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The client, one of the world’s largest technology companies, saw inefficiencies in the SAP training it previously had in place. The quality of instructors—as well as content being delivered—was lacking, and a platform for educating global and/or virtual audiences was needed.

Being in the IT space for over 70 years, the client has evolved into a world-leading technology company that employs nearly 350,000 people and serves over 1 billion customers across six continents. The client boasts a comprehensive business portfolio which includes hardware, software and services targeted towards consumers, businesses, governments and schools around the globe. TEKsystems has been a trusted partner of this client since 1999.

In a rapidly evolving IT industry, the lifecycle of advanced technologies can be unpredictable; in many cases, what was once the latest gadget, tool or system is now obsolete and has been replaced by a product that is less expensive, faster, easier to use or—in some other way—better. But how does a consumer’s understanding of technology stay at pace with its evolution? In a business setting, the stakes are even higher when it comes to introducing new technologies. Careful planning to ensure that new technology is properly understood and adopted among employees is critical to validating the worth of the investment and seeing a return.

Quality employee training programs should be implemented across organizations trying to roll out a new or advanced technology, but it should not stop there. To account for new hires as well as existing employees that need to re-skill their roles or are simply looking to sharpen their skills, organizations should be thinking about ongoing IT education and training programs. Not only does access to continued training encourage user adoption, heightened productivity and overall employee sense of value, but it also supports the successful utilization of technology and subsequently has a positive impact on a business’ performance.
 
Given that the technology landscape is constantly changing while the business environment is becoming increasingly more global, organizations need a versatile SAP education and training partner that can provide customized learning solutions.

SAP Supply Chain Management (SCM), SAP Financial Accounting & Controlling (FICO), Financial ERP Solutions

Having been a longtime SAP user, the client had previously received training with the original equipment manufacturer but sought to pursue alternative training providers that could offer a comprehensive and more customized training curriculum. The client’s ultimate objective was to execute a top-notch, cost-effective SAP training program that would facilitate adoption, knowledge transfer and enable the company to achieve higher levels of service to its user community. This program would need to include virtual training options specific to the SAP skill sets they employed across its nationwide locations.

The client acknowledged early on that its requirements called for the expertise of a uniquely competent vendor. The client wanted to be sure that the new provider offered:

    

Course Selection and Content – The client required a provider that could deliver quality course content that would be relevant to a variety of educational and professional backgrounds.
    
Course Instruction – The client also required that its provider of choice be able to supply top-quality, dedicated instructors with proven experience across multiple SAP modules and could teach in a consistent manner over time. 
    
Global Training Platforms – The ability to execute training virtually was imperative in order to eliminate operational and logistical expenses normally associated with reaching global audiences.

TEKsystems was selected based on our ability to demonstrate a full breadth of SAP training capabilities, our strict instructor qualification process, our history of past performance as well as our superior logistics management including production and distribution of hard and soft copy course materials.

The custom SAP training curriculum that TEKsystems designed for the client included an in-depth analysis to determine the appropriate class format, content and priority based on the assigned roles, technical prowess and SAP experience of each employee. This resulted in the development of instructor-led training (ILT) courses, virtual training options and self-paced training modules that were accessible in a secure viewer so that they could access materials remotely over a defined period of time. Using these formats, TEKsystems delivered targeted training to augment trainees’ baseline understanding of the SAP system, onboard new users and re-skill existing employees.

This solution enabled us to showcase the three key elements the client required of its provider of choice:

  • Course Selection and Content
    Our ability to offer courses across a variety of formats was a key requirement given the diversity of employee backgrounds. The user population was comprised of new hires, internal technical professionals, project managers, supply chain sales and distribution professionals and finance; it also included recent college graduates with varying degrees of SAP proficiency as well as college grads who concentrated on subjects outside of IT, such as business or accounting. The content we delivered covered relevant information for those users in the supply chain (sales and distribution) as well as in finance roles; it enabled all trainees—regardless of their role within the organization—to become proficient in SAP quickly and understand how it can be applied to their day-to-day work.

