“The art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery.”
Mark Van Doren.
When your larger competitors are out there spruiking, promoting, marketing and advertising, could teaching be your competitive advantage?
I have a firm belief that Cisco’s training programs (ie CCNA, etc) are a strategic advantage compared with other networking vendors. Not only do they sell the training / accreditation but they also effectively extend their sales force without hiring. The new trainees will put their skills to good use by selling what they know (ie the Cisco product set) to their customers.
Cisco also prospers from freely publishing huge amounts of content, allowing people to self-serve / self-learn in many cases. If I am to choose between vendor A and vendor B for an upcoming tender and vendor A has lots of information readily available, whereas vendor B has little, it becomes an easy decision for me to include vendor A in my tender submission. And perhaps the same is true if I’m a buyer rather than an on-seller?
To date, I haven’t noticed any OSS vendors following Cisco’s approach on a large scale with training or documentation. Do you share this belief that it could be a strong competitive advantage to the OSS vendor that does?