Quality is the mantra of every age and every field. Education is not an exception to this rule. Though SAP has insisted the monopoly of the education to certain extent, it is unlikely or impossible to prevent the unauthorised training centers that exist in the market. They are still competing with SAP Auhthorised Training Centers, in few cases they are even succeeding and delivering better education than SAP ATCs. By saying this, I am not encouraging those institutes, but this is the reality in certain cases. People realised that it is not the name they are looking for, they are looking for quality and not bothered much whether it is SAP ATC or Unauthorised or On-line training. I have attended fair amount of training sessions with different SAP Authorised Training Centers in India. I do not say that all the training institutes are bad or all the instructors are bad. At some places trainings are good but facilities are bad, some places facilities good but lot of connectivity issues and training problems, some places everything is pathetic. I am not attempting this blog to criticize some institutions, but just to point out how they have miserably failed to provide the quality education for the money they have charged. SAP is also at fault to some extent by just giving them the status of Education Partner, however, in my opinion, they have failed to take any drastic steps in monitoring the quality standards maintained by these so called Authorised Training Centers. I have had fair amount of experience with these Institutes by paying enormous amount of money at their door steps and listen active and passive voice readings from the instructors. Some of the instructors were simply reading the text of the material from top to bottom and bottom to top. One way your heart is filled with lot of pain, but the other way you are in such a helplessness, you cannot even cry, except a mad laugh.
Before joining the course, you will be respected like maharaja, as soon as you have paid the amount, the total tone will be changed. I am not saying all the institutes are bad, but, more or less you will see the similar situation. Sometimes, you do feel that you are far better than the instructors and you should be able to teach them. Unfortunately, the managements have utterly failed to look into the area of opportunity for improvement and continued with their arrogant style of answers. Every minute is blown off with dollars, pounds, euros, rupees or £$&*0 etc., they should maintain the same quality when delivering their commitment. After spending large amount on these SAP ATC training sessions, I could regrettably say that none of these ATCs from these Education Partners have provided the printed copy of SAP curriculum materials, always they have provided the cheap quality photo copies of the materials. By looking at the pages, some the graphs are not even visible and you only need to visualise what could have been there in the graph. (By this way they are indirectly helping you to improve your creativity style ) I would wonder whether SAP would ever look into these kind of issues or their responsibility is over when they have given the Education Partner status to these Institutes.
I have had my own amount of surprises when I reach the training center on a first day, they have postphoned the course by another two days. They said trainer is not at all well so another two days it will take to recover. At initial stage, you need to believe all these stores, as you would scold your fate. This is particularly painful when you came from a different city and staying in a hotel, then the hotel bills will be increased to that extent. However, you will realise that something is messy and going in wrong direction on the day 1 class. In one of the class, there were 6 people and everybody has paid huge amounts of money out of their own pocket, except one lucky guy, who has been sponsored for three days part course. By the afternoon, people are getting shocks and evening some people are already started crying. Everybody has more than 10+ years of solid SAP experience and not even able to digest what is going on. At the end of the day, the participants are teaching the tutor.
Mostly when it comes to server connection relating to new dimension products, it is always horrendous. You came for three days course and within three days, you do not even see the system and the course is over and they have charged you with enormous money . They will try to provide with some good food in lunch hours. They should concentrate on providing quality education rather than providing the quality food. Every time they used to blame either SAP servers or connectivity or infrastructure. When you paid huge amount of money, you cannot afford to listen their excuses. If you complain the center head regarding the poor quality of the trainers, they have arranged with another worst trainer. At the end of the story, you will break your head to understand what is there in curriculum books and somehow put all your efforts to pass. I do not see much fuss when it comes to normal FICO type of course.
The problem with FICO type of standard courses or for that matter any other functional course, they would tell you that the course is 25 days, out of which 20 days is course and 5 days is a funny project. God only knows what that project is . Unfortunately, by 16th or 17th day, the course would be completed, though it is originally planned for 25 days. After 16th day, they would tell you that please forget about the project; now concentrate on the exam. By that time, you are totally exhausted with all loads of sessions and you will not be in a position to look into the project and you will only try to read the materials. That means before 8 - 9 days to the exams, you are literally in a mood of preparing for the exam. I really wonder how many participants have religiously done the last 5 days project, it could be hardly 5 percent. If so, I am not sure why this project has been included in the Curriculum? May be this just to multiply the number of days with daily training fee.
Fortunately or unfortunately, I have had (sorry not only me, all my fellow students) miserable amount of time. That was a new establishment, unfortunately, there was a huge rain and the water has come into the class and total carpet was totally wet. You cannot close the doors, it was suffocating with the smell and if you open the class room doors, lot of outside sounds. To add further to this awfulness, unfortunately, the Air Conditioner was not functioning and giving its own sounds. On the other way, there was no server connection. Furthermore, the tutors were teaching in their own reading style. The institute management was amazingly arrogant to answer your queries. Your heart was counting the money for each minute you have spent there. The classes were within the strict government office time frame. If you come before 9 a.m. you cannot enter into the class and you need to leave by sharp 5 p.m. This is really a kind of insult for the professionals. Fortunately, out of 6, 3 only went for examination, remaining three absconded , fortunately, with the grace of the god, all three of us passed.
