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Continuing with our post-CEDIA follow-up series of blog articles, I’ve been compelled to again write about a topic that came up often during my discussions with dealers and users of our software at the event – and that’s training. Throughout my three days on the show floor, I discussed the merits of training on our on-premises software solution, System Integrator (SI), for both new and current dealers.

Part of what contributed to this discussion was the desire for many companies to consolidate the number of software providers their teams currently use, and that many (even current users) were not aware of all the features of our latest release, SI 2018. And, while an orientation session on the show floor or an online seminar are certainly helpful, these short and often high-level overviews may be lacking certain details that a management team might need to make an effective decision about what software platform to choose for a company-wide integration.

So, what would this process look like for you who already have SI 2018? Well allow me to elaborate, won’t you…

The Professional Services Group

While not new to D-Tools, our Professional Services Group (PSG) has been revamped over the last few years and is now a unique industry resource for our clients to take advantage of in order to better “get-to-know” our SI on-premises solution. Our team of trainers now consists of a majority of prior users of SI from within the industry who now function as “consultants” for our clients. While all of our training offerings are focused on SI 2018, as a dealer, you cannot help but benefit from the perspective of an industry veteran that says, “well here’s what I did when I was an integrator”.

The Integrator’s “Integrator”

As we sought to not only improve but expand our training offerings, this was the challenge. How to find successful prior users of SI to help other dealers? It was through our vast and extensive industry contacts that integrators like “yours truly” were drawn to such a group so that other users of SI might ultimately benefit. Our training team thus has the perspective of “real world” utilization of our software and can readily pass that incredibly beneficial information onto your team. This alone is a valuable commodity that few software companies can offer – having a trained team of real-world professionals not only as employees but also as training consultants.

How to start

For existing dealers, your trek to better utilization of SI begins (for most) with a call or email to our Customer Success Team. All of our dealers have one specific Customer Success Manager assigned to their account. (I discovered at the last two CEDIA’s that most dealers did not know this.) Your CSM can begin the assessment process with your team members and then make recommendations on training options, or they can facilitate a call or meeting with one of our PSG Consultant’s to take a deeper dive into your team’s SI utilization. From there, depending upon the recommendation, a training “package” or set of options may be put together for your team.

Training Options

So what would these “options” look like for your team? Well, while every training approach is unique for each dealer, we have some tried and tested techniques for your team to consider.

* Online training sessions (1-hour) – These can be purchased individually, in blocks, or as part of a training package. These sessions are usually directed towards a certain aspect of SI usage but can be utilized to review multiple areas of the software.

* On-site training – Usually sold as part of a training package, these can also be purchased in a more “a-la-carte” fashion but have a minimum of 2-days in duration. These are great for a team-wide approach to better utilization of the SI platform or for a “revitalization” of your team’s SI usage.

* Regional training – This is an intense 3-day training seminar primarily intended for new users or adopters of SI but can be really good for intermediate users of SI as well. This is what I would call an “immersive” experience into the d-Tools SI world and I myself started on this type of training so I highly recommend it.

* eLearning – This is an online series of training videos for our users that like to proceed with their training at their own pace. Recently revamped by one of our PSG consultants, this video series will get even a novice user up to speed and ready to get started with SI, and can even be a great refresher to someone who’s been away from the software for a while.

Another one of the benefits D-Tools can now offer users of SI is that of a utilization assessment. One of our PSG consultant team members can meet with your team (on-site or online) to assess your team’s utilization of SI and make recommendations about how your team could better leverage your investment in the software in order to increase your return on that investment. For some teams, this could mean a drastic re-tooling of SI and its features so that workflow processes can be improved. For others, it could mean the addition of partner software like Quickbooks, TRXiO, Visio and/or AutoCAD or others.

What does this mean to you?

Simply put, you have a partner in D-Tools. It is a rarity in the IT, software, and consulting world that a company can offer training to users by actual users of their products or platforms. That is exactly what D-Tools offers its dealers, and I would certainly encourage all who have yet to take advantage of this unique opportunity to do so. D-Tools and its team of professionals offer not only software and code, but also the team, talent, expertise, and “know-how” to enable you to leverage resources accordingly so that your team can maximize your usage of SI 2018.