Having the right skill set to drive digital transformation is critical and what better way to support partners in their drive for certification than supporting their formal training experience and efforts with countrywide bootcamps to give them the highest possible chance of success.

Beginning in October 2019, the training covered Office 365 Fundamentals and the MS-900 certification for 98 participants, as well as Microsoft Azure Fundamentals training, coupled with the AZ-900 certification, for 106 people from 73 partner companies.

“These bootcamps are among the benefits we offer to our valued partners,” says Mpho Nyembe, program manager, Tarsus On Demand (TOD). “We embarked on this initiative with Microsoft’s backing to give participants an opportunity to recap everything they had learned about cloud services and the cloud model, which is particularly important for people involved in selling cloud-based solutions. The bootcamps include group discussions with lecturers as well as information exchange between participants.”

As a result of these intensive half-day learning sessions, Tarsus On Demand has seen a highly satisfying pass rate, and has been commended for its efforts in helping people achieve these demanding certifications. Fully funded exam vouchers were made available to participants, which was another plus. Nyembe adds that the bootcamps were helpful for people who had not had the opportunity to study for the exams.

Certification is important for channel partners because it empowers their workforce, assisting employees to improve their core competencies and their technical and sales knowledge about the latest Microsoft products and solutions. It is essential for developing these partners’ businesses and gives their organisations a significant competitive advantage.

“As the number of certifications increase, so partners receive greater incentives and benefits, as well as the confidence of knowing that their people are better able to do their jobs and solve customer problems,” Nyembe says. “We know that everyone who took part enjoyed the training and there was a lot of buzz about the various sessions on LinkedIn.”

Bootcamps are generally run by Microsoft and TOD representatives, and are by invitation from Tarsus On Demand. Previously held face-to-face at various centres around the country, they are now virtual sessions with people attending from the comfort of their home offices.

“Because it’s a model that is working well for us, we are also hosting webinars via Microsoft Teams, on topics like keeping the sales momentum going during the COVID-19 lockdown, working securely from home, how to hold effective meetings, and how to manage a crisis. This is all part of our commitment to our partner community during these difficult times,” Nyembe notes.