Though, I never much dependent on their placement services, I found the placement services are at its low. At the maximum, they would take your CV and pass it on to some companies as usual. Fortunately, if you are worth enough, you would be taken, otherwise, please forget and start your own search. I am not sure what the experience in other countries, but this is my wholesale painful experience in India with these ATCs. Though SAP is insisting for at least 2 years of business / domain experience, they are even ready to enrol the freshers who hardly come out of their final year of their college education. It seems they are only looking for number of candidates, but not the quality of candidates they are enrolling. I do not see any proactive role of SAP in providing the quality education to these students through these SAP Education Partners, rather than simply coming and conducting the exam on the examination day. I would rather regrettably say that SAP has miserably failed in knowing the ground level realities at these Authorised Institutions.
Every time, I cannot afford to go to SAP ATCs, I have had privilege of attending couple of online trainings in some of the advanced courses. Trust me, luckily, the kind of training recently I got is world class. The tutor at this on line course is amazingly magnificent and knowledgeable. With my personal experience, I would only suggest SAP to concentrate on quality rather than monopoly. I can only say if the tutor is really good, 90% of course will be successful, if the tutor himself is struggling with the basics, then everything else is no value.
Based on my personal experiences, the following are my recommendations to SAP and its SAP Education Partners. Hope my recommendations would provide them an opportunity for improvement to give the best possible quality education.
1. Appoint best available instructors
Before starting any course, please ensure yourself, you have recruited a quality trainer. You should also look into areas whether the trainer has strong fundamental and conceptual knowledge of the subject, number of implementation projects that are completed in the past, any past teaching experience, any testimonial from previous students / institutes, the integrity, punctuality and good sense of responsibility etc. If you cannot find any, please do not start the course and put all the participants in the drain.
2. Server Connection
If you cannot provide 24x7 server support, please do not hesitate to withdraw further classes. Please understand that the participants are coming with high expectations and paying the money by taking all sort of loans and pains. They are not coming to listen all your wonderful excuses, therefore, kindly ensure that you have provided the best available server connections. Until, you sort all these issues, please not to start your class, and make participants' life drastic.
3. Quality Training Material
Please purchase good laser printer (I know you will loose lot of saving ) and try to print the material for all the participants, so that all the participants can happily see the SAP curriculum materials with the god given eyes. Please stop taking photo copies of the same materials hundred times with amazingly low quality papers, as the participants are finding it difficult to find good eye specialists
4. Flexible Timings
I know you are SAP Education Partners, but that does not mean that you should go with strict government office timings. Participants came to you with lot of aspirations and expectations, please give them best possible support. Even if the participants come an half an hour early or intend to practice an hour late, kindly make your hearts much bigger and allow them to practice.
5. Best Facilities
As an Education Partner, you need to distinguish yourself with a local institute. The participants are coming to you with some expectation. I know you are good in providing good food as I used to take a little nap after much lunch . At the same time, kindly ensure that you are providing the best possible facilities inside and outside the class room and make the environment most friendly possible.
6. Stick to the training schedule
Please stick to the training schedule given by SAP and try to complete all the pages and chapters as directed by SAP, rather than going by your own speed and skip some of the difficult chapters Kindly do not try to explain which chapter is important and which chapter is not, SAP will take care of that responsibility. You kindly stick to the schedule of the course, not to rush and complete the 25 days training in 16 or 17 days (I know potentially you will save for 8 - 9 days instructor wages)
7. Remove the funny projects
If you cannot deliver your commitments in completing the demo project with the participants by full fledged instructor, please ask SAP to remove this 5 days funny project from the Curriculum. I know it would be good to multiply number of days, but, unfortunately, the participants are suffering in making the payments for no value added in reality. Please do not ask the consultants to practice this dummy project after examination, as it is not your responsibility to give directions, please let SAP decide when to complete the project and let us stick to it. Once the examination is finished, who knows, who will be where.
8. Enrol Quality Students
Please try to enrol quality students and look into their profile before enrolling them into class. You please give your honest opinion, whether they are up to the mark to enter into SAP class, otherwise, you will make their life miserable and they will make other participants' and tutor's life miserable Ethically, it is your responsibility to guide the candidates in the right direction. Education is not always be money, your help in this regard would be much appreciated.
9. Give best possible support
Please provide them the best possible support by conducting number of sample tests and encourage group discussions on a topic. Allow them on week ends during the course if any of the interested candidates would like to come to institutes and do the practice. Please keep yourself approachable and give all possible assistance realistically you can extend to them. Please note that they are not your door step, however, you are at their door step.
10. Be Courteous
Last, but not the least, please note that the participants are your customers and your organisation is surviving on them. Please train your management, staff and workers to be courteous with them. They came to your institute for realising their dreams, but not for begging. (I may be sorry!!!!) They are already professionals in their own field, you need to be courteous and help them in achieving their career goals.
PS: Unfortunately, most of my experiences are painful and miserable. But, I need to bring out my emotions and the truth. I would like to hear if somebody has any better stories than me . I do not want to offend any individual or institution, but, I would be more than happy, if my blog adds a drop in improving the quality standards at these SAP Authorised Training Centers. Looking forward for your lovely replies and comments.