I’ve been working in computers now for about 15 years and seen many versions of software come and go. My time in IT started with DOS 6 and Windows 3.1/Windows NT3.51, from there it build through the various Windows versions going to Windows for Workgroups 3.11, Windows 95, Windows NT4, Windows 98, Windows 98SE, Windows ME, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows 2003 Server and finally Vista. Through the the whole upgrade process the Operating System has gone from strength to strength although this is a subject of much debate where Vista is concerned, but no the less Microsoft has done a lot for the desktop market despite all of the problems they have created. They have also done a great deal with office, I’ll always remember one of my old bosses used to love to say to people:
"What version of Word are you running?"
"Wow that’s old now they’re at Version 95 now!"
Now to most it’s pretty obvious that MS made a leap in their naming of office applications after Office 4.3 (Word 6) when they then release Office 95 which went on to be Office 97, Office 2000, Office XP, Office 2003 and now Office 2007. Again the Office suite has seen a great deal of progress made and a whole host of new functions and other things that make working easier and more efficient. The problem is how do you find all of these new feature or if you have found them where do you find the time to learn how to use them. More people now are using computers at home and as a result it has changed the IT Training market especially in small businesses where most staff will say they know how to use Word, Excel, Powerpoint etc but do they? I have always said to clients that they know more about Word and other Office apps than I ever will, and they will look at me gone out. Why? Because I don’t use it I just fix it.
I was talking to one of our partners and a good friend of mine recently who’s an IT trainer. He was telling me that they we’re starting to run "Surgeries", perhaps not the best title as it conjured up images of a room full of sick people wondering desperately why they bothered being on time as the doctors is running an hour behind. He went on to explain that many companies have staff who are proficient in using Office applications but could to with help on certain little things. So what they do is they get setup in a room and effectively run a drop-in training room where members of staff will go to them with a specific problem and they will address it via a short 20 minute session, then when they are done another person will come in. Now coming from the school of "I know how to use it" even I can see what value this would be, so I asked the all important question "What about cost?". He replied "well it can work out as little as £12.50 per person depending on the number of delegates". At that cost I don’t there are any businesses that can’t get value from that particular type of training……lets call it Micro-training!!
Ok so it’s a little shameless pimping of a partners business but the thing is I don’t pimp other peoples wares lightly as it’s not the way I do things, however this type of training is completely different to anything I have ever seen before and despite being a Nottingham based company they work throughout the UK to support businesses. So if you’ve got staff that can’t mail merge, can’t do graphs in excel (that’s me Andy) or other such tasks then give Andy a call at F1rst I.T. Training and Support on 0115 926 2078 or email him on firstname.lastname@example.org