With little fanfare this summer, Microsoft rolled up three independent groups within a single organization in its Content Development and Delivery Group. Henceforth, the groups previously known as Training and Certification, Microsoft Press and Microsoft TechNet Subscriptions are part of a new group called Microsoft Learning. Former Novell and CompTIA executive Lutz Ziob, who's been running the Training and Certification group for the past year or so, has taken the helm.
Part of what's driving this reorganization is Microsoft's desire to create greater synergy among its three content creation and management groups, all of which are responsible in some way for developing training materials, published works, and other kinds of technical articles and information.
The strategy also demonstrates Microsoft's commitment to what we educational types call "blended learning:" training methods and materials that permit students to select from a broad range of live, multimedia, textual, hands-on, and other resources to better fit individual learning styles and abilities. By combining a variety of materials, publications, and approaches, Microsoft hopes to establish a "central source of integrated learning," according to a recent press release. The release says the new organization will "provide skills assessments, learning products, books, on-line reference materials and formal training to help customers achieve their full potential by increasing knowledge and building skills that enable more powerful usage of Microsoft technology."
This augurs well, not just for certification candidates looking for the "right stuff" to get through their examinations, but also for customers seeking to use and understand Microsoft technologies.
It will be interesting to observe how this organization melds together in months to come -- and how much of the synergy that's possible among these formerly separate groups will actually be realized. For myself, I'm hopeful that access to and delivery of better designed, more approachable and understandable information on technical subjects will be a big plus for certification candidates we well as for workaday Windows professionals.
Ed Tittel runs a content development company in Austin, Texas, and is the series editor of the Que Exam Cram 2 and Training Guide series. He's worked on many books on Microsoft, CompTIA, CIW, Sun/Java, and security certifications.