Get yer free iPad here! Next-Level Purchasing make you an offer you can’t refuse

Now that got your attention didn't it!?

Next Level Purchasing are an independent US firm who provide training and education services.  They offer a route to achieving professional qualifications, and are seen in the US (and increasingly more widely) as alternatives to the 'traditional' professional Institutes.  Now they've announced a new route to achieving your qualification, including the free iPad:

"Purchasing professionals enrolling in the SPSM2® Certification and Enhanced Results Program receive access to four high-level, interactive online classes, a 30-minute implementation consultation by phone with their instructor, and the exclusive SPSM2® Multimedia Study & Implementation Guide - a collection of 40 audio and video clips, which are preloaded onto the iPod Touch or iPad. Designed to further help the student.... and to maximize their score on the SPSM2® Exam, students get to keep the device and are encouraged to utilize additional applications for both personal and business use".

Now being cynical, I asked NLP whether this wasn't just a sneaky way students can get their employers to buy them an iPad.  I thought this was a pretty good answer actually to my somewhat sarcastic question!

"Some individuals may see it as a means to acquire an iPad on their company's dime, but we're finding more and more that company's are purchasing these devices in order to help their employees succeed.  Students that are using these devices as an enhancement to our standard certification program are completing courses faster, applying the material better, and scoring higher on the exams.  Also, we've had one major client purchase the SPSM with iPod package for each of their 35 employees, so it seems that companies are starting to embrace these powerful devices and I think you'll see that trend continue into the future".

Sarcasm and jokes aside, this is an innovative move from NLP and illustrates some wider changes.  We're probably now just about at the 'tipping point' where e-learning becomes the expected means of delivering business and professional type training.  There will always be a place I think for some face to face interaction with real people for some topics (but it might be Skype rather than classroom).  And at MBA level, the group learning and in depth exchange of knowledge and opinion is perhaps more vital, although it doesn't need to be every day, week or perhaps even month.

But for most professional and business training; it's going to be the iPad, or the Skype conference. Not the draughty classroom at Slough Technical College* where, as a young Mars graduate trainee 30 years ago, I spent a couple of hundred evenings getting my 'Diploma in Management Studies'.

So interesting implications both for buyers of training and education, and perhaps most urgently, the 'traditional' providers of such services.

(Now part of the University of West London!)

Voices (4)

  1. Charles Dominick, SPSM:

    Peter,
    Thank you for your kind words!

    Guy,
    Interestingly enough, both the SPSM and the SPSM2 Certification & Enhanced Results Program with iPod/iPad do include access to our online classes from computers (which, incidentally DO include flash video), plus printer-friendly versions of the class material on CD-ROM, and, of course, the iPod/iPad content.

    Certification candidates are able to choose to enroll in a certificate package that does not include a device or certification package that includes a device. If a candidate does not want the device, there’s no barrier to them becoming certified. Of course, the device and its content are helping many people learn even better, so the option is there for them.

    Our students tend to be individuals who strive to be leaders and want to be on the cutting edge of purchasing and supply management. We, then, strive to be on the cutting edge of how we educate them.

    But your thoughts are very much on-target – different people learn differently. We recognize this and try to take advantage of the available technology to give many options so that everyone can have the opportunity to advance their procurement skills.

    Good discussion!

  2. Peter Smith:

    Guy
    Knowing you as one of the iPhone’s greatest supporters I’m shocked!
    http://blog.cpoagenda.com/2010/09/apples-are-not-the-only-phones/
    Personally, whatever any cynicism, I think it is a flash of something approaching marketing genius from this provider!

  3. Guy:

    Your first instinct is correct, you are right to be cynical.

    What is wrong with giving them a CDRom or access to a net site they can access on their computers. My word, the programs could then even include flash video and have other programs running in the ebackground.

    elearning is NOT dependent on iPad/Ipod Touch.

    Hmmph

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