Professional certifications are the icing on the training cake at this maker of semiconductor production equipment in Santa Clara, Calif. Over the past few years, hundreds of IT employees have received training and earned ITIL, SAP and Stanford Certified Project Manager certifications, as well as credentials from the Project Management Institute, all funded by the company. All employees are required to attend a minimum of five days of training annually, with most averaging eight to 10 days. Applied Global University offers hundreds of hours of technical, business and skill-building courses taught by internal and external instructors. The classroom and Web-based courses cover a wide range of topics, be it software development, understanding other cultures or understanding a balance sheet. Get to work: A flexible work location program, called Applied Anywhere, allows employees to work from any customer, supplier, partner or home site. The IT department not only deployed the supporting technology for the program, but is also the leading adopter, with more than 40% formal participation. Employees who participate in the program receive a dedicated home router with a physical IP phone. They also have a portable IP softphone that plugs into their PC. They surrender their cubes and use shared spaces when they need to come to the office. Applied's audio and Web collaboration tools also make it easy to work from any location.