Free or Accredited Training – Which is Best?

Friday, 3 June, 2022

By Jim Ragle

When preparing to take an IT-related certification exam, one needs to decide whether to self-study using free content found online or to pay for an accredited, on-demand training course specifically designed to prepare you for the relevant certification exam.

I’ve had to make this choice several times.  And while I like to think of myself as resourceful and adept at filtering through online nonsense to find the good stuff, when it comes to certification exam prep it’s not worth the effort and risk to go it alone with free online content.

Choose the accredited training.  You’ll get certified much easier and faster.  Why?

First, let’s talk about the certification program content – the stuff that you will be tested on.  For most certification programs, that content is copyrighted by the owner of the certification program.  ITIL certification content, for example, is developed and maintained by Axelos, which is owned by PeopleCert.  Axelos/PeopleCert protect their copyright, as any commercial company developing content would do.  They make money by licensing that content to accredited training organizations and selling the certification (via an exam) to would-be practitioners like us.  As such, non-accredited training programs that do not license the ITIL content from Axelos/PeopleCert are prohibited from using the copyrighted content in their training offerings.

So, how can a free, unaccredited ITIL training program do a good job of training you for the exam if they aren’t allowed to share with you the copyrighted ITIL principles, practices, and methodologies?

One way they try to get around this is to simply provide free (or even paid) “practice exams” or sets of test questions you can review.  Just test questions and answers – no theory, no context, nothing taken from the copyrighted material (or not enough to raise any copyright issues). I’ve seen plenty of these free exam prep questions and they are often terribly written.  Here are some issues I’ve repeatedly seen in free exam prep questions:

  • Only basic knowledge of English grammar is needed to select the right answer.  The question asks you to select the “action” that is most important in….whatever.  Of the four answer choices, only one of them (the right answer) is an action.  The other choices are simply not actions at all.  Trust me, your actual certification exam will NOT pull this trick on you.
  • Only a basic ability to count is needed to select the right answer.  The question asks you to select the three elements of…whatever.  Each available choice is a list of items, but only one of the choices lists three things.  Again, you won’t see anything sloppy like this on a certification exam.
  • Harder to spot are just wrong answers, where the available choices don’t contain the correct answer or the answer marked as correct is, in fact, not the correct one.  If you’ve not been exposed to the program content through training, how would you know that the answer is not D, but is actually C?  You are putting blind trust in these free test questions.
  • Also hard to spot are questions that are simply irrelevant, off-topic, and thus highly unlikely to be on the exam.  Again, if you’ve not been trained, how would you even know that the question was irrelevant?  Why waste your time on this?

I’m not saying all the free exam prep content out there is bad.  It probably isn’t.  But how do you know if it’s good or bad if you don’t know the subject matter?  After all, you are admittedly a beginner if you are seeking a training course in ITIL Foundation V4, for example.

  • As a beginner, can you spot training content that is wrong, misleading, or irrelevant and thus highly likely to not be on the test?
  • Can you spot test questions that don’t include the correct answer in the available choices?  How would you know?

If you have a lot of time and are willing to wade through an abundance of ad-supported sites offering free sample test questions and can spot the red-flag test questions as described earlier, then maybe it will work for you.  However, you still have to pay for the certification exam, and there is a risk that you fail the exam and have to pay to retake it.  Are you willing to take that risk?

I’d rather pay for an accredited training program and save the time, hassle, and significantly reduce the risk of failing the test.  What you get when you select an accredited training program is the following:

  • Actual content from the certification owner’s materials, which is what the test will be based upon.
  • If the training program is specifically for certification exam prep, then it will be targeted to exactly what will be on the exam, nothing less, not much more.
  • If the training program is good, it will likely be developed and presented by someone who is expert in the field and who can provide context, real-world anecdotes, and other supplementary information to help build a fuller understanding of the content, but still within the bounds of what will be covered on the exam.  This never hurts, as the test questions can and do change and sometimes they are situational and require more than just memorizing definitions.
  • In addition to training content, good training programs include practice quizzes and practice tests, to help you gauge whether you are assimilating the content well enough to tackle the certification exam.

