Webucator Blog


Microsoft Courses to Prepare for New Azure Exams

Webucator is offering courses that align with Microsoft’s new Azure certification exams AZ-100, AZ-101, AZ-200, AZ-201, AZ-300, and AZ-301:

  1. Microsoft Azure Infrastructure and Deployment (AZ-100)
  2. Microsoft Azure Integration and Security (AZ-101)
  3. Microsoft Azure Developer Core Solutions (AZ-200)
  4. Microsoft Azure Developer Advanced Solutions (AZ-201)
  5. Microsoft Azure Architect Technologies (AZ-300)
  6. Microsoft Azure Architect Design (AZ-301)

These courses are multi-day courses that combine the appropriate half-day, 1-day, and 2-day courses from Microsoft. These courses target various skill groups and align with the certification exams. They can be customized in any combination to fit clients’ needs.


How to Prepare Employees for Office 2019

How do you provide Microsoft Office Upgrade Training to 10,000+ employees across 200+ locations?

A customer recently came to Webucator with this question. We helped them deliver a comprehensive Microsoft Upgrade training program.

What challenges does your company face when upgrading to the new version of Office?

With the release of Office 2019 this month, we are publishing our Microsoft upgrade tips to help others who are facing similar upgrade scenarios. You might also want to check out our Microsoft Office 2019 Upgrade Class, which is delivered by live instructors.

Here are your Microsoft Office 2019 Upgrade Training best practices.

Need help organizing a training plan? Download our Office 2019 Upgrade Training Checklist! 

Focusing on Office 2019 New Features

In helping employees upgrade to Microsoft Office 2019, your training should focus heavily on the new Office 2019 tools and features. Software upgrade training prepares users for the updated version of programs by helping them quickly find and use the tools most relevant to their daily work.

Microsoft Office upgrade training typically does not attempt to advance the technical skill level of a user. For example, the goal of Microsoft Office Upgrade training is not for an introductory Excel user to become an intermediate Excel user. Instead, in this example, the upgrade training would help the introductory user quickly become familiar with the new Excel interface and features so they can easily transition to using the new version of the software.

When you are facing the challenge of upgrading hundreds or thousands of users to a new software, focus only on “what’s new.” This will ensure employee readiness while minimizing classroom time.

Different Departments, Different Needs. Prepare a Needs Assessment!

Every department uses Microsoft Office differently. Legal Teams may be using Microsoft Word Macro automation while Sales Teams can be PowerPoint Pros.

In helping our customers with their Microsoft Office upgrade training, we meticulously tailor the content based on their business needs. Consider using surveys to reveal your employees’ needs before the training. Your surveys can help you determine:

  • How much time should be spent teaching the new features of Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, Word, etc.?
  • Do you need to add content on lesser used programs like Access, Project, SharePoint, Visio, OneNote, etc?
  • Do you need to organize sessions by experience level?

You may also benefit from talking with your Help Desk. Review the questions and issues they typically receive and consider whether those topics should be addressed in the training.

Choosing Onsite Classroom or Virtual Classroom for Microsoft Upgrade Training

Virtual Classroom BenefitsShould you deliver your Microsoft upgrade training onsite, virtually, or use a combination of both? Consider these factors:

  • Office Locations and Size: Are there multiple office locations? Does each location have enough employees to justify holding a session at the office?
  • Computer Literacy: Are the participants already comfortable with web conference software?
  • Technical Support: Does your company or your training vendor have technical support available to help users in connecting to a virtual classroom?
  • Budget: Travel is sometimes required for onsite training. Is there enough room in the budget for travel costs?

If you choose a virtual format, ensure that each employee has the required web conference software installed before class. Be sure to provide employees with clear instructions for accessing the web conference room on the day of class, as well as a calendar invitation with a link to the web conference.

Classroom Handouts

What type of reference material is most helpful to your employees? Do they need an in-depth manual or a short packet for quick reference?

In delivering our upgrade training, “quick reference guides” tend to be the most popular resources. These are short guides, usually from 1 – 5 pages, that explain essential tools and processes. Depending on the user, a more in-depth manual may be helpful.

In addition to generic Microsoft Upgrade training materials, consider including a set of handouts that focus on the processes and use of the Office products as they apply specifically to your company. This may include style guidelines, how to get help from the help desk, how to use and access templates, etc.

