SharePoint Training Classes in Champaign, Illinois

Learn SharePoint in Champaign, Illinois and surrounding areas via our hands-on, expert led courses. All of our classes either are offered on an onsite, online or public instructor led basis. Here is a list of our current SharePoint related training offerings in Champaign, Illinois: SharePoint Training

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The consulting industry is fiercely competitive and nets between $130B and $150B a year. In fact, professional consultants earn more money than many lawyers, doctors and other professionals. 

Offering free consultations is a common way for a software consultant to seize new accounts. But is there a red flag where a consultant may be giving away too many services for free? The worst scenario for a professional software consultant is to offer free services to the client and then never hear from them again once they no longer need their help. 

Although having the best intentions, many people will waste a consultant's time (i.e., client ignores or rejects any suggested approaches or solutions given by the consultant and seek the services of someone who will do it cheaper or will attempt to do it themselves). Small business owners especially can be challenging to work with. Some clients have a tendency to jump into projects before having adequate resources to finish what they have started, decide to go in a different direction midstream, while others simply don't want to spend any money when getting professional services. It's hard to believe, but some clients actually expect to receive free services for life. To counteract this notion, a software consultant can draw the line by offering free services within a promotional time frame and then begin charging a fee for services rendered after that time.

A good indicator of what a client's true intentions are is to monitor their activity within a specified period to see if their consultation activity bears fruit in the form of a contract. One big red flag is non-commitment on the part of the client. If they seem indecisive or vague about what they want it may be time to move on. Although there are times when a free consultation results in a paying client years later, who can wait that long? 

Less of Your Time is Wasted When You're Upfront


After being burned, some professional software consultants no longer give free consulting. They find that clients are much more willing to follow their advice when they have paid something. In order to close an account, a happy medium can be agreed upon by both parties involved as a way to build a long term relationship with highly qualified prospects. 

A software consultant's work, knowledge, skills and time are valuable. They can offer a potential client general solutions instead of addressing specific challenges. If a specific topic of discussion, troubleshooting session or other issue needs to be addressed, the consultant can inform the client of any upfront costs to receive a particular service if they need further assistance. Really, a free software consultation (if one is given) should be presented in a very similar way someone would hand out samples of a product at a grocery store. A professional consultant ideally wants clients to see how they can benefit using their services on a trial basis with a pitch leading to more extensive services which would only be available if they sign a contract with their firm. 

 

 Red Flags

Let’s face it, fad or not, companies are starting to ask themselves how they could possibly use machine learning and AI technologies in their organization. Many are being lured by the promise of profits by discovering winning patterns with algorithms that will enable solid predictions… The reality is that most technology and business professionals do not have sufficient understanding of how machine learning works and where it can be applied.  For a lot of firms, the focus still tends to be on small-scale changes instead of focusing on what really matters…tackling their approach to machine learning.

In the recent Wall Street Journal article, Machine Learning at Scale Remains Elusive for Many Firms, Steven Norton captures interesting comments from the industry’s data science experts. In the article, he quotes panelists from the MIT Digital Economy Conference in NYC, on businesses current practices with AI and machine learning. All agree on the fact that, for all the talk of Machine Learning and AI’s potential in the enterprise, many firms aren’t yet equipped to take advantage of it fully.

Panelist,  Michael Chui, partner at McKinsey Global Institute states that “If a company just mechanically says OK, I’ll automate this little activity here and this little activity there, rather than re-thinking the entire process and how it can be enabled by technology, they usually get very little value out of it. “Few companies have deployed these technologies in a core business process or at scale.”

Panelist, Hilary Mason, general manager at Cloudera Inc., had this to say, “With very few exceptions, every company we work with wants to start with a cost-savings application of automation.” “Most organizations are not set up to do this well.”

data dictionary workThe mainstay of a corporation is the data that it possesses. By data, I mean its customer base, information about the use of its products, employee roles and responsibilities, the development and maintenance of its product lines, demographics of supporters and naysayers, financial records, projected sales ... It is in the organization of this data that advancements to the bottom line are often realized i.e. the nuggets of gold are found. Defining what is important, properly cataloging the information, developing a comprehensive protocol to access and update this information and discerning how this data fits into the corporate venacular is basis of this data organization and may be the difference between moving ahead of the competition or being the one to fall behind.

Whenever we attempt to develop an Enterprise Rule Application, we must begin by harvesting the data upon which those rules are built. This is by no means an easy feat as it requires a thorough understanding of the business, industry, the players and their respective roles and the intent of the application. Depending upon the scope of this undertaking, it is almost always safe to say that no one individual is completely knowledgeable to all facets needed to comprise the entire application.data dictionary

The intial stage of this endeavor is, obviously, to decide upon the intent of the application. This requires knowledge of what is essential, what is an add-on and which of all these requirements/options can be successfully implemented in the allotted period of time. The importance of this stage cannot be stressed enough; if the vision/goal cannot be articulated in a manner that all can understand, the knowledge tap will be opened to become the money drain. Different departments may compete for the same financial resources; management may be jockeying for their day in the sun; consulting corporations, eager to win the bid, may exaggerate their level of competency. These types of endeavors require those special skills of an individual or a team of very competent members to be/have a software architect, subject matter expert and business analyst.

Once the decision has been made and the application development stages have been defined, the next step is to determine which software development tools to employ. For the sake of this article, we will assume that the team has chosen an object oriented language such as Java and a variety of J EE components, a relationsional database and a vendor specific BRMS such as Blaze Advisor. Now, onto the point of this article.

