Recently, we gave you a high-level look at our Virtual Training Environment (VTE) and how it’s changing the face of technical training. Now let’s walk through what the process can look like for a client who, for example, uses VTE to train technical consultants on how to integrate a document workflow solution for their clients, using multi-function printers (MFPs). Their traditional face-to-face classes required a significant investment of time and money, while online classes with no hands-on practice are falling short.
Prior to their training session, students are sent a prep guide, as well as a personal VPN client to access their own local network – think of it as their dedicated company network they can work with during the training session. We’ve found that most students attend multiple courses over the span of a year and appreciate that their VPN client only needs to be installed and set up one time.
On training day, students can use their pre-configured device to access their session from anywhere. After logging into the VTE, students can see each other’s MFPs but can only control their own. The lab guide is customized to work in this environment, utilizing tools that mimic real-life interaction with an MFP. For example, students can remotely authenticate to the assigned MFP by scanning a proximity card, control front-panel buttons, and much more. As they work with their dedicated PC, servers, network architecture, and their MFP, tasks are executed just as they would be in person.
One of the most valuable aspects of a face-to-face training experience is the naturally occurring knowledge sharing. Our VTE enables normal conversation, with instructors and students exchanging ideas and working through issues together. Students can screen share and discuss best practices. Instructors can help students one-on-one or work with the entire class. If a student misconfigures and is struggling to get back to a stable situation, the instructor can simply reset their environment, so the student can start fresh.
And that’s it! Everyone involved benefits from simple and secure set-up, true-to-life experience, and a high level of customizability. HP – our original VTE client – is continually expanding its usage in terms of number of classes, class sizes, and types of classes. HP’s resellers and end customers have also adopted VTE, quickly seeing the value in the ability to train more students on a topic, faster.
With more than 50 MFPs in our virtual lab, we’ve doubled our class-size capacity and can run multiple classes at one time. To date, students in over 60 countries have experienced learning in our VTE. Their feedback continues to be overwhelmingly positive, with most students telling us the experience comes very close to in-person training. Here’s what some of them had to say when asked what they enjoyed about the class:
“Every single thing. We need more hands-on training like this and more frequently. I am an inside technology consultant and when COVID hit, we had to work from home. We lost access to both our hardware and solutions lab.”
“The structure of the lab guide was very efficient, and the virtual environment was easy to set up and connect to.”
“This environment allowed me to have remote access to hardware and learn tasks I’ve never seen in a face-to-face training!”
What started as an urgent stopgap solution during the global pandemic has become an important new platform our clients will rely on for the long term. The possible uses for the VTE setup are endless, and we’re excited to see how it will evolve with our clients’ needs.
What kind of training challenges is your organization experiencing? Comment below or send us an email.