XtremeLabs was a sponsor at the 2019 Training Industry Conference & Expo (TICE) event this past week in North Carolina where we met and had great conversations with many learning professionals. Much valuable insights and connections were made with Leaders from the learning and development world. Many noted speakers shared their work and life experiences with the attendees in the various sessions held over the two days in Raleigh, North Carolina. Highlights from the event are below!
Redmond, Washington – XtremeLabs and GreenBridge Computing are partnering to provide low cost green computing solutions to training businesses, academic institutions and technology companies.
GreenBridge Computing has developed GreenZero™ a secure, low-cost, low-maintenance and high-performance computing end point that has been deployed at hundreds of locations around the world. XtremeLabs Hands On Learning Labs for Training and Examination are optimized to work with the GreenZero™ endpoint.
K-12 Districts and Higher Education institutions, Professional Training Companies, Examination Centers and Learning and Development groups at enterprises can now have a one stop, low cost solution for modernization of hardware and software in their training facilities.
The GreenZero™ units are available for purchase or via monthly subscriptions. XtremeLabs will also be offering on-demand kits of 10, 20 and 50 seats available as rentals to support special training, testing and demonstrations events at conferences and trade shows.
“We want to remove as many barriers as possible to learners getting access to great hands-on training,” said Ahmar Abbas, CEO of XtremeLabs. “Our partnership with GreenBridge brings best in class computing, with lowest total cost of ownership in the hands of training companies, academic institutions and enterprises”.
A fully supported 25 seat training center that utilizes XtremeLabs packaged kits will cost $29 per seat / month, saving more than 60% when compared to existing solutions. In addition, customers will receive discounted pricing on all XtremeLabs Hands On Learning Labs and Training products.
“Deploying and managing hardware and software is painful and expensive for training entities – particularly for organizations still facing Windows 7 end of support in 2020,” said David Yunger, Founder and CEO, GreenBridge Computing. “GreenZero’s disruptive technology delivers a Windows 10 experience for each user – at 60% reduced cost — while entirely eliminating costly, cumbersome conventional virtualization licensing expenses.
XtremeLabs is a strategic partner for us, given their global reach of 1,200+ training centers and nearly 5 million labs hosted. Their unique expertise as the engine powering Microsoft’s learning delivery, including Microsoft Official Curriculum, edX, and performance-based skills validation, give us confidence as we advance our vision to empower millions of learners for tomorrow’s jobs.”
XtremeLabs LLC will be available at the TICE 2019, being held at the Raleigh, NC July 17-19 in booth 21.
GreenBridge Computing drives profitability via innovative technology. Hardware costs are cut in less than half – with increased security and manageability – while eliminating virtualization licensing fees. Founded in 2011, the company introduced the world’s first sub-$200 Windows PC, and today delights clients in more than 30 countries. As a triple-bottom-line social enterprise, GreenBridge delivers value to its shareholders, communities, and planet earth by reducing energy use by up to 90% – and donating to schools in low-income neighborhoods around the globe. You can learn more about our mission at http://greenbridge.tech
XtremeLabs Partners with Mercury Learning and Information for Digital Online Labs and Courseware
Redmond, Washington – XtremeLabs and Mercury Learning and Information are partnering to provide authors of technical books with online learning labs and courseware to supplement their digital and print content.
Mercury Learning and Information is a leader in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) print and digital content. In partnership with XtremeLabs, authors will be able to add a rich, hands-on learning experience to their content. The XtremeLabs online learning labs platform allows learners to get hands-on experience with systems and tools. For example, authors developing content related to coding can provide access to an integrated development environment, code snippets and exercises through XtremeLabs web browser-based platform.
“As publishers we are always looking to provide the best digital solutions to our authors,” said David Pallai, CEO of Mercury Learning and Information. “Our authors will have another digital avenue to enhance their content.”
XtremeLabs online labs platform integrates with all standards-based learning management platforms such as Blackboard, Instructure, Open edX, and Moodle that are commonly used in educational institutions. Authors will now be able to seamlessly extend their content for use in academic courses.
“Publishing is going through an aggressive digital transformation,” said Ahmar Abbas, CEO of XtremeLabs. “We are excited to be working with Mercury Learning and Information to enhance their digital offerings.”
