Some weeks before, in that period that Germans call “Sommerloch” (good question how to translate this in English: something like a summer gap might make sense…) we had the opportunity to look to some other projects, and how they support dissemination and uptake through leveraging training activities for potential customers and end users so that they get a first experience on how to use the systems they are building.
For CS-AWARE we may also need to come up with a concept or actually a methodology and the corresponding plan of training in place. We see two basic guiding principles: our training has to minimize costs and also be very intuitive.
The point is: if the training is expensive and / or difficult, it will not meet its aims and will fail to help us enlarge our future installed base. Not to mention that the training must be multilingual, this adds an extra cost to everything.
So what we were discussing was about how we may come up with a cheap, simple and brilliant training plan in first place. As with many things in this life, there are no silver bullet solutions… Here are the results of some first round of brainstorming we did:
As our software is fairly intuitive, we would be unhappy if anyone qualified – and we are addressing System Administrators, who are capable already – should need to spend more than half a day learning everything about the CS-AWARE system. So this means that we zero a potential business (namely this of training) but we dramatically increase the value we offer to our future customers and end users.
We could even say that the CS-AWARE system is planned and made to be so simple that a trained System Administrator probably does not even need any formal training at all, so this should definitely be optional.
Another relevant and important aspect is that during the workshops we organize with our pilot partners, the System Administrators gain a quite high level of understanding of the system anyway, so there is not much left to be taught, and if there are more system administrators, they most likely will train themselves when they have their weekly or so meetings.
In our view, we need:
- Fairly basic end-user documentation describing what the system shows and what possibilities the system administrator has, and where to find the information. This should be in the language of the recipient, but should probably also be available in English, as much IT-lingo can be easier to understand if not translated.
- In case the optional training session is requested (some people like to spend their money because of numbers in a spreadsheet telling them to … do so), the training session itself should have a training-setup running that we shall have ready as our project approaches its completion.
- The parts of the training session should reflect the use cases, and they should be implemented in the training system.
- For onsite implementations, half a day in the process could be reserved for the technical training session.
- For implementations with no or little onsite presence, we could offer either a webinar or an onsite training course depending on the budget that each customer can afford to pay.
However, an important issue to consider is the need that exists to offer more general courses regarding raising the level of cybersecurity awareness in the entirety of organizations. Though this is something not necessarily linked to our software, it would be definitely interesting for municipalities and next-step customers as our biggest opponent in our commercialization is the lack of knowledge in the market. The more informed our target audience is, the easier we can win them as our customers!
Kim Gammelgaard, CEO RheaSoft Denmark
Adamantios Koumpis, Berner Fachochschule, Switzerland