The partners and employees at Toshiba America Business Solutions, INC. (TABS) are keenly aware that effective training is an essential component of a successful product launch, contributes to early user adoption , and fosters long-term customer loyalty.
TABS, a division of Toshiba America, Inc., is responsible for the planning, distribution, marketing, sales and support of copiers, facsimiles, multifunction printers, toner products and network controllers in the United States, Mexico, Latin America and the Caribbean. With sales representatives and dealers around the world, the company needed a way to deliver high-quality, cost-effective training with minimum operational disruption.
To do this, TABS implemented a hosted Adobe Acrobat Connect Professional solution to provide dealers and employees with training and presentations on compliance issues, selling strategies, new product introductions, product instruction and network support.
“Adobe Acrobat Connect Professional opened up our training program to become an around-the-clock, one-stop education shop,” says Steve Bamberger, TABS national e-learning training manager.
BLENDED LEARNING MODEL
Traditional face-to-face and legacy training methods, which are typically inefficient and expensive, resulted in delays in delivering timely training and product information to employees and dealers. TABS’ previous outmoded Web conferencing application also could not accommodate synchronous and asynchronous training and presentation needs.
After evaluating alternatives, the Adobe solution was chosen for its flexible, virtual collaboration capabilities. “It provided us with a huge advantage, because it could incorporate Microsoft PowerPoint decks and was video compatible with Adobe Flash Player and animations that comprise dynamic training modules,” says Bamberger.
The solution also provided the ideal alternative to classroom- style learning for management who, despite having limited time for training, are required to attend and comply with Six Sigma methodology. What was formerly a seven hour, instructor-led session has been transformed into three 45-minute, self-paced online training modules.
In keeping with TABS’ training goals, employees and dealers can replay a pre-recorded online workshop from any location in any time zone, at their convenience, without sacrificing revenue-generating time in the field.
Al Sotelo, director of solutions sales for Coast to Coast Business Equipment (a Toshiba partner) appreciates a new flexibility. “We can schedule a quick Web meeting that everyone can attend, no matter where they are, and then get back to engaging with customers.”
Since adopting the Adobe e-learning solution, TABS users are participating in an average of 10 live courses per week — sometimes up to five or six sessions a day — with attendance of training sessions reaching nearly 700 users a month. Bamberger reports that a traditional, three- or four-day training session has been cut in half by migrating a portion of on-site gatherings to both self-paced and live online delivery.
Departments throughout Toshiba are taking advantage of new communication and collaboration capabilities to streamline operations. Its Marketing Division routinely uses Acrobat Connect Professional to introduce new product launches through live e-learning sessions, and the Human Resources Department has moved its compliance training out of the conference room and onto the company intranet, in a condensed, appealing format.
Looking back, Bamberger points to the ease of adoption that won Toshiba over. “We were concerned that changing platforms would be a monumental undertaking, [but] we didn’t receive a single call regarding technical issues or difficulty accessing the system,” he recalls. “It’s [now] simply a matter of notifying participants and plugging in a URL.”
TABS’ content developers are creating and refining the company’s training materials on a daily basis to keep sales teams up to speed on new product rollouts and features.
The company migrated creation of all product launch pieces in-house, reducing the development time from about two weeks to about a day, at most. The pieces include voice-over recordings and some interactive, multimedia programs.
Perhaps one of the biggest benefits from a development perspective is the flexibility and interoperability of Acrobat Connect Professional that enables developers to rapidly unite multimedia components, including simulations recorded using Adobe Captivate software, under a single, integrated platform.
For more information, access the Website www.adobe.com.