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Training and Support

There is a cost for training either included in the software or paid for separately.  However it is paid for the buyer needs to ensure they get the most out of it.  

Classroom training

Usually the favoured and most profitable way for a software company to deliver training is through a class room training session over one or more days. There will be up to seven other people being trained at the same time. The slowest person will often hold up the group and feel the pressure of doing so. The fastest person will feel that being held up has wasted their day. Rarely is everyone completely satisfied.

The day taken away from other business duties means that when back in the office there will be a period of catch up on top of the day's work, and just when it would be best to get on and use the software while thing are fresh in your mind this gets put back and the knowledge gained slowly seeps away. 

On-site training

This is favourable to classroom training as the course can be tailored to a group within the same company who will be using the software for the same thing, or for an individual where the training can move at their pace. One to one means that more time is spent with one person.


On-line training 

How much new knowledge a person can take on board varies but it has been proved that smaller one or two hour sessions is the best way  to absorb and retain knowledge.

On-line training is the best of both worlds if done on one hour sessions. It is less disruptive to the working day and the session is one to one that moves at the trainees pace. The information is better retained and it allows for a little practice before and after sessions . With the more advanced screen sharing software used by training companies, it's like the trainer is right there in the room with you and sessions can be recorder and plaid back later or when ever needed.

Training material

Some of the better CAD companies invest heavily in training their new clients and will produce back up material usually in the form of a PDF that can be downloaded. Some have this built into their software under a help menu. There is often tutorial videos to cover the basic functions and dedicated videos for learning specialist features. There are also printed user manuals that can be studied without having to be logged on to a computer. Look for a combination of these training aids when deciding on the right package.

Conclusion

Training is one of the most important aspects of buying a CAD system. Over the years i have worked in several software companies. All have clients that complain about the software not being able to do one thing or the other, they then go on with pride to tell you that they haven't had and didn't need any training, they are self taught.. 


Note :Some software is sold as being quick and easy to use and a demonstration can be shown to design quickly but dig deeper than this as that software might design a simple room quickly but then really struggle on anything even more slightly challenging. If you use software which you are constantly having to find workarounds for and most things are a compromise, it will be less stressful quicker and cheaper to find an alternative if you can. Another thing to consider when renting under contract, you're tied in..