Machine learning systems are equipped with artificial intelligence engines that provide these systems with the capability of learning by themselves without having to write programs to do so. They adjust and change programs as a result of being exposed to big data sets. The process of doing so is similar to the data mining concept where the data set is searched for patterns. The difference is in how those patterns are used. Data mining's purpose is to enhance human comprehension and understanding. Machine learning's algorithms purpose is to adjust some program's action without human supervision, learning from past searches and also continuously forward as it's exposed to new data.

The News Feed service in Facebook is an example, automatically personalizing a user's feed from his interaction with his or her friend's posts. The "machine" uses statistical and predictive analysis that identify interaction patterns (skipped, like, read, comment) and uses the results to adjust the News Feed output continuously without human intervention. 

Impact on Existing and Emerging Markets

The NBA is using machine analytics created by a California-based startup to create predictive models that allow coaches to better discern a player's ability. Fed with many seasons of data, the machine can make predictions of a player's abilities. Players can have good days and bad days, get sick or lose motivation, but over time a good player will be good and a bad player can be spotted. By examining big data sets of individual performance over many seasons, the machine develops predictive models that feed into the coach’s decision-making process when faced with certain teams or particular situations. 

General Electric, who has been around for 119 years is spending millions of dollars in artificial intelligence learning systems. Its many years of data from oil exploration and jet engine research is being fed to an IBM-developed system to reduce maintenance costs, optimize performance and anticipate breakdowns.

Over a dozen banks in Europe replaced their human-based statistical modeling processes with machines. The new engines create recommendations for low-profit customers such as retail clients, small and medium-sized companies. The lower-cost, faster results approach allows the bank to create micro-target models for forecasting service cancellations and loan defaults and then how to act under those potential situations. As a result of these new models and inputs into decision making some banks have experienced new product sales increases of 10 percent, lower capital expenses and increased collections by 20 percent. 

Emerging markets and industries

By now we have seen how cell phones and emerging and developing economies go together. This relationship has generated big data sets that hold information about behaviors and mobility patterns. Machine learning examines and analyzes the data to extract information in usage patterns for these new and little understood emergent economies. Both private and public policymakers can use this information to assess technology-based programs proposed by public officials and technology companies can use it to focus on developing personalized services and investment decisions.

Machine learning service providers targeting emerging economies in this example focus on evaluating demographic and socio-economic indicators and its impact on the way people use mobile technologies. The socioeconomic status of an individual or a population can be used to understand its access and expectations on education, housing, health and vital utilities such as water and electricity. Predictive models can then be created around customer's purchasing power and marketing campaigns created to offer new products. Instead of relying exclusively on phone interviews, focus groups or other kinds of person-to-person interactions, auto-learning algorithms can also be applied to the huge amounts of data collected by other entities such as Google and Facebook.

A warning

Traditional industries trying to profit from emerging markets will see a slowdown unless they adapt to new competitive forces unleashed in part by new technologies such as artificial intelligence that offer unprecedented capabilities at a lower entry and support cost than before. But small high-tech based companies are introducing new flexible, adaptable business models more suitable to new high-risk markets. Digital platforms rely on algorithms to host at a low cost and with quality services thousands of small and mid-size enterprises in countries such as China, India, Central America and Asia. These collaborations based on new technologies and tools gives the emerging market enterprises the reach and resources needed to challenge traditional business model companies.

Tech Life in Illinois

The Illinois Institute of Technology has various research centers such as the IIT Research Institute, the Institute of Gas Technology, and the Design Processes Laboratory as well as a technical facility of the Association of American Railroads. No state has had a more prominent role than Illinois in the emergence of the nuclear age. As part of the Manhattan Project, in 1942 the University of Chicago conducted the first sustained nuclear chain reaction. This was just the first of a series of experimental nuclear power projects and experiments. And, with eleven plants currently operating, Illinois leads all states in the amount of electricity generated from nuclear power. Approximately 35% percent of residents are in management, business, science, or arts occupations.
Computers are useless. They can only give you answers. Pablo Picasso
other Learning Options
Software developers near Champaign have ample opportunities to meet like minded techie individuals, collaborate and expend their career choices by participating in Meet-Up Groups. The following is a list of Technology Groups in the area.

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A successful career as a software developer or other IT professional requires a solid understanding of software development processes, design patterns, enterprise application architectures, web services, security, networking and much more. The progression from novice to expert can be a daunting endeavor; this is especially true when traversing the learning curve without expert guidance. A common experience is that too much time and money is wasted on a career plan or application due to misinformation.

The Hartmann Software Group understands these issues and addresses them and others during any training engagement. Although no IT educational institution can guarantee career or application development success, HSG can get you closer to your goals at a far faster rate than self paced learning and, arguably, than the competition. Here are the reasons why we are so successful at teaching:

  • Learn from the experts.
    1. We have provided software development and other IT related training to many major corporations in Illinois since 2002.
    2. Our educators have years of consulting and training experience; moreover, we require each trainer to have cross-discipline expertise i.e. be Java and .NET experts so that you get a broad understanding of how industry wide experts work and think.
  • Discover tips and tricks about SharePoint programming
  • Get your questions answered by easy to follow, organized SharePoint experts
  • Get up to speed with vital SharePoint programming tools
  • Save on travel expenses by learning right from your desk or home office. Enroll in an online instructor led class. Nearly all of our classes are offered in this way.
  • Prepare to hit the ground running for a new job or a new position
  • See the big picture and have the instructor fill in the gaps
  • We teach with sophisticated learning tools and provide excellent supporting course material
  • Books and course material are provided in advance
  • Get a book of your choice from the HSG Store as a gift from us when you register for a class
  • Gain a lot of practical skills in a short amount of time
  • We teach what we know…software
  • We care…
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