As channel partners begin to embrace the cloud, they’re learning that from sales to execution to support, it’s a different process. Technology distributor Intelisys aims to help. The company has announced a new certification program through its Intelisys Cloud Services University (ICSU). Also new for 2015 is a website devoted to ICSU built on the Absorb Learning Management system.
Intelisys has taken a novel approach to its educational program. Members of the “faculty” at ICSU are some of the sales and channel leaders at many of Intelisys’ largest vendor partners. The classwork will break down into six tracks according to the company: Telecom Solutions Professional, Advanced Data Networking Solutions Professional, UCaaS Solutions Professional, Network and Data Security Professional, Cloud Computing Solutions Professional and Advanced IT Management Professional. Currently the Telecom Solutions courses are set to go, with others following. The next to launch will the Cloud Computing Solutions courses, which will be complete by the Channel Partners show in March.
Intelisys isn’t aiming to create a program as intense or expensive as certification programs offered by the likes of Cisco, Microsoft and a host of other vendors. Instead, ICSU lets sales professionals learn from many of the vendor-side experts in the communications cloud arena.
Other cloud sales training programs have been around a while, including ones from the Cloud Technology Institute and CompTIA’s cloud essentials program. A list of 25 programs from vendors, educational institutions and others can be found here.
Like other vendor-driven educational programs, ICSU is aimed at providing customers with a level of assurance that their technology partners are well trained and worthy of trust. Partners have two other reasons to participate. Intelisys says that in 2014, 89 percent Intelisys sales partner cloud wins came from those who participated in ICSU programs. On top of that, participation in the university is free.