Microsoft Learning insults Exchange professionals with simply awful video

Microsoft Learning (MSL) triumphs once again in their production of the badly acted and horribly scripted announcement that the Microsoft Exchange 2013 certification exams have been updated for SP1. It comes as no surprise as MSL has a weak track record of good judgement and quality decision making.

After viewing their latest video, posted on July 14, that announced that the Exchange 2013 certification exams have been updated for Exchange 2013 SP1, I conclude that the people running whatever part of Microsoft Learning (MSL) responsible for this production have been exposed to some potent mind-altering material.

Seriously folks, do you believe that Exchange professionals are likely to be impressed by what appears to be a bad sketch from an below-par episode of “Sesame Street”? Does anyone in MSL really have a strong opinion that news about a serious certification topic is best communicated by a character awkwardly posing as “Psychomagician”?

I realize that I am not a training professional, but I have been involved in a lot of training over the years from delivery through executive sponsorship. All I can say about this particular production is that it is the silliest method ever selected as a communication vehicle.

I can’t imagine how MSL has sold this internally within Microsoft either. Has MSL told the Exchange product group, for instance, that they’ve discovered a great new way of reaching out to inform and delight all of the people who have either taken or are considering taking the 70-341 (Core solutions of Microsoft Exchange 2013) and 70-342 (Advanced solutions of Microsoft Exchange 2013) exams? I think not.

The exams are for “IT professionals.” It would be nice if MSL treated those professionals with a modicum of respect instead of this bad attempt at a children’s daytime TV show. I despair when I see things like this happen because it indicates a certain contempt towards the people whose careers are based on Exchange.

But then again, what have we come to expect from MSL? These are the people after all who cancelled the Microsoft Certified Masters (MCM) program a year ago and have not come up with a replacement that delivers even an iota of the level of knowledge and experience that MCM allowed Exchange professionals to accumulate.

Update (July 15): To their credit, MSL contacted me soon after this post appeared. To their further credit, they have removed the offending video and the blog post about the updates to Exchange 2013 exam material is now text-only. You can still view the offending video on YouTube, if you really must.

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Discuss this Blog Entry 3

on Jul 15, 2014

just to rub that in a bit - i sought clarification and the exams are updated already, which apparently means that anyone sitting TODAY can expect to see SP1 questions in their exam. ouch.
coupled with last weeks announcement about recertification (http://bit.ly/1oCPOqs), and i'm starting to feel unloved.

on Jul 16, 2014

Personally, I did not find the video disrespectful. Also, instead of childish, I found it heartwarming.

I am from Greece. Other people from my country or from different countries may have different opinions and views about aesthetics, humor, and respect.

This reminds me of the case of the "... for Dummies" series of books. Although a lot of people (me included) found them helpful and still are helped by this series, other thought that the title was disrespectful to them.

Anyway, the video was short and had a lot of interesting information in it. And I enjoyed it.

on Jul 17, 2014

Respectfully, I don't think the "Dummies" series of books are intended for the kind of people who need to take certification examinations. See http://www.expta.com/2014/07/an-open-letter-to-microsoft-learning.html for another perspective on the matter. If you invest in training, you should take it seriously. I don't think MSL did a professional job in this respect. And it definitely did not warm my heart.

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Tony Redmond is a senior contributing editor for Windows IT Pro and the author of Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 Inside Out (Microsoft Press) and Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 Inside Out: Mailbox...
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