Full text search for rich media content improves productivity

Does your company have lots of good knowledge in media such as recorded Webinars, videos of executive presentations, Web-based training and other sources? Can your employees, business partners and customers search through this rich media content and find precisely what they need, when they need it? If you have high-value content that is not being used to the fullest extent because the desired users don't know what's available to them, then read on. A new software-as-a-service application from Altus Learning Systems can help you capture and share important content by making it fully searchable, reuseable and accessible over the Internet.

The other day I was talking with a training manager who was lamenting that her company has such great Web-based training available for employees and channel partners, but much of the training doesn't get used. Why? Because the people it's intended for can't find precisely what they want, when they want it. With thousands of courses, students don't want to wade through paragraph-long course descriptions and hope to find the training right materials. As a result, important knowledge stays locked up in videos and presentations, rarely to be shared.

I'm certain this company's situation isn't unique. Every large organization has knowledge it would like to capture, share, and make searchable and reusable by employees, business partners, customers and others.

Consider a company like Cisco, which introduces hundreds of new products a year. Cisco needs to make sure that its employees learn about the new products in a timely fashion. Or consider General Motors, a company with an incredibly sophisticated set of products. GM needs to train thousands of technicians on how to evaluate and repair its highly complex automobiles.

Cisco and GM have discovered how to pass along sophisticated knowledge to the people who need it, when they need it. Both companies use a web-based service from Altus Learning Systems that makes enterprise audio and video fully searchable and playable on demand. Now a Cisco sales rep can search for, find and view a new product introduction presentation from the marketing department just hours before he calls on a customer. A service technician in an auto repair shop can view a detailed video on how to repair a transmission on that 2006 Cadillac that came into the shop this morning. Think of it as on demand just-in-time training that's easy to find and access.

Altus Learning takes a company's content (including audio, video, slide decks, mixed media and so on) and makes it searchable based on the spoken word. Altus hosts all the content to make it available on demand to the designated (and authenticated) target audience. Altus also provides a full text transcript with each item it hosts. All content media is indexed, navigable, browseable and organized according to a company's taxonomy.

VMWare has been using Altus Learning's solution for a little more than a year. Sharon Little, director of Global Field Communications, says this service allows her company to repurpose high value video and let the field organization watch it later when convenient. For example, Little says the company captures white board sessions with product engineers on video and posts these sessions to the Altus Web site so that employees all over the world can view them and learn from the experts.

"We use this service to host our presentations from the global sales meetings," Little says. "It's too expensive for us to bring everyone together for one event, so we capture the video and post it on our Altus site. This service is highly impactful as a learning and teaching tool."

Little says VMware is still in the early stages of finding uses for the Altus service. "There's tremendous potential in the power of using video to convey information, and we think this is a medium that is just going to increase over time," Little says. She has positioned her company to share critical knowledge when and where it's needed -- something she views as a competitive advantage for a company in a fast-paced market like virtualized IT.

Ted Cocheu, CEO of Altus Learning Systems, says that people spend 20% of their time looking for information and they find what they are looking for less than half of the time. That's equivalent to spending 10 weeks a year searching for information and remaining ignorant half of that time. Altus Learning increases productivity by helping companies to catalog and share verbal information. The materials are referenceable when someone is ready to consumer it.

In the era of YouTube and video-on-demand, Altus Learning provides a way for your users to pinpoint the right rich media content without wasting time wading through extraneous materials.

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