Before the end of last December, we examined a phenomenon we call “the democratization of the modern learner”. To better understand ISDI CRM’s role in the revolution of processes of personal development, digital training and professional training that will continue into this year and beyond, we wanted to talk to Serena Giannuzzi, COO at ISDI CRM Worldwide.
Serena Giannuzzi mentions in passing the dizzying figures – “four million new jobs” – envisioned as arising from digitalization processes. But, above all, she tells us about the two key dimensions of all this change: training and technology. From the point of view of the training project shared with Salesforce, the aim is to supply the market with thousands of technology experts, who are needed and are now in high demand today among the most innovative companies. At the same time, it is about giving professionals the ingredients they need to keep themselves up to date, to grow in their company and in their work, or to ensure that their profile is right for the new position they are seeking. What is your focus and what are ISDI CRM’s guidelines for achieving it? Training and Technology are the clue.
Continuous and modular training
The study programs offered by ISDI CRM are operational and short training courses predominate. What is the purpose of these features?
ISDI CRM training offers a series of courses targeted at different profiles. The student chooses according to their sector preference, experience and business area. Above all, it is a training offer that specializes, hence the word operational: they are specific courses for a tool or a Cloud, and they help you acquire the necessary technical and business skills required for the profile, in the company and in the job market.
The fact that they are short courses or programs has a sense of modularity and is, to some extent, a reflection of Salesforce’s multi-Cloud structure.
The courses bring students to different levels of specialization and accumulated experience.
Are there now more requests for information and more students in the school?
The demand for information has grown. The student body and the community around the school have also increased in number. In addition to the format, it’s been the content. And it has grown a lot this year because both the Salesforce certifications and the technical and functional courses, what they do is increase employability, increase the chances of getting and improving your job.
What has the school’s digitally native identity meant in facing post-Covid challenges?
Unlike other traditional schools, and even business schools that aim to be innovative, the good news is that we were prepared at ISDI CRM. Even prior to 2020, half of our courses were already delivered online; they could also be face-to-face or in hybrid formats, with editions delivered in the mornings, afternoons, or even during the weekend to meet the needs of the professional and his or her timetable.
Learning over the years has enabled us to optimize formats, incorporate industry best practices and respond to student feedback to improve their experience.
Educational community, training and inclusion
If you had to point to one key to ISDI CRM’s success, what would it be?
The key is the teachers… who in our case are “not teachers”: they are professionals. We have a pool of experts and working professionals who have real experience in the most innovative companies and who are responsible for conveying our shared vision to our students.
Where do you seek out and find this talent?
Our role within the ecosystem is to be a “partner of partners”, to have the best professionals, regardless of where they come from. We uphold this not only for organizing and delivering courses, but also for generating content and best practices.
Very often our teachers were once our students, and this is something we love. This is also key for the community. We don’t just believe in imparting knowledge, but in inviting knowledge to be generated, in empowering talent around Salesforce. First of all, we meet demand for training and certification in a company, but at the same time we provide a solution to a structural problem, especially in tech and innovative sectors: there is a shortfall of teachers to train the students of tomorrow.
Are there any distinguishing features to the profiles selected around Salesforce?
Inclusion. The transformational opportunity that Salesforce creates is for everyone. It oriented to specific profiles, it is not age-biased, and it is certainly not gender-biased. We find all kinds of skills, both in the professionals sent by companies and in people who have decided to make a complete turnaround in their professional future. In our articles on success stories and in the events we organize, impressive and exciting experiences have been shared. There are those who have barely used a computer in their job and then they come along, reinvent themselves with Salesforce and end up working in technology for a giant like Repsol.
How would the sequence of learning be organized?
We start by working on the more technical subjects. Mastering a Cloud is very difficult and, after completing training, there are still years of consultancy, use and study, functionality, updating the technology… in the meantime, there is still a need for a lot of talent, many certified professionals working in Salesforce user companies and customers... The training approach is comprehensive and focuses on the other skills we will also work on. In successful profiles, ancillary skills are sought, which are essential for professional performance and which will add value to the company and have an impact on the specific profile, while work continues on achieving technological excellence.
