The CEO's Corner: Miss Universe and the Olympic Rugby Champions

01 May 2017

image of DDLS's CEO, Mal ShawAs you may know, in 2016 DDLS won the Microsoft Learning Partner of the Year award. That’s right, out of all the Learning Partners around the world and based on their achievements in 2016, Microsoft picked DDLS as the best in the world that year, even though we only operate in about 3% of the global market. The award was presented at Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) that was held in Toronto, Canada, so Gary Duffield, DDLS Alliances Director, and Michael Devitt, DDLS National Sales and Consulting Manager, travelled there last year to represent our team. WPC is on again this year, in July in Washington, DC, and no doubt there will be other awards. In some other award programs, for example, Miss Universe, I believe it is customary for the previous winner to present the new award and to comment on the experiences of the past year, so, even though I don’t think Microsoft operates their program like this, I couldn’t let the chance go by.

I do feel that the 2016 award was an outstanding achievement for the DDLS team. We have a great relationship with Microsoft, with local, regional and global teams, and have trained for them for many of our 26 years of operations. We have always strived for the highest standard of delivery and this has been recognised by Microsoft on many occasions. The 2016 award recognised DDLS’ performance in regards to a specific project in which a client required to achieve a high level of competency, amongst their IT staff, for the next evolution of their systems and networks. The project required customised courses, assessments, lab design, customised courseware and on-site delivery all over Australia. The project challenged the DDLS team and required high quality project management to deliver the right quality, in the right place, at the right time. At the time, Microsoft commented that: "DDLS’ work demonstrated an elevated strategy of utilising your partnership with Microsoft to create a uniquely effective training solution for your client. DDLS not only combines a variety of training modalities in creating this repeatable solution, but also positioned Microsoft for a competitive win by enabling the students around the Microsoft Cloud and Product stack."

This past year has brought more changes with it as our part of the education industry evolves. Microsoft removed the Learning Partner competency from the Microsoft Partner Program with a view that all Microsoft partners who wish to, should have the opportunity to deliver training services. I think that this change shows the great importance that Service Providers are putting on education services as one of the most important services in driving adoption and consumption of Anything as a Service (XaaS). Accordingly, DDLS has expanded its Learning & Development Consulting division, over the past year, so that we are able to deliver blended learning solutions that reach the XaaS users and achieve the required learning outcomes for the Service Provider to have the best chance of a renewal.

Which brings me to the rugby. I hope that you will indulge me by thinking about the answer to this question: Who is the Olympic champion for rugby union? Of course, we would all think that it could be New Zealand, Australia or even the place where rugby originated, England! It may seem strange but the current Olympic Rugby Union champion is the United States of America who won the final the last time that Rugby Union (15 players) was in the Olympics in 1924 in Paris, France, and so the USA has held the crown ever since. I’m sure that you can see where I am going here as, of course, there will be a new Miss Universe, however given the changes to Microsoft’s Learning Partner programs, I’m not so sure that there will be another Learning Partner that wins Microsoft’s global award -- so long may DDLS reign!

Thanks for choosing or considering DDLS for a part of your learning journey.

Kind Regards
Mal Shaw