Ricoh Germany relies on Microsoft training and

Ricoh Germany relies on Microsoft training and
certification to drive business transformation
Ricoh Germany is driving new business by moving from document hardware and printing to eight lines of
business, including managed document services and IT infrastructure. Its employees rely on Microsoft
training and certification to stay abreast of tech trends and better serve customers.
Best known for its printer and copier business, Ricoh Germany
embarked on a new business direction. It now focuses on eight lines of
business, with managed document services at its core. Other initiatives
include providing IT infrastructure to clients, production printing services, communications
services, and workplace services.
To achieve this new direction, Ricoh Germany has given its tech employees access to extensive
Microsoft training to help them shift from a hardware focus to one centered on IT and support.
To date some 1,000 Ricoh employs have taken training and earned certifications on subjects
ranging from Windows Server 2012 to Windows 8.1. Earned certifications include Microsoft
Technology Associate (MTA), Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP), Microsoft Certified
Solutions Associate (MCSA), and Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE).
“The needs and scale of technology we
needed to learn grew dramatically in the
past few years,” says Roman Loos, Chief
Manager of Technical Training for Ricoh
Germany. “We had to make a decision
about how we wanted to train our
engineers and how they would learn the IT
skills we need for our changing business
Ricoh finds Microsoft training a must
Ricoh realized that they needed more training on Microsoft products and services. “After a few
years, we realized we were receiving more and more requests for Microsoft-Certified specialists.”
In response, Ricoh changed its training programs to take advantage of Microsoft courses and
Today Ricoh sends most of its engineers down a path that begins with earning a Microsoft
Technical Associate certification on network security and operating system fundamentals. This is
Microsoft’s introductory program for understanding these key IT concepts. “Once our people
have mastered the MTA program, we split them up and train them more on operating systems,
on desktop infrastructure, and with Windows 7 or Windows 8,” says Loos. “The MTA
certifications gives our employees a great start at mastering more complex IT subjects. We’ve
found that our success rate in more advanced courses in much higher when our staff has an
MTA certification as a foundation.”
As employees move up the certification ladder, many also earn MCSA and MCSE level
certifications in subjects such as Windows Server 2012 and Microsoft SQL Server. Having a
culture of continuous learning helps Ricoh stay current with the latest technologies and services
as well. “We’re very happy that Microsoft now offers courses in virtualization,” says Loos of the
Windows Server training. “Virtualization is extremely important for the future and we need our
people to fully understand how to implement virtual solutions.”
Benefits for Ricoh Germany
Loos says that offering Microsoft training and
certifications confers two benefits on Ricoh.
For one thing, it improves the quality of
Ricoh’s internal IT department. “We are using
Windows 7/Windows 8 in our internal IT
infrastructure, and that needs to be supported
by our internal IT, so they have to be certified
as well,” says Loos.
Having a certified workforce also shows prospective clients who use Microsoft products that
Ricoh’s IT specialists are up to date on the latest technologies and applications built on
Microsoft offerings. Ricoh employees certified in Microsoft technology are also able to
disseminate their knowledge throughout the company.
“It’s a must to have well-trained engineers,” Loos adds. “If we don’t have that, we can’t sell
anything, and we can’t install and maintain it.”
To date Ricoh has trained some 300 of its IT staff in Germany to the level of at least one
Microsoft Certification. Across Europe, some 1,000 certifications have been earned, with some
employees earning multiple certifications.
Employees find training valuable
Ricoh employees who have been trained and certified on Microsoft products say it makes them
more effective in their jobs, and that earning certifications has made their jobs more satisfying. “I
used to be a straight-up mechanic. Now I get to install our software products. I think my work
has improved because of that,” says Juergen Schuermann, IT Service Engineer. “Certification has
changed my work significantly. I’m now positioned to implement our software better. If
problems crop up, I’m better able to correct them because I have the corresponding knowledge.
I’m very satisfied with the job I do now and with the fact that I can work more on the software
level and don’t have to be tightening bolts on hardware anymore.”
Ricoh’s engineers also appreciate that Microsoft courses help prepare them for the rigorous
exams. “The Microsoft training…is very comprehensive. It offers people quite a few options for
professional development in various areas, whether in servers, clients, or the cloud, Azure, and
Office 365,” says Simon Knappe, Technology Consultant. “Going through training like that, you
learn so many new things you didn’t know before, and it accordingly prepares you for the exam
so that you have relatively few problems on the exam answering questions, and it’s also very
easy to increase your skill level.”
Certification supports success with customers
Of course, the training and certification Ricoh offers to its employees benefits not only Ricoh’s
internal IT department, but also Ricoh’s customers.
Schuermann pointed out that having a certification makes it easier to work not only with your
colleagues, but with your customers. “When you are working onsite for your customer, you work
eye-to-eye with the administrators. You can communicate better with them because you’re on
the same page, and they also notice that you’re familiar with the environment and with
Microsoft products.”
Knappe added, “I was definitely surprised
that customers nowadays place much more
value on certification than they did a few
years ago. The added value of training or an
examination is of course much greater in
connection with customer relationships.”
Loos says that Microsoft training has helped
Ricoh support its transition to a company
focused more on IT services than hardware products. “We have really seen the value that
training and certification offers,” he says. “The Microsoft Certifications give our customers
confidence that we can meet their needs. And our employees take great pride in earning the
certifications, and appreciate that they help them succeed in their careers with Ricoh.”