Aussie firm links up with Aboitiz to open IT certification center in PH

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Australian tech firm EdventureCo has made its first foray in the Philippines, linking up with Aboitiz Impact Ventures (AIV) to open a certification school in Bonifacio Global City.

DDLS Philippines, a joint venture between EdventureCo and AIV, will provide IT certification and training on service management, data science, DevOps, robotics process automation, and cybersecurity, among others.

Photo shows (from left) DDLS CEO Jon Lang, DDLS Philippines president Luis Miguel Aboitiz, DDLS Philippines director and Aboitiz Impact Ventures president Jokin Aboitiz, and EdventureCo Asia Pacific chairman Terry Farris

The new campus in Taguig is the first DDLS training center outside of Australia and marks its expansion into Asia and the Pacific. Over 500 students have attended Microsoft courses in its training facilities equipped with the latest desktops, telepresence, and a dedicated room for taking online tests and certifications.

DDLS chief executive Jon Lang said they partnered with technology companies to bring vendor-certified instruction on new processes, technologies and platforms. “There are a lot of tech vendors in the Philippines but training centers for their products are lacking, so vendors pushed for a high-quality training provider,” said Lang.

The executive said DDLS consulted with over 20 vendors such as Google, AWS, and Microsoft – some of the biggest cloud service providers in the world –who plan to bring their products here and want that certified users are available. “We did market research and found a partner in Aboitiz,” Lang said.

Mike Calma, DDLS Philippines country general manager, said the center will prepare students to meet the demand for talent in cybersecurity, DevOps, cloud, and others through skills development.

Jokin Aboitiz, AIV president and director of DDLS Philippines, said the vision of DDLS is to offer agile and accessible high-quality IT training.

“These skills have never been more relevant and this style of teaching has never been more appropriate. This is all about people. We want to upscale as many people as we can. We believe education is the most valuable give back to the community,” Aboitiz said.

The Philippines needs to prepare for the future, said Terry Farris, chairman of EdventureCo Asia Pacific, adding the country will have to prepare for a time when AI or artificial intelligence will transform 800,000 local jobs. “We need Filipinos to be certified so they will be competitive,” Farris said.

THE DDLS campus in the Philippines means Filipinos won’t have to go to Singapore for certification or sign up for online courses as they do now, Farris said, adding DDLS plans to make the Philippines a regional training hub.

Outside of the in-house training provided by large IT-reliant companies, the perception is that strong IT training centers are lacking in the country, according to the executives. Even then, big corporations are already sending their staff members to DDLS Philippines since its soft-launching last August.

To fill what Calma calls the “palpable gap”, DDLS Philippines recruits seasoned practitioners from the industry. It plans to expand from the BGC to other locations.

“We hope to add more campuses, possibly in the provinces,” said Luis Miguel Aboitiz, president of DDLS Philippines, adding the idea is to bring the campus closer to where students live and work. The plan is to build six campuses in four years that can stand on their own, he said. “We will build where it will matter most,” Calma said.

Yanna Villa-Real, marketing manager of DDLS Philippines, said IT training is an underserved market catered by small training companies. “We hope to influence IT graduates to already have a certificate before employment to empower the workforce,” she said.

Villa-Real said local firms usually send staff members abroad for training and to prepare them for certification exams such those for Cisco networking technologies.

Now, they can get those training and certification not just for Cisco but also for Microsoft and ITIL. ITIL 4 is a practical tool to maneuver digital transformation, an end-to-end operating model for the delivery and operation of products and services that integrates frameworks such as Lean IT, Agile and DevOps.

Villa-Real said 2020 will be an exciting year as DDLS will be rolling out courses on cybersecurity, ethical hacking, and data analytics.

Among the new courses is the EC-Council Certified Ethical Hacker, a five-day training program covering security domains. The ISC2 Information Systems Security Professional course, on the other hand, will enable students to gain core knowledge and experience to successfully implement and manage security programs.

The other new courses are DevOps Foundation, which stresses communication, collaboration, integration and automation in order to manage the flow of work between software developers and IT operations professionals.

The “Managing Microsoft Teams” course is where students learn how to configure, deploy, and manage Office 365 workloads that focus on efficient collaboration and communication in enterprise environment. The Microsoft PowerApps course focuses on how to design test and publish new apps that work with a variety of data sources.

DDLS describes itself as Australia’s largest provider of corporate IT and process training and Australia’s leading cybersecurity training provider. Here, it will provide extensive training options tailored to organizations’ in-house needs — from vendor-certified courses to customized training.

In cybersecurity, for example, it will offer a range of authorized training from global organizations such as the EC-Council, (ISC)2, ISACA, RESILA (Axelos) and CompTIA.

The instructors are certified subject matter experts who are experienced in real-world IT implementation challenges and solutions, Villa-Real said. “They provide concrete advice that students can apply not only to pass their certification exams but also to successfully deliver their own IT projects,” she said.

The goal, Villa-Real said, is to make more high-quality courses accessible to more IT professionals all over the Philippines following the extensive course offering and multi-campus network and over 200 instructors of DDLS Australia.

“Our courses focus on technology, process and people,” Villa-Real said. “Through our practical and future-ready technology and business classes, we look forward to seeing IT professionals drive their career to the next level.”

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