The Role of Help Desk or Technical Professionals

The Help Desk professionals can be a vital part of your upgrade training initiative.

Before and during the training, they may be needed to help participants access the virtual classroom. Or, they may be needed to help troubleshoot issues with accessing the new Microsoft Office software.

Help Desk Office 2019Who will your employees reach out to with questions after the training? This will likely be your Help Desk or Technical Professionals. When you deliver your upgrade training, be sure to include this information for the employees.

You might also consider starting a Yammer Group, discussion board, or other space for employees to post questions and discussions about the Office Upgrade.

Some training vendors like Webucator also encourage students to email questions to their instructor after class.

Follow-Up Training and Specialized Classes

After the initial training is conducted you may find that employees have great questions and special projects that they need help with.

Additional training can be provided to focus on those needs. This typically falls into two categories:

  • Follow-Up Training: Once employees are back on the job and using the new software, they might have questions. The follow up training sessions are often built from those questions. Think of this training as Q&A / Coaching time.
  • Specialized Classes: Employees may need help updating their templates, creating new workflows, building new macros, etc. Consider delivering customized Microsoft classes to focus on these types of projects.

As you plan your time and training budget, be sure to consider how you will support these additional needs.

Frequently Asked Questions Document

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) can be pulled from the actual class questions to help others.

The instructor will document the questions asked in class along with the answers.

Create the Frequently Asked Questions document in Microsoft Word, HTML, and PDF format to share with your company employees. These formats make it easy to post the questions on the company intranet in a searchable format.

Self-Paced Training Options

Consider recording your training session or investing in a self-paced version of the Microsoft Office Upgrade Class.

For many of our clients, we record their session or offer a self-paced version of the course which is then available on the company intranet.

The self-paced course is a great resource for any employees that missed the in-person classroom training, participants who need to review, or new hires who need to get up to speed.

Next Steps: Your Microsoft Office Upgrade Training

workforce productivity statWhat will Microsoft Office Upgrade Training look like at your company?

Training initiatives will vary for each company, but we have found the items outlined in this article help ensure a successful program.

As you plan your Microsoft Office Upgrade Training, be sure to download our Free Microsoft Upgrade Training Checklist. This worksheet includes helpful reminders and provides space for your own notes and planning.

Need more help? We support companies with their upgrade training in many ways. Here are just a few:

  • Comprehensive Microsoft Office Upgrade Training Solution: We will partner with you to help facilitate your full program. We provide everything from the needs assessment, to the delivery of the classes, to the resources and support after the training.
  • Instructor-Led Microsoft Office Upgrade Class: Our instructor-led classes can be delivered in a classroom at or near your office, or in a virtual classroom. Your expert instructor will tailor the class based on your needs. Click to explore our Microsoft Office Classes and specifically our Microsoft Office 2019 Upgrade Class.
  • Self-Paced Microsoft Office Courses: Our self-paced classes include videos, readings, exercises, and quizzes. Your employees will complete the training on their own, when they have time. Our Office 2019 self-paced courses will be released soon.
  • Microsoft Office Coaching: Need help with specific questions or projects? Book time with our expert instructors and get exactly the answers you need.
  • Microsoft Office Courseware and Manuals: Planning to deliver Microsoft Office training internally and need course materials to use in class? Our Microsoft Office Courseware is available for sale at http://www.webucator.com/courseware.

Have something different in mind? Reach out to us to chat about your Microsoft Office 2019 Upgrade plans!

We hope these tips have been helpful!

Office 2019 Training Plan Checklist


New GraphQL Course

Webucator is offering a new course:

  1. Beginning GraphQL Training

GraphQL is a query language developed by Facebook. GraphQL offers single-endpoint requests and faster response time. Students will learn all the aspects of GraphQL starting with the the basics to integrating GraphQL with server-side applications. This course starts from a beginner level but students must have a basic understanding of JavaScript syntax.


Tableau Courses

Webucator offers two Tableau courses:

  1. Exploring Tableau Desktop
  2. Enhanced Tableau Desktop

The Exploring course gets students started using Tableau and the Enhanced course is for students who want to take what they learned in the first course to the next level and learn in-depth Tableau features. Participants need only basic familiarity with introductory data source concepts to take these courses.


