I can’t count the number of times I’ve worked with new customers who expect to run the setup utility and they’re done – with little to no planning or deployment effort required. In reality, there is no installation package in the world that can assess how best to deploy software to meet your needs.
Even the presumption, “I have smart people in my IT group – I’ll let them do it and we’ll call you if we need help” doesn’t always cover deployment requirements. IT may not be aware of the business problem, as they tend to focus on the technology.
It’s important to look at what knowledge gaps exist within your IT and user communities when deploying new technology. Training gives your employees a jump-start that’s much faster than the trial-and-error approach.
Your technology vendor should be able to offer a combination of professional services, product support and training. Examples of the latter include:
- System Admin Training: Aimed at the folks who “keep the lights on” for an organization’s critical systems
- Deployment Training: Aimed at the individuals responsible for configuring the product to meet business requirements
- End User Training: Aimed at the people that will be using the system on a day-to-day basis. For example, how to submit a document for conversion, monitor the job progress and get the resulting PDF.
Some vendors offer training as an afterthought – others present it as a recommended part of the deployment process – which is key to getting the best ROI.
There is no good substitute for a knowledgeable instructor who leads a relevant and efficient training session. The insights gleaned from having a software vendor on site during training and deployment results in processes being streamlined and standardized on one platform, which lowers maintenance costs.
I’ve been at client sites and learned they were using many tools to cobble together a solution they could have used our software to achieve. Training will also often lead to other opportunity identification –such as where else within your business can this technology be used to benefit the bottom line?
Without proper training, project delivery could be at risk, user adoption lower, TCO higher, and you probably aren’t getting the biggest bang for the buck.