The current economical situation in the UK and the technological improvements are encouraging companies to see virtual training as a real alternative for their budget and training demands, and big vendors are responding quickly to the new requirements.

Recently, most companies have had to confront the economical consequences of the recession and adjust their budgets, sometimes cutting costs that are not primary needs such as travelling or, even worse, training. As a result, virtual instructor led classes have emerged as an advantageous option, reinforced by the improvements in technologies, encouraging big vendors such as HP, IBM, Sun and Oracle to move to virtual classes as a new training method.

The need to cut travel cost has led to some classroom content being moved online, the growth of webinar experiences and the use of webcasts and podcast available online for companies and delegates looking for training experiences. In addition, human resources and training managers are increasingly looking for rapid online courses that maintain the same quality as on-site training.

'Virtual classes enable courses to run that would not normally have enough delegates to be scheduled,' reports Kelvin Durcan, Director of CourseMonster . 'The larger vendors are moving towards this method of delivery as the technology improves', he adds. 'This trend is bound to continue as it keeps their cost down too.'

Other benefits of virtual classes are more intimate classes with fewer attendees and a more personalised experience. Delegates can also get training from wherever they choose;they can stay connected to their job while attending training and it is possible to interact with people from different countries around the world.

According to Nick Lynn, Channel Manager of Oracle University in the UK, virtual classes suit the needs of the market. 'With travel restrictions and travel bans in place in many companies, live virtual classes allow people to attend courses from home or from the office so reducing the costs associated with travel and accommodation. It also gives them the flexibility to keep an eye on work.'