With Skytap, instructors are given a suite of controls, including using “over the shoulder” views for collaboration, and the ability to start, suspend, and snapshot any training lab. Instructors can also provision student machines with a web UI anytime a student needs one.

Ease of Integration and Customization

The expensive and time-consuming tasks of buying or upgrading equipment, and manually configuring and installing software and class data can be handled by Skytap infrastructure. With our robust API and easy import and integration tools, you can enable your existing Learning Management and custom training portals to run in Skytap. Furthermore, you don’t have to rewrite your existing applications or configure complex networks to get cloud labs provisioned and set up.

We just finished a very large Skytap POC with our instructors and the developers, and the results were very positive. The majority of people feel like accessing labs is now seamless. Skytap is a big improvement compared to the interface they used previously. Our students are going to be happier with their experience, less tickets from us as well, and that translates to an overall better customer experience.Alex Gurevich, Senior Manager of Informatica Global Education Services