Today’s ever-changing software and applications for communication and collaboration seem exciting and impressive, but the networking hardware essential to these solutions is often overlooked. The reality is, without these physical products in place, none of the cloud communications tools your users rely on day in and day out would be available.
When users are trained and proficient in using the digital side of communication and collaboration but lack the knowledge and understanding to troubleshoot networking hardware issues, it can leave them helpless when hardware problems inevitably arise until someone from IT staff can lend a hand.
To empower your end-users and give them more freedom and control over their cloud communications, training them on your networking hardware products is just as important as training for software.
The Hidden Side of Communication and Collaboration
When it comes to communications and collaboration solutions, much of the focus is on software and apps. Those pieces are the front-facing, visual aspects users relate to, so it makes sense that most training and support content is geared toward these components, which end users will most regularly interact with.
The networking hardware, on the other hand, serves as the foundational infrastructure that allows all of the other pieces to work together to support the features and functions your end-users use in their daily activities. Networking hardware includes switches, routers, wireless access points, modems, bridges, and hubs.
Through these physical components, devices that are all connected to your network can send messages to one another, relaying important data and ensuring each device can reach the other devices in a network.
While they are often behind the scenes, training on this hidden side of collaboration and communication is just as important as the front-facing side.
Networking Hardware’s Critical Role
Networking hardware plays a critical function in collaboration and communication, primarily helping in the areas of security, efficiency, and hybrid connection.
- Security – Hardware keeps your valuable information safe from security threats. Routers can employ the use of a firewall, VPN (virtual private network), or IP (internet protocol) communications system to make your networking more secure. Even access points provide proactive security information to safeguard your business.
- Efficiency – Hardware connects a virtual network across a business which is an efficient use of time and money, keeping communication quick and productive as well as minimizing costs.
- Hybrid Connection – Hardware supports a hybrid approach to communication and collaboration, which is a common approach used by enterprise businesses with several locations. This allows offices that are not all on the same platform to still connect.
Essential Networking Hardware Training
Training users on how to set up this hardware and troubleshooting the most common issues when they arise is essential to a complete solution strategy. Companies that don’t initially see the value in this kind of training eventually do, but it’s only after running into major problems.
Stay ahead of the curve and integrate network hardware training into your initial training efforts as well as your support materials to fully educate your users on the physical products so essential to the work they do every day.
Networking Hardware Training Tips
When training your end-users on their networking hardware, keep these tips in mind for better learner outcomes:
- Use various formats
When possible, try to diversify the formats and methods of your training. You can create reading materials, offer live training, or repurpose the material into an e-Learning course.
- Break complex topics into smaller, bite-sized pieces
Hardware networking isn’t always the easiest concept to grasp, so try to break these complex topics into smaller, bite-sized pieces. First, provide instruction on modems, what they do, how to set them up, and finally, how to troubleshoot common issues. Then, repeat a similar flow with switches and other network hardware components. This is called microlearning and it can boost retention.
- Train live when possible
A live training option is beneficial when possible, as it gives the learners a chance to engage in the lesson and ask questions with the trainer available to them. This helps solidify the information taught and ensures better absorption of the information.
- Create a comprehensive support solution
In addition to training, you also want to provide high-value support content that reinforces what was initially taught and helps users troubleshoot the most common issues with networking hardware.
Comprehensive Communication and Collaboration Training from B-Lynk
B-Lynk can provide a full training solution for communications and collaboration, including training on the critical networking hardware that forms the infrastructure of your network and supports all of your communications and collaborations functions. We currently specialize in training and support solutions for modems and switches.
In addition to valuable, expert-led training on the hardware components of your network, we also provide training and support solutions for various software, apps, and desktop phones.
Don’t let the very basis of your business’ network fall into the cracks when it comes to training and support. Empower your users with the knowledge and understanding required to navigate hardware challenges with confidence through training and support from B-Lynk. Reach out to our team to learn more.