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How Cisco Benefits from SYKES Tech Academy
Case Study

How Cisco Benefits from SYKES Tech Academy

The key to your customer’s success is managing the secure flow of data across complex networks. The critical components for ensuring this happens are the engineers that monitor networks and provide technical support to your customers. Finding and keeping this talent as your business scales quickly to serve more customers is not easy. The demand for their skill sets has increased and will only continue to do so in the future as businesses become ever more reliant on IT.

Advances in technology, such as software defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV), alongside new delivery approaches such as DevOps, means there are a range of new skills network engineers must develop. Continuous training for network engineers is an imperative to stay ahead of the curve in meeting your customer’s networking needs.

Imagine how the quality of your technical support services would improve if you had access to a steady stream of such talent developed by a commercially recognized Tech Academy that produces network engineers with the most in-demand skills, hands-on experience, and certifications from CCNA at the basic level to CCIE certification at the expert level.

Standing up a network operations center or network service desk requires a variety of skills—from routing to switching to wireless to security—and levels of talent that range from associate to professional to expert levels. Doing so quickly with an ability to ramp up as needed shouldn’t stand in your way.

The SYKES Tech Academy in Costa Rica recruits, develops, and deploys this talent from pool of more than 4,000 candidates. Creating job and career opportunities is important to our people, us and our client’s and their customers. This level of investment is necessary if the right help is to be provided consistently and to a high level by network engineers with globally recognized certifications.

The Origin of the Tech Academy

The SYKES Tech Academy got its start as a project to create an “engineer factory” to provide a steady stream of talent for Cisco. During this 13-year partnership, SYKES grew the support engineer TAC center from 14 seats to more than 450, including more than 24 CCIEs. The technologies supported grew over time from 3 to more than 17. Developing a steady stream of talent in Costa Rica to provide this high level of engineering support has meant we needed to take a strategic approach to developing our bench strength.

We committed to the project to develop a Cisco Certified Training Academy to answer that need. SYKES’ in-house Cisco training academy became one of the top rated Cisco training academies in the Latin America region and is a key tool for recruiting, developing, and retaining top talent to support Cisco.

The Best Choice for Sourcing Network Engineers

There are many sources for network engineers, including both physical and virtual academies. Many of them are managed by schools and teachers. Our Tech Academy is managed by network engineers with more than five years of field experience that 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 Tech Academy they not only know how to configure but can also troubleshoot. Where a typical network engineer may experience one or two incidents per year, a student in our Tech Academy will experience five or six per day. This is an added dimension for developing qualified network engineers. Academies run by universities may teach students the facts, but do not provide the hands-on experience that results in fast-start capabilities. And that’s just what 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 with a Tech Academy is that we train our people, manage them as they work on a support team for your customers, continuously train them and make sure they are recertified appropriately. The team managers are ITIL certified, bringing an even higher level of expertise to your engineering support team. You’ll have the assurance of knowledge and experience that leads to a career path.

The Tech Academy provides learning and development for tiers 1 – 4 with certification, including

Associate, 1 and 2
Professional, 2 years at tier 3
Expert, tier 4
How to Use the Tech Academy to Your Advantage

Over the years, we’ve expanded the Tech Academy to provide capabilities to serve many clients’ needs, not just those of Cisco. The academy has proven to deliver top notch talent with a success rate of 90%.

We’ve customized training modules for specific client needs, and developed a number of options for you to utilize the network engineers we produce as suits your needs, 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
Using the Tech Academy to source support engineers can be as simple as saying, “Provide me with ten engineers and a team lead to support “this” product line, launch, or promotion.”

While the demand for network engineers is high, securing the talent you need, with the experience, capability, and certification levels you require should not be difficult or frustrating. SYKES Tech Academy has made sure of it.