Developing Acentic’s tech engineering stars

Acentic’s Ian Thomas, Product Manager for HSIA, the driving force behind the Acentic Academy, talks about the importance of delivering dedicated training programmes to nurture tomorrow’s tech stars.
Launched in 2013 the Acentic Academy provides all the tools and training for Acentic’s staff to become the very best engineers in the sector.
Ian believes that, to deliver the best service for clients, today’s engineers, as well as being experts in IP, must have an insight into the world of hospitality and guest behaviour.
“The Acentic Academy was developed to ensure that our engineers and sales teams are trained to the Acentic standard,” says Ian. “In a very short space of time the industry has moved from RF (Radio Frequency) to IPTV (Internet Protocol TV), so the priority for Acentic is to improve its IP engineering base by training the best staff in the latest developments.”
Ian continues: “Gone are the days when a Wi-Fi survey looked simply at public spaces within a hotel. It is essential that HSIA solutions provide the coverage, bandwidth, roaming and accessibility to everyone within the hotel environment – guests and staff alike.”
The Acentic Academy training programme addresses these needs with a combination of in-house classroom based and on-site practical training along with ongoing mentoring for each candidate.
The Acentic teams need to ensure that they produce a really comprehensive survey so that any installation is as trouble free as possible.  Both HSIA and IRE engineers are trained in undertaking IP surveys utilising Ekahau software and are required to complete numerous tests and produce survey output to the required Acentic standards.
Acentic has a complete portfolio of in-house standards, to which all surveys and installations must adhere. These enable the trainers, in association with the Acentic Academy and compliance management, to develop both theoretical and practical training based on ‘real world’ scenarios and requirements.
“This is where theory meets real life and an insight into the world of hospitality pays off,” reveals Ian. “At the end of the course each trainee has a detailed plan of additional study and mentoring to help them realise their full potential.  Ongoing assessments enable the Acentic Academy to review progress continuously, adapt individual training where required and award certification.
“We are keen to identify people with the right attitude and abilities to ensure that they continue to grow within the organisation. This process has led to extremely an extremely low turnover of staff, especially when compared with other companies in the Hospitality sector.”
Steve Gahungu joined Acentic as a Helpdesk agent. He rose to Helpdesk supervisor and, as he had a desire to grow, he was encouraged to join the field engineer team. He has been mentored throughout his time and has passed all his certificates in Radiant 4 installation and Ekahau survey. He is now a key engineer for trouble-shooting site issues and continues to be mentored by STS-HSIA with a view to becoming a full IP engineer.
David Eros joined Acentic to provide second line support to the Helpdesk. He was identified as a willing and competent member of staff and has been promoted to System Administrator with responsibilities for site networks and testing and the assessment of new/upgraded edge products prior to introduction into the portfolio.