In addition to updating training materials with new exercises, Azteca Systems updates and tests the digital training environment against the associated workbooks. While preparations require extra effort, the process has been greatly simplified by the use of Cloud computers.
“A short time ago, training preparation required a lot more time and effort,” said John Jarnagin, Education Services Manager. “The required software would be installed on each computer and each would then be tested against the workbook. If we found issues we would have to reinstall and retest until the machine was working properly. Even though we copied the configuration to the other computers, this process took a great deal of time.”
The next iteration involved the use of Virtual Machines (VM)—a self-contained computer environment that can be installed or attached to any computer. Though the time involved configuring a VM was virtually the same as loading the software on each individual computer, the environment was more uniform and consistent.
The Cloud has changed things dramatically. Similar to a VM’s consistency, the Cloud offers a stable application environment accessible through a common browser , eliminating the need to install and test a room full of training computers. Often, the actual host computer, or server, may not actually be located on premise, but exist elsewhere on a network, or “in the Cloud.”
Educational Services began using Cloud computers in September 2011, replacing VMs for many training courses. Currently, all online training courses, classroom training in the company’s Utah facility, and regional trainings throughout the country are hosted via the Cloud. Preconference training at the 2012 Cityworks User Conference will also be Cloud hosted.