When I was preparing to take the ITIL Foundation V4 exam, I reviewed some of the free content (mostly free mini quizzes) and quickly realized this was a minefield.  After some research into accredited training programs, I chose the ITIL Foundation V4 training program offered by GogoTraining.  The course is structured as a series of modules (all on-demand) that include video presentations with accompanying slides, delivered by Dr. Suzanne Van Hove, who is a seasoned expert in IT Service Management and ITIL.  She brings vast, real-world Service Management experience to the training and does a fantastic job of adding context to the sometimes seemingly abstract concepts in ITIL.  Even with this additional context, the presentations were quickly paced – fast enough that I didn’t feel like I was wasting time but slow enough to follow (also, you can always pause and go back). Dr. Hove’s delivery is enthusiastic and animated, which helped make the training interesting and engaging.  Also, after every couple of modules, there are quizzes to gauge your progress and two full practice exams to take after finishing the course.  All helpful.  Most importantly, after taking the training, I immediately took the ITIL Foundation V4 certification exam and passed quite easily.

Accredited is the way to go, in my opinion.  And GogoTraining worked great for me.

Is it possible to learn about ITIL by taking accredited courses and not get certified?

Monday, 23 May, 2022
Yes and no. PeopleCert requires Accredited Training Organizations (ATOs) to sell exams with every course. Now, you do not need to take the certification exam if you are not interested in certifying, but unfortunately you need to purchase the exam. Hence, the answer is yes and no.

Please note: If you find a provider willing to sell you a full ITIL Foundation course without an exam voucher, it means that the course is not accredited so you don’t know if it is accurate. PeopleCert has a department that works to police unaccredited courses because they want to make sure that students have the highest possible success rate.

If you have questions, happy to help. Thank you, Marianne

Software Asset Management Saves Up to 30%

Thursday, 19 May, 2022

By Jeffrey Tefertiller

Hello, this is Jeffrey Tefertiller, I want to take just a moment to talk about Software Asset Management. Some people call it SAM, for short. Software Asset Management is growing in prominence as well as importance throughout many organizations. The function is used, and frankly needed to control risk and cost.

For example, on cost, many studies have shown that a good SAM program can save an organization up to 30% of its software spend. That is a huge, huge savings that requires investment.

What makes SAM more difficult, is that technology is everywhere in an organization. Think about how many types of software your organization has now and trying to control the usage versus the entitlements that you own. Entitlements is just a big word for what licenses do have you paid for that you can use. So, SAM is always looking to strike that balance of paying for what you use and use what you’re paying for. That’s difficult in these large organizations. And software publishers want to keep it that way.

There are audits that go on that make it difficult for software asset managers. These audits try to see if a company is over deployed in a certain publisher. The results of these audits is usually pretty interesting to me, because the software publishers, want you to overpay. Yes, that is what happens. But, they also use the results of that audit, as incentives to push you towards a certain type of products skews, if you will. And as been a trend, in the last five years is the push towards software as a service SaaS).

Let me give you an example. When Microsoft comes in, they do an audit, usually through a third party. They say you owe hundreds and 1000s of dollars. And they say well, you can pay this or will discount it if you promise and sign right here to move these workloads that you now have on premise to our cloud version. It’s real prominent with Microsoft Office moving to 365. They incentivize it through pressure and organizations must be wary that this happens. They must understand their entitlements versus their deployments.

I want to close with some numbers and statistics from Gartner that I find interesting.  Gartner has traditional on premise spend, staying pretty flat with nominal one or 2% growth throughout the year 2025. That growth is probably just growth in business not growth in that area. If you compare it to the cloud, cloud is going up 10 to 20% every year. So, think about that, that line that’s going up at almost 20 degrees on a chart. And so, when you think about this cloud spend going through the roof, it comes back to Software Asset Management, and how do we manage the software publishers and that leaks over to how we do cloud asset management. And the topic is a big one, because organizations can spend millions and millions of dollars on software.

In fact, the average employee has well over $10,000 of software spent on them every year. In some companies that’s close to 50,000, Now do the math in your company. That is a lot of money spent and that’s why investing in a good SAM program can help save.

To learn more about SAM, Click Here.

Does SaaS affect Software Asset Management (SAM)?

Thursday, 12 May, 2022

We reached out to IAITAM, Inc. the other day to find out how SaaS affects SAM and would like to send a big thank you their way for contributing to this article.

SaaS and SAM

Software As A Service affects many aspects of SAM. Before SaaS everything was more physical.  Programs had to be physically installed on our hardware assets (desktops, laptops, etc.) and this required a request, justification, approval, and negotiation before the software could be acquired and installed.  As technology enables us to move away from handling physical assets – just like we no longer use paper money or credit cards as much as we favor PayPal and Apple Pay – installing new software is as simple as a few clicks of the mouse, enabling departments to bypass the typical acquisition process.

