ASX-listed Concept Systems International (CSI) has carved out quite an earner for itself with its training subsidiary, which the company has announced will be expanding thanks to an alliance with the time-honoured emeritus Cambridge University in the UK.
The Queensland-based company has been operating the Concept Training Institute (CTI) for 14 years and has grown to be Sydney's largest non-government training organisation with up to 65,000 students last year, says CSI managing director Greg Phillips.
Under the agreement, CTI will offer the accredited University of Cambridge Skills Award courses in IT, ranging from entry-level introduction to computer courses right through to high-level project management.
"Cambridge came to us," says Phillips. "We sat down with them and they agreed our courses were of a high enough standard and that providing the students pass, they get the Cambridge University certificate."
Exams are sent to Cambridge for assessment before being returned to students within about three days, says Phillips. Candidates from over 150 countries are reported to pursue the award certificates.
Phillips claims the CTI division accounts for around 30 per cent of the company's business and Phillips is confident the alliance with Cambridge will boost course sales by around 10-15 per cent. CTI continues to grow and the company has recently completed a contract with IBM to train Olympic volunteers in using IBM scoring and other administration systems.
The announcement comes at a time when the company, which provides software development and integration for an organisation's business processes including personnel, rostering, payroll and resources, is gearing itself around an outsourcing model.
"Ultimately we want to be an outsourcing company and training is an integral part of any organisation's outsourcing [requirements]," says Phillips.
The company is currently in negotiations with three Australian universities to provide its own model of outsourcing, which, according to Phillips, differentiates CSI from other outsourcing companies. Unlike most of its counterparts, CSI can run all elements of a company's business related to personnel administration and training.
"[Other outsourcing companies] only do technology. We can manage everything to do with a company's people and business processes in addition to the technology and training," says Phillips.
CTI trades as Pollak Partners in Sydney and offers more than 140 courses in desktop applications such as Microsoft and Lotus Notes.