Following the Wagento Commerce-MageTraining merger announcement, Brent Peterson met up with new team member Deryck Harlick to talk about his background in MageTraining, the two companies’ game plan since joining forces, and their goals and prospects on the horizon.
Deryck explained that when MageTraining took off in 2011, it was unique in offering courses for Magento merchants.“At that time, no one was doing anything like that,” Deryck said.
Since then, Deryck said that MageTraining expanded to on-site training for small teams and large agencies alike, during which his team would teach their staff and project managers.
Brent then acknowledged Wagento and MageTraining’s longtime partnership, explaining how officially moving forward with a merger will end up expanding both parties’ reach.
“This I think gives us an opportunity along with Magento U to offer the training to more of a formalized global market,” Brent said, “under the umbrella of Magento.”
Brent then asked Deryck to talk about his experience providing training to clients, what he learned through it, and how the insights he gained could be applied to client relation strategic planning for the future.
Deryck explained that through the training sessions, his team was able to help companies troubleshoot business issues, from software challenges to inefficient process problems. On the other end of the spectrum, Deryck also had clients who were strong in almost every aspect of their business but just needed some light technical guidance.
“We would inadvertently become advisors for them,” Deryck said, “and often we'd solve a problem that significantly saved them the money on the training.”
Based on his experiences, Deryck believes the value of his work with his company went well beyond training.
“We're really helping to...empower,” Deryck said, “and I think that ties in really nicely with being able to go out and help clients realize the full potential of what they're doing.”
Brent continued the interview with a brief explanation of how Wagento entered the training business itself and how merging with MageTraining builds upon that area of specialization.
“What you're going to now allow us to offer is not just developer, but merchant training,” Brent said, “which I feel is even more important than the developer training.”
Deryck agreed and reaffirmed the importance of equipping clients with a solid knowledge foundation.
“An important part of a web build is the handover to the client,” Deryck said. “And and all good agencies will do a handover. I think we can do that plus more now.”
Brent agreed with the importance of client autonomy and recognized how the new Magento U courses are contributing to that progression towards self-sufficient merchants.
“I'm very excited about some of the new product offerings that Magento U is coming out with in terms of merchant training opportunities,” Brent said. “We have a lot of good opportunities now to educate Magento clients on how Magento could be used in terms of not having to have a developer always involved in the project.”
Deryck agreed, commenting “The more you empower a merchant, the more the agency is empowered as well.”
Next, Brent asked Deryck about the new employee’s first big opportunity since the merger: Spanish training in Mexico.
“I was asked recently how my Spanish is,” Deryck said, “and I said, ‘my Spanish starts with being able to order a beer and it ends up thanking the person who gave me the beer.’”
As the interview winded down, Brent reflected on what he’s looking forward to most in terms of the merger.
“I think what I'm most excited for is the ability to have more strategic planning with clients,” Brent said. “Wagento has been around for 10 years, and it has traditionally been seen as a very technical company. We are now venturing into the waters of strategic planning with the client.”
Client strategic planning aside, Brent is also eager to slowly shift Deryck into American language norms.
“I'm excited that you're going to start using Zs in ‘authorization’ and ‘organizations,’” Brent said. “I’ve already made you switch Grammarly to the U.S. version, but honestly, we could come up with a compromise and just do Canadian.”
Deryck, on the other hand, is more excited to attend MagentoLive Europe next week in Amsterdam, where he’s anxious to share with others news of the merger.
“This is quite an exciting time in the life of MageTraining,” Deryck said. “I'm just looking forward to connecting with people and talking about it.”
For more information about the Wagento Commerce-MageTraining merger, click here.