Microsoft Learning Experience (LeX) produces Microsoft Official Courseware (MOC) courses that are sold to Learning Partners (LPs) who use the content to offer training classes. Previously, LPs were required to download and install Virtual Machines (VMs) from the Microsoft Download Center onto their own servers.
These VMs could be as large as 100 GB and could take as long as 24 hours or more to download and store on each machine. The LPs would then need to deploy and configure the VMs for each student each week as well as remove all the content from all of the machines when the class finished. In addition, LPs had to continually upgrade & maintain their technology and download updated course information.
To resolve these challenges and risks, Microsoft needed a partner to host MOC labs completely online; allowing students to simply access the VMs via their web browsers.
Making it happen
Xtreme quickly built a complex and diverse project team with technical skills spanning many areas of expertise and all Microsoft software applications. Within two months, Xtreme created an initial POC (Proof of Concept) offerings with a subset of courses, engaged with a Beta LP to jointly run the POC in live classrooms, and added a lab onboarding and test team to publish two new Microsoft courses each week.
Additionally, Xtreme spun up a powerful feature to the labs platform called the the Virtual Classroom, which provides the instructor a dashboard view of all the student screens. The dashboard allows instructors to click on student screens they suspect are having trouble, join that student’s machine to work through issues, and then seamlessly return to the classroom view. This feature improves the learning process within a classroom, enables and enhances remote learning, and eliminates the cost for LPs to own, lease, or maintain classrooms or hardware.
The solution was delivered on time and launched in the U.S. with 75 courses (50% more than the original target). The worldwide launch followed after two months. In the first year of service:
+ Over 200 courses were onboarded and published.
+ 70,436 user lab sessions were launched.
+ Over 15,000 VMs were launched every day.
Since its inception, the growth per year has been approximately 114% (student sessions year over year).