Enhancing innovation with training

Issue 5 2023 Editor's Choice

Innovation is a word we use far too frequently today to describe any advances in technology or new products, even for simple updates. However, while innovation is key to the success of any company in the security market, whether they develop hardware, software or services, or a combination of the three, ensuring those who sell and support your product are able to promote and support the brand name is critical.

If your distribution channel, whether an installer or integrator, is unable to install and configure correctly, as well as keep it running, the bad reviews always come back to the brand name in question – irrespective of what may have caused the problem. This is why Impro Technologies puts a significant focus on training its partners and ensuring they are able to do the brand proud.

Retha Nieuwoudt, who’s been the Training Manager at Impro for 12 years explains, “Having professional, competent and skilled partners throughout the channel builds not only on our partners’ brand, but that of Impro Technologies too. Impro was founded in 1986 and our focus has always been on forging long-term business partnerships. Critical to this is continually training and upskilling our business partners as our systems and technology evolved over the years, and this remains a core value within Impro Technologies.”

She adds that with Impro access control systems covering an enormous range of applications, from basic access control, to multi-site enterprise solutions with numerous third-party integrations, the demand for quality technical installations and support by its partners is key to the continual success of all involved. “Having Impro as their product partner with a dedicated training department and technical support team is our commitment to both the end customer as well as to our valuable business partners.”

Why training and certification?

It is no surprise to anyone that technical skills are in short supply in South Africa, and with the current economy, people may want to offer installation services without having the proper skillset. “Specialised technical skillsets within South Africa are highly sought after,” adds Nieuwoudt, “and installers that can demonstrably highlight these valuable resources when interacting with clients can immediately differentiate their company from their competitors and that is definitely a tangible competitive advantage.”

She adds that successful companies with a professional focus understand the value of continual investment and improvement of their employees and certified training is one of the crucial ways to achieve this. Moreover, often project tenders and RFQs (Request for Quotations) specifically highlight the requirement that companies be certified on the systems to be installed.

“When installers are competent and confident on the Impro systems they are installing or maintaining, there are a multitude of cost savings that they can obtain, such as efficient system design, less time spent on-site installing and commissioning, streamlining and simplifying operator processes (in terms of simplicity and ease of use), and less time spent on fault finding.”

She also adds that poorly installed equipment, both visually and technically, plus time taken to get a system fully functional as per the project scope, is often highlighted and commented on through social media and within industry forums.

Courses Impro offers

Nieuwoudt says that Impro provides comprehensive sales, and technical and operator/end user training programmes. These include:

A. Technical Certified Training

Level 1: The primary level consists of Access Portal hardware installation and optimum cabling course. This is a practical cabling course for all Access Portal products and forms an essential basis for the levels that follow.

Level 2: The intermediate level consists of basic installer software configuration for Access Portal systems including the application of diagnostic tools to ascertain whether the hardware and cabling installation adheres to Impro installation standards and best practices.

Level 3: The comprehensive level consists of training on biometric integration on the Access Portal systems. It covers third-party products such as HID, IDEMIA, Suprema, Hikvision, Nedap and Aperio.

Level 4: The expert level encompasses advanced and comprehensive Access Portal system configurations, which includes virtual hardware, advanced zone configuration, interlocking, customisation and more.

B. Operator/End User Training

This training is specifically tailored to the client’s on-site application and allows their team to optimise and fully understand the full range of features and benefits they can extract from their Impro access control system.

C. CPD (Continuous Professional Development) Training

Impro’s CPD training course targets consulting engineers, architects and similar professionals looking to update their access control knowledge, acquire CPD points and maintain their professional status.

The specially designed CPD course takes place over four hours, and enables attendees to:

• Plan, design and specify an access control solution.

• Understand the integration options and benefits.

• Upgrade or migrate existing legacy solutions.

An assessment and/or exam is undertaken at the end of all training to ensure competency and certification. Delegates passing all modules, will receive their Impro certification (a certificate is issued). This certification is valid for 18 months and allows their clients to have the confidence in their Impro partner or installer in terms of keeping up to date with the latest designs and system improvements when undertaking projects or maintaining their Impro access control systems.

“We offer certified classroom training in Cape Town, Johannesburg and KZN,” ends Nieuwoudt. Customers can visit https://www.impro.net/training-centre/ for the training schedule.


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