4Knowledge Inc. Debuts Storage Enterprise Training

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4Knowledge Inc., a new enterprise-level training company specializing in learning programs and custom solutions for the storage networking community, is introducing a unique blended learning program that addresses the training needs driven by increasingly automated heterogeneous storage networks.

The 4Knowledge Community was designed for storage vendors, channel partners and end users, and features two major components: a remote lab environment that improves access and availability to leading technologies and an online community that extends the value of training with additional resources and activities including expert-to-student discussions and pre- and post-training assessment testing.


According to Barry Jackson, founder, 4Knowledge, network storage solutions encompass many different components, and the basic training that is generally available does not always provide a clear understanding of how everything works together. “When (customers) go to get help from the vendor consulting team or a VAR (value-added reseller) to analyze their environment and put together an implementation plan and strategy, they go in with a solutions focus designed to meet the clients’ needs,” said Jackson. “When it comes time to do the training, generally they get a little bit of knowledge transfer from the VAR, and they’re told to go to the vendor for specific training on the different components of those products. The real need is for training that is solutions-focused and customized at the enterprise level. 4Knowledge offers solutions-focused training that is tailored to the customers’ needs and their solutions environment.”


Jackson added, “One of the challenges that we saw after 9/11 was a dramatic drop in the willingness of customers to get on a plane and come to training classes. And training budgets were cut as the economy was affected. In addressing those needs, a lot of organizations have looked for options to get the training that they need at a lower cost, to be able to fit it into the time frames that they have available for their students to take the training and to be able to stay within budget constraints. The remote labs provide access to the technologies and hands-on lab support for classes. Even in the big companies that have lots of equipment, even for companies that make the products, that equipment is often not available for labs. By providing remote lab access that addresses the need or the target audience, the students are able to get access and understand better how the equipment works and how the solutions are put together without having to get on a plane, ship expensive equipment around to different sites or have students fly into a central location to get hands-on.”


Jackson said that the purpose of the 4Knowledge Community is to add value to the training experience by providing learning resources and activities for a longer period of time so that students can use and retain information better, and actually apply it and make it useful. “With the 4Knowledge Community, they get access to self-paced information and instructor-led online training prior to an instructor-led class so that a lot of the foundation information can be covered ahead of time. The learning experience can start sooner and be available longer,” Jackson said.


The 4Knowledge Community also offers online course material searchable in a digital format to quickly enable students to find information as needed, and the latest updates to classroom courses are e-mailed to students automatically. The 4Knowledge Community will be available online mid-July 2004, and the full program curriculum will be available in the fourth quarter.


For more information, visit www.4knowledge.com.

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