How SaaS Makes SAM Even More Important

This ease of access and ability to bypass the acquisition process does not eliminate the need for SAM.  In fact, it further complicates SAM.  The assets are still assets and require management.

SaaS requires ITAM managers and teams to have a good deal of control and understanding of their SAM program because subscriptions need to be renewed and can be negotiated as an auto-renewal and are often easier to forget since the renewal doesn’t require any action or permission to happen.

Because SaaS makes it very easy for employees and departments to find what they need with little help, ITAM teams are often bypassed in ways that they couldn’t be before.  When this happens, it can wreak havoc on the ITAM team and their ability to manage and control asset spend and affect their ability to accurately inventorying the IT assets of the organization.

SAM, HAM & Security

Another significant impact is that when software is virtual, it is accessible to almost everyone. This makes it very easy and tempting for employees to download what they need, especially if it’s free and without having to put in a request for an IT manager.  However, if left unchecked – in no time, the company has no way of pulling together a list of the programs installed on company devices. This is why it’s so important for Software Asset Managers to have solid security restrictions on all desktops, laptops and mobile devices.

Software Asset Management must work more cohesively with Hardware Asset Management (HAM) and Security to restrict the ability to download and install software without the knowledge or approval ITAM.  SAM must be aware of every detail in the fine print of our EULAs and other Subscription Agreements to remain compliant. This requires a stronger SAM team and more robust tools than we’ve had in the past.  Many organizations employ multiple Discovery Tools now, for example.

SAM is More Important Than Ever

In principle, the Acquisition and Vendor Management of SaaS requires the same policies, procedures, and strategies as our traditional IT assets.  There are just different questions to ask the vendor and different considerations to make that are specific to the cloud asset itself.  Ultimately, the ITAM program remains the same, but the need for the Communication and Education KPA has never been greater!

Click Here to learn more about SAM Certification

Where ITIL 4 & Project Management Intersect

Thursday, 21 April, 2022

If you were wondering, it’s true.  Project Managers can benefit directly from three of the new ITIL 4 courses.  If you are interested in benefiting from this intersection and advancing your career this article is here to help guide your path.

Background

ITIL 4 starts with Foundation and then branches into advanced 2 paths:  (1) The Managing Professional Path and (2) The Strategic Leader Path.  Both paths have courses that map to the Project Managers Mission.

#1 ITIL 4 Strategic Leader

The course with the highest level of intersection, where Project Management is “testable” is found in the Strategic Leader Path.  The course, Digital & IT Strategy (DITS), is the Strategic Leader capstone course.  It is designed for Managers and requires a minimum of 3 years management experience.

  • DITS focuses on the importance and challenges of creating an appropriate digital strategy to enable success across departments and organizations.
  • It also looks at how the digital business strategy can (and should) be integrated into the IT strategy and aligned with the wider organization’s goals.
  • Students apply the concepts via 4 graded assignments which are required in order to take the certification exam.

How to Become an ITIL 4 Strategic Leader

In order to achieve the Digital & IT Strategy Certification (DITS), candidates need to have achieved the ITIL 4 Foundation and ITIL 4 Direct, Plan & Improve Certifications and have a minimum of 3-year management experience.  Prerequisite classes include:  ITIL 4 Foundation and ITIL 4 Direct, Plan and Improve (DPI).

#2 ITIL 4 Managing Professional

The other two courses are found in the ITIL 4 Managing Professional Track.  This track consists of 4 courses of which 2 of them are highly recommended for Project Managers:

  • Direct, Plan & Improve (DPI) – This class as it focuses on the governance and strategy requirements necessary to deliver improved/new/changed services, etc. It’s one that is most like some of the context of Project Management.
  • Drive Stakeholder Value (DSV) – This class discusses the stages of the customer journey and how to manage each stage.

What’s Left?

The other two courses in the Managing Professional track include Create, Deliver & Support (CDS) and High Velocity IT (HVIT).  These classes are more IT specific and look at how to manage service design and support, and how to exploit the various disruptive technologies.  The intersection is not as strong for Project Managers, but just in case you are interested, here are the details:

  • Create, Deliver & Support (CDS) – This course talks about the creation of services using the service value chain and operational support.
  • High Velocity IT (HVIT) – This course is the most technical (digital technology), and focuses on the five objectives of HVIT (valuable investments, fast development, resilient operations, co-creating value, and assured conformance) and the methods to fulfill these objectives.

