This is our Q&A session with Chris from Scality, a leader for distributed file systems and object storage. They were founded in 2009 and have around 250 employees. You can learn more about what they do and who they serve on their website.
What are some of the objectives or goals of your department at this Scality?
I’m on our Strategic Alliances team. We work to ensure our technology partners (HPE, Cisco, and Dell) can deliver our joint solution with confidence. This involves various level of training on business and technical topics.
What challenges led you to look for a solution like Accredible?
At the time, my team consisted of two people – myself and my boss. We were responsible for enabling literally thousands of individuals all around the world. There was just no way to scale this without introducing technology and automation.
Our first step was to design some sort of structured learning plan. We were delivering this to the top three server vendors in the world, so they expect a certain level of professionalism.
Our first revision of the training included paper certificates for all individuals who completed the steps and passed an exam. I remember one weekend we had 80 attendees complete the course. The next week in the office was a logistical nightmare – going through this list of individuals, handwriting their names and information on each certificate, trying to locate shipping addresses for each.
I actually hand-folded shipping packages for each, bubble-wrap and all, after engaging our marketing team to hand-write details on each certificate.
Obviously, this couldn’t scale. I was on the road 90% of the time and there was no way we could continue to do this.
What were your departments goals?
Our goals were focused around:
- Increasing revenue through identifying and enabling subject matter experts at our partners
- Decreasing costs associated with manually tracking individual certifications
- Decreasing logistics of manually shipping/issuing certificated
- Really providing the professional, polished learning experience expected from their top-tier partners
- Tracking impact and ROI on certifications
- Promoting the certification program via LinkedIn endorsements, etc
What might have happened, or what would you have done, if you did not identify a solution?
There was no way we could continue with our manual certificate efforts. If we did not find a solution like this, we would have stopped with the manual certificates and simple missed out on all of these values and objectives. We would be back to a spreadsheet, it would be a mess.
What was most important to you when evaluating your options?
The ability to customize the certificates and the notifications was very important. Really Moodle integration was key as well – less steps to get something done means there is a higher chance it is done correctly and consistently. Also the ease in which folks can share their accomplishments on LinkedIn was really nice.
Why did you end up going with Accredible?
Accredible is SaaS in its finest form. It’s a solution that addresses a specific and important business need, and it does it well. It was so easy to sign up and move into production that I didn’t need to involve multiple teams, consult developers, or even get a budget approved.
How long did it take to get up and running with Accredible?
I was able to understand the platform almost immediately – really less than an hour to get set up and understand what needs to be done. From there, we ended up ultimately working with our internal graphic designed to come up with a customized template. That look longer than anything inside the Accredible tool itself, and really is optional anyway.
Did Accredible meet your expectations?
Met and exceeded. A platform that I never have to update, tinker with, or worry about at all was vital to us. At a startup, our most precious resource is time. Accredible allows me to focus on projects that accelerate our revenue, while it just ticks along in the background making us look great to our partners.
Is there a particular aspect of Accredible that you rely on most?
Moodle integration and automatic notifications to the recipients. Social media sharing is important. Also, we like to login occasionally and look at the list of folks certified. We can track this in our Salesforce as well, but the Accredible view is friendlier and easier to work with.
In what ways does that enhance your competitive advantage in your respective market or industry?
Working as a startup who partners with resellers, maintaining mindshare is critical to success. We were the first company in our space to launch an online training and certification program. Making that experience professional and rewarding has made a huge impact in our ability to scale our business.
Our training programs are involved in every large opportunity we pursue, ensuring that the partners are fully educated and able to help their customers solve real world challenges.
This helps our partners in their own pursuits as well. We’ve gotten feedback that using the Accredible certificates has given then an edge when pursuing their next career opportunities.
What specific metrics have improved as a result of implementing Accredible?
Reduced labor time is key. As I mentioned before, we would have literally stopped issuing certificates without this. It was just not logistically possible anymore.
Engagement with the partner community is indeed increased. Our online training program alone has scaled from around 300 students to 1200 students in the period using Accredible.
We now get specific requests from our partners asking when their digital certificate will come. They’ve seen their colleagues posting them online and want one for themselves, as well.
Do you have any other thoughts or feedback regarding Accredible?
Yes, there’s a very interesting dynamic with a product like this – I just pop some details into a website and within an hour I have a working solution. Absolutely no hand-holding or human interaction is required.
But then, the Accredible team pops up out of nowhere with incredibly helpful advice and friendly encouragement.
It’s interesting because really I can do it all on my own, so I wouldn’t expect a team of real humans being there ready to help me. But they are, and it really adds to the experience. You guys are the best.
If you’re interested in learning more about Scality, you can visit their website here. If you want more information on Accredible, you can contact our sales team or get started right away by creating an account.