Virtual Web Conferencing for Training
QualComm Wireless Business Solutions (QWBS) has provided integrated wireless systems and services to businesses around the world since 1988. The world-class technology infrastructure, customer care and professional services of parent Qual- Comm, Inc., enable QWBS to meet the increasingly complex needs of many industries, such as mobile enterprise, transportation and logistics, construction equipment and health care. QWBS’s customer focus is based on the knowledge that leveraging technology is critical to creating business insight that helps clients achieve their vision.
But by 1999, its managers had pinpointed a big problem: Each time the company introduced a new software product or upgrade, trainers needed to travel (usually by air) to each location to deliver a one-hour live training session. Hardly time- or cost-efficient.
After analyzing the leading Web conferencing vendors, QWBS chose to launch its first virtual training program using LearnLinc software. At a meeting of the division’s customer- service group, iLinc was presented live to the first group of users. At that time, just after the advent of Webbased technology, users had to install programs from CD onto their laptops, many of which were barely Internetcapable (i.e. equipped with low-speed, dial-up modems). Some of the users traveled three to four days a week and even with powerful laptops, often couldn’t get broadband Internet access from hotel rooms.
Because of these challenges and the frustrations with technical limitations, many of the QWBS staff resisted Web conferencing at first. As more powerful equipment was dispersed and the learning curve was climbed, QWBS’s LearnLinc users began to embrace online training. Adoption grew again when QWBS offered its first recorded sessions. Users who had juggled schedules to attend live, online classes learned that they could now meet training requirements on their own time. “It took some time to get everyone high-quality laptops and stable connectivity, but as time and technology progressed, our users began to see the benefits of training online,” says Traci Schaible, QWBS’s senior manager of product training.
“Especially with asynchronous courses, they appreciated the freedom to set their own training schedules.”
Since the original LearnLinc launch, QWBS has tripled its number of iLinc users and expanded usage to other groups within the division. Customer service groups are training customers on service upgrades. Among the most popular features with this group are application sharing and the ability to set up individual meeting rooms from which to launch on-the-fly training sessions. “The benefits in our customer service department are the most dramatic,” says Schaible. “We have significantly reduced travel costs with the exception of very large roll-outs, which we still do in person. The ability to provide training in multiple ways (live and recorded) enables the customer service team to meet a wide variety of needs using a single tool.” QWBS’s sales teams have recently begun using MeetingLinc, a product optimized for use in meeting format, rather than that of a class, to perform product demonstrations. MeetingLinc represents a striking change from the team’s former demo process, which included walking prospects through a demo Website via phone.
“Our sales teams are now able to present uploaded content in sessions, as well as to use interactive tools such as highlighting and pointers to help keep people engaged,” says Schaible. “It’s is a much more effective sales tool than our former one.”
MORE GOOD NEWS
In addition to QWBS, two other divisions at QualComm have begun using iLinc based on internal recommendations.
QualComm also broadened its utilization of Web conferencing to include educational customer Webinars. These sessions have been very well received because they conveyed compelling content in an easy-to-use online setting. “We received great feedback from our customers about our Webinars,” says Schaible.
“We didn’t encounter any problems with disconnection, complex client download processes, or firewall issues.” The company is enjoying cumulative cost savings and efficiency benefits, but cites customer service as the primary reason for remaining loyal to iLinc over the years.
“The biggest thing is customer support,” says Schaible. “iLinc was our first e-learning tool and since then we’ve implemented others (such as learning management systems), but have never experienced the level of customer support that we get from iLinc.”
—Learn more by visiting the Website www.iLinc.com.