Distributor Ideal Hardware has staked out the highly competitive training market as the launch pad for its move into value-added support services.
Ideal said it has launched a training division, Ideal Training and Development (IDT), to provide resellers, manufacturers and users with training and consultancy services to give them a "competitive advantage".
IDT will offer its own courses as well as accreditation training on behalf of vendors. It will also provide a facilities management service for conferences.
The distributor first mooted the idea of setting up a training division last year, following a major shake-out which resulted in the departure of 96 staff.
Deborah Ames, director of ITD, said the unit will deliver training tailored to an individual's needs. Ames defended the move into the highly competitive training market. ITD's methodology and Ideal Hardware's experience and reputation allows the distributor to offer something new, she said.
"The specially tailored programmes are a far cry from the traditional off-the-peg courses that are often more concerned with filling seats than creating value," Ames said.
But Steve Dineen, managing partner at training provider Fuel, predicted Ideal will find it expensive and laborious to offer tailored training from scratch, although he said there was space in the sector for another competitor. "Ideal could turn out to be an Azlan or it could be an Ingram Micro (and leave the training industry).
"Ideal has a lot of catching up to do. To create a bespoke course without having lots of experience could be two to three times more costly," he said.
Barry Dodhia, marketing manager at reseller Hemini, said the company would not recommend Ideal's training to its customers because it does not want its distributors to have contact with its users, although he said it would consider using it for its own staff.
- Ideal is preparing to enter the application service provider market, a source has confirmed. However, no further details are available as the distributor said it was in the mandatory quiet period before it is sold off by parent InterX.
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