About ACI

“We do more than train and educate. We help build careers in competitive intelligence, strategy and in overall management. We truly do believe in ensuring our graduates have an impact in their organizations – and throughout their careers.”

Mission

The Fuld-Gilad-Herring Academy of Competitive Intelligence (ACI) teaches, trains and advises managers and professionals on competing more effectively through the optimal use of competitive, market and strategic intelligence.

What Is Competitive Intelligence?

Competitive Intelligence is the art and science of generating a deep understating of marketplace players and industry forces. It yields insight about the competitive dynamics that enables executives to optimize their decisions in light of the plans and strategies of other high-impact participants in the external environment. High impact players include all third parties –not just competitors- whose interactions with the company is what determines strategic success.

Who We Are

Established in 1999, we are the oldest and largest educational institution solely dedicated to helping companies better control strategic risks and discover new market opportunities with competitive intelligence.

ACI is the only Competitive/Market Intelligence training institution that is an accredited provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET) to offer CEUs

Founding Faculty

The Academy’s founding faculty was composed of Leonard Fuld, Dr. Benjamin Gilad and Jan Herring, pioneers in the creation and development of the field of competitive intelligence.

Current faculty

Our current faculty consists of Dr. Benjamin Gilad, Prof. Helen Rothberg, Troy Pfeffer, Heather Hallenbeck, and Nan Bulger.

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Dr. Benjamin Gilad

Dr. Ben Gilad, president of Fuld-Gilad-Herring Academy of Competitive Intelligence is considered a leading developer of competitive intelligence theory and practice in the US, is a former Associate Professor of Strategy at Rutgers University’s School of Management. Gilad’s first CI books, The Business Intelligence System (1988, AMACOM, co-authored) and Business Blindspots (1994, US: Probus/Irwin; 1998, UK: Infonortics, e-edition, 2012, ACI, Inc.), paved the way for the CI evolution in US corporations, many of which emulated the basic principles of Gilad’s CI process model. He is the co-editor of the definitive analysis book, The Art and Science of Business Intelligence Analysis (1996, JAI Press), author of Early Warning (Amacom, 2004), and Business War Games (Career press, 2009).

CI Magazine labeled Ben “our CI guru”. The Society of Competitive Intelligence Professionals honored him with its highest Meritorious award in 1996.

Dr. Gilad has been the creator of a unique war game methodology and lists many Fortune 500 companies as his consulting clients, including such global market leaders as Shell, AstraZeneca, Sun, IBM, Dupont, Kellogg, Intel, BestFood, 3Com, Ericsson, Procter & Gamble, Johnson and Johnson, SAS, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, SBC, and Cadbury Schweppes, Pratt & Whitney, Nestle, ExxonMobil, Novartis and Roche. Business Week chose Gilad to teach its executives about CI and Fortune Magazine chose him to lead its CEO skills sessions on the subject. The American Management Association chose him to lecture to its Presidents’ division. His articles on CI appeared in all the major business journals, including Sloan Management Review, Business Horizons, Competitive Intelligence Magazine, CFO Magazine, The Pharmaceutical Executive, and The Conference Board. His article, “Strategy without intelligence, intelligence without strategy” (Business Strategy Series, vol. 12, issue 1, 2011), won an Excellence Award in 2012.

Dr. Gilad founded the Academy of Competitive Intelligence in 1996. In 1999, he co-founded the Fuld-Gilad-Herring Academy of Competitive Intelligence together with Fuld + Co.

For over 17 years Ben was consistently rated as one of the best teachers at Rutgers’ undergraduate management program. His love of teaching makes his CI seminars an experience no one ever forgets.

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Dr. Helen Rothberg

Dr. Helen Rothberg is a Professor of Strategic Management in the School of Management at Marist College, and senior faculty in the Academy of Competitive Intelligence. She holds a PhD and M.Phil from The City University Graduate Center, MBA from Baruch College, and a BA from Queens College. She is the 2011 recipient of the Board of Trustee’s Distinguished Teaching Award.

With Scott Erickson, she published From Knowledge to Intelligence: Creating Competitive Advantage in the Next Economy: Elsevier Butterworth-Heinemann, in 2005, and Intelligence in Action: Strategically Managing Knowledge Assets: Palgrave McMillan in 2012. Other publications include Competitive Intelligence Review, Competitive Intelligence Magazine, Electronic Journal of Knowledge Management, International Journal of Learning and Intellectual Capital, International Journal of Knowledge Management, Money Magazine.

Helen’s research interests include shadow and intelligence teams, and the intersection between competitive intelligence and knowledge management. She is the principal consultant for HNR Associates, a network of knowledge focusing on strategic change, competitive intelligence and knowledge management challenges.

Her book “The Perfect Mix: Everything I Know About Leadership I Learned as a Bartender”: Simon & Schuster now available.

