Siemens supports its existing and potential customers on their path to Industrie 4.0 with the MindSphere Academy. Old training models no longer fit there, and the company holds this firm conviction: Only those who model the entire customer journey will be able to survive in the future.
The concept of the MindSphere Academy was already tested and simulated with the help of some 700 graduates before the Website was officially launched. It had to be “different.” More sustainable. Better. Intuitively understandable. Empowering. Siemens’ new training program for Industrie 4.0, the MindSphere Academy, has already received many accolades.
The complete process chain at a glance
What’s so special about this learning format? Unlike other training programs, the MindSphere Academy models the entire customer journey – meaning that it focuses on more than just products. Says Dr. Pirita Pyykkönen-Klauck, Global Director of MindSphere Training & Certification at Siemens: “Training courses normally focus on the product and how it’s used. In designing the Academy, it was especially important for Siemens that it not be limited to the technical aspects of MindSphere like connectivity; rather, it should also be concerned with the complete process chain and how it’s conducted by individual customers.”
In other words, the journey doesn’t start once a company becomes a MindSphere partner, it often begins months earlier. It starts when questions emerge about the business opportunities that Industrie 4.0 and IoT can offer the particular company – in other words, the value for the business of a digital transformation using cloud-based solutions must be defined.
Diverse participants in the ecosystem
The Academy also takes into account the fact that companies in the MindSphere ecosystem vary greatly. On the one hand, it includes companies that know exactly what benefits they can expect from Industrie 4.0 but need support for designing a data-based business model. At the other extreme are companies that recognize that they won’t survive without digitalization, but they often don’t know how Industrie 4.0 works or what design principles in the modern world they need to extract modular, scalable services from the cloud. The MindSphere Academy covers the entire spectrum. Pyykkönen-Klauck says, “Although we’re still in the pre-launch phase, we’ve already completed several hundred training courses with customers, including at their premises. We notice that our customers place a high value on this comprehensive training curriculum, especially because many of them often feel that they’re on their own in the world of digital processes. Our Academy program – which is itself in the process of learning – certainly occupies an exceptional position in the market at this time.”
All the latest training models
What are the training courses at the MindSphere Academy like? Sitting around for several days in large groups of people who have different levels of knowledge: That’s a common continuing education model that you won’t find at the Academy. What you will find is all the latest in training models. Collaborative learning at training centers is as much a part of the curriculum as individual coaching and interactive course units. Whenever it makes sense, advanced training courses are offered online. In the case of especially tricky questions, however, the trainers work one-on-one with participants. The MindSphere Academy team is especially proud of one thing in particular: There are no tedious, hours-long lectures. In the world of Industrie 4.0, this model no longer works. Instead, modern microlearning takes place in Siemens’ training centers around the world, on the premises of certified MindSphere ecosystem partners, and on the online training platform.
The opportunities offered by digitalization
The MindSphere Academy’s program follows an organic process that can be followed by any company:
It begins by expanding Industrie 4.0 expertise, which means discovering the opportunities that digitalization holds for the particular company.
Once this initial hurdle has been cleared, Academy coaches impart the knowledge necessary to establish sustainable, scalable applications and solutions using MindSphere. In short: It’s all about design, research, and development (R&D), connectivity, hardware and software processes, and other more technical options.
The third pillar of training activity at the MindSphere Academy is its sales and scalability training courses. Experienced and successful coaches help participants find suitable solutions that enable cloud-based businesses to soar.
Pirita Pyykkönen-Klauck: “The biggest challenge for us as an academy is the fact that our ecosystem covers the entire range of the global economy. We have huge international companies with complex requirements as well as small, fast startups that require totally different process chains.”
It took a little less than a year to establish the MindSphere Academy. The official launch with general accessibility will occur in the fall of 2017.