Myles Brown: welcome. My name is Miles Brown. I'm the Senior Cloud and DevOps adviser at ExitCertified. ExitCertified has been an IT training company since 2001. We do a lot of cloud training, both authorized training from the major vendors and a lot of open-source training like Kubernetes and programming language training, where there are no vendors of note. I have my colleague Danny Mills here with me. Maybe, Danny, you can tell us a little bit about yourself and some of the customers that you work with.
Danny Mills: I'm a business development manager here at ExitCertified and have been working here for several years. Most of my accounts are what we call named accounts. Typically, they’re enterprise-level accounts that have been working with us for years, and they tend to do more business with us than just some of the one-offs. So, we've established relationships with them and have expanded inside those organizations across multiple IT teams. I don't work in any one vertical as my accounts are in different types of verticals. My accounts are all over North America, and some of them are international. I also work a lot with the Canadian Federal Government.
Myles Brown: Excellent! Well, ExitCertified has been concentrating on cloud training the last few years, because that's where a lot of big needs are. And one of the things that we decided to do is build this CloudCentrix suite of products to try and explain the breadth of training offerings that we provide.
I was hoping that you could speak about some of your customers that have consumed products from across multiple vendors across the cloud centric offerings.
Danny Mills: Sure, yeah. CloudCentrix has been huge. Introducing this model has really helped so many of the accounts I work with. Like I said, I'm working with large enterprise accounts that are already familiar with us. We're finding when we put this CloudCentrix model in front of them, they realize there's so much to the cloud and this model helps them understand all there is to it and all the areas in which we can train them. It's become a valuable tool, you know, not only for me, but for them to realize the various areas we can help them with: not just technologies but methodologies like Agile. In the CloudCentrix diagram, sometimes they'll see topics or technologies that they had just been speaking about in a meeting. Maybe they didn't know much about the topic before, but then they see it on this this CloudCentrix diagram, and they're like this is great timing for them because they’ve been talking about the topic and then they see it here.
Danny Mills: One account I work with is a large grocery chain that has been doing a lot of web programming type courses, technical training. They've done some Apple type things and some Mirantis classes. So they were very much on the technical side of the house on the CloudCentrix side.
I was working with a training coordinator there who was gathering needs across the organization for the company’s different IT groups. On one of our calls, I pulled up the CloudCentrix diagram, and one of the things that jumped out at her was what we were doing around, Agile and SAFe, and things like that. When she saw the diagram she was like 'Whoa! I just came out of a big meeting where we were talking about this stuff. This is going to be a big initiative for us going forward.' They had been doing some agile stuff already kind of entry level. But now they were really wanting to home in on it and get the executives involved as well as the different IT teams. We spoke about how they can get working on this framework. The timing was great when we looked at the diagram.
Our meeting basically turned into several calls with our experts on that side of the house, which you know Agile and SAFe methodologies aren't really technical. But they're important. So it was a kind of a completely different type of skill set than what they had come to us needing before. The diagram launched several classes and several deliveries, both with director level and executive workshops. Plus, we did some technical training for the people on IT teams.
Myles Brown: Yeah, I imagine that really makes a training coordinator's job easier when they can use a familiar training company like us that has a proven track record of providing high-quality training for them. When they have these newer needs.
Danny Mills: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, training coordinators can’t be expected to understand everything about technology. They have an important job, right. They have to coordinate a lot across so many different units. And it's hard for them to kind of just keep their hands around everything that's out there right? And so when they get a tool like this CloudCentrix diagram in front of them, it helps them understand the various parts of the cloud that their organization may be using now or want to use. On our ExitCertified website, when you're viewing the diagram, if you see a topic that you're interested in, you can click on it, and it takes you right to that topic’s web page on our site. That helps people to really just sort of dig in to what that technology or methodology is. The CloudCentrix diagram is a tool that people can share with their with their business units and their business leaders. This diagram is so helpful because you can get it in front of them, and they're able to really take it and run with it, and then someone, usually the training coordinator will come back to us. So then there will be a meeting with the training coordinator, me, and maybe someone like you, Myles, or another ExitCertified IT subject matter expert who will speak with the client to help them decide what they're priorities are and what training solutions would best suit them.
Myles Brown: Yeah. And you know, they're going to have lots of needs across a bunch of different topics. We see that a lot, especially in the cloud. You know, a big part of our business is, people come to us because, you know, they go to the AWS website looking for training. They get redirected to us because we probably have the biggest schedule of public AWS classes.
They'll sometimes send a few people to a course, and then we'll have a call with them afterwards to get their thoughts on the training. We'll also talk about other training needs they have. A lot of times, once we start talking to them, we find that there's a lot of related needs they might need, such as Kubernetes or something else. So, I'm wondering, Danny, do you have any of those kind of customers where you started talking about cloud, maybe AWS, and then they pivoted to something else.
Danny Mills: Now I have an example. I mean, so many people come from that background where they've been using what we call the Big 3 or the Big 4 cloud providers. They're coming out of AWS or Microsoft Azure or GCP, or whatever their core cloud solution is. That's sort of where a lot of customers have been or where they start. And then they step into that CloudCentrix conversation. Because some of the topics in the diagram is where their minds have been, or that's where their company has been driving them to: some of those topics. They get their certifications in those cloud provider technologies and then they look for what's next. I had an organization that was a global security aerospace engineering firm that I was working with. They were working with us for their AWS and Red Hat training. Then I showed them the CloudCentrix diagram.
And the guy was like, Wow, there are so many things here that we are needing that we've talked about in team meetings and I did not know that you guys had training for that. That turned into training opportunities around Ansible and Terraform.
We even talk about a custom cloud fundamentals course. We later put together a rough outline for that course for some new hires. All this came about from just seeing that one diagram. And talking about this CloudCentrix training model, people can see all the various training topics that they had not realized were available. When they see the diagram, they're usually very receptive and thankful to see and understand it.
Myles Brown: They see the various ways in which we can help them. And so CloudCentrix diagram has been a really helpful tool for sure. I think you're right. It's the discussions with those training coordinators that really help them figure out the cloud needs. Once they see all those technologies and methodologies and consider the best training options, organizations realize that they need IT training across the board.
Danny Mills: In a lot of these cases, it's not just them seeing the various technologies and methodologies on the diagram, right? A lot of these turn into tailored custom classes because that's what they really want. You know, some of these standard classes don't cover everything they need, or they cover too much of things they don't need. And so they want to just cut out some of the stuff they’ll never use. If they want an off-the-shelf course, we have it. And if they want customized training created specifically for their business needs, we have that too. So, you know, they're not wasting time and they're getting exactly what they want out of class.
Myles Brown: Yeah, all right. Well, thanks for your time today. I really enjoyed talking to you.