Blog Archive

The Value of IT Training

man holding moneyTraining is expensive, we get that.  So how can you justify spending money and time in order to attend training courses?

Facts and Figures from Research Reports

There are many studies on the value of training, not just IT training and I don’t intend to summarise or make a conclusion in this blog.  However I did like a 2009 research report by Beth Vanni (then Director of Market Intelligence for Amazon Consulting) and a few points that sprang out included:

♦  the majority of customers indicated they trusted a certified partner more
♦  customers involve certified partners to a greater degree in future decision making
♦  certified providers gain more repeat business and sell more services beyond product purchases

The research indicated that having certified staff does not mean you can increase your prices; nor will your certifications rank highly in your customers’ criteria for choosing a partner.  Customers want strong relationships, high service levels and complete solutions.  It seems to be expected that the staff know their stuff just as it is expected that the staff will act professionally and not spend all day browsing Facebook.  Certifications are important but they are a mere fact of due diligence.

Recruitment

Of course if you are hiring new staff, you need a benchmark on which to judge their skills.  90% of the respondents to a McKinsey Quarterly survey (“Building organizational capabilities: McKinsey Global Survey results,” March 2010) said that building capabilities was a top-ten priority for their organisations.  Standards for both academic and technical qualifications are important here.

You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know

A cliché, I admit.  I know I don’t know much about Quantum Physics but it’s a cool job title.  I’ve been dealing with Microsoft products for 25 years but I still gain a lot from watching other people use Microsoft Office.  Attending a training course helps widen your knowledge and experience and often demonstrates best practices, tools or methodologies that even experienced IT Pros may not have come across in their day-to-day work.  Training courses help you explore areas of the products and technologies that you may not have used in the past, in a guided and safe way (without risking production environments).  There’s also the networking opportunities.  I like meeting fellow course delegates; IT can be quite a small world and some of my best contacts have been gained from training courses.

See what Microsoft training courses we can offer and work towards gaining certifications today.  If you have a Volume Licence agreement with Microsoft you may be eligible for free technical training.


SQL Server 2014 Licence Key

We had a question via a comment on one of our SQL Server 2014 blog posts.  It’s a little hard to answer because it lacks specific details such as part number and reseller but we like to try to answer questions.

“my company have bought 1 license sql 2014 and cd i download from website. during setup i need to insert product key. how to i get the license?”

Thanks for your query.  There are a few factors to consider which will help establish an answer:

1 – What website did you buy SQL 2014 from?  Was it a reputable reseller such as Insight or Ebuyer?  If you purchased the software through a site such as eBay, it may be that you were sold a pirated copy.
2 – What product did you buy?  Did you buy SQL Server 2014 Standard Edition Server licence or a SQL Server 2014 client access licence (CAL) or the SQL Server 2014 Developer Edition?  The price you paid (assuming it was from a legitimate reseller) will give you a clue; the standard server product with 10 CALs would be around £2,500-£3,000 whereas the developer edition would be around £50.

If you did purchase from a legitimate reseller, and was shipped a DVD in a box, then this is classed as full packaged product (FPP) and the product key to use on installation will typically be on a sticker on the DVD case.  It will be 25 alphanumeric characters in the form xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx.

In any case, your first port of call for help could either be the reseller you purchased this from or Microsoft support who can both advise you if the product is legal and legitimate and help you with the installation.  They can be reached on (+44) 344 800 2400.  You can also log a web support incident via Microsoft’s support page.

You can download a white paper on licensing Microsoft SQL Server or of course look into attending one of our licensing courses.