Three New Excel Courses

Webucator has added three Excel courses:

  1. Microsoft Office Excel 2016: Dashboards
  2. Microsoft Office Excel 2016: Data Analysis with Power Pivot
  3. Microsoft Office Excel 2016: Data Analysis with PivotTables

All three courses are for experienced Excel users who want to take their skills to the next level. All three courses help students learn Excel’s capability of doing more with Big Data in Excel.

The 1-day Dashboards course focuses on presentation of data focusing on how to extract actionable organizational intelligence from raw data and how to present it in a visual format that enables decision makers to view key trends and conclusions at a glance.

The half-day Power Pivot and PivotTables courses focus on those respective tools with PowerPivot enabling you to organize, manipulate, and report your data in the best way possible, and PivotTables using PivotCharts to summarize data for you to analyze and organize in a meaningful way.


Two New Power BI Courses

Webucator has added two Power BI courses:

  1. Microsoft Power BI Desktop and Microsoft Power Query
  2. Quick Powerful Graphics with Power View, PowerPivot, Power Query, Power Map, and Power BI

Both courses are for students already familiar with Excel. The first course specifically requires familiarity with datasets and basic reporting, including the use of PivotTables.

Microsoft Power BI Desktop and Microsoft Power Query focuses on Power Query, a revolutionary data tool for Excel that allows you to intuitively discover and automate the import, transformation, and combination of data across a variety of data sources for use in Excel and Microsoft Power BI. Power Query is a free add-in for Excel that enhances the self-service Business Intelligence experience in Excel.

Quick Powerful Graphics with Power View, PowerPivot, Power Query, Power Map, and Power BI covers a wider range of tools and teaches how to combine the functionality of Power View, PowerPivot, Power Query, and Power BI into graphs, charts, KPIs, reports, and other visualizations.


5 Tips to Get Started with Microsoft Teams

For years Microsoft has been releasing new tools and updates geared towards helping employees work better together. Now, they’ve brought it all together in one central hub: Microsoft Teams. Is your organization adopting Microsoft Teams? Here are 5 tips to help you get started with Microsoft Teams.

How Microsoft Teams Can Help

For a quick overview and look inside of Microsoft Teams, check out this video from Microsoft which was created after a recent update to Teams.


As you learn more about Microsoft Teams, you will see that Teams can help your business:

  • Modernize teamwork with effective collaboration
  • Increase employee engagement and empowerment
  • Aid in business transformation to achieve goals faster

Great features help you achieve these goals:

  • Live Chat with rich text, audio, video and file sharing.
  • Options to chat privately, then share at a later time.
  • Central storage and great Apps all in one place.
  • Guest level features that allow guest users to create a channel, participate in chat and channel conversations all using any work or school account for Office 365.
  • Collaborate using OneNote.
  • Manage and schedule meetings.

How will you implement Microsoft Teams to achieve these goals? Here are some practical tips.


Tip #1: Educate your employees on Microsoft Teams

Start with an overview of Teams to help your employees understand the capabilities. Basic training helps them get started with Microsoft Teams faster.  Get active with hands-on practice using the tools. This hands-on component is essential whether you bring in a Microsoft Teams instructor from a company like Webucator, or choose to deliver the session yourself. Schedule at least 1 hour for a demo or longer to allow time for practice and discussion.


Tip #2: Find Champions

What is a champion? Your champions help lead the adoption and use of Microsoft Teams. These leaders will spend extra time learning the tool and customizing Microsoft Teams for your users. Your champions will help migrate processes into teams and help users understand and adopt best practices.


Tip #3: Develop Policies for Using Microsoft Teams

How will you govern team names, owners, channels, tabs, etc.? Determine the guidelines for how Microsoft Teams will be used within your organization. Then, document your guidelines in an accessible place and share the guidelines across your business. As you get started with Microsoft Teams, refer back to your guidelines regularly to ensure consistency.


Tip #4: Target Collaborative Processes and Projects


Within your organization, you will find that certain processes or projects are especially well-suited to be moved to Microsoft Teams.


Which of your processes and projects rely on consistent information, instant communication, and regular updates? Which processes and projects require communication across multiple locations with multiple team members? Consider moving these to Microsoft Teams.


