Training may be a vital part of your corporate commitment, but who can afford to round everyone up and bring them into the office for a session? Thanks to technology, you no longer have to.
Training sessions can be broadcast over the Internet to anyone with a browser, and the whole event filed for future access by new hires or those looking for a refresher course. With the class on demand, employees can watch the presentation when they have time without disruption of their normal workday.
Because of the rapidly changing technology, a new class of company, called an application service provider, is springing up to offer these services to businesses. These companies take care of the technology, staying up-to-date with latest machines and software, allowing you to focus on the actual training.
The Internet is changing the way people think about how to communicate with employees, customers, shareholders and partners, says John OHalloran, vice president and general manager of the business communications group at Intervu Corp., an application service provider. Whats really profound is you can now communicate to larger groups than ever before. No one would ever think of a conference call for a complex training session. You need visuals and lots of different ways to interact.
Technology allows you to have audio, video and accompanying slides and other displays without ever leaving your desk.
You can now assemble hundreds or even thousands of people at one time, have an expert give a speech or lecture, quiz and poll the audience, and eliminate the entire travel expense at the same time, says OHalloran.
The issue isnt how big your company is, its how many people are geographically dispersed. If you have more than 20 people you would need to fly to a location, using a conferencing service such as Intervu might make sense.
One thing weve discovered with this medium is that people feel a certain intimacy when they are sitting at their own desk, says OHalloran. They feel like it is a one-to-one conversation and are more likely to open up and ask questions.
Some points to consider:
- The broadcast can be done with video or strictly audio. If the presentation is audio, it can be synched with a Power Point presentation. Audio can be taken from a telephone, so the presenter can give the speech from any location. If the presentation includes video, the presenter must be at the host sites studio or have access to a videoconferencing facility.
- Participants can be polled by the presenter to get a real-time reaction on a particular issue or question. Text messaging allows students to ask questions, or participants can call in, much like talk radio.
- The technology can be used for training, product rollouts, press conferences or other events that require a message broadcast to a widespread audience.
- The system can record who was logged on to each session and how long they stayed. It tracks all questions, including those that werent answered.
How to reach: Intervu Corp., www.intervu.net
Todd Shryock (email@example.com) is SBNs special reports editor.