Not really a technical post I know but I thought I’d write a few lines about changes within Trainsignal towers. Any one in the business will be fully aware that they provide top quality video training products across a vast vendor portfolio (Microsoft, Citrix, VMware and Cisco to name a few). However they have recently introduced a new subscription service as their main product.
In the past if you wanted a Trainsignal product you would open your wallet and pay the going rate for the single video series (give or take currency conversions it was usually around the £230-£250 for me). When you bought the item you received instant access to the video series online and Trainsignal sent you by post the 2 disk dvd, which included mobile versions of the training and audio as well. This is where I thought that Trainsignal should provide a download only option with a slightly different pricing model as whenever I bought one and Mr UPS turned up at the door he would never hand it over without import taxes being paid which was usually about £18-30 or so not too much to worry about I agree however it did add to the cost of the “free delivery” offered by Trainsignal.
Now however Trainsignal offer a subscription based server for $49 a month (read that as about £30) where you have full unrestricted access to all their training products online and practice exams. Videos can also be downloaded and played using their offline player (which currently is windows and mac only). So this makes it really into the Netflix of the IT training space.
I am aware that there is a competitor that does a similar thing however their subscription cost is alot higher and also of the videos that my colleagues have shown me the quality is nowhere near that in delivery or content or Trainsignals.
Personally I love Trainsignal products but my one issue with them is that once the exam is passed that the product relates too, the dvd’s are essentially shelved and never used again. Video are great for showing you a whole topic but for quick referencing a particular item its google or a book. This is where the subscription server comes into its own. So that’s access to an all you can learn buffet without the investment ageing for the princely sum of £30-ish a month which roughly rounds up to 2 full old school DVD versions of Trainsignal products per year. How many Trainsignal video courses can you get through in a year (an awful lot), and also you get access to new content as it is released.
One of the first things I check for any subscription service is that, if you can join with the click of a mouse then you can also leave with the click of a mouse. If you have to phone a number to cancel a subscription I’m not interested in what your offering. Luckily Trainsignal passes again with flying colours here with a handy end subscription option within your profile.
They are also offering a 3 day free trial of the service which one one hand I think a little mean spirited as we are all busy IT pro’s and 3 days doesn’t usually give you alot of downtime to have a good sniff round something new, but on the other hand I can see why they do this (no one wants to give anything away for free right)!
Overall the new subscription service is great value for money and I’ve already signed up, however as always there is an item currently missing that I think should be included. There should be an option to view the content on mobile devices which at the moment is not supported. Although I’ve tested viewing the videos on my Xoom’s browser and whilst it works an app would be most beneficial I think to the value of the subscription.
Overall this is a great move by Trainsignal and I love the new format and is a great way to push forward your own learning. To learn more and sign up HERE
Author: Dale Scriven