XtremeLabs LLC and Mercury Learning and Information will be available at the Book Expo 2019, being held at the Javits Center in New York City, May 29-31, 2019.
Please contact Domieh.Daoud@xtremelabs.io to schedule an appointment.
XtremeLabs provides technology products and services to support employability, workforce development and training. XtremeLabs provides hands-on labs for training, examinations and certifications. XtremeLabs has over 9000 hands-on labs that cover subjects such as coding, security, data science, machine learning, networking. and other technologies. Our labs are available in over 10 different languages including German, French, Chinese, Japanese, Russian and Arabic.
About Mercury Learning and Information
Mercury Learning and Information provides print and digital content in the areas of science and medicine, technology and computing, engineering, and mathematics (STEM disciplines) designed for the professional/reference, trade, library, higher education, career school, and online training markets. We embrace both traditional and innovative publishing models designed to accommodate the needs of the intended audience by using the appropriate delivery methods. For more information
XtremeLabs online learning labs for VMware support a rich set of features including classroom setup, instructor sharing, lab steps overlay and deep learner analytics to deliver best outcomes for training and learning.
XtremeLabs is excited to announce the general availability of its online learning labs for VMware. XtremeLabs online learning labs for VMware support a rich set of features including classroom setup, instructor sharing, lab steps overlay and deep learner analytics.
VMware training companies will be able to reduce training preparation time, gain access to instructor support features and access in class and post class learner analytics to adapt and refine teaching. Students will benefit from a single integrated lab viewer with all lab exercises available through a web browser.
“The students and instructors had a great experience using XtremeLabs online labs for VMware,” said Shawn MacArthur, CEO of VMTraining and a VMware certified instructor(VCI).“With all the hassles of lab setup, infrastructure preparation out of the way, our instructors and students can really focus on hands-on learning and mastering various VMware products and technologies.”
Demand for VMware is growing as organizations increasingly virtualize their data center and infrastructure. Data center managers are scrambling to hire specialized IT professionals to fill the needed roles. According to a report by Global Knowledge, VMware certifications are in the top 10 list of IT certifications worth having.
“Our portfolio of hands-on learning and training labs continues to grow at a fast pace,” said Paul Portillo, Head of Training Content Development at XtremeLabs. “With addition of VMware, our footprint in virtualization and automation labs continues to strengthen”.
About XtremeLabs XtremeLabs provides technology products and services to support employability, workforce development and training. XtremeLabs provides hands-on labs for training, examinations and certifications. XtremeLabs has over 9000 hands-on labs that cover subjects such as coding, security, data science, machine learning, networking, and other technologies. Our labs are available in over 10 different languages including German, French, Chinese, Japanese, Russian and Arabic.
Contact our Sales Team for more information!
We started our journey to reimagine our customer experience in earnest in 2018. Our thought was that we would end up with a list of digital transformation ideas and implementing them would have us jump up several notches in the various customer service benchmarks. What we learned, however, was that while implementing new digital tools did help, the biggest impact was achieved by focussing on the following 4 things:
Define what Great Customer Experience Means to You:
The first and most important element in delivering great customer experience is to define what “great” means. We found a practice within the hospitality industry that really resonated with us. When checking into a hotel the front desk staff will hand you the keys while providing meticulous directions to the elevator to get to your room. They are usually polite, clear and fast and as a weary traveler, you are quickly relaxing in your room. Overall good service. Now every so often, the front desk staff will not only provide the directions, but also come out and walk you to the elevator, and anticipate what could further enhance your stay experience at their property by engaging in meaningful conversation. To us, the extra effort is what transformed a good experience into a great experience. We asked our team was to gauge their responses and determine if they were “walking out from behind the desk” or “just providing good directions” when addressing customer and user issues and queries. So, now instead of just pointing our users to their home institution or their training company, our team helps to facilitate those discussions.
