Esri meets growing training demand across the globe with ReadyTech online training software
Added more efficiency, flexibility and lowered costs
Virtual training programs for Esri’s geospatial software customers
Esri is an international supplier of Geographic Information Systems (GIS). They provide a platform for geospatial integration and applications for different industries worldwide. Currently Esri has 10 regional offices in the United States, a network of 80 international distributors, 1,800 partners worldwide, more than a million users in 200 countries, 350,000 clients around the world and employs over 3,100 team members globally to support the thriving business.
The GIS software Esri develops is an integral component in many types of organizations. Along with the software, they offer consulting and implementation services, and training programs to enable their users to become proficient with Esri products as well as help with customization. It is clear that a good training program helps enable end users to be successful.
How do we mirror what we do in classrooms? ReadyTech gave us the ability to deliver training globally with minimal downtime and easy setup.Michael Patterson, Training Systems Support Team Lead
Training costs and physical classroom setup slows growth
Esri, like most companies at the time, was delivering their instructor-led training classes in physical classrooms. However, with rapid advances in online technologies, combined with tighter travel budgets for customers, they realized that dependence on physical classrooms was affecting their ability to scale to meet the changing demand for training. Ben Schmitz, Project Manager at Esri, knew they needed a better solution, “We needed to eliminate the burden of traditional classrooms and move training into the online space. We had to reach more customers but we couldn’t, we were limited.”
Dependence on physical classrooms also made it difficult for Esri to reach a global audience cost effectively. There were high travel costs for instructors and students, plus the costs for shipping course materials around the world. They needed to meet the global demand but knew the costs associated with classroom training was an issue.
Another pain point was the setup and teardown of their training environments. Esri was using an internal solution and found it to be time consuming and expensive to maintain. “Having to setup the lab environment, worrying if it’s setup correctly, getting training rooms ready for a class and making sure the training curriculum is good – it all became a cumbersome, error-prone process that stretched the team’s bandwidth,” instructor Mike Jeggle explains.
When the team realized the limitations of their existing training situation, they began searching for an alternative approach. They considered a number of options:
- More regional training; but that involved a higher overhead, travel costs for customers and this option was hard to scale.
- Use their own internal solution; but that proved to be time consuming and expensive to maintain.
- Use other cloud training solutions available in the market; but they couldn’t find the right fit for a partner.
- Don’t add more training offerings in spite of demand, not the optimal situation for either Esri or customers.
Scalability and support key drivers to choosing ReadyTech
Several factors were evaluated when it came to looking for the right solution. They looked at:
- Cost to Performance
Ben Schmitz and Michael Patterson, Esri Training Systems Support, recalls that there was an ROI comparison process involved and it consisted of researching, testing and evaluating the options. What ultimately led Esri to choose ReadyTech was the ability to scale up and/or scale down, customer service and ReadyTech’s focus and years of experience in training.
“ReadyTech offers superb scalability – and now we can scale up and down as needed depending on the demand for classes. The ReadyTech team is also able to handle variable demands, whether it’s adjusting for fiscal year, school year, software release cycles and other class schedule changes – without breaking a sweat. They come through for us every time,” says Ben Schmitz.
ReadyTech offers superb scalability – so now we can scale up and down as needed. ReadyTech also handles variable demand well, whether it’s adjusting for the school year, software release cycles, class schedule changes – without breaking a sweat. They come through for us every time.Ben Schmitz, Training Services Project Manager
ReadyTech offers 24/7/365 live support to customers. They provide answers to both technical and training questions quickly and efficiently. “One of the biggest ReadyTech advantages is the support team. We know we have complicated needs and ReadyTech’s support team always comes back with a solution and fixes the issue. We never feel that we are going to be without a solution,” explains Thomas Shippee, Training Technical Lead
Highly professional group of people; they have an amazing support team. We never feel we are going to be without a solution. Thomas Shippee, Instructor Tech Lead
Better and scalable virtual training software at lower costs
With ReadyTech’s Instructor-Led Training Solution, training managers at Esri and their students are seeing a big positive impact. To date, Esri has 40 instructors and has an average of 16 ReadyTech Instructor-Led classes per week. They now see the following benefits:
Rapid deployment of labs and dramatically reduced setup time and tear down of classes and labs:
Esri works with ReadyTech to get their classes deployed in no time. With ReadyTech, Esri is able to add or cancel any class right away and accommodate any last minute class changes. All they have to do is notify ReadyTech of the class and ReadyTech takes care of the rest.
Travel expenses reduced:
Using ReadyTech’s solution allowed Esri to dramatically reduce travel costs for both students and instructors – gaining an immediate cost reduction while increasing training reach. Before ReadyTech, Esri required instructors and students to travel to physical training centers. With ReadyTech’s Instructor-Led Training Solution, students can just log in, access the environment and get their training started. The remote training classes save both the instructors and students on travel and shipping.
Improved productivity and freed up internal resources:
With ReadyTech handling the manual setup for the training classes, the training team can stay focused on their core business rather than on administrative and IT troubleshooting activities.
24/7 Live Support:
Esri has access to ReadyTech’s 24/7 Live Support for both technical and non-technical questions and recommendations. Whether they need step-by-step assistance, a demo, or collaboration on a complicated issue, ReadyTech is ready to help.