Date: May 3, 2019

Ask the Expert: Tim King with Silver Peak

Website
www.silver-peak.com

Industry
Computer Software
Wide Area Networks (WAN)

Company Size
Gross income of $50-$100 million
200+ employees

Headquarters
Santa Clara, CA, United States

About Silver Peak
Silver Peak is a global leader in broadband and hybrid WAN solutions. With Silver Peak’s high-performance WAN solutions, customers can augment or replace MPLS networks with secure Internet connectivity, while dramatically reducing WAN costs and complexity.

How did you become an instructor at Silver Peak?
When I was an undergrad in college, I worked as a teaching assistant. After graduating, I got a job in online support at Hewlett Packard. I then moved to HP’s training department to design courses. About a year and a half ago, I began training at Silver Peak.

How has training delivery changed since you have been an instructor?
There have been many big changes. When I began teaching, students would fly to HP’s corporate office to take classes. Then I began to fly all over the world to teach classes. Now, Silver Peak’s classes are all blended, instructor-led training with some students attending in person, and most attending remotely.

 

To be honest, switching to ReadyTech didn’t really require a transition. There isn’t much of a learning curve. I double-clicked on the application and boom! – I’m on a virtual machine. Tim King

Instructor, Silver Peak


What do you like most about ReadyTech’s virtual training software?
Silver Peak was using ReadyTech’s solutions before I arrived, so I started using it immediately after joining Silver Peak—and I am very happy about that fact.

In the past, I had to do everything to set up the class manually. I had to build the networks, build the devices, reset all of the virtual training labs and spend hours setting up for a class. But ReadyTech does all of this for me which removes countless hours, weeks and months that I would need to do these things manually. I now log into the ReadyTech Admin Portal to schedule and set up my own classes. I create an event, request a number of labs and just like that, I get access codes to send to students. This self-registration saves me so much time and it allows me to make real-time class updates.

At Silver Peak, we provide a software-defined WAN device. We teach two classes for this product line—a 2-day beginner’s class and a 2-day advanced class. The ReadyTech virtual training environment is absolutely perfect for this because it can support complex network and application setups. For example, with ReadyTech we’re able to implement Silver Peak’s Unity Orchestrator, which is our configuration system, all the network appliances and all the devices used on-site by Silver Peak’s clients. We can emulate everything we do inside the ReadyTech virtual training environment.

Coming from your previous company’s training tools and switching to ReadyTech – what was that transition like?
To be honest, switching to ReadyTech didn’t really require a transition. There isn’t much of a learning curve. I double-clicked on the application and boom—I’m on a virtual machine. I was excited to have everything laid-out in front of me.

What ReadyTech virtual training tools do you like best?
ReadyTech’s LabManager is a lifesaver and I use it extensively. In the old world, it was tedious to share another student’s screen with the rest of the classroom. To share a student’s screen, you would have to disrupt what everyone else is seeing on their screens.

But LabManager allows me to easily see a student’s screen using my own desktop. I can walk students through a problem and other students are not disturbed in the process. When I teach I usually have multiple monitors and it’s really convenient to just go in and talk to students over audio, look at their machine and talk them through a problem. And while this is happening, the other students can still see the slides they were looking at or still be working on their virtual training labs and not be hassled.

Have you had to use ReadyTech’s 24/7 Technical Support?
Tech support is also quite valuable. I have never had this level of access to tech support before with any other company. ReadyTech’s support team is extremely responsive and has always solved my problems when the problem was solvable. So I’ve been very impressed with the technical support at ReadyTech.

What advice would you give to new instructors using ReadyTech’s virtual training solutions?
Simply put, ReadyTech is easy to use and intuitive. It reminds me of when I got my first iPhone. Within five minutes from opening the box, I had the phone working and most importantly, had a ringtone on the phone assigned for my wife. I didn’t need to read the manual. For new instructors, ReadyTech will be similar to this iPhone experience: it’s easy to use and no manual needed. And for anything else you need, just contact ReadyTech and they will demo it for you.