Consider the ways in which your help desk, daily meetings, employee orientations, etc., would change and benefit from Microsoft Teams.


Tip #5: Make Microsoft Teams Work for You

How can you use Microsoft Teams in your daily tasks? How can it improve your daily work? Every user of Microsoft Teams will discover different ways that Microsoft teams can help. Teams has many options to customize and optimize your experience:

  • Choose from different themes
  • Enable auto-start to open Teams automatically
  • Change the order of the team names
  • Adjust your notification settings
  • Use bookmarks to save important messages
  • Follow the channels most relevant to your work
  • Mark a Team, Channel, or Chat as a Favorite.


Next Steps: Get Started with Microsoft Teams

You will find many considerations and best practices for your organization to review as you move to Teams. These are just a few.


Want to learn more? Consider our 1-day Microsoft Teams class. In the class, share your plans with an expert instructor. Your instructor can provide additional advice to consider as you make the move to Teams.


Schedule the class or request a free call from an instructor today!


Microsoft Teams Classes


4 Quick Tips for Learning Microsoft Azure

As a Microsoft Certified Partner, we hear the buzz on learning Microsoft Azure every day.

Companies increasingly need IT professionals with cloud skills. In fact, IDC claims that by 2021, 38 percent of IT positions will be cloud related.

It’s essential for IT pros to gain cloud skills right away. Whether you’re seeking a cloud certification or need practical skills to bring back to the work place, Webucator can help you get started learning Microsoft Azure with these tips.

Here are our 4 learning tips. Click on each link to jump to the content:

  1. Understand how Azure can help your business
  2. Access free self-paced Azure Courses from Microsoft
  3. Learn Azure from a Microsoft Certified Trainer
  4. Leverage free Azure learning resources

Understand How Azure Can Help Your Business

Every day we see more and more businesses adopting cloud strategies. The cloud helps us use the web and social platforms to engage with customers, gain business intelligence, and collaborate with employees. Microsoft Azure helps companies develop a comprehensive solution with Azure Web, Mobile, Data Analytics, and Business Intelligence Solutions.

A study from the Modern Microsoft Partner Series found that by 2020, the volume of high-value data will double.

Here are a few ways that your organization can stay ahead of the curve with data and app solutions using Azure.

  • Mobile—With an Azure solution, your customers can easily access data and information on any device, 24/7. Azure enables you to build cross-platform apps, using one platform, IDE, and language.
  • Web—Every commerce site needs secure and scalable solutions. Your web solution must meet the needs of both you and your customer. Microsoft Azure helps you build a solution that leverages data and engages customers with a customized site experience all while ensuring that information is processed quickly and securely.
  • Data Analytics—Microsoft Azure helps you analyze large amounts of data in real time. Deliver a better customer experience while lowering costs by getting the insights you need quickly.
  • Business Intelligence—Gain better insights and catch trends faster. A modern business intelligence suite will support your organization in quickly understanding data and making better decisions.

How can Azure help you achieve your business goals? Once you’ve started to identify your goals, you are in the best mindset to start learning Microsoft Azure.

Access Free Self-Paced Azure Courses from Microsoft

Start building Azure skills today with Microsoft’s role-based learning paths. Microsoft offers free self-paced courses based on your role to help you learn relevant information about Azure.

This training is completed on your own, without an instructor. They are hands-on with labs and assignments.

Learning paths include:

  • Azure Administrator – Learn the basics to help you implement, monitor and manage Azure services and components.
  • Azure Stack Operator – This path teaches the basics of the Azure Stack architecture, including deployment, configuration, and updates.
  • Azure Solution Architect – Learn to select the services and features your organization needs. This path covers the essentials of Microsoft Azure Solution Design.
  • Node.js Developer on Azure – This path helps Node.js developers understand how to develop and deploy web applications in Azure.
  • .NET Developer on Azure – .NET developers can follow this path to learn to develop and deploy web applications and services in Azure.
  • AI Developer on Azure – Learn about Microsoft Machine Learning and AI. This path will teach you to build applications using these services.

Need a low-cost solution to learn Microsoft Azure on your own? Click here to explore this Azure learning option.

