5 minute read 21 Jan 2021
Woman sat on steps outside office building using her phone

Why EY leveraged Microsoft Cloud Skills challenge for client solutions

By EY Global

Ernst & Young Global Ltd.

5 minute read 21 Jan 2021
Related topics Alliances Digital Technology

EY leverages Microsoft Cloud Skills Challenge to apply our market-leading technology expertise to cross-industry client solutions.

In brief
  • Decision-makers were constantly looking for ways to train their technical teams on the latest platforms and trends.
  • Leaders adopted the Microsoft Cloud Skills Challenge (CSC) to level up education efforts and prepare staff for the future.
  • With the help of Microsoft Learn and their Cloud Skills Challenge, EY will leverage technology expertise to apply to client solutions.

B usiness leaders across industries know the value of upskilling and continuing education to enhance technology expertise for application to delivery of client solutions. As part of our upskilling efforts, EY is constantly looking for ways to train our technical teams on the latest platforms and trends. In April 2020, EY Design and Engineering Director Pablo Cebro and EY Global DevOps Practice Lead Mark Luquire decided to try a new training program, the Microsoft Cloud Skills Challenge to level up education efforts and prepare staff for the future.

Before the Microsoft Cloud Skills Challenge kicked off, most of our technical staff were already using Microsoft Learn as part of their training. Microsoft Learn is a suite of educational modules for partners and technicians to gain the latest training they needed to work with existing and emerging Microsoft products and services, such as Azure, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning tools, Dynamics 365, and Microsoft 365.

Microsoft Learn provided several features that worked within our needs, including up-to-date training modules and free access to interactive lessons based on real-life examples. We, however, needed a way to get our team members to participate regularly.

“The business landscape changes very quickly for us,” says Mark Luquire. “We touch almost every industry in the world. We needed a way that was quick to get training off the ground to enhance employee’s cloud skills. For this reason, Mark Luquire and Pablo Cebro decided to participate in this innovative training.

We needed a way that was quick to get training off the ground to enhance employees’ cloud skills.
Mark Luquire
EY Global DevOps Practice Lead

Use of competitive gaming elements

The Microsoft Cloud Challenge takes the Microsoft Learn platform and adds competitive gaming elements that drive individual participation through several incentives. Learning paths combine several Microsoft Learn modules into comprehensive topics like Azure migration, Power Apps, and AI and machine learning tools. Second, participants work through these paths to earn points for completing individual modules that are tracked on a competitive scoreboard. Then, they receive certifications for completing paths in their entirety, while top scorers stand a chance of earning prizes. According to Luquire and Cebro, this aspect of the program helped accelerate the learning process. “It had a structure that helped us guide staff down paths we wanted them to focus on,” says Cebro. “The game elements gave a healthy sense of competition”

The game elements gave a healthy sense of competition
Pablo Cebro
EY Design and Engineering Director

Benefits of Microsoft Learn

The leaders were also quick to point out that the Microsoft Cloud Challenge was successful because of the Microsoft Learn platform itself. They agreed that one critical component of effective education was that it was flexible around the needs of the team. “Everybody has very busy schedules, so being able to carve out a whole week in a classroom was often not possible,” Luquire says. Microsoft Learn and the Cloud Challenge gave staff the flexibility they needed to learn on their own schedules, wherever they were, without the need for a long commitment or arduous travel.

In addition to flexibility and motivation, Microsoft Learn and the program also provided a complete skilling solution. “When you do something like a video, you need to practice outside, link back to something else, measure from another place and then link that to a path. It’s a bit cumbersome,” Cebro says. “I like the concept of end-to-end capabilities with all the tooling inside, where we can see who is doing what and how the game is going.” For Cebro and team, this meant that they could finally scale their skilling efforts effectively.

Transformation of learning 

With the help of Microsoft Learn and the Cloud Skills Challenge, decision-makers, such as Luquire and Cebro, were able to continue upskilling. Ultimately, it will allow us to bring the best technology skills and expertise to our clients.

“Doing the Cloud Skills Challenge was important to up our game,” Luquire concludes. “There is always pressure to deliver world-class solutions in industry-leading ways. We are continually going on a transformation journey, and we needed to invest in learning and invest in our people.”

Summary

Decision-makers, such as EY Design and Engineering Director Pablo Cebro and EY Global DevOps Practice Lead Mark Luquire, were constantly looking for ways to provide training to their technical teams. For this purpose, EY decided to adopt the Microsoft Cloud Skills Challenge to enhance cloud expertise, which would be applied to cross-industry client solutions. The CSC takes the Microsoft Learn platform, that we were already using, and adds competitive gaming elements that drive individual participation through several incentives. With the help of Microsoft Learn and their Cloud Challenge these leaders were able to continue upskilling.

About this article

By EY Global

Ernst & Young Global Ltd.

Related topics Alliances Digital Technology