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Troy Pfeffer

Mr. Troy Pfeffer is Intelligence Director at Cintas Corporation. Cintas is the world’s largest uniform provider and related business products and services. As Intelligence Director, Troy was chosen to create and establish Competitive Intelligence at Cintas and is responsible for providing timely and actionable intelligence to business leaders across all divisions and global regions. The fully integrated global intelligence structure has led to a true intelligence culture in which ALL employees act as collectors and analysts. This has resulted in highly efficient intelligence at a strategic, tactical and operational level and is a direct source of revenue.
Prior to his current role, Troy served as the National Marketing Manager and National Operations Manager for Cintas. In addition, he previously held the position of Vice President at Key Bank. Troy holds a BSBA degree from The Ohio State University and is a CIP™-II Master of CI Certified Intelligence Professional from the Fuld-Gilad-Herring Academy of Competitive Intelligence.
Outside of work, Troy is an avid adventurer that enjoys mountaineering, climbing, competitive cycling and sailing. He and his wife Susan are passionate wildlife activists and volunteers.

LinkedIn Profile

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Heather Hallenbeck

Heather Hallenbeck, Insights Director, Corporate Strategy & Innovation, Bose Corporation
Heather has built a formal Competitive Intelligence function at Bose and now manages the Global Insights team including Competitive Intelligence, Market Analytics, Consumer Quantitative Research and Business Strategy to deliver data-driven actionable insights. Her team is part of Corporate Strategy and Innovation and focuses on analyzing and synthesizing critical insights with strategic recommendations for all Bose core, growth and incubation businesses spanning research, product development and sales & marketing.

Heather is a seasoned strategist with proven ability to envision, lead and grow innovative businesses. She possesses a world class background in Marketing, Product Management, and Strategic Planning. She is skilled at generating salient insights from consumer research, technology trends, business strategies and competitive intelligence to synthesize into actionable business initiatives. She leads with a positive, empowering and contagious spirit with a balanced approach of assertiveness, collaboration and decisiveness that drives team and individual performance. She demonstrates the unique combination of big picture vision with pragmatic planning required to develop as well as to implement strategic plans.

She holds an MBA with concentrations in Marketing and Competitive and Organizational Strategy from Simon Graduate School of Business from the University of Rochester, a BS in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University, and is a Master of Competitive Intelligence (ACI) alumna.

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Nan Bulger

Nan Bulger is a globally recognized strategist, analytics expert, engineer, transformation consultant, author and lecturer. She has 38 years of global profit and non-profit experience with startup and multinational organizations. Nan has authored a number of advanced structured analytic decision tools for business and spent five years leading the largest analytics global non-profit. She is currently the Executive Director of SAIMAH [The Society of Artificial Intelligence in Medicine and Healthcare] as well as one of the founders of the Ticani Institute for Decision Support in Copenhagen, Denmark. She consults to a number of companies around the world and teaches strategic intelligence at the University of Rey Juan Carlos in Madrid, Spain. In 2017, she was appointed as the leading expert in analytics by the Beijing Innovation Center in China. A passionate driver of corporate social responsibility and the use of decision frameworks in support of CSR, she founded global WISA, Women in Insights, Strategy and Analytics and Courageous Conversations.

Get the Competitive Edge

General FAQ’s

How do I determine which courses are best for my particular needs? Is there a place on the academyci.com web site that will help guide me?

Aside from detailed course descriptions, we also offer you two other ways of determining the course that is right for you.

Under each course description we list the “Key Questions” that each course addresses. If you can answer “yes” to three or more of the 10 questions posed for each course, this course will meet your needs.

The second tool is called “Problem Sets”. Our ACI faculty has supplied you with two or three typical problem sets, or mini-exercises, for each course. Each problem set represents the critical challenges – and solutions – students receive in any given program. Try them.

How do ACI courses differ from those I can receive by attending a conference?

A conference lecture or workshop is aimed at whetting your appetite, not training you. Often, the quality of the presenters is uneven. At The Academy of Competitive Intelligence’s courses, you actually learn to do the CI work, lock, stock and barrel. You do not sit idly and listen (and you don’t fall asleep, we can assure you!). Moreover, the Academy’s program has its own rhythm and flow, which has been carefully balanced. You end up intrigued, invigorated, with an “Ah ha!” experience. You say to yourself, like our student, Bruce Greenwood of HP said: “One of the best courses I’ve ever attended during my 16-plus year career!” No conference can match this.”

Can I receive any tuition discounts?
Yes – there are various discounts that you will find on the registration form depending upon your needs. Early registration, bulk course registration and colleague group discounts.
How would you compare ACI’s courses to other competitive intelligence programs?

Our standards of teaching are the highest in the world today. We created the curriculum other institutions and universities follow. We don’t settle for good enough. We go for absolute excellence.

Our courses are not dull PowerPoint presentations. They are intensely interactive and immediately applicable as you go back to your job. They will change the way you understand competition, strategy and intelligence.

What is the value of the CEU's?

Only IACET (International Association for Continuing Education Training) can authorize an institution to grant CEUs (Continuing Education Units). Recognized by nearly any global corporation that encourages their employees to seek continuing education for career development, CEUs are the gold standard in corporate continuing education, acknowledging that an employee has successfully completed a particular level of training. The Fuld-Gilad-Herring Academy of Competitive Intelligence is the only institution of its kind authorized to grant such credits.

How long has ACI offered training in competitive intelligence?

Since 1999.

