Avnet Expands Its Training Role via Acquisition

By Gina Roos  |  Print this article Print

Avnet aims to extend its education services reach with the acquisition of ExitCertified--the first dedicated IT training firm bought by a tech distributor.

What ExitCertified does differently from other companies that offer similar solutions is to provide instructor-led online or virtual training, said Maria Manning-Chapman, vice president of research and education services at Technology Services Industry Association.

More and more learning is being done remotely, and that is true in business and true in academia, explained Manning-Chapman. Historically, companies that have done remote training have leveraged two types of technology—Web conferencing and a virtual lab environment, she explained.

"When you're doing any kind of training, you want to have that hands-on opportunity to use the software or hardware as part of the training. I can be sitting in Timbuktu and through virtual technology I can access a software program or access hardware and do my lab exercises as part of the course remotely. Those are the two things that most everybody does," she said.

The third piece ExitCertified brings is the capability for the remote learner to see the instructor, and for the instructor to see the remote student, said Manning-Chapman. "That kind of human contact is an essential part of learning so it brings that human element into it instead of a Web conference way of learning."

"For Avnet, they are getting the existing business and relationships established by ExitCertified with many IT providers, and the other thing is this technology. ExitCertified didn't invent this technology but is leveraging video cam technology in a classroom environment so there is more of that virtual face-to-face learning," she added.

ExitCertified, with revenue of about $24 million, is expected to be integrated into the Education Solutions group within Avnet Technology Solutions' Global Services business.

Gina, a Channel Insider contributor, focuses on technology and the channel.