Training providers go global

The downturn in the European training market has encouraged local training houses, including Fast Lane and Synergy Professional Services to expand their operations into Europe.

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By  Zoe Moleshead Published  April 15, 2003

Local training houses are bucking the typical expansion trends of the regional market. While the Middle East is generally targeted by European or American companies keen to capitalise on the potential growth in the area, the downturn in the European training market has Fast Lane and Synergy Professional Services to expand into Europe.

Fast Lane has extended its operations within Austria and most recently opened facilities in Hamburg and Berlin, while Synergy has established training houses in Spain and Vienna.

Josef Miskulnig, managing director of Cisco Learning Partner, Fast Lane believes that by broadening its boundaries, it will garner a greater set of resources and be able to introduce new skills sets to each market.

“We have realised that we have excellent resources in terms of skills set and lab facilities and it is only natural to eventually expand your operations into other geographical areas to deliver the services there,” he comments.

“We realised that there is a certain skills set available here [Middle East] that we can export to Europe and vice versa. It is not a one way street, it is really an exchange of resources between the locations. We are talking about the skills set on one hand and we are talking about the utilisation of the expensive lab facilities on the other,” explains Miskulnig.

With many of the local training companies migrating to remote or virtual learning, this has enabled them to expand their facilities in a cost effective and simple manner, negating the need to invest in costly equipment or buildings. As such, employing local-speaking trainers has become the main concern for the companies expanding into Europe.

“Remote access is vital because transporting the equipment across different countries is not a feasible option, in terms of expenses, hassle, damage of equipment, so remote lab facilities is in my opinion a key tool moving forward in the training industry,” says Miskulnig.

Furthermore, Melad Ghabrial, president & CEO of Synergy, believes that the set up of the regional market has enabled it to develop a simple and cost effective model for entering new markets.

“Instead of having a big pool of instructors that are sitting idle for 50% of the time, we have a model for covering a lot of smaller countries in a cost effective way, so instead of replicating our instructors in every location we have a pool of instructors that are fairly busy and travelling all the time,” he explains.

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