Head of the class

In the second part of a two-part series, NME talks to vendors about the skills training they offer in the Middle East, and the challenges they face when it comes to delivering quality training

  • E-Mail
By  Sean Robson Published  March 15, 2009

In the second part of a two-part series, NME talks to vendors about the skills training they offer in the Middle East, and the adoption they are together with the challenges they face when it comes to delivering quality training.

Training is no longer an optional extra at the end of an IT managers budget, but instead a critical part of ensuring the future success of an enterprise. With new products, solutions and challenges coming to the fore almost daily a new breed of training vendors’ have emerged ready to meet the needs of the users head on.

One field that is seeing real traction in the Middle East is IT security, a number of vendors now offer a range of training products centred on equipping IT professionals with the tools to combat a range of internal and external attacks.

“We specialise in security and router based training, its imperative that people need to learn how to protect against malicious attacks. Hence we recommend our customers to get their staff trained adequately to ensure high availability of their networks,” says Ajay Singh Chauhan, CEO of Comguard and Spectrum.

We have a virtual training academy which we will be investing more time and effort into. The regional sprawl sometimes means that travelling can be difficult and prohibitive. The virtual academy allows us to put an online lecturer in place.

Samer Omar, general manager of security and training solution provider I(TS)2 is another training vendor who has seen the demand for security training grow throughout the Middle East.

“Our regional focus is squarely on IT security. We developed this track because one of the big challenges we have heard from users over the past seven years is that they did not have a path to achieve their information security needs or career goals,” explains Omar.

A number of training courses are a direct result of having to equip customers with the skills that specific products require.

“We are both the regional Red Hat distributor as well as education centre. To put it into the context and from a user point of view it’s the equivalent of being trained by Red Hat, we use Red Hat course materials and Red Hat certified trainers,” says David Allinson, general manager MEA for Opennet.

Fast Lane computer consultancy offers support training for a number of major product suites. “Our training is concentrated on serving the networking industry and so we offer certifications for Cisco, IronPort and NetApps, these range from entry level to expert level,” comments Josef Miskulnig, managing director of Fast Lane.

Courses for horses

Although IT courses around the world tend to be fairly generic, many regional users have emphasised the need for skills training that takes into account the unique environment and circumstances that they operate under in the Middle East.

“We do offer customised training courses in addition to our regular courses as we have found that there are elements that are more important here, because there are less mature skills in the region,” says Jeff Ogden, senior director, Symantec Consulting Services.

Omar and I(TS)2 found the same lack of maturity when it came to offering its highest level information security training. “When we first began we discovered that the fundamental courses were missing here and even a little advanced for the maturity of the ME market. So we developed our own courses in which we offered a more suitable range of introductory courses to help educate them and set the stage for the more advanced courses.”

Catering for Arabic speakers in the region is another area in which training academies have had to take particular care. “We do not change the material as such but we have a trainer who speaks Arabic and can tailor the programme verbally,” says Judhi Prasetyo, regional channel manager, Fortinet.

Add a Comment

Your display name This field is mandatory

Your e-mail address This field is mandatory (Your e-mail address won't be published)

Security code