Certification FAQ’s

Do I need the Certified Intelligence Professional (CIP™) designation?

The CIP™ is valuable for managers whose role includes part-time or full-time provision of competitive intelligence, market intelligence, industry research or business research to internal users.  Those who have completed theCIP™ certification have seen demonstrable career benefits including promotions, recognition, and salary increases. If you choose to complete the CIP™ program you will receive an official certificate from the Fuld-Gilad-Herring Academy of Competitive Intelligence assuring your firm that you are qualified to do the most effective and beneficial intelligence work. You will also earn Continuing Education Units (CEUs.)

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What is The CIP™ track?

TheCIP™ track consists of two, week-long integrated programs that deliver core and advanced training in CI skills

  • The CIP-I certification consists of training in Intelligence Planning and Collection, Competitive Blindspots and Cross Competitor Analysis, Structured Analytic Techniques, and Intelligence Reporting and Communication.
  • The CIP-II certification consists of training in Business War Gaming, Value Chain Analysis, and Anticipating Disruptions.

To receive CEU credits, students must:

  • Participate in course lectures, teamwork, exercises, and simulations
  • Attend the entire length of each course in the CIP-I or CIP-II programs
  • Pass an exam
What is The Executive Intelligence Skills track?

A short program built for market-facing managers and decision-makers whose performance and success require deeper understanding of third parties (competitors, customers, suppliers, regulators, distributors), possible disruption, alternative technologies, developments in adjacent industries and other marketplace dynamics.

Whether you choose the CIP™ program or the Executive Intelligence Skills track, the skills you develop will benefit you for your entire career.

Who Attends ACI?

Our attendees come from such diverse fields as business development, strategic planning, market research, marketing, product management, brand management, project managers, product marketers, technology, R&D, consulting and the executive suite.

What’s the difference between ACI and other CI training options?

No other CI training program matches ACI in longevity, faculty experience, or career impact, and no other CI training program offers an IACET-accredited certification, whose rigorous accreditation process affirms our high-quality instruction.  Simply put, ACI training will change the trajectory of your career. But don’t take our word for it. Review our Alumni comments throughout our website or click here to learn more about who make up our Alumni.

 

How does ACI training benefit your company?

Many organizations fall short of using competitive/market/strategic intelligence effectively, leaving them vulnerable to strategic surprise and disruption, and weakening their competitive position. Competitive intelligence is the most effective organizational method of managing industry disruption, getting in front of new opportunities and, ultimately, achieving a sustainable competitive advantage. Managers skilled in deploying competitive intelligence improve their job performance, resulting in promotions and higher salaries.

How To Earn the CIP™ Certifications

To earn the CIP-I core and Master of CI CIP-II advanced level of certification you must complete the required number of courses for each level and pass an exam for each level.

CIP-I Level Certification requires completion of courses CI 101/202, CI 301, CI 302, CI 303, CI 304. Once you have completed these courses, you become eligible to take the exam.

CIP-II Level Certification requires completion of courses CI 401, CI 402, CI 403, and CIP®-I certification. You cannot receive the Master of CI CIP®-II certification without first receiving the CIP®-I certification.

The exam fee for each level is $150.00. The online exam consists of 50 questions. You would be sent a login and a password to the URL. The passing grade is 75. Once you have logged in, you will see that you have a due date to which to complete the exam. Once you have completed the exam you will be able to see your score right away. You are able to stop and resume when you would like within that open window before the due date. The answers are automatically saved.

If you do not pass the first time you have one more opportunity to take a slightly different version of the exam which you will be given access to at no additional cost within a few hours after your first exam results have been sent, but it must be submitted on or before the due date. Exams received after the due date will be marked as a failing grade on your record.

What are the added benefits to certificate holders?

In a 2013 surveyour CIP™ holders listed the following benefits:

  1. Getting promoted!
  2. Better tools to do their work.
  3. Easier to find new jobs when needed.
  4. More recognition from management.

Additional privileges of CIP™ holders: Participate in our CIP™ – surveys that help to determine future course offerings within the program.

General FAQ’s

How To Earn the CIP™ Certifications

To earn the CIP-I core and Master of CI CIP-II advanced level of certification you must complete the required number of courses for each level and pass an exam for each level.

CIP-I Level Certification requires completion of courses CI 101/202, CI 301, CI 302, CI 303, CI 304. Once you have completed these courses, you become eligible to take the exam.

CIP-II Level Certification requires completion of courses CI 401, CI 402, CI 403, and CIP®-I certification. You cannot receive the Master of CI CIP®-II certification without first receiving the CIP®-I certification.

The exam fee for each level is $150.00. The online exam consists of 50 questions. You would be sent a login and a password to the URL. The passing grade is 75. Once you have logged in, you will see that you have a due date to which to complete the exam. Once you have completed the exam you will be able to see your score right away. You are able to stop and resume when you would like within that open window before the due date. The answers are automatically saved.

If you do not pass the first time you have one more opportunity to take a slightly different version of the exam which you will be given access to at no additional cost within a few hours after your first exam results have been sent, but it must be submitted on or before the due date. Exams received after the due date will be marked as a failing grade on your record.