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Meet the Trainer: Janet Nichols

Meet the Trainer: Janet Nichols

September 8, 2021 in Centriq News, Corporate IT Training, Featured Employers / by Elizabeth Granada

Meet Centriq Technical Trainer Janet Nichols! Janet has been training with Centriq for over 14 years. Keep reading to find out her favorite Centriq class, the biggest differences between Server 2016 and Server 2019, and how workplaces can find success when managing environments that include Azure laaS-hosted Windows Server-based workloads.

tell us about yourself and your journey into technical training

My name is Janet Nichols. I was hired by a company in Kansas City, Missouri in 1982 to triage customer support calls. I would categorize them into two major categories: operator error and hardware issue. When there was a hardware issue, I would dispatch a technician to fix the issue. When there was an operator error, I would either educate the operator or pass the call onto someone who could educate the operator. After I had been there a year, my boss noticed that I passed very few calls forward to our technical support group, since I was solving approximately 90% of the calls. I then started training new hires for our company and some clients. When my husband and I relocated to southern Missouri, I was hired by a company as its Training Manager and started teaching customer’s DOS, basic networking and some software. From there, I was hired as an IT Manager for a firm and learned all about Novell networking and more hardware. In 1991, I became a Novell Technical Trainer and in the mid 1990s, I became a Microsoft Certified Trainer. (I also hold certified trainer certificates from other vendors.) Along the way, I have created and edited technical training materials, practice exams and certification exams for HP. I developed training materials and study guides for other companies. 


what classes do you teach at centriq?

MS-20740: Installation, Storage and Compute with Windows Server 2016

MS-20721: Networking with Windows Service 2016

MS-20742: Identity with Windows Server 2016

AD2016: Active Directory in Windows Server 2016

WS2016: Fundamentals of a Windows Server 2016 Infrastructure

WS-011: Windows Server 2019 Administration

AZ-900: Microsoft Azure Fundamentals


what is your favorite centriq class to teach and why?

Active Directory in Windows Server 2016. I love teaching this class as we only focus on two topics: Active Directory and Group Policy. This class affords the time to do a deep dive into these two topics. In this class students get a better understanding of how Active Directory works and how wonderful and powerful Group Policy is at enforcing compliance and security.



what are the biggest differences between Server 2016 and server 2019?

Tighter integration with Azure and enhanced security. 


how can workplaces find success when planning, implementing, and managing environments that include azure laas-hosted windows server-based workloads?

The success or failure of any IT project is in the planning. A company needs to perform an accurate inventory of their existing environment. With an accurate inventory, the company can now get with stakeholders and decide what servers can be migrated to the cloud and what servers, services, or applications need to be rearchitected to run efficiently in the cloud. Microsoft offers several tools for companies to leverage to facilitate the move or they can hire Microsoft of other consulting services to assist them. There are many different management services available in Azure. A company should look at their current management tools and decide the appropriate compatible tool in the cloud. 


what’s the most important thing for students to expect when attending the azure fundamentals course?

A great deal of hands-on with the product. There are multiple different hands-on activities to allow the students the opportunity to explore Azure using the portal and the CLI.