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Case Study: Planning a Global IT Certification

The Challenge

Staff of a large, well-known global IT company wanted to create a certification program related to a new product the company was launching. The certification program would be the company's first, and was seen as a way to develop an edge over the company's primary competitor. The plan was to initially offer the certification in China and India, the largest projected markets for the product, although no research had been conducted to determine candidate or employer interest. Staff needed to frame the business case for certification to win senior management support. Adding to the challenge, senior management expected the certification program to be financially self-sustaining.

The Questions

What type of certification program would satisfy the needs of the marketplace while also meeting the company's business needs? What infrastructure would be needed in China and India to support the program and ensure its success? What business model would be most effective? And how could channel partners and preferred customers be leveraged to facilitate the introduction of the new program?

The Solution

We began at the very beginning – by educating the client's staff on the structure, operations and requirements of professional certification programs. Then we conducted focus groups with employers and developed a candidate market survey to determine how the marketplace perceived the proposed program. Our evaluation of existing business models in the IT certification space helped us to craft a viable model for this proposed program.

The Results

Staff was successful in obtaining senior management support for the certification program proposal and business model and was given the go-ahead to proceed. The program is currently under development.

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