If you have any questions or we can help in any way – Contact US or Call US at 877.546.4446

 

Are ITIL V3 Exams Available?

Wednesday, 6 April, 2022

YES, ITIL V3 exams are available in many languages.

PeopleCert ITIL V3 Exams Available in 2022:

Hope you find this helpful and we are here to answer any questions you may have.  Contact us.

 

 

The ITIL 4® Managing Professional Pass is Here!

Wednesday, 23 March, 2022

Get a bundle with ALL four ITIL 4 Managing Professional courses for one low price!

Introducing the ITIL 4 Managing Professional Pass.  Everything you need to fast-track and achieve the highly regarded ITIL 4 Managing Professional designation at the best possible price, in the easiest possible way.

How the Pass Works:

The pass give you lifetime access to the online self-paced courses and full instructor support.  Just like in the classroom, only better!  Courses are very comprehensive and detailed and can be taken online, anywhere, anytime.

  • The cost is $2,495 for all four courses – that’s a savings of 38% off regular fees!
  • Lifetime Access – to all 4 Accredited, comprehensive & detailed courses
  • Official AXELOS Textbook – comes with every course
  • PeopleCert Exam Voucher included – one per course
  • Instructor Q&A – Ask the instructor questions while you take the classes

The Pass Includes:

Click on the course title to get full course details.

Prerequisites

The ITIL 4 Foundation exam is a prerequisite for all Managing Professional courses.  There is no prerequisite for the ITIL 4 Foundation course/exam.  Need Foundation certification?  Select the package Foundation + MP package below.

Exam & Certifications

One PeopleCert Exam Voucher is included with every course in the package.  You can add a Take2, PeopleCert Retake to the MP Package for $356.

Shopping Cart

Select the Purchase Option that’s right for you.  If you would like to have a second exam option, then be sure to add the PeopleCert Retake package to your shopping cart. 

ITIL 4 Managing Professional Pass – $2,495

ITIL 4 Foundation & Managing Professional Pass – $2,995

Add PeopleCert Retake Package – $356

 If you have any questions, or we can help in any way, Contact Us by Email or call us at 877.546.4446.

 

Do you know Where Your Assets Are?

Thursday, 10 March, 2022

 

In the competitive world we live in managing your assets is critical to identifying the right way to spend and the best way to save.

How does Software Asset Management (SAM) do that?

Every company and individual in every organization uses software.  Knowing the depth of your software assets and the best way to utilize them, is critical to an organization’s success.  When the right people in the organization know SAM Best Practices, then it is a win/win for the individuals and their organization.

Secure Your Future By Adding SAM Certification To Your Resume Today!

Become a star by knowing how to make good asset management decisions and help save your organization millions.  Understanding SAM best practices is a unique skill set.  It sets you apart.  It makes you an important part of the team.

When you understand Software Asset Management you will know how to:

  • Properly identify assets
  • Manage and track assets
  • Avoid fines
  • Understand when to repurpose versus buy new assets
  • Align the organizations and gain a competitive edge

Why You Need to Understand Software Asset Management

SAM is the set of business practices that support the use of software within an organization.  It is considered a key business function considering that software is now everywhere in the organization and ensures organizational success.  Software Asset Managers manage SAM in the organization and its effects are felt through the organization.  Consequently, it is critical that all levels of management understand SAM and have the ability to help define their requirements.  When you take the SAM course you learn how to:

  • Reduce Risk
  • Increase Accountability
  • Undercover Savings
  • Gain Control of the IT Environment

Knowing how to implement Software Asset Management best practices and ensure organizational success is why individuals in every department need a solid understanding of SAM best practices.  It helps you make better decisions for your department and your customers.  Decisions that are highly regarded and create happy customers.

Secure Your Future By Adding SAM Certification To Your Resume Today!

Getting SAM Certified Has Never Been Easier & More Affordable

GogoTraining Offers the only IAITAM certified eLearning course available on the planet.  The course is taught by IAITAM experts.  The course is 50% less than the same instructor led live course and gives you the flexibility of learning anytime 24/7.

Secure Your Future By Adding SAM Certification To Your Resume Today!

