IBM Social Business is Changing the Training Paradigm

Dave Jacob

 by Dave Jacob, Managing Partner

As IBMer Sandy Carter was evangelizing the power of social, I started thinking about how Social Business has affected Davalen’s business as a medium sized, premier IBM Partner.

One of the major impacts the power of social has had is on our IBM training delivery. Here is the progression:

1. Training used to be featured-based and the instructors were first professional teachers with product knowledge.

Certified instructors could effectively deliver a feature-based course but were not power users of a particular product. In fact, instructors taught a large variety of courses so they were familiar with the features of numerous products but expert at none. When questions arose about applying the products in different ways, they were stuck. The truly good instructors would write down the question, promise to get back to the student with the answer, and then look for a resource after the course completed. If they found an answer, they would email/call the student with what they had learned. Classes were normally run at the Davalen training center and students traveled to the center.

2. With the downturn in the economy in 2006, first travel and then training budgets were cut.

Clients recognized they needed product knowledge but could not justify the cost of traveling to training centers like ours. Instead, they began embracing the virtual training model, where there was no traveling required but the same courses were still taught by the same instructors. This saved money but didn’t deliver exactly what the clients were looking for—how to apply the product to their specific situations.

3. Enter social.

Recognizing Davalen had to change its approach to training, the question became, how can we provide product knowledge and apply this knowledge to particular problems students raise during the course? In response to our clients’ needs Davalen made two basic changes to our class delivery:

  1. Instructors now addressed questions in the class as they arose.
  2. Davalen’s consulting organization was now notified when a question came up in class. The question would be broadcast via social to them, and it became a priority to answer the question.

What a shift in value for our students and Davalen!

In 2012, students learn practical knowledge to address real world problem to their specific situation. Instead of leaving the learning in the virtual room, a mentoring model takes effect, The much more accommodating class delivery encourages client companies to build a rapport with Davalen and its staff, which usually then progresses into additional work for the consulting practice.  This has become the basis of our RapidValue service model.

So social really has become the norm in a series of different situations. Sandy Carter has hit the nail on the head as a social evangelist and we continue to see her claims confirmed in several areas of our business everyday. I wonder if I am now the Davalen Social Evangelist… well, Ms. Marketing might win that title in Davalen but I’m well on my way.

This article is from our monthly resource e-Newsletter. Did you miss it in your inbox? Visit our eNewsletter archives for past editions or if you want to receive our monthly newsletter automatically, simply write to Ruth Jarvis and request to be added to our E-Newsletter list. Thank you!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s