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Five Microsoft learning partners report sales growth in excess of 25%

Microsoft has announced that five of its key Certified Partners for Learning Solutions (CPLS) have seen year on year growth of at least 25 percent as the demand for IT training increases.

Xpertise head the list with 68% year on year growth, followed by Interquad (43%), Remarc (38%), Azlan (29%) and Equation (28%).

"There has been an upturn in the general training market as companies begin to see the value in getting IT staff, who deal with mission critical company systems, properly trained," said Alex Keay, group manager for training and skills at Microsoft UK. "It has traditionally been difficult for companies to measure the return on investment from training and ensure that it is relevant for their staff. We believe the success our partners are experiencing stems from their delivery of bespoke, measurable services that deliver quantifiable benefits to a business. Microsoft has restructured its qualifications so that they better reflect on-the-job experience and give businesses and individuals a more accurate evaluation of IT skills."

Jeffrey Smithies, portfolio manager, Azlan outlined the reasons behind the company's success. "Azlan has a great reputation for delivering excellent training based on core Microsoft technologies and our recent growth has, in part, been as a result of increased interest around Microsoft Server 2003, Microsoft Windows XP and Active Directory. More importantly Azlan offers its customers more than just straightforward IT training and is able to deliver complete solutions utilising its trainers, consultants. Project managers and European helpdesk The launch of our new Passport scheme combined with a refresh of the Microsoft schedule, this means we offer more courses in more locations than ever before, and has enabled us to achieve such positive growth."

John Kaufman, managing director, Interquad commented, "InterQuad has delivered 5 consecutive years of significant growth in the Microsoft curriculum and overall company revenues and profitability, which has been as a direct result of continued investment and expansion in facilities and resources. Today InterQuad boasts the largest certified Microsoft public scheduled curriculum in Europe, delivered from 11 UK training centres. InterQuad's and Microsoft's customers benefit from a compelling proposition that delivers the highest quality training to support companies maximise the value of their investment in Microsoft technologies through a flexible and comprehensive portfolio of services."

Martyn Patterson, Marketing Director, Remarc continued. "We have seen growth in two main areas, IT infrastructure related training and .Net. As the number of IT implementations increases, organisations are recognising the need for high quality training to support the increasing complexity of these projects. It's no longer good enough for IT professionals just to have entry-level skills and this is where Remarc differentiates itself. We provide our clients with the biggest choice of breadth and depth training in the North, supported by complementary project management training. We also proactively provide unique customer solutions, which assess skills requirements, effectively deliver the training and measure the ROI."

Bill Walker, Commercial Director, Xpertise also cited blended learning as a growth area for the company. "We are seeing a huge demand for project management and service management skills as well as core IT, in particular from those companies training 25-70 people. Xpertise has been able to differentiate itself by aligning very quickly with new vendor technology and having the ability to turn new courses around to accommodate demand very quickly indeed. We were one of the first companies to utilise the Organisational Assessment tool from Infobasis, which allows us to map skills demand in a business and deliver a clear idea of what, and where, training is required."

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