Summer Camp for Enterprise IT: Bolster Your Team's Skills

IT skills constantly need to be honed and grown to be ready for anything that happens inside a business. Are you making sure that your IT staff is staying up to speed? How about an ERP Boot Camp?

Running your company's enterprise IT systems can be a tough, challenging and stress-inducing task. There are always new things to learn and new technologies to investigate.

Dealing with the constant cycles of maintenance, upgrades and deployments leaves little time to fit in training opportunities for your staff.

At least that's what I've been hearing from harried enterprise IT leaders for years. I think that's something that really needs to change. Somehow, organizations have to put more value on the importance of training so that their IT teams can continue to truly meet the needs of the businesses they serve.

Take ERP, for example. ERP is big, complicated and can be messy, but it's the technology glue that holds much of your business together.

So if it's so important, how much time do you spend making sure that your staff gets the latest training and information to be sure that your ERP systems are the best that they can be? Probably not much, I'd bet.

Well, maybe it's time to look for some new ideas and approaches to make it happen. And maybe summer is the opportune time, as business tends to be less hectic.

Here's an idea: How about sending someone on your ERP staff to an ERP Boot Camp, where they can broaden their knowledge and come back with fresh new ideas for your company?

That's the concept behind a series of ERP Boot Camps being offered four times a year by Panorama Consulting Group LLC. The boot camps began early last year and squeeze a lot about ERP into three days of detailed lectures, stories from the IT trenches, analyst insights and vendor information.

So far, IT people, from CIOs to COOs to IT Directors and other staff members, have come away from the gatherings with experiences and information that help bolster their confidence as they headed back to their own IT departments, says Eric Kimberling, the founder and president of Panorama Consulting. About 100 IT leaders have participated in the sessions so far.

"It's very hard to get this kind of training, especially if you are going to embark on a new implementation," Kimberling says. "You need to know how to start it, how to keep it on budget, how ERP can deliver benefits and how to manage the project. It's a more strategic and operational view, rather than hands-on and technical training on the software itself. When we started the boot camps, there wasn't a training course out there that focused on these topics."

That need led to the birth of the boot camps, sort of like a "Missing Manual" for all the things you need to know about ERP but were afraid to ask.

The next ERP Boot Camp will be held by Panorama this Sept. 21-23 in Denver, Colo. The fee is $2,450 per attendee for clients or $3,250 per person for non-clients. If you register before July 15, there's a discounted rate. Transportation and hotel accommodations are not included.

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