“People will forget what you said. They will forget what you did. But they will never forget how you made them feel.”Maya Angelou
Empower Your Front-Line Team:
It’s difficult to deliver great experience if your team doesn’t feel empowered to do whatever is necessary to resolve customer issues. We decided to take a different approach to empowerment and trust. We asked our team to use their judgment in resolving issues, and do what they felt was right, even if it meant an increase in our costs. Our twist, however, was that we asked them to escalate only those issues where they felt that their judgment was leading them to say no to a customer or user. Trusting the team to take whatever action necessary and as rapidly as possible led to over 98% of user issues being resolved during the first contact!
“Quality is remembered long after the price is forgotten.”Aldo Gucci
We started on a journey of anticipatory customer experience. Mining the data available to us, both in our systems as well as in various public forums, we started to provide tips, tricks that could enhance their experience. For example, many of our instructors move from one training class to another, having just a weekend in between to prepare. To help reduce preparation time, we developed a profile of each of our labs that we shared ahead of the class with the instructor. This technique helped the instructors know where a typical student could get stuck in a lab, or if there were other known issues to look out for in a particular module.
Measure and Benchmark:
Our favorite benchmark is the Net Promoter Score ®. We ran NPS® surveys to track transactional and relationship metrics but we also measured the NPS® across our organization. Our modified score which we call the XtremeS score is a weighted average of the customer and internal team NPS scores. XtremeS helps keeps us honest, reinforcing the idea that happy employees lead to happy customers.
“Customer Service is not a department, but a philosophy to be embraced by everyone in the company.”Shep Heyken
The reimagining of our customer experience process has yielded some really great results in a short period of time. XtremeLabs LLC achieved a high Net Promoter Score® of 47 in Q1 of 2019. According to data from Satmetrix, a Net Promoter Score of 28 is average for Software and Apps sector, while Survey Monkey’s Global Benchmark of 2259 companies has an average NPS of 17, making our Net Promoter Score of 47 an exciting outcome of our teams’ efforts!
Ahmar Abbas is CEO of XtremeLabs LLC based in Washington DC and Seattle, WA.
On the second day of my job as an engineering co-op with United Airlines in 1992, I attended the 40th anniversary celebration of an employee whom I will call Dan. Dan had been a mechanic at the airline specializing in engine maintenance. He was a quick learner and shortly after he started, he mastered the piston engine that was on many airliners of the era. And over the years he reinvented himself and mastered the turboprop, the turbofan and the turbojet engines. I bet if United Airlines ever bought a plane with a scramjet – this mechanic would have reinvented himself again as the best scramjet repairer in the business. Forty years hence he was going strong and was happily looking forward to working on the massive new engines that were then slated to come out for Boeing 777 in a few years.
I have always wondered why certain people don’t get fazed by changing technology and platforms, while others having mastered something, hug it dearly and never want to let go. While Dan reskilled and reinvented himself many times over, many of us struggle to adapt to changes. We all know people that have had a hard time parting with their servers and moving to the cloud, and others who can’t seem to get the rhythm of agile programming and cling to the known and perhaps safe waterfall approach.
Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella, in his book Hit Refresh, talks about organizations that value and promote a fixed and rigid mindset. Each employee must prove to everyone that that he or she knows it all and is the smartest person in the room. In such environments, it is understandable that mastery of a technology, or methodology or software package can be the pathway to corporate success.
In Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, Professor Carol Dweck posits that our brains are quite malleable and can easily shift from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset with the right type of organizational support. An organization that supports and recognizes that taking on new challenges will at times be a struggle; and that is not a reflection of low-ability but a part of growing and learning.
We at XtremeLabs believe that there is an emerging economy based on the growth mindset and on learning – we like to call it the Learn It All Economy. Learning and growth will not be in phases (2-year vocational training or 4-year high education) but will be constant and throughout our career and beyond. In the learning economy, we will shift from the know it all mindset to the growth focused learn it all mindset.
We are building and delivering innovative products and services that power the learn it all economy. Our hands-on labs offering today gives hundreds of thousands of learners around the world the ability to gain new skills through real world interaction with technology and provides instant feedback on how their learning is progressing. So, whether you are a person striving to gain new skills in Baku or Bali, Valetta or Valencia, our labs platform is a safe place to struggle, learn and master!
Written by: Ahmar Abbas, CEO of XtremeLabs LLC