[OSGeo-Discuss] Training and certification

Stephen Woodbridge woodbri at swoodbridge.com
Fri Jun 10 06:20:49 PDT 2011

On 6/10/2011 9:00 AM, Stephen Woodbridge wrote:
> On 6/9/2011 3:38 PM, Tyler Mitchell wrote:
>> In the recent OSGeo survey (http://bit.ly/surveyresultsraw) several
>> ideas for diversifying OSGeo income were presented. The one that
>> received the highest number of votes (62% 104/167 votes) was:
>> "Set up a professional training and certification program".
>> Yes, it was a question short on details, but it was chosen a full 15%
>> above all other items. Now's the time to figure out what we all meant ;-)
>> There are at least three approaches that might be considered here:
>> 1. To lead training courses that may also come with a certificate or
>> be part of a larger program. (e.g. for users, developers, integrators
>> to gain personal knowledge and show it off, maybe in a GISP style?)
>> 2. To give an organisation a stamp of approval, that their skills or
>> staff meet some standard
>> 3. To technically certify a product or application - (e.g. as a sort
>> of endorsement that the technology meets some OSGeo standard)
>> I've got a few more ideas kicking around in my head, but was curious
>> on your thoughts. Keep in mind the context of the survey question was
>> for helping raise funds - that would primarily be through either
>> course fees, or through certification fees - a company would pay to be
>> assessed and to be able to use the endorsement on an annual basis (or
>> something similar). Or some other way maybe?
>> Anyone else thinking about this or want to weigh-in on what their
>> thoughts were?
> Tyler,
> You might want to consider a franchise model for training and
> certification. This would work something along these lines:
> 1. OSGeo along with a specific product develop
> a. End-User course material
> b. A train the trainer/certification course
> c. A trainer refresher/recert course
> d. An end-user refresher/recert course
> 2. OSGeo then licenses the certification course(s) and training materials.
> a. people get trained as trainers
> b. trainers have to be re-certified at some interval
> c. trainers work with course developers to update courses as needed
> 3. Trainers use the OSGeo materials to train end-users
> a. Trainers report back on people trained and certified and date of
> training and who was the trainer
> This needs to be built up as a business model because there are cost to
> developer the training materials. There are cost of marketing the
> program so that we sell the features and benefits of getting the
> training and maybe branding the marketing materials so all organization
> use the same sales and marketing materials. There are reproduction and
> distribution costs of the training materials which might include
> franchise use fees. The franchisee needs to make money doing the
> training and the final end-user cost can not be prohibitive high or it
> will squash the demand for the training.
> Thoughts?

To add to this, I think Cameron makes many good points and any business 
model needs to take into account his points.


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