 Learn Azure from Microsoft Certified Trainer

Looking for an in-depth, fast-paced way to advance your Azure skills? Want to learn in-person from a live expert instructor?

Microsoft Official Curriculum classes can be delivered either at your office location on online via web conference. You will work directly with a Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT). Microsoft Official Curriculum courses are perfect for IT Pros who need:

  • A live instructor with practical experience.
  • A fast way to gain a comprehensive Azure skill set.
  • The option to reach out to the instructor after class with questions. (This option is offered by Webucator but not by all learning partners.)
  • An in-depth learning experience to help them prepare for certification.

Webucator offers all of the Microsoft Official Curriculum Azure courses. Here’s a brief summary of the options:

  • MOC 10979 – Microsoft Azure Fundamentals – Just getting started with Azure? This is the place to start. Learn about cloud computing, implementing an Azure infrastructure, and building the most popular Azure services.
  • Microsoft Azure Infrastructure and Deployment (AZ-100) – Infrastructure professionals will benefit from this class as they learn to manage Azure subscriptions and resources, implement and manage storage in Azure, deploy and manage virtual machines, configure and manage virtual networks, and to use Azure Active Directory to manage identities and more.
  • Microsoft Azure Developer Core Solutions (AZ-200) – Learn about Azure technology development solutions, developing for Azure storage, developing an Azure platform as a service solution, implementing security in Azure development solutions, plus other essential tasks in this Developer course.
  • Microsoft Azure Developer Advanced Solutions (AZ-201) – Take your Azure developer skills to the next level by learning to develop for an Azure Cloud model, implement Azure development integration solutions, develop Azure cognitive services, Bot, and IoT solutions and more.
  • Microsoft Azure Architect Technologies (AZ-300) – This class teaches essential architecture skills that will help you deploy and configure infrastructure, implement workloads and security, understand Cloud architect technology solutions, create and deploy apps, implement authentication and secure data, and develop for the Cloud.
  • Microsoft Azure Architect Design (AZ-301) – Learn about designing for identity and security, how to design a data platform solution, designing for deployment, migration, and integration, and creating an infrastructure strategy in this course.

Interested in an in-depth workshop with an expert instructor? Click here to learn more about these instructor-led Azure classes.

Keep in mind that you may be able to take these instructor-led classes at no charge. When your organization purchases software via volume licensing, you might receive training vouchers as part of your software assurance benefit. These vouchers are called Software Assurance Training Vouchers and can be redeemed for free training from a certified learning partner like Webucator.

Click here to learn more about how to use SATVs for Azure classes.

Leverage Free Azure Learning Resources

Microsoft provides tons of free resources to help you build your Azure skill set. Here is a list of recommendations from our Microsoft Certified Azure Trainers!

  • Microsoft Azure Resources Page – This is Microsoft’s hub of resources related to Azure. Here you will find webinars, events, code samples, videos, and much more. This is your go-to page as you learn more about Azure.
  • Azure Friday – Every Friday Scott Hanselman joins the Microsoft’s Azure Engineers for demos, Q&A and tips.
  • Microsoft Azure Blog – Microsoft’s Official Blog for all Azure related news and announcements.
  • Microsoft Ignite 2018 – See all of the Azure announcements as well as the on demand demos that were featured at Ignite 2018.
  • Free ebook: Microsoft Azure Essentials – This free eBook from Microsoft provides 244 pages of helpful information and demonstrations. It’s ideal for Developers and IT Professionals who need fundamental information about Azure services.

Start Learning Microsoft Azure Today!

If you need help getting started on your learning path, please contact us. Our training consultants and Azure instructors are available to chat with you about the options for learning Azure.

Learn Microsoft Azure


New Vue.js course

Webucator has added a new course Beginning Vue.js Training.

Vue.js is a JavaScript library for building modern web applications. This course teaches the fundamentals of Vue.js and then introduces Webpack followed by Vuex and Vue Router. This course is for JavaScript web developers who want to learn Vue.js.


Two New Kotlin Courses

Kotlin is becoming a must-have skill for Android developers. We’re offering two new Kotlin courses. Both courses are for experienced Java developers. The first course is an introduction to Kotlin, while the second course follows up with more focus on Android development. Both courses can be customized for your group’s needs and goals.

  1. Kotlin Programming Training
  2. Kotlin for Android Training