Why It Is A Good Time For Training

Steve Ripper and Dave Hodgdon from Portsmouth Computer Group (PCGIT) discuss why now is a good time for training your workforce and using technology and proper communication to do so.

Mike: WTSN’s Morning Information Center, all powered today on this Tech Tuesday by Portsmouth Computer Group with convenient offices in Portsmouth, Dover and now Manchester, Portland, Maine-PCG IT. For world class IT servicing customer support, go to And with our tech tip of the week, we are joined by my good friends, Steve Ripper and Dave Hodgdon from Portsmouth Computer Group. They join us remotely, socially distancing miles and miles away. Good morning, gentlemen.

Our tech tip of the week is why companies need to be… why right now is a good time for training? When we’re talking about training, Steve, are we talking about the new platforms, the Zoom conferencing, all the ways that people can sort of coordinate their business meetings? What are we talking about when it comes to a good time for training right now?

Video Conference Training

Steve Ripper: Yeah. It’s kind of a paradox, right Mike? Because you’d think that because with all your workforce spread out, maybe they’re all at home, it’s not a good time for training. It’s actually a great time for training. A lot of the times that I’ve done training Mike, it’s sometimes really hard to get everybody into the conference room or get a company to kind of understand that this might be a good idea and pull them together. But now everybody’s video conferencing. Everybody’s sitting at their desk or their home office or their couch and they’re video conferencing in.

So it’s really a great time to just… instantly people can be a part of the training session. So, do we train on video conferencing? I’m sure that there’s a lot of pointers that really could be got, people have had about a month and a half, two months of working with it. I’m sure they have questions. So, it’s really a great time to have one of these instant meetings be about training.

Mike: Yeah. And Dave, I think a lot of people probably, they were just kind of thrown into this whole video conferencing and probably never had online meetings before, but now that’s the way of the world right now.

Dave Hodgdon: It is Mike, and I don’t see that changing in the near future, but just besides the video I think a lot of companies now realize that a lot of their employees were never properly trained. And now that things are a little bit slower for some companies, it’s a good time to rethink or retool their business, to look at new applications. It’s a great time to really spend that time to get your employees more efficient. I always feel in budgets, training is always one of the things that’s always last, but I feel it’s imperative you send your kids to school to learn. You want to reward the benefits from training.

Mike: And we’ve always said, and we’ve discussed this on this program many times during this segment that since… the last couple of months, since the second week of March, when we all got thrown into this, this seems to be the new set of normal circumstances. And this is the way it’s going to be for a while. And people may not go back to the offices for a while, or they may just go back to the office, maybe, some of the time. And then if it’s working so successfully from home, then managers may say, “Okay, you can stay home as long as you do your work well and continue to do the product.” And stuff like that.

Investing in Technology

Dave: But I feel from a management level, now’s not the time to sit back. You invest in how you can use technology better. There are so many things from… It’s just not the video conferencing and outlook, so many people could use help on just how to properly use the computer, the operating system. But you want to make a difference and stand out in your industry, now it’s a perfect time to think about training.

Mike: Yes. Let’s talk about some training topics Steve, that companies can really take advantage of right now.

Steve: The big one is security, right Mike? With so many people remote, with so many people accessing data via connections, as opposed to being in the building with the data, security, it’s always been at the forefront, but now it’s head and shoulders above every other topic. And so, we’ll do training sessions for what to watch out for, what to look for in email, what kind of scams are out there? We’re starting to see… you’re seeing these news items where some of the Zoom and team’s meetings are being invaded by hackers. And inappropriate things are happening.

So, there’s a lot of things that we can talk about in terms of keeping the workforce safe when they’re not in the office. How to be safe when you’re accessing files, how to be safe when you’re accessing data, what to look for when the emails come in and there’re phishing attacks. And what kinds of security protocols you should be having. That’s a really big topic that we’re talking about Dave. And then, how you can go about accessing all of these things, like Office 365, right Dave? How can you use these things to be better and more efficient?

