FevaWorks, a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner in Hong Kong, provides Microsoft software training and other courses to the public. The company wanted to find ways to compete more effectively against gray-market training providers, bring more students to its learning centers, grow the business, and minimize the cost and complexity of providing learning experiences. After a rigorous qualification process, FevaWorks joined the Microsoft Learning Solutions Competency. As a Competency participant, the company delivers Microsoft-developed course content, takes advantage of Microsoft sales and marketing resources, and collaborates with Microsoft on targeted marketing campaigns. FevaWorks has attracted thousands of new students and demonstrates credibility and expertise that the gray market is unable to match. In addition, the company keeps overhead low by using Microsoft course materials.
||We benefit from our participation in the Microsoft Learning Solutions Competency to maintain consistently high-quality training courses and to grow our business with the people we aim to serve.
Sales and Marketing Manager, FevaWorks Technology Limited
Since its inception in 2002, FevaWorks Technology Limited, a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner in the Learning Solutions Competency based in Hong Kong, has provided training in Microsoft technology and offered courses on topics of network technology, multimedia tools, and more. Every month, approximately 3,000 students visit the company’s three learning centers to receive training to help them understand, use, and manage the Microsoft Office system, Windows Server, Windows 7, and other Microsoft technologies. The class sizes are between 15 and 20 students. Currently, FevaWorks offers classroom training only, using learning materials and course content that Microsoft created for partners with the Learning Solutions Competency. Approximately half of FevaWorks’s students obtain Microsoft certification after completing the company’s Microsoft technology courses.
FevaWorks caters to the mass market—the many people who decide to benefit from training to become more valuable to potential or current employers, make a career change with greater transferable skills, or become more proficient by using technology tools during their academic studies. Other Microsoft partners in Hong Kong provide learning services to companies, the public sector, and schools and colleges. Eric Wong, Sales and Marketing Manager at FevaWorks, explains, “We like to focus on providing the best possible training value to individual students, at an affordable cost.” His colleague Taylor Yip, Operations Manager at FevaWorks, adds, “Complementing the extensive professional qualifications and effectiveness in teaching that we expect from our instructors, our courses are of high value largely because of the proven, reliable content that Microsoft provides.” The company offers many possible schedule options so that students can avoid taking time off from work to attend. Courses consist of distinct learning modules, and students can gain some insight and understanding even if they have to miss portions of a class.
Marketing its offerings through events, workshops, competitions, advertising, and outreach to former students, FevaWorks has been very successful. However, the company is always looking for ways to grow its business, strengthen the FevaWorks brand, and maintain long-term viability. Says Wong, “We may not have much direct competition, but the gray market in Hong Kong is quite strong. Schools and instructors offer unauthorized technology courses that may not be as complete as what we offer, and students may not understand the real differences. We want to avoid ambiguity so that people can be confident that we offer the best available Microsoft technology courses in the most effective way.”Solution
FevaWorks qualified for the Learning Solutions Competency in 2007. “The requirements for participation in the Learning Solutions Competency are very demanding,” says Yip. “We are very proud that FevaWorks made the effort and can clearly demonstrate its accomplishment.”
As a participant in the Competency, FevaWorks can display a Learning Solutions Competency logo with its Microsoft Gold Certified Partner logo. The company can access training resources and training-use licenses, connect with Microsoft Certified Trainers, and make use of Microsoft Learning products. Microsoft supports FevaWorks and other Competency partners with many different business enablement resources, including sales and marketing tools. Partners with the Learning Solutions Competency benefit from optimized marketing-campaign materials, attract students through a class locator offered by Microsoft, receive targeted sales training, and more. They can also use Microsoft surveying and reporting tools to assess customer satisfaction and see how students evaluate their offerings.
Says Wong, “We always collaborate with Microsoft to promote our services to potential students and ensure the public is aware of FevaWorks. Microsoft provides us with critical resources and expertise, along with insight into the development of the learning industry that could only come from a global company.”
FevaWorks and Microsoft together implemented several campaigns to drive adoption of the 2007 Microsoft Office system and Windows 7 and support students who were eager to learn about the products. FevaWorks delivered the training courses and Microsoft provided not-for-resale software licenses, which meant each student received a copy of the software in the technology courses. Each of these campaigns brought new technology and insight to more than 5,000 individuals.Benefits
As an enthusiastic and highly successful participant in the Learning Solutions Competency, FevaWorks won awards as Learning Solutions Partner of the Year in 2008 and 2009. Says Wong, “We benefit from our participation in the Learning Solutions Competency to maintain consistently high-quality training courses and to grow our business with the people we aim to serve.”Grow and Compete More Effectively
In its marketing communications, FevaWorks makes it clear to prospective students that the company’s course content is intellectual property that belongs to Microsoft, that the company’s instructors are Microsoft Certified Trainers, and that Microsoft certification is available and recommended to students. FevaWorks and the local Microsoft organization are working on targeted marketing campaigns propelled by strong brand assets from both companies. As Yip explains, “We have the full backing of Microsoft, from communications and marketing outreach to delivering effective courses with approved, solid content. That’s something the gray-market competitors can’t keep up with.”Deliver More Value to Students
By delivering training courses together with not-for-resale software to students, FevaWorks enrolled a large number of new course participants and provided them with significant skills enhancements. FevaWorks expects to implement more, similar campaigns in the future. “By participating in our courses bundled with not-for-resale software from Microsoft, students can become much more employable,” says Wong. “They gain familiarity with important, new products before the market is aware of them, so they have a strong advantage when they look for work or want to demonstrate their value to their current employer.”Reduce the Cost and Complexity of Offering Learning Solutions
FevaWorks draws on all resources available from Microsoft in enabling instructors and delivering courses. Says Yip, “Using the resources from Microsoft helps us minimize our overhead and keep the costs of doing business reasonable. We don’t need to create learning modules. We can confidently rely on the fact that the course content that Microsoft has developed and continuously updates is always complete, current, and dependable. And, the Microsoft train-the-trainer program is a very powerful and immediate way to transfer expertise.”
During the coming years, FevaWorks is going to take advantage of the economies, scalability, and efficiencies that become possible with cloud computing, driving further growth in a cost-efficient manner. “We can streamline delivery of some courses by delivering them online—through the cloud—and reach and teach larger numbers of students,” says Wong. “I also anticipate that we will be able to simplify our network infrastructure and reduce expenses for hardware and support.”