Collaborative learning and refresher training and technology
Technology is constantly renewing itself. How often does a learner need a refresher?
While the digital world is unstoppable, Salesforce has grown at an even faster pace. Not only for the learner, but for everyone, the school included. If we did not renew our content, it would become obsolete every year. For our part, much of the content is updated every four months. We started teaching it more than ten years ago as a CRM in the cloud. Since then, it has transformed itself. It first became a development platform, and today we talk about Salesforce from the perspective of artificial intelligence. It is not just the content of each Cloud that has changed, but the whole ecosystem.
How do you encourage this constant updating of teachers’ knowledge?
Because of the system of selection and recruitment of talent we use, our teachers are expert professionals in technology. What we do is to invite them to pool their knowledge every three or four months and to update the content. We have always focused on also reinforcing the dynamics to encourage participation in class and supported improving the functioning of the content they share and enhancing the audiovisual aids they use.
Perhaps in the post-Covid landscape, all this is given more attention, but for ISDI CRM it has always been a key focus, both in distance and face-to-face courses, where online support is also a tool that allows for further research, for trying new things. Training and technology go hand in hand.
And for alumni?
For students who have already completed one of our courses, we maintain the ties. Alumni are part of our community. We know and share their success stories. We invite them to attend or speak at our webinars and face-to-face events, which usually focus on a specific topic. Of course, they can turn to us when they have any questions in the professional field.
We try to ensure that the common learning dynamics that we apply in the classroom are then maintained in the community.
The learning journey: digital transformation and personal transformation
Let’s return to the professional who is going to become an ISDI CRM student. What will their experience be like?
At ISDI CRM we design a learning journey, present it and point out the challenges and milestones that will be set out in each course. Beyond completing the course and achieving certification, a participating learner will feel the need to achieve them, to complete modules and to add learning. As the training progresses, there will be various tests, practical exercises, as well as process surveys that will influence further development. And certification will be the outcome or the last stage of that journey.
What is the role of the teacher and the learner in this learning dynamic?
The teacher is a mentor, a facilitator and a coach, in a sense. Networking is generated in class, which leads to knowledge sharing and synergies, and students get to know each other and share experiences and know-how. And when it’s distance learning, we see to it that no online learner feels alone. We seek continuity of knowledge within an environment where knowledge is constantly being refreshed and where knowledge is transmitted not only vertically, but also horizontally. People move from one sector or position to another and take something from each one that they know how to pass on and, in this sense, ISDI CRM brings knowledge together and distributes it.
And what will be the outcome of that journey or transformation you mentioned earlier?
First of all, joining a new technological ecosystem through a tool such as Salesforce, allows you to sustain and develop pre-existing intuitive and experiential knowledge, to analyze behavior and processes, and to justify decisions based on data intelligence. This is without overlooking other soft skills and business knowledge. There would be no point in trying to teach Cloud Marketing if you don’t have – or pass on – a proper understanding of what digital marketing is and how it works.
Innovation, future and employability
What message would Salesforce and ISDI CRM have us take home as we face the coming period of change and adaptation?
In the end, it is clear that not all countries or all business fabrics are equally strong and innovative – nor will the post-crash crisis affect them all in the same way. That’s our starting point, and the way to protect, sustain, strengthen and project a market is to have a clear vision of how that market interacts and interrelates with the global market. This interaction today takes place mainly through solutions, platforms and communities. Being able to take a prominent place in a community of the size of the Salesforce community, and with a future assured in the development and growth of technology is to place yourself in a prominent position in that competition on a global scale.
For those whose aim is to boost innovation and the productive fabric of their company, their town or their country, I would tell them to find out about ISDI CRM. Our vision and our role is to understand and transmit that, through our training you can exponentially grow the impact of your technology and business profile. And extend, as part of our ecosystem, the reach of that profile, to be truly important where you are.
Did you find it interesting? Share it!
Your contacts will certainly enjoy reading it.