Technology and Communications Training

Dave: Yeah, Mike, I find, even though a lot of people use email, they don’t really know how to truly use it in the most professional and productive way. There’s so many things within Outlook on how to properly communicate your signature, your distribution list, just effectively using the product. So when you’re using it, you have your calendars updated when you’re out of the office, it’s easy for your team to know what’s going on. Even some of the simple things from using Microsoft Word and Excel, the average person is only using 10% of that product. There’s so much there available to them.

Mike: What’s you’re saying, is that there’s so many different aspects to all these different platforms, whether it’s Office 365 or whatever other programs people use in the course of a workday that they have not put the time into learning all the different aspects that could make their work life a little easier and a little bit more efficient, correct?

Dave: Absolutely. We at PCG have used CRM like for instance how you manage contacts. So we moved to a product called HubSpot. So right now we’re investing the time in learning how to properly prospect, how to build your pipeline, how to reach your target audience, get all your templates in place, managing it so you can see when people are on your site. So to me, our prospects or one of our most valuable inventory assets and it’s a great tool. So, I can’t recommend enough to clients, spend time on your products to use them better.

Mike: What is actually HubSpot for people who don’t know what that is?

Dave: HubSpot’s like a CRM, think of it as like a salesforce or act, doing magic. So it’s how you manage your contacts, when you’ve got to call them, your activities, your opportunities, it’s just tracking all your contacts in companies.

Mike: Do you find that most of the workers out there from your clients, do you find that a lot of people are unfamiliar with the different techniques that are going on in the different platforms and the different programs that they don’t know a lot about? Do you sense that?

Steve: Yeah. I think Mike, that they’ve been introduced to a new normal, and so when I think of normal, the normal for them has been to go into the office and sit at their desk, which everybody gets. But they’ve also just been doing the same thing day in, day out, they click on the same icon, they open up their email, they read an email, they send an email and they just get on with it. Whereas, now that they’re staying at home, they still have to do their job, but they have to do it in a different way. And so, the world is slightly tilted now, or tilted in a lot of ways.

So, I find it when we’re doing a lot of these training or these opportunities to train people, we’re talking about the new ways of doing the things that they’ve always done. It’s kind of getting them acclimated to a new world and a new normal that could be with us for a very long time.

Mike: Sure.

Steve: That’s why we’re pushing this training part of it, where we can get in and it’s like, listen here, it’s really easy now for people to just join a session, as opposed to maybe trying to gain consensus of getting into the training room or the conference room or whatever. They just literally join a session that has been chosen. And I can immediately put up PowerPoints and view the things and the topics that we’re talking about. So, it’s really a lot easier. And you wouldn’t think that.

Mike: Yeah. Final word Dave today, tip of the week?

Dave: Tip of the week is always beneficial when I speak to clients. Take a survey with your staff, ask them about what part of technology they can’t use, or they would like to know. You’ll be surprised with the responses you’ll get. And then from there I’d be creating what I call a lead group that’s looking into your line of business applications, really verify what you’re using, create a matrix of what’s right, what’s missing, what’s confusing. And then at that point, go out and talk to your vendors and find the right product for you. And I think your staff will be pleased, they’ll be surprised, they’d like to know what they’re using to help their business, they’ll see the value. Invest in them, invest in your people. You’ll reap the benefits.

Mike: Absolutely. No doubt about that. Very wise statement Dave. Great time for training. As we continue to learn about this new normal, which probably will be with us for quite a few months, quite a few months on how we do business and how we move on with the economy. If you’d like more information on Portsmouth Computer Group security training, you can call them up anytime at 6034314121 or 6034314121 or reach them at their website, that’s Always great to talk to you, Dave and Steve, thank you for joining me this morning here on News Talk 98.1 WTSN. Another great version of Tech Tuesday, my friends!

Steve: Tech Tuesday, another great day.

Mike:  All right buddy.

Dave: Thank you Mike.

Steve: Have a good week.

Mike: All right. Talk to you, my friend. Thank you. Enjoy.