• United States
by Steve Taylor and Larry Hettick

Converging training options

May 26, 20032 mins

* Online availability of Comnet conference materials has convergence angles

Webtorials and the Comnet Conference and Expo recently inked a deal to make Webtorials the official archive site for the conference materials. There are at least two convergence angles to the deal.

First, we’re starting to see the convergence of live and on-demand technical training. Secondly, the first modules from Comnet 2003 to be made available are the handouts from the voice-over-IP track.

One of the first questions usually raised in converging live and on-demand training is whether this will be the death knell for live conferences. We don’t think so. There’s a certain community of interest that can benefit from the materials, folks who simply would never have had the opportunity – primarily due to budget – to attend a live conference.

Also, in some recent research of Webtorials users, we found that making proceedings of live conferences available on the Web would have essentially no impact on the live events themselves. In this admittedly unscientific poll, only 5% of the respondents were “Much less likely to attend,” even though 34% were less likely to attend. On the flip side, 11% were more likely to attend the live program and 14% were much more likely to attend. This latter group, we think, is influenced by the demonstrated value of the conference. The remaining 36% said that having the info available on demand would have no impact.

We think this also demonstrates a theme that we need to stress in the convergence world. Convergence is a win-win situation. All too often, from converged messaging to IP PBXs and beyond, we see the emphasis on what’s lost rather than what’s gained by convergence. In particular, these objections are usually raised from the perspective of a faction seeing conversion as a threat and consequently striving to protect their turf.

Next time we’ll take a look at the modules from Comnet that are now available for your on-demand edification.