Its close relationship with Microsoft helped training firm Auldhouse notch up a record financial year.
According to general manager Melanie Hobcraft the training firm’s last financial year, which ended in June, was the best year in its 21 years of trading.
Hobcraft attributes this achievement largely to the amount of Microsoft-related training Auldhouse, a subsidiary of Gen-i, had been offering. “From a Microsoft perspective we’ve done a huge amount of work. Both directly with them with readiness training and with large corporate and government customers.”
This included conducting partner and IT professional readiness, as well as end-user training, for major Microsoft releases in the past year such as Windows Server 2008, SharePoint Server 2008 and its virtualisation offering, Hyper-V, says Hobcraft. “We had a great year on Microsoft and we work very closely with them to get readiness training off the ground when they go to market.”
In addition, Auldhouse has also been managing training for enterprise and government customers redeeming Microsoft Software Assurance training vouchers, says Hobcraft.
Auldhouse won this year’s Microsoft Learning Solutions Partner of the Year award for the work it has done around Software Assurance, she adds. “One of the case-study customers was New Zealand Defence and our work with them to manage all their technical training.”
Training for government desktop upgrades to Office 2007 has been another good source of business. “A lot of large government organisations have upgraded to Office 2007 – they make a big investment in their end-users. Out of our Wellington office, we have probably secured every desktop upgrade.”
However, Auldhouse is no one-trick pony and has also seen great demand for training for other major vendors, most notably VMware, for which it became an authorised training centre last year. “That has been very successful for us. Virtualisation is a hot thing at the moment – a lot of customers are looking at virtualisation.”
The company has had huge uptake for VMware training among existing system integrator, government and enterprise customers, says Hobcraft.
Auldhouse also has a thriving Cisco training business, with parent company Telecom, which is a major Cisco partner, one of its biggest customers. “We do a lot of training with Telecom around Cisco products.”
Other vendors that the business is seeing good uptake with include Citrix, Altiris, Red Hat and Symantec, for which it became a training provider earlier this year.
“The business has been successful because we have had to be really clever about making sure that we offer what customers are investing in,” says Hobcraft.