… listen (and care)
Hi! My name is Chris Pirie, and I lead the MSL Global Sales and Marketing team, the MCTs who read this blog will also know that I just spent three years running the MSL product development team – ie the team that builds our MOC, Microsoft Press, certification, and elearning products. We are really excited by the growth in our business worldwide, and the innovation we are bringing to market including a whole new generation of MOC courseware, digital reference books, eLearning, live online classes (MODL), and soon to the world of technical certification.
As the director of sales, you can imagine that I am very invested in your satisfaction with our program. I would not have supported a move to one exam provider—or one particular provider—if I felt that you would not, in the long run, be happy with the result. I believe you will. In the meantime, your comments on Trika’s earlier post make it evident that not all of you share that opinion… Some of your responses were expected, some of them are disappointing—but in any case I respect your opinions, and I want to ensure you that we take them seriously, but I also would ask you to take some time understand our objectives.
We are in the midst of the greatest product launch wave in Microsoft’s history and businesses and people are hungry for knowledge and skills on a massive range of new technology from Office 2007 through Silverlight to Windows Server 2008. The Microsoft learning team is investing heavily in building a broad range of great content and partnerships to help people get skilled up. We also know that certification work as a powerful endorsement of an individuals skills, over the last ten years millions of individuals have leveraged our certification programs to validate their skills and knowledge and move their careers forward. I feel a deep personal responsibility that individuals who invest time, money and effort in achieving certification have a best in class experience, and should be able to feel really great about what that certification means. I also have a professional responsibility to make sure that Microsoft certifications are broadly available, are a reliable indicator of abilities, and offer the very best customer experience.
Wait a minute, I hear you cry, how does taking choice away improve my customer experience? – The answer is that in the medium term a single vendor will allow us to innovate quickly and drive excellence in the customer experience – We must for example, address security issues, get exams into market more quickly, include performance based testing and emulations, offer worldwide coverage, radically enhance the perception of the value of certification, and invest in a preparation and benefits program that is peerless in the industry. We believe that we can achieve all of this faster with a single delivery provide and focus our and their energies 100% on these objectives.
But I also want to reinforce that we are getting your feedback—good and bad—and as always, taking it seriously. As Trika said, all feedback from firstname.lastname@example.org, comments in the newsgroups and on this blog, comments from discussions with our trainer community and face to face at July’s Worldwide Partner Conference; all of these are being documented and addressed as we work daily of the business transition.
Prometric will be our partner in certification over the next few years. They are being held to very high standards and expectations. To ensure accountability and success in this effort, Prometric is making major investments in key areas that will be important to customer satisfaction, program development, testing innovations and test center coverage. Prometric will work with Microsoft to create strategies and programs that improve the candidate experience exams incentive and test preparation tools and some world class innovation in testing. You can find more information in the following links below.
· For recent updates, please go to the Frequently Asked Questions document FAQ
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I believe we can move quickly on an agenda of world class customer experience and I know I can rely on you to keep the feedback coming through the transition and as you see us roll out the benefits and innovation that this focus will deliver. Again thanks for your passion and enthusiasm for Microsoft and Microsoft certifications, I want to make this program the very best in the world, and your feedback will help us do that.