Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Top unified communications vendors eye virtual reality in the conference room - via networkworld.com
Posted by Domenick Naccarato at 10:17 AM
Maria Korolov has posted an article over at networkworld.com on how some of the leading leading unified communications vendors, including ourselves, are taking a hard look at the opportunities for 'virtual reality in the conference room.'
The Oculus Rift is a game changer when it comes to bringing people into a more immersive experience - in fact, some large organizations like Ford Motor Company have already been using it.
Maria's article goes on to talk about how virtual environment platforms like ProtoSphere, AvayaLive Engage, and Terf are experimenting with the technology with specific business use cases in mind.
Continue here to read the full article as it appears on networkworld.com.
Wednesday, October 8, 2014
Posted by Domenick Naccarato at 3:34 PM
Over at onwindows.com, author Sean Dudley re-posted an article earlier this week on how Microsoft and its partners are helping companies improve real time enterprise collaboration in an effort to boost innovation.
He quotes the August issue of Prime magazine, where Egbert Schröer, worldwide managing director of process manufacturing and resources at Microsoft, talks about how "collaboration can be used as part of the innovation process within companies." Schröer goes on to talk about examples of social computing and how companies are continuing to invest in new collaboration technologies to help advance their workforce and find new ways of harnessing the best and brightest ideas.
The article also mentions the role that virtual worlds are playing, with the example given by Andrea McGonigle, managing director of Life Sciences at Microsoft, on the work that we've done with PPD. In the article she comments, "I think virtual worlds will continue to make collaboration advances and really enhance the experience at another level. These spaces will be powered by the cloud that will allow people to access them anywhere, anytime, and scale up and down quickly."
You can head over to onwindows.com to read the full article and download the rest of the August issue.
Tuesday, September 2, 2014
Posted by Domenick Naccarato at 11:33 AM
In this second video of our ongoing series of sneak peeks at the next version of ProtoSphere, I wanted to show the ability to import custom 3D art assets into the virtual environment. The new game engine, combined with the platform's real time abilities to see and experience content together, is going to make it very easy for customers to bring in their own 3D content into ProtoSphere. While looking over the shoulder of Jim Seaver, our Art Director, we see him demonstrating that process with some medical devices...
Friday, August 22, 2014
Posted by Domenick Naccarato at 10:57 AM
Virtual collaboration tools have become commonplace within the the enterprise market and widespread adoption of these platforms are already in place. But 3D virtual worlds designed for business are still something that many customers have to create a compelling enough business case for, and even once that's done, there's still the question of how to implement a user adoption strategy.
We understand that it's not just enough to provide our customers with an innovative and immersive 3D user experience in ProtoSphere, but to make sure that we also give you the right tools to get your community of users in there and using it on a regular basis. Whether your sales trainers are going to be delivering content to learners, or your project managers are hosting their Six Sigma process improvement meetings, user adoption starts with early planning; identifying product champions, partnering with marketing/communications, making sure there is executive sponsorship - these are all aspects of a rock solid technology adoption strategy.
I've documented below an initial recommended approach for our customers looking to deploy ProtoSphere within their organization. Of course, these are just suggestions... but implementing even small portions of each of them can have a significant impact on the success of your rollout.
1. Secure Executive Sponsorship
Organizations with executives who actively communicate the value and benefit of ProtoSphere are more likely to be successful with their rollout. These individuals lead by example and provide a top-down incentive that lends credibility to your deployment effort. Deliberate outreach to leaders of various business units is one way of securing this type of sponsorship – consider giving them in-person demonstrations so that can see the value propositions first-hand.
2. Form a Deployment and Support Team
Overall success of a ProtoSphere deployment can be measured by the presence of a dedicated team of individuals. These are people who can assist with project management, IT representation, help desk support, training delivery, and perhaps most importantly, marketing communications.
3. Outline Specific Success Criteria and Goals
Here you will focus on enabling users for certain tasks and defining a core set of specific business cases, such as conducting a training session, or facilitating a large event or meeting. Keeping your objectives simple and achievable will yield the best results and build confidence in the new technology. Success metrics should include factors such as user satisfaction, technology reliability, and speed of adoption.
4. Conduct a Pilot
Planned pilots can help provide new users with early access to ProtoSphere and serve to give a perspective on how people will actually use the technology. Pilots may also uncover potential use cases that were not originally considered or thought of. Successful pilots may also serve as the foundation for stories that 2nd wave adopters find value in.
5. Drive Awareness With an Internal Marketing Campaign
One of the most important aspects of a successful ProtoSphere rollout is to create a marketing strategy that helps to inform and enlighten your audience. This may include any number and combination of techniques such as:
• Emailing out announcements of the availability of the technology
• Sharing exemplary stories
• Hosting Lunch & Learns
• Setting up a ProtoSphere intranet page with resources such as user guides, best practices, tips and tricks
• Developing video vignettes of real life scenarios
A good campaign will also employ the use of Product Champions – people who are already enthusiastic early adopters and have agreed to provide informal training and support to others in your organization. These people may be called upon to do quick demonstrations, participate in events and seminars, or provide video testimonials.
6. Implement a Training Program
The successful adoption of any technology weighs heavily on users’ ability to understand how to use it. Training can be delivered in any number of formats including user guides and help documents, how-to videos, and in-world sessions. Delivered learning content may sometimes be tailored to the individual and use case, but should always be followed up with actual use of the technology.
One method employed by some customers is to have all users attend a 30 minute briefing/training in-world before attendance at a scheduled activity. This time can be used to sort out installation issues, provide basic skills and etiquette, and familiarize users with the experience (personalize avatars, etc.).
Monday, August 11, 2014
Posted by Domenick Naccarato at 10:25 AM
One of the biggest hurdles we all have as trainers when delivering virtual instructor led training is how to keep our learners engaged. It's all too easy to be distracted by our in-boxes, phone calls, and IMs while on the receiving end of a training session when we're seated behind a laptop screen. As instructors, it's our responsibility not only to deliver content, but to make sure that knowledge is retained. And what better way to increase knowledge retention than to increase engagement levels...
Here are 5 things you can try in your next training session to help your learners become more engaged.