Empowering a new generation of engineers
In the enterprise IT marketplace, VMware is almost synonymous with virtualization. When companies want to deploy new systems faster and get more out of their hardware resources, VMware is one of the first names on the procurement list.
With millions of VMware virtual servers running in thousands of data centers worldwide, it’s vital that companies have the skills to design, deploy, monitor and maintain their VMware environments. And for VMware itself, that means there’s a huge incentive to persuade the next generation of IT engineers to learn how to get the best out of VMware software.
The company has collaborated with academic institutions globally to provide courses on data center virtualization, network virtualization, end-user computing, cloud management, automation and security. However, the company had been facing difficulties in obtaining valuable feedback on its course content and analyzing students’ interactions with its learning platform.
“We wanted better user tracking and reporting so that we could make our platform as easy to consume as possible,” explains Álvaro Viquez, technical program manager at VMware IT Academy. “Our goals are to increase enrollment and retention, and ultimately help more students achieve their goal of certification in VMware technologies.”
Extracting maximum value from technology
VMware partnered with D2L, enabling the company to deliver an exceptional learning experience for students. The partnerships also help VMware get feedback so they can continuously enhance their courses. The aim was to help them maximize the use of this technology, which is where D2L’s learning administration management service played a role.
Today, VMware collaborates with a designated D2L learning administration manager (LAM) who helps make their concepts a reality. By leveraging the entire range of Brightspace tools, the LAM has empowered VMware to build a comprehensive learning experience and obtain insights from registration to certification.
For example, VMware now makes extensive use of surveys to gather feedback from students and instructors. The team analyzes tracking data to decide which users are best to survey based on their role, status and login rates. Brightspace’s intelligent agents feature then automatically sends the surveys out to the most suitable participants, which improves the quality of the feedback received.
“So in the past, instructors had limited knowledge on how the courses were being consumed, nor were they able to report to us. But now we don’t have to knock on doors, because we have the data with D2L. We’re able to seek everything that we need and use that information to improve the platform,” says Viquez.
Brightspace’s integration capabilities and the LAM’s platform knowledge have also enabled the VMware team to report on data, providing deeper insight into enrollment.
Transforming the lives of 100,000 students
Having a LAM has made a night-and-day difference to our success with the Brightspace platform. It’s made our day-to-day work 100 times easier and more productive. I used to spend five hours a week configuring things in the platform—now I can stop acting as a LAM myself and focus on my real job.Álvaro Viquez, Technical Program Manager, VMware IT Academy
The results speak for themselves: The team has exceeded its target for student enrollment by 40% (105,000 versus a goal of 75,000). This success has also helped Viquez and his team to win trust within VMware itself, and as a result, the IT Academy has gained backing to expand its course portfolio from four courses to 22.
“Working with our LAM, Natasha, has been a delight—we sync up daily and focus on proactively identifying improvement opportunities to further enhance the platform and student experiences. Things have improved exponentially since she came on board,” Viquez continues.
“Brightspace has been enormously positive for my professional development. After four years as a Brightspace user and an advocate, I have been able to impact over 100,000 students’ lives. D2L has been an instrumental part of my job, and I can’t imagine where I would be if it wasn’t for this partnership.”