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Technology consultant, Rhys Price, discusses the importance of personal progression as he successfully completes his Microsoft exams.

I have been a technology consultant with Activ Technology for 18 months. It was an area I always felt comfortable with and, upon leaving school, I studied for an IT and telecoms apprenticeship.

I work in the IT department led by head of technology, John Prescott, as part of a team of six.

My day-to-day role is always varied and primarily it is about offering support and assistance to our loyal customers. This may see me working on new and existing customer infrastructure, both on premise and cloud, as well as internally to enhance our own technology estate through upgraded hardware, software and solutions that ultimately enable us to provide our customers with even better service.

This is where the need for personal development comes in. I am lucky to work for a company that will support my learning and it is a win-win, because as I grow and develop the company also benefits.

Internally, we are developing a new CRM system which is keeping me busy. In the last 12 months I have attended a training course for SOPHOS products, upgraded my VMware accreditation to 6.5 and have been studying for a Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) certification in Windows Server. I have passed two Microsoft exams with one more to complete. I will then study one more module to upgrade my Microsoft MCSA accreditation to the latest version of Windows Server 2016.

Keeping up with the latest technology is always a challenge. Microsoft has just released Windows Server 2019, so once I finish my Server 2016 accreditation I will need to upgrade again when the official exams are released. The continuous learning cycle is what I enjoy most about IT. The exams are tough and require a lot of after-work study. However, Activ has a skills matrix system based on experience and accreditations, so my exam success will help me progress from consultant to senior consultant, making it all worthwhile.

I am not the only one in the team that is studying. Our technical administrators are also working toward their SOPHOS and MCSA accreditations. Alex Widdowson, has one more exam to sit before he achieves his MCSA. Daniel Wallace, has started his study towards Windows Server 2016 MCSA with one exam passed already. Chris Latimer will have dedicated time to work from home to complete his online training and accreditation with SOPHOS and following that he will start his Microsoft MCSA studies.

As a current Microsoft Silver Partner we are working as a team towards achieving Gold Partner status as soon as possible. As a company we need four MCSA accredited staff with up-to-date certifications. Becoming a Gold Partner further demonstrates our ability and competence with Microsoft Technologies.

Activ supports us by paying for an online training programme, where we benefit from video-based courses as well as being able to take mock exams. Twice a month we are allocated a training day to assist with studies.

Head of technology, John Prescott, said: “Technology is constantly evolving and it is crucial we have a team with the skills necessary to deliver solutions that give our customers a true competitive advantage in their market place. This is why at Activ we invest significantly in the further development of our staff. All the Tech team work incredibly hard to develop themselves as experts in their fields. I am incredibly proud to see their progress so far and I am very excited to see what can be achieved over the next year.”

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