TeraBiz president focuses on training, not education
Interviewed by David Butts
Advertiser Staff Writer
Company: TeraBiz Training, a computer training firm
High School: Punahou
College: Stanford, University of California Hastings College of the Law.
Breakthrough job: Hired to be Hawai'i state manager for First Nationwide Bank at age 32.
Q. Most of your students are products of Hawai'i schools (70 percent). What do you find is the greatest need or challenge they face?
A. Desktop application utilization is deficient, but that is the generation. We never had computers in schools. To be effective in this economy requires not only the three Rs, but there are core competencies that are needed now.
When I give seminars I always say it's a "RACE" out there. The "R" is return on investment. In this soft economy, every dollar means even more. The "A" is agility. We need increased agility in terms of our technology, our information and the way we think. We need to be more "C" customer driven than ever before. And "E," we need to be more employee-development oriented than ever before. Most organizations work with fewer employees than before, so every employee has to be more productive. Those concepts don't come out of the schools.
Q. If the schools did their job properly, would you need to be here?
A. Yes. Schools can't train as well, and we don't educate. Our role is to be more specific to business or organizational needs.
You have to be a continuous learner especially in this era. Our schools can never be expected to continue the learning pattern. It is the responsibility of the employer and the employee to continue to learn and develop their skills and competencies.
That's how Hawai'i developed from a plantation workforce to a service-oriented workforce. Now we need to be a service-oriented workforce that's infused with technology and that is more agile and global in its approach. That's how our people in Hawai'i can earn a higher wage.
Q. What is the most common request for training among private business clients?
A. It used to be, until very recently, e-commerce, Web graphics, Web-related course, PowerPoint and Excel. In a very short time, we have seen e-commerce superceded by security. That is on a national level too. Security has become the primary concern of IT (information technology) departments and senior management.
It is not the hacker in security that is the biggest concern right now. The biggest security breach is (caused) by uninformed employees making unintentional breaches.
Organizational development training is becoming increasingly more important. In a stressed economy, companies are able to justify deferring computer training, but the pain of organizational dysfunction often can't be as easily ignored.
Q. How has the business changed since you bought it three years ago?
A. Three years ago computer skills for a typical IT department were roughly 50 percent hardware and 50 percent software. Now it's pretty much 30 percent hardware, 30 percent software and 40 percent management. It is understanding both IT management and business management. The IT executive is moving into the executive suite. They have become a strategic partner with human resources and finance.
Q. How many of your students are managers?
A. Very few. Maybe 15 percent of our students. The bulk of them are spread between the unemployed and disenfranchised (including women in transition: women coming out of incarceration ... women who are transitioning back into the workforce ... women who have a need to break through a glass ceiling). We also have the market of the office staffer who needs to improve productivity and technical skills; included in that are government because we have the state contract. Then another significant client base for us is the military. They are very big users of technology.
Taking on... Avoiding security breaches
Organizations that gather information about their clients need to protect that information. Yamanaka said TeraBiz's training on security focuses on paper, voice and digital security.
Paper: Yamanaka talks of the clean desk policy. If you are dealing with confidential information, you don't leave papers on your desk when you go to the restroom. Don't leave the original at the copy machine. When you send a page to be printed and it doesn't come out, you don't just send it again.
Voice: Be aware who can hear you when you are speaking. Be aware when you are conducting business on a cell phone. He talks about scams people asking seemingly innocuous questions to learn the patterns of the business.
Digital: Yamanaka talks about viruses and how not to open such things as e-mail attachments. This is probably 65 percent of the course.