Recently, it seems every time you turn around another breach or hack is threatening thousands, hundreds of thousands or millions of consumers’ online financial security. That’s why it’s more critical than ever to manage the secure flow of data across the complex networks that enable customer transactions. Even more important are the engineers who monitor networks and provide technical support to your customers, ensuring their activity is handled securely.
Unfortunately, finding and keeping this talent as your business scales quickly to serve more customers is not easy. The demand for those skill sets will only continue to grow as businesses become increasingly reliant on IT.
Setting up a network or computer operations center requires a variety of skills — routing and switching, wireless networking, security, Linux, Python, ITIL, server management and more — with proficiency ranging from associate to professional and expert. Continual technological advances, like software defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV), alongside new delivery approaches such as DevOps, means there are constantly new skills required for network engineers to be effective. These factors together indicate the need for continuous training of network engineers to consistently meet your customers’ networking needs.
Imagine how the quality of your technical support services would improve if you had access to a steady stream of such talent — candidates developed by a commercially recognized tech academy that produces specialized engineers in a variety of technical solutions: networking, computer security and programming, etc. You could easily recruit employees with the most in-demand skills, hands-on experience and necessary certifications, from basic CompTIA A+ to CCNA, LPI, ITIL, Security, CCIE and others.
The SYKES Tech Academy in Costa Rica provides just that; recruiting, developing and deploying talent from a pool of more than 5,000 candidates. Creating jobs and opportunities for career development is important to us, our people, and our clients. So, this investment in talent development is crucial to employing network engineers with globally-recognized certifications who can consistently provide an outstanding customer experience.
The Origin of the Tech Academy
The SYKES Tech Academy got its start as a project to create an “engineer factory” that would provide a steady stream of talent for global technology company, Cisco. To answer that need, we committed to developing a training academy for technical certification in Costa Rica.
Over the course of a 15-year partnership with Cisco, SYKES helped the support engineer’s TAC center grow from 14 seats to more than 450, including more than 24 CCIEs. The technologies supported grew over time from three to almost 20. This resulted in SYKES’ in-house technical-training program becoming one of Cisco’s top-rated training academies in the Latin America region. It served as a powerful tool for recruiting, developing, and retaining top talent to support the company.
The Best Choice for Sourcing Technical Engineers
There are many sources for technical engineers, including both physical and virtual academies. Many of them are managed by schools and teachers. Our Tech Academy is managed by engineers with more than five years of field experience and who hold certifications in the subjects they teach.
The CCNA course includes 4 modules—the first of which is math-based to cover IP addressing and sub-netting. While operating the academy for Cisco, we discovered that this total focus on math was causing students to abandon learning. By combining modules 1 and 2, we could get them involved in hands-on exercises which created higher levels of engagement.
When people come through the SYKES Tech Academy they not only know how to configure but can also troubleshoot. Where a typical technical engineer may experience one or two incidents per year, a student in our academy will experience five or six per day. This is an added dimension for developing qualified technical engineers. Academies run by universities may teach students the facts, but do not provide the hands-on experience that results in fast-start capabilities which are a must when you need to ramp quickly in your network support efforts.
What a Hands-Off Approach Means to You
The value of an outsourced technical support provider like our Tech Academy lies in the strategy of training our people, managing them as they work on a support team for your customers, continuously training them and ensuring they are recertified appropriately. The team managers are ITIL certified, bringing an even higher level of expertise to your engineering support team.
The SYKES Tech Academy provides learning and development for tiers 1–4 with certification, including:
- Associate — Tiers 1 and 2
- Professional — Two years at tier 3
- Expert — Tier 4
How to Use the Tech Academy to Your Advantage
Over the years, we’ve expanded the SYKES Tech Academy to provide capabilities that serve many clients’ needs, not just those of Cisco. The academy has proven to deliver top-notch talent with a 90 percent success rate.
We can customize training modules for specific client needs, and develop multiple options for the technical engineers we produce, including:
- Placement for long-term, on-site positions
- Standing up an NOC offshore to support your networking needs
- Creating a specialty service desk to support specific accounts or product lines
Sourcing support engineers through the Tech Academy can be as simple as saying: “Provide me with ten engineers and a team lead to support ‘X’ product line, launch, or promotion.”
While the demand for technical engineers is high, securing the talent you need with the necessary experience, capability and certification levels shouldn’t be difficult or frustrating. SYKES Tech Academy has made sure of it.
SYKES is a leading, global digital-marketing and customer-care outsourcer. SYKES provides differentiated, full lifecycle customer-engagement services to Global 2000 companies and their end consumers at key touchpoints. Headquartered in Tampa, Florida, SYKES’ comprehensive suite of solutions addresses the needs of major companies around the world — serving such industries as communications, financial services, technology, healthcare, transportation and leisure, insurance, retail and energy.
Watch the latest SYKES Tech Academy webinar: How a Focused Tech Academy Solves the Talent-Stream Challenge