This is the next blog in the continuing series of interviews with top-echelon and renowned professionals. In this blog, I interview Doug Ingersoll: Leading International Executive with Pearson Certification shares his deep insights into certification, social media, and publishing technology.
Doug Ingersoll has been the Executive Marketing Manager for Cisco Press and Pearson Certification for almost a decade. In his role he champions learning titles on exams both for the IT and professional certifications markets, as well as networking topics like security, virtualization, IP communications, and system administration. With coverage from entry level (CompTIA A+) to advanced (CCIE), as well as seemingly off-beat subjects like finance, human resources, and nursing, Doug speaks to a varied set of audiences and career levels. Doug has a B.A. from DePauw University, and an M.B.A. from Indiana University, and is also a published author.
To listen to the interview, click on this MP3 file link
Interview Time Index (MM:SS) and Topic
Doug shares with us his training, work experience and roles.
"....I'm primarily a marketing professional who has been focusing mostly on technology-oriented products for the better part of my career...."
Isn't Pearson Publishing the world's largest educational publisher?
"....We are a number of different organizations. We are Financial Times newspaper, Penguin Publishing, Pearson Education....The division I'm with is the Pearson Technology Group which is specifically a more professionally-oriented publishing arm that deals primarily with retail-oriented publishing towards a variety of technologies...."
What were the biggest obstacles in your career and how did you overcome them?
"....The ability to take a wide breadth of technologies and to learn them in enough depth to provide valuable marketing communication to all the audiences that we deal with...."
What are some career lessons that you wish to pass on?
"....Most of my lessons are based on the audience I deal with, specifically networking professionals....Never underestimate that audience....Trust the audience....Always follow what I call the 'Macy's on 41st Street Rule' - that is if I don't have the right product for somebody, I am much better served to help them find (from a competitor) a learning product that does fit their need....Always look for that new rule because things change so quickly in technology and in the marketing and creation of those products - always be looking for that new paradigm that you don't expect to be there...."
What are your views on the role of certification in IT? Is it of value to IT careers?
"....As the growth of IT certifications continues and their presence becomes more standardized in the human resources industry, I think we are going to see more companies that are savvier about making those IT certifications part of their hiring process...."
What are the growth sectors for IT certification?
"....VMware is a hot growth item. Cisco and Microsoft and CompTIA are all continuing to grow at more relaxed paces. Beyond that there are a lot of international certifications (things that have some outside-the-US appeal) that we are keeping an eye on...."
Can you describe the evolving use of technology in the publishing industry?
"....Through the use of online vehicles, things like iPhone applications that allow more pedestrian access to the knowledge, we are seeing a lot of growth. The final element, that is really big for us which is really specific to the Cisco spaces, is that we've developed a very advanced networking simulator and I think that is going to be a very big growth area as demand goes forward...."
What is the role of Social Media in marketing?
"....One of the difficulties of traditional book publishers is that we don't necessarily have a dialog with our consumers because they typically buy from a third party like an Amazon or a bookstore....The social media environment through Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn and Twitter has allowed us to start a dialog with those people - it's not in the hopes of co-opting that retailer partner, it's meant to support it..."
What is the value of your Masters and how are you using it?
"....It is that foundational building block of ability to understand, appraise and select the right marketing strategies that is valuable...."
What are some leadership lessons that you can share with the audience?
"....We underestimate the value of the global market and the need for the nuanced changes to the marketing and communications strategies for those countries....The other is the flipside to it....It's allowing myself to be led by others and know that their expertise has to be brought into the fold for a successful strategy...."
Describe your current work and what you hope to achieve?
"....My goal in 2010 is to grow our certification list. We have a new product line imprint that we are launching and that is the thing that I am going to be using as my metric for success....I'm confident that we are going to be redesigning the landscape of IT certification learning with this product line...."
What are the best resources for IT professionals?
"....The immediacy and the intelligent search capabilities of Safari....Tremendous foundational learning and self-study vehicles through the traditional publishing environment, which is anything but traditional now, because of its innovation through technology.....The educational, academic world that grows in its commitment to the specific market segment...."
Pearson is very big and a lot of people don't realize all the imprints that are affiliated with Pearson. Can you name some of the other brands?
"....Penguin, which is based out of the UK and publishes everything from the classic to some of more innovative new books....Complete Idiot's Guides....Dorling Kindersley....Within Pearson Education we have Prentice Hall, Addison Wesley, Pearson Technology Group, Cisco Press, Adobe Press, Peachpit Group, Que, Sams, Financial Times Press, Wharton School Publishing, Addison Wesley Professional, Prentice Hall Professional, Pearson Que certification imprint that includes the Exam Cram line of products, IBM Press....."
Can you make some predictions for the future, their implications, and how business executives and IT professionals can best prepare?
"....Technology and learning are going to continue to take less of our time when it can do so and still be effective. When we do need a standardized learning it's going to be a faster, more effective vehicle to accomplish that learning goal...."
What do you see as the three top challenges facing us today and what do you see as the solutions?
"....It's all about time. Because of downsizing of corporations in the world, we have more jobs to do and we need to do all of the different aspects of our routine faster without losing effectiveness...."
We've covered a lot of different topic areas, what questions should I have asked and what would be your answers?
"....'How are we going to merge back the Kindle e-book style revolution, the smartphone/mobile phone style revolution, the personal entertainment vehicle....how are we going to merge all these new technologies back into a cohesive singular vehicle that are more than just a phone and who is going to do it and how is it going to impact learning?'...."