  • Course Instruction
    TEKsystems’ proprietary Instructor Quality Model is designed to ensure we identify, source and select the best learning professionals to support our clients’ education and training needs; this model has enabled us to establish a community of more than 750 instructional designers, certified instructors and e-learning developers. Within TEKsystems’ community of highly qualified instructors—who have extensive experience as well as relevant degrees and certifications—we were able to provide the client with six highly skilled, experienced and qualified resources to support its SAP training goals. These instructors went through a strict qualification process that required a minimum of five years of corporate training and ten years of practical experience with SAP, enabling them to deliver training expertise across a range of different SAP modules.

  • Global Training Platforms
    Our flexible curriculum was particularly valuable to the client, that prior to TEKsystems, would have to produce and assemble the hard copy training materials for each SAP module and user population, send them to various geographically dispersed distribution sites that would then ship them to each employee individually. Additionally, under the client’s old training model, instructors were required to travel to global locations for in-person training. The solution that TEKsystems implemented alleviated these costly and cumbersome operational challenges, in favor of a streamlined, more practical process.
With hundreds of employees ultimately in need of SAP training, the client’s legacy training process would have been costly and immensely time consuming. Instead, TEKsystems helped the client achieve its goal of building a customized, cost-effective SAP training curriculum. Prior to engaging TEKsystems, the production and shipping cost to create, assemble and distribute the traditional 300+ page hard copy courseware books would have easily cost the company $250 per manual and person, while the instructor travel expenses would have been more than $2,000 per class. As a result of TEKsystems’ training solution, the client has reported more than $50,000 in cost savings, to date.

Aside from alleviating the financial burden, a host of client-side and employee benefits are being enjoyed as a result of this successful partnership. Leveraging our intensive instructor vetting process, TEKsystems was able to provide the client’s trainees with higher quality SAP instruction including six credentialed instructors and more specialized course content. Instructors held at least five years of corporate training experience as well as ten years of SAP training; with this background, instructors had the knowledge to customize and tailor classes and modules as appropriate, based on individual audiences. Dozens of classes have been offered, more than 600 employees have been trained and TEKsystems has earned an overall instructor satisfaction score of 4.42 out of five (five being the highest). Moreover, meeting the requirement for robust virtual and e-learning options produced greater operational efficiencies for the client’s global audience. For example, the client’s telecommuters and those working in remote locations were able to sharpen their skills while avoiding travel.

The success of the client’s SAP training program has also led to faster system adoption and employees can quickly become productive because they have a better understanding of not only SAP, but also the business processes specific to their functional and technical areas and how they truly impact the business. Employee retention also emerged as a strong benefit with many of the employees who were trained or re-skilled now crediting the client with creating greater job satisfaction, visibility into new opportunities and clearer career paths.

Three critical pillars drove the successful outcome of this initiative: 
  • Customization. Prior to engaging TEKsystems, the client realized inefficiencies in training—employees were not learning general skills as opposed to the specific skills needed for their role and a virtual education platform was not available for distance learning. Through TEKsystems’ Education Services, we were able to develop and provide the client with a flexible, custom training curriculum that was needed to deliver specialized learning, heighten user satisfaction, increase operational efficiencies and subsequently cost-effectiveness.
  • Global Delivery Methods. With the previous SAP training partner, the client had not been able to educate remote workers without incurring the cost of travel. The client had no means for the Web-based development of internal SAP skills over time through employer education programs. TEKsystems global capabilities allowed the client to offer its employees self-paced SAP training that can be completed anytime, anywhere.
  • Quality Talent. Ensuring that the training program implemented was consistently delivered by high-quality instructors was of top priority for the client. The training needed to be scalable and able to reach hundreds of employees near and far. Reliable instructors were required in order to ensure consistency of delivery, consistency of content and quality of content. Through TEKsystems’ Instructor Quality Model for sourcing and selecting technical learning professionals, we were able to vet out the optimal candidates from our network of 750+ qualified instructors and deliver customized SAP training geared towards individual audiences.