Set Yourself Apart with Effective Learning and Enablement Strategies
When looking for an implementation partner, customers have a lot to choose from. And, on paper, it can look like a lot of partners have the same capabilities.
That’s why it’s crucial to determine ways to stand out. One of the best ways? Make sure that your people are highly qualified and have preeminent skills. A quality training and enablement program along with a high percent of your staff who have achieved certification can help you to stand out in an increasingly crowded market.
In addition, training and certification can improve IT channel professionals’ salaries which in turn increases employee satisfaction as well as their commitment to high-quality client delivery. In the 2017 Channel Futures technology survey report, IT channel pros said their salaries were holding steady, but that training was often the difference between a base salary increase and status quo. In the 2018 version of the study, of the respondents who enjoyed a salary increase, 15 percent said drivers for the salary bump were new certifications and skills development.
Just as training and certification can be the tipping point in whether an employee stays at a company or not, so, too, can they be the tipping point for a client trying to decide among Partner A, B and C (and D and E and F …).
But not just any training works.
There is an alphabet soup of certifications that are pretty much expected these days. In other words, you must have those certs to be in the game. But, to win, look to add enablement and certification in up-and-coming fields—the ones potential customers know they need to be involved in but know nothing about themselves.
Again, going back to the 2017 survey, training on “burgeoning” new technology such as artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things and containers played a big role in salary increases: “22% of respondents said their gross annual salaries increased due to new skills development or new certifications,” stated the survey report. “Indeed, education and training are making a significant impact on salaries …”
If training in compelling new areas can help IT channel pros increase their salaries, it stands to reason that it will have a similarly positive effect on channel partners selling themselves to new clients.
At Oracle, for example, training, enablement and certification programs are offered across their portfolio. Oracle works with partners to ensure they have the skills required from pre-sales, sales to implementation. All with the goal of increasing partner implementation success.
According to IBM Corporation, Oracle training has positioned them to be more successful. “As a result of our collaboration with Oracle University and the Learning tools, we were able to double our Oracle University Cloud Implementation certifications in less than ten months,” stated Lauren Baker, Oracle Operations, IBM Global Business Services.
“These certifications, owned by our consultants, drive credibility, quality and consistency when we deliver to our clients and they also support our various accreditation with Oracle PartnerNetwork through Specializations, Resell Rights, and Cloud Excellence Implementer programs. Based upon the custom training offered by Oracle University, our business was able to increase training engagement and certification, upskilling our workforce with the latest cloud technology in the market.”
Often the best enablement providers are the vendors you are partnering with. The more you know about the products, the best practices, the future direction, and the technology and business context, the better partner you are. And there’s no better way to stand out in the crowd.
For more information about Oracle’s Enablement Program, head to the certification section of Oracle University.
This guest blog is part of a Channel Futures sponsorship.