Esri On-Site Training Offers Many Client Benefits
Over the years, the doors of Esri's classrooms have swung open to admit thousands of students needing instruction in the science of GIS and Esri's GIS technology. But those doors have also swung open for scores of Esri instructors headed in the opposite directionfanning out across the nation and the world, teaching GIS to students at Esri client sites, in client classrooms, and on client PCs and workstations.
Client-site GIS training is a critical mission of Esri's Educational Services Division. In 1999, fully one-quarter of the more than 1,600 classes that Esri instructors taught were held at client sites. Student numbers for 1999 bring the importance of client-site training into even sharper focus: of the total 11,400 students taking courses last year, 4,500about 40 percentlearned their GIS skills at their own organization's offices.
Over the years, this has meant Esri instructors teaching GIS in all 50 U.S. states and in 38 countries including such far-flung locales as Russia, Qatar, and Nigeria.
Satisfied clients point to several advantages in having instructors dispatched from Redlands, or from one of Esri's nine regional offices, to teach at their own places of Business. Cost is one of the primary considerations, especially when a corporate or government client needs to train several employees at one time; travel expenses for a group of employees can pose a significant, perhaps prohibitive, expense.
"It is a great money-saving opportunity for State of Kentucky agencies," says Ted Stumbur, geoprocessing specialist in the Governor's Office for Technology, Office of Geographic Information. "Not having to cover the cost of travel and lodging, we are able to provide high-quality training and exposure to Esri software to more people than we could otherwise."
Stumbur is not alone in this assessment.
"The City doesn't give departments a lot of money for training," says Kauser Razvi, GIS project director, City of Chicago. "When a department has more than three people to train, it's more cost-effective to have Esri come on-site and train people from multiple departments."
These cost savings kick in dramatically when a client has more than six employees needing instruction because of Esri's flat-fee course pricing. The flat fee applies to classes of more than six students, up to the class limit of 12.
Other benefits are more difficult to measure in dollar terms but will be of even greater value to many organizations. For instance, client employees use equipment with which they are familiar, in surroundings where they are comfortableall of which help enhance learning. Moreover, GIS training at a client site allows for a more focused classroom environment because students from the same organizationperhaps even the same departmentshare common ground on which to build their understanding of GIS and its applicability to their organization.
"Students can apply what they learn from the class immediately in their day-to-day work," notes Nancy Lin Lyman, a geographer with the South Florida Water Management District.
Most GIS courses offered at Esri's Redlands headquarters or regional offices can be taught at a client site. For more information on client-site training, call the Redlands Learning Center at 909-793-2853, ext. 1-1585.