QA acquires Cloud Academy to combine digital and in-classroom training

QA, the UK’s largest B2B skills provider, announced it has acquired San Francisco-based Cloud Academy, a leading enterprise technology training platform.

Cloud Academy will add QA’s massive catalog of more than 500 certification courses and 1500 instructor-led courses to seamlessly blend classroom learning with its intuitive digital platform.

No other provider has the breadth of classroom and digital blended learning resources covering Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, Cybersecurity, Project Management, DevOps, Agile Development, Big Data, Artificial Intelligence and more.

Companies have sought to deliver effective blended learning – the integration of in-person and online learning – for some time. However, it has been a challenge to align existing technology and curriculum design to create an integrated learning experience.

QA and Cloud Academy’s approach will provide the solution businesses have been seeking, enabling the training of teams worldwide via one of today’s most innovative digital platforms.

“We’re seeing a surge in cloud IT upskilling,” said William Fellows, Founder and Research Vice President of 451 Research.

“The basics are covered but as momentum builds, cloud native has become the direction of travel for enterprises. Cloud-native transformation will be increasingly dictated by the access to and cost of skills, which is now a real constraint. Cloud Academy is aimed at helping to bridge this skills gap.”

It’s estimated that American enterprises spend $200 billion annually to reskill their workforce, but less than 10 percent of the spend actually delivers results.

Cloud Academy addresses this disconnect and helps organizations address their skills gaps with high quality digital training content and a SaaS platform filled with powerful features to measure skills and manage training outcomes.

Features include assignable Training Plans, Skill Profiles, Skill Assessment, and Hands-on Lab challenges that track critical thinking and practitioner abilities in a real-world, risk-free environment.

Further, technology such as Cloud Academy’s Content Engine allows companies to customize and extend any course in the content library specifically for their organizations. This dramatically increases employee engagement, and increases the likelihood that skills built during training are applied on the job. Together, QA and Cloud Academy’s offering will maximize organizations’ return on workforce skills investments.

Commenting on the acquisition Cushing Anderson, Vice President, IT Education and Certification research, from IDC says “The vision of blended learning has always been something akin to intelligent multichannel learning experiences: purposefully combining classroom, self-paced, and other learning channels, to create effective improvement in proficiency. But the promise has been just out of reach.

“Combining a strong instructor-led heritage and a broad, technically oriented content library — with learning content customization capability and top notch lab environment for assessment — will improve the relevance of learning experiences to target learners and increase the business value organizations receive from their learning investment.”

“Blended learning needs the right curriculum design and technological platform as well as expert tutors and facilitators for in-person delivery. Until now, this hasn’t been possible. Bringing QA’s and Cloud Academy’s expertise together will mean a significant shift in the way corporate training is delivered.

“Businesses want a holistic learning experience that combines face-to-face training with a genuinely intuitive, immersive and engaging digital experience,” said QA’s Chief Executive William Macpherson.

“QA is proud to bring this transformation to the skills delivery market and provide training options that are fit for today’s flexible work environment. Learning can happen while sitting on a bus, in a café, at a desk, or in a classroom – whenever and wherever suits the learner and the company.”

QA has worked closely with UK businesses for 30 years to address skills gaps. Since launching in 2013, the international and fast-growing Cloud Academy has worked with global organizations such as Turner, SAS, Transamerica, Cognizant, Trivago, and Hong Kong Broadband Network (HKBN) to train thousands of workers on leading cloud platforms, enabling companies to gain and maintain a competitive edge in an ever-changing cloud-based environment.

“Since day one, we have sought to create a unique solution to businesses’ training needs. We built Cloud Academy to deliver the perfect mix of the best technology and high quality training.

“Today we work with some of the most important brands worldwide; our technology allows them to upskill their teams on the latest cloud technology, tracking their skills and using insights to accelerate their business growth,” said, Cloud Academy CEO Stefano Bellasio.

“We are excited to join QA and continue building a unique platform that combines both digital and in-classroom training.”