Archived Business

Arm of steel – customer support training

Rock solid networks are an expectation of our customers. It takes a strong steady arm to run such an operation and it will comfort readers to know that on Friday afternoons the technical and customer services departments get together for training.

The photos are of me in training with Michelle, our Director of Customer Services. Note the motto on the wall in the background on one of them.

tref_michelleIn case anyone asks yes I did win! As usual – girls huh.michellearm

Engineer engineering

CCNA Bootcamp

A good way to finish the week. I discussed the importance of training last week. Well this week the lucky members of the team did the CCNA Bootcamp training provided by Global Knowledge. I have to say the quality of the training was top notch and we couldn’t have asked for a better tutor in Brad Bradeepan. 

It wasn’t an easy ride. We are talking 8.30 am to around 7pm most days with studying to do back in their rooms afterwards and only 30 minutes break for lunch. Today, Friday they finished at 4pm. I’m a generous boss 🙂 .

I was impressed with the amount of information that they had to cover in the week. There was also a lot of subnet theory that had to be worked out manually. In the real world nowadays this is done by machines but it is a good discipline to have to properly understand the basics of networking. The Cisco CCNA, although it is the first step on the Cisco networking ladder, is not intended to be an easy qualification to achieve.

The exams now have to be taken before 14th February and there will be a lot of revision, and indeed hands on practice, to be done between now and then. We have a lab set up in each Timico Group location to help with this.

Photo below is the team with trainer Brad in the middle and me to his right.


This next photo shows them hard at work.


Business engineering

Train your way out of a recession

I forget whether the UK is officially in an economic recession yet. There is so much talk in the news that it is difficult to see the wood from the trees. What is true is that recession or not the market in which we operate is fast moving and whilst we are currently getting bombarded with hard luck stories this must be looked upon as a real opportunity.

This is why next week one third of Timico’s engineering resource will be going on training courses. A dozen of them will be at it for five full days on a Cisco bootcamp held at Timico’s HQ in Newark. Others will be attending SMB specialisation courses. 

This is a serious investment which we are making early in the year to get the biggest bang for our bucks in 2009. Moreover it is a statement of intent.

It tells our staff that we believe in them enough to invest in their future. It tells our technology partners that we are a business worth investing their time into and finally, it sends out a signal to our customers and potential customers that our workforce is prepared in the best way possible to serve their needs.

I can’t forecast what is going to happen in 2009 but I can say that we are planning to succeed.

Business fun stuff

In the land of technology the well trained man is king

During the first seriously exciting 4 years of Timico’s being the biggest lesson I have learnt is the importance of training.

A big part of the value that Timico provides to its customers is the knowledge of its employees. Engineers are constantly going on technical courses. Indeed Timico runs its own courses for business partners wanting to climb a learning curve and manage their own installations for their customers.

One area where training is not as straightforward to apply is in the area of front line sales. There are no sales training courses that teach people how to sell the mix of technologies that Timico offers (mobile, fixed line, internet, VoIP, IT services, PBX etc etc etc in case you didn’t already know).

So we have to do it ourselves. This semester the salesforce has been participating in what we called the “Multi-Site Campaign”. Multi-site because Timico specialises in selling solutions to organisations with people spread over many locations.

As well as taking part in a competition to see who could sell the most multi-site business the sales teams have been getting involved in mentoring sessions with your truly and others. I am pleased to announce that the winner is Jo Smith. Jo gets a trip for two to New York to go Christmas shopping.

I guess the point, for any customers reading this post, is that this doesn’t mean that a Timico sales person is now going to be selling to them more aggressively and on more fronts. It means that you are going to waste less time talking about things that are not relevant to your business.

The time that you do spend with Timico, and I am grateful to you for that, is going to be more productive and I trust that the professionalism of our staff will make you feel that it is time well spent.

Timico CEO Chris Tombs congratulates Jo Smith upon winning the multi-site competition. In the land of technology the well trained woman is in fact queen.