SMB’s understand the value of Microsoft’s (News - Alert) hosted e-mail suites, mostly for its economic efficiency. This is evident by the momentum Office 365 continues to gain across Asian and U.S. SMB markets, and according to sources, it’s no different in the Australian market. But according to the Simon Cowell of Australia’s WorldSkills competition, contenders often underestimate the value of Microsoft Office as a developer’s tool.
Every year, WorldSkills, an international non-profit, holds a competition in Australia for contenders that range from ages 17 to 22 to demonstrate their abilities in fields that range from floristry to IT. Naturally, this article will focus on the IT category whose judge, Michael Kirkwood-Smith, will be looking for contestants who demonstrate strong abilities with Microsoft Office 365.
According to Kirkwood-Smith, “It also seems to be a very poorly defined area of the industry in that you won’t find too many jobs listed under ‘Microsoft Office developer’, and most of those jobs are targeting higher-level developers for much more dramatic customizations of the Office environment.”
Since the contest centers on the application of real-world skills, it makes sense that the need for hosted e-mail services along with “customer/product management database, dynamic/interactive sales figures/charts, systems for mail-outs, interactive ‘kiosk-style’ systems that allow customers to browse products/services, etc.,” for SMB’s is affordable and practical— a feat that can accomplished through various the Office 365 platform.
The contenders will be given hypothetical scenarios where an in-depth understanding of Microsoft 365 will come in handy. Contenders might use “electronic forms, writing code or creating database systems, all in Office,” according to the article. What makes Kirkwood-Smith the ideal judge, is that he actually runs a business that deals with Office development.
Because of the realistic scenarios and stringent time frames, all participants will likely be winners in the job market, gaining skills through this competition that might not be gained in pricy and arduous collegiate courses.
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Edited by Jamie Epstein