SolarWinds advances its Customer Success program with assisted onboarding, and training and certification programs



SolarWinds unveiled on Monday advancements in its Customer Success program that will help speed time-to-value when deploying the company’s software to improve performance across networks, systems, and applications.

The company also launched an assisted onboarding program called Smart Start, which gives customers direct, one-on-one access to experts who help them configure, deploy, and optimize their software to meet business goals. It also unveiled a new generation of its professional training and certification program, SolarWinds Academy.

SolarWinds made these announcements as part of its participation in the annual Cisco Live! conference in Barcelona. The customer success initiatives are the company’s latest moves to enable a simple customer and partner experience, from trial, through purchase, and into full deployment.

Over the past several years, SolarWinds has invested heavily in customer success initiatives. In addition to its THWACK user community, the company launched the SolarWinds Success Center, a comprehensive portal offering access to the company’s expansive library of how-to videos, product guides, and rich technical articles.

“Our customers’ success drives everything we do—it’s in our DNA,” said Kevin Bury, SolarWinds senior vice president, customer experience. “The reimagined SolarWinds Academy and SolarWinds Certified Professional programs, along with Smart Start, our new assisted onboarding program, demonstrate our commitment to helping customers get the most from their investments in our industry-leading IT management software.”

Smart Start is a new offering aimed at helping customers quickly achieve a high return on their software investments based on SolarWinds-recommended best practices. It gives customers and partners one-on-one expert guidance, enabling them to configure, customize, and optimize their SolarWinds environments. In particular, the offering focuses on helping customers expertly implement key features according to best practices, tailored to the customer’s business need.

“What I most liked about Smart Start was the fact that our deployment was quick and reliable. Working with the Smart Start team for our Patch Manager implementation saved us two to three weeks of implementation time,” said William Mead, network administrator/engineer, Parkview Medical Center in Pueblo, Colo.

Smart Start is available immediately for most SolarWinds products. Customers may purchase Smart Start concurrently with their software license, or at a later point in time to address scenarios such as onboarding their new personnel.

The training and certification program now includes several major enhancements: First, customers with active maintenance can now access SolarWinds Academy’s entire library of courses, which also has been expanded to include a broader set of the company’s products. In addition, SolarWinds Academy added sessions to accommodate a wider set of time zones, making it easier for international customers and business partners to participate. The program is growing rapidly, with the number of students more than doubling in 2017.

“A key value-add we provide all our customers under active maintenance is a full access subscription to SolarWinds Academy,” explained Cal Smith, director, SolarWinds Academy. “This means customers can access our full library of training content and don’t have to budget additional dollars for it.”

SolarWinds Academy has also completed revamped its professional certification program, the SolarWinds Certified Professional (SCP), which is available now as annual subscription.

The new program builds on the company’s extensive global network of certified professionals, and focuses more broadly on enabling the effective use of SolarWinds networking and systems management products. In addition, it now provides access to exclusive SCP webcasts and live events.

SolarWinds collaborated with three of its partners to provide SCP preparation courses—Prosperon, Atlantic Digital, and Loop1. All three companies offer comprehensive classes that prepare examinees with the required knowledge needed to be a successful SCP candidate.

“The SCP certification clearly separates a SolarWinds administrator among their peers,” said Bill Fitzpatrick, chief executive officer, Loop1. “We’ve seen it firsthand with our clients and in our own recruiting. SCP certification also creates tremendous value for the people and organizations our clients support. We look forward to the new generation of SCP exams to further strengthen the status of being SolarWinds certified.”

In 2018, the company will continue to expand the SolarWinds Academy instructor-led online curriculum to cover additional network and system management tools, as well as its SolarWinds Cloud full-stack monitoring and SolarWinds MSP offerings.

The SolarWinds Certified Professional program is available immediately as a subscription for $200 USD per year and includes one re-take exam. In addition to updates for product enhancements and support, SolarWinds includes a subscription to SolarWinds Academy instructor-led courses for customers under active maintenance.

SolarWinds Smart Start engagements are available immediately, and start at $2,500 depending on the software license purchased. This program gives customers and partners one-on-one expert guidance, enabling them to configure, customize, and optimize their SolarWinds environments.

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