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Virtual training around the globe

February 10, 2021

An exciting project is taking shape for us. We are preparing training sessions on the Veeva cloud solution for an international customer, which will familiarize their employees with the new software. This is a great opportunity for me as a trainer to gain a lot of new experience with training in other countries. At the same time, I have my own project running in my home office, and I'm glad that this can be combined well with my work. What is it all about? Check out my post. 

As a Veeva Premiere Partner, Sycor supports customers in the introduction, support and further development of the cloud solutions from Veeva, a software manufacturer with a focus on programming applications in the pharmaceutical and life sciences industry. In this environment, we were able to support a customer from the pharmaceutical industry in the introduction of the software in the DACH region last year. With great success, as we eventually received the order to now also carry out the training worldwide.

This is a real challenge even for us old "Veeva hands". At the same time, we are very proud that we can now also conduct training for our customer worldwide, even if it means that we, as Europeans, sometimes have to work at rather unusual times.

Global training from the home office

The global trainings kicked off recently with a remotely conducted kickoff at 10:00 p.m. (CET) for Australia. For our colleagues on site, it's eight o'clock in the morning - but the date is also okay for us in Germany. For example, colleagues whose children are at home due to Corona also have the opportunity to work undisturbed. And I also have time to take care of my own little project during the day. It is a new addition to the family in the form of a puppy. Fortunately, he is very low maintenance and by now knows exactly that I can take care of him as soon as I take off my headphones. As long as I have them on, he dozes off in his little basket.

Starting signal for an intensive six months

Our first appointment is about getting to know the colleagues who will be assisting with the training on the customer's side. After almost a year of Corona and numerous online trainings, we are now very practiced in making the trainings interesting for the participants. We want to pass this on first to our colleagues on site by teaching them our training concept and making them "fit" for the training sessions.

The kickoff is also the start for the global projects as a whole. Our team will conduct the training in Belgium, Spain, Italy, Central and South America, and even Russia, for example. That in itself presents a logistical challenge for us: For example, we need training documents in English, we have to find local trainers who can support us in the local language during normal local working hours, and our project management team has to draw up schedules in coordination with the customer, set up and equip the teams, and of course manage the project as a whole. Through a close exchange via the project managers of the individual country teams, we ensure a good overview of the status of the respective activities so that our project management office can coordinate all necessary tasks.

Last but not least, all trainers must also familiarize themselves with the software. Veeva is actually an "off-the-shelf" product, so the basics are always the same. However, due to the circumstances at the customer's site, the software is always customized at various points and thus differs from company to company. We trainers have a whole working day to familiarize ourselves with the respective customer environment.

Quick start with Welcome-Package

For a quick start and overview of the new software, we send a small welcome package to the participants before the training. This contains the first small tasks and brief instructions for the training sessions. Simple processes such as visit planning can already be mapped independently in the system with the help of our instructions. The participants' own initial experiences quickly familiarize them with the new environment and thus provide a good introduction to the training day.

Shaping everyday training

Due to the Corona crisis, we had to change our on-site training to remote. A full day of training like that is pretty tough for both participants and trainers. After all, you're sitting in front of the screen the whole time and have to concentrate. In the on-site training room, you always notice quickly when the participants are not so fresh and need a break, or maybe they are not keeping up so well. Remotely, it's hard to tell. That has to be taken into account in the training sessions. So we keep lectures as short as possible and quickly let the participants get active themselves. For example, we start with a symbol exercise: We show symbols that can be found in various places in the program, have the participants look for them, and ask them what function they could be hiding behind. In this way, the participants become familiar with the program and learn about the navigation and the available symbols. 

The breaks are also very important. After 90 minutes at the latest, it's time for everyone to get some fresh air, get a drink or get some snacks. The breaks are also very important for my little dog. As soon as the headphones are off, he jumps off and gets me going, too. That's great for my own concentration and the participants in my training sessions also benefit from that. I'm looking forward to getting started soon.

Our authors have very different professions and come from different areas and locations of Sycor. All of them write from their personal point of view and from their personal experiences.

Vanessa Steinhoff

IT Trainer Personal & Digital Training