Wanted – The right stuff
A few months ago, ePath’s Axel Kuhn published a post about the need for T-shaped people. These are people who have both depth of knowledge in a particular area (the vertical bar of the ”T”) and breadth of knowledge across multiple areas (the horizontal bar of the “T”). These people are especially valuable in the world of eBusiness because optimizing the customer’s online journey (and increasing the chances of making a sale) involves expertise in a number of areas and T-shaped people are needed to integrate those areas into a compelling customer experience.
For example, to design an end-to-end online customer journey, a company needs to assemble expertise in search engine optimization, online advertising, social media marketing, website design, user experience engineering, lead nurturing and web analytics, not to mention the expertise required in the specific software packages (e.g. CRM) and technology elements (e.g mobile payments) involved in each of those areas.
So how do you become a T-shaped person, and in particular, how do you acquire the expertise required to manage an end-to-end eCommerce operation? Clearly, no one career path is available that would give you an on-the-job grounding in each of the areas mentioned above. And if you search online for eBusiness training programs, you will find that most programs focus either on a specific element of eBusiness (e.g. SEO) or on particular software products (e.g. marketing automation).
And yet, without knowledge across the entire process, it is easy to see many businesses are leaving money on the table that could have been captured by a more effective online channel.
Creating T-shaped training
It was this challenge that prompted ePath to partner with the University of Toronto for the development of a training program for eBusiness professionals. This 3 course certificate program in eBusiness & eCommerce Management is designed to help eBusiness practitioners and managers to gain a grounding in the critical concepts and techniques required to run a successful eBusiness. The program combines the conceptual and the practical to equip them to generate superior business results in the real-world of eBusiness.
For eBusiness professionals, this program provides a means to broaden their eBusiness skillset, adding the top of the “T” to their own personal profile. The certificate program will train them in the tools and techniques used by e Business leaders, equipping them with skills and knowledge that they can be apply to their specific work situation. For those taking the course, it makes them more valuable employees and opens up career opportunities that were not accessible before. For their employers, the program provides them with more valuable employees, who are able to better contribute to achieving the company’s goals for its online channel.
The Value of Education
ePath is thrilled to be partnering on this initiative with the University of Toronto, one of Canada’s top educational institutions. It is a privilege to be able to bring our experience to the classroom to help the next generation of Canada’s eBusiness managers and it is stimulating for us to be in the classroom with Canada’s next generation of eBusiness leaders.
But there is another reason why we are so pleased to be involved in this initiative. We believe that there is a very important synergy between our work as consultants to individual companies and the work we do teaching in the classroom. Our work as consultants enables us to bring to the classroom our front-line experience and real-life examples. This ensures that our students are getting real-world insights, not academic theory. Conversely, delivering the course enables us to bring benefits back to our consulting clients as well. The very act of preparing the program, analyzing the latest industry developments and hearing from students about their real-life situations, equips us better to work with our clients. It is a virtuous circle.
There is an additional benefit to our clients as well. As a result of our involvement in the U of T certificate program, ePath is exceptionally well equipped to deliver customized eCommerce/ eBusiness training to our individual clients. We offer a range of customized training options, from ½ day eBusiness overviews, to customized multi-day training workshops. For our clients this means they can have their eBusiness team receive training on the latest and most valuable eBusiness techniques that is customized to their specific environment.
A new option – Build vs. Buy
Axel Kuhn’s recent post on the value of T-shaped people was triggered by a study by Neil Perkin of eConsultancy, entitled “Digital Marketing: Organizational Structures and Resourcing”, which highlighted the challenges many eBusinesses face in finding “T-shaped” people for their organization. This is a real challenge that is keeping many eBusinesses from reaching their potential. For most businesses, the only option is to buy the “T-shaped” people it needs. But unfortunately they are in short supply and priced at a premium.
ePath’s training programs, both through the U of T certificate program and through its customized corporate training offerings, provide Canadian eBusinesses with a new option, one that allows them to equip their top performers to provide even greater value to the company and gives companies and additional tool to increase the business results from their online channel.