Key Benefits Includes:

  • This course is taught by IAITAM
  • You receive IAITAM course materials
  • Instructors answer your questions
  • You SAVE $1,000 by taking the eLearning course ($995 online versus $2,000 in the classroom)

Course Summary

The course is 100% online and available 24/7.  When you take the CSAM course you will learn:

  • SAM best practices
  • How to know when to question whether something should be done
  • How to clearly identify goals
  • How to quantify success with metrics
  • Understand the importance of Software Asset Management
  • Identify the sort and long term value and benefits of SAM
  • Understand software regulations and how they affect your organization

Topics Covered Include: 

  • The scope of software
  • Strategic license management
  • Software harvesting
  • Licensing documentation
  • The right to audit
  • Proactive vs. reactive SAM
  • Developing Goals
  • Savings Opportunities
  • ITAM compliance
  • Audit letter
  • Examples of License Data Documentation
  • Compliance Enforcement
  • Understanding for EULA
  • Due diligence for compliance
  • The Art of Negotiation
  • Ts & Cs Advice
  • ITAM Automation
  • Selecting a Discovery Tool
  • ITAM Repository
  • Hardware & organizational impacts

Secure Your Future By Adding SAM Certification To Your Resume Today!

Valentine’s Day Special

Thursday, 10 February, 2022

The IT Service Management Success Program (ITSMS) is Here!

Valentine’s Day Special Offer – $597 (List Price $1,997)

With the increase in PeopleCert exam prices that took effect February 1, 2022, and our mission to deliver the highest quality courses at an affordable price, we worked very hard over the last several months to create a program design to give you access to the highest quality training at a price you can afford.  When you join the ITSMS you will receive 20 courses valued at over $4,500 with Instructor Q&A Support included for a onetime membership fee of $597 and that’s not all.

Join the Program Today and Receive:

  • Lifetime Access
  • 20 courses/100+ hours of content valued at over $4,500
  • $150 off every PeopleCert exam voucher purchase
  • Free Take2 with every PeopleCert exam voucher purchase (List Price $89 each)
  • Unlimited Instructor Support to answer your questions – Priceless

 What Courses are Included?

Club Benefits

  • Lifetime Access
  • Receive 20 courses/over 100+ hours of training valued at over $4.500
  • Save $150 every time you purchase a PeopleCert Exam
  • Receive a Free Take2 with every PeopleCert Exam Purchase
  • Over 100 PDUs Available
  • Unlimited Instructor Support to Answer Your Questions

Join the Club Today

If you have questions about the club or would like to learn about Team Discounts,  contact CustomerService@GogoTraining.com or call us at 877.546.4446 Today!

*Offer Rules:  This offer is valid for the first 100 people to join or until February 29th – whichever comes first.  This offer may not be combined with other offers.

All ITIL classes are Accredited by PeopleCert and PeopleCert requires that individuals purchase exam vouchers prior to training.  As a valued member of the ITSMS Program you will receive a $150 exam voucher discount and a free Take2 with every ITIL exam you purchase.  The discount is based on PeopleCert’s published pricing.  All program discounts and instructions will be sent to you in your welcome letter.

 

 

PeopleCert Exam Price Increase

Monday, 17 January, 2022

 

 

PeopleCert exam prices are going up effective February 1, 2022.  In addition to the price increases on the exam and exam proctoring, as of February 1, 2022 PeopleCert requires the Axelos book to be sold with all ITIL and Prince2 exam purchases.  In a nutshell:

  • PeopleCert exam prices are increasing effective February 1, 2022
  • The increase is expected to be $100/exam

Is There a Way to Save? 

Yes, GogoTraining has put together a program that allows organizations to purchase course and exam vouchers before February 1, 2022 and SAVE.

2 Ways to Save

We are offering course and exam vouchers.

#1 – Buy all the course vouchers you need – Lifetime Access.

Course vouchers act as a placeholder for a course.  You can buy the course vouchers in advance and release them as needed.  Course voucher come with lifetime access and are released when you purchase the required exam vouchers allowing for just-in-time training, budgeting and savings.

#2 – Save $100/Exam Voucher – Purchase January 28, 2022 to get 2021 Prices

If you know what exams you need for 2022 now, buy now and save $100 on every exam voucher or more…Buy in bulk and you will receive a bulk discount and save the additional $100/exam.  Exams are valid for 12 months and can be extended an additional 6 months for $45.

Need help?  Have Questions?

Ask us about our January Special Offers!

Contact GogoTraining.com to Lock In your 2022 Course & Exam Vouchers at 2021 Prices!

CustomerService@GogoTraining.com or call us at 877.546.4446