news from the intersection of branding & technology

Video Takes Lead in the ‘Time To Knowledge’ Race

In mobile & tablets, Video, Movies & Television on July 30, 2010 at 6:32 pm
The Diagram describes the 3 main components ne...
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by Jeff Sandgren

At the Technology desk of the BrandTech News staff, we strive to stay on top of the world of math and science.  Imagine the dismay, then, when at dinner with my schoolteacher niece the other night I learned that grade school kids these days don’t just learn one way to multiply numbers together (i.e. the way I learned, i.e. the Proper Way), but instead learn several ‘multiplication algorithms’.  Really?  A quick Wikipedia check confirmed my ignorance.  Sunzi, Lattice, ‘peasant’, ‘shift & add’ are all legitimate alternatives.  At least I’m forewarned  in the event of any requests for help with math homework.

The point being: even in something as simple as multiplication, learning can be enhanced by different modalities.  The same is of course true for higher learning, and for the learning needs of new employees, mobile workforces, and salespeople rolling out new offerings to their clients.  For the latter, the Sell Sheet retains the time-honored status of good ol’ long-form multiplication, but there are new, supplemental ways .  In learning , as in apparel, change is inevitable.  “Time to Knowledge” is the new black.

Video has long been recognized as a highly effective media for education.  But the time-critical dynamics of today’s knowledge management makes efficiency as important as effectiveness.  To be viable, video has to be easy to capture, easy to search across the enterprise, and easy to share – which these days means across various mobility devices including iPhones, iPads, and Blackberry’s.

A leader in this space is Altus Learning Systems, whose vSearch solution combines digitally recorded video with synchronized slides and scrolling transcripts, enabling users to find and watch mission-critical content just as it was presented by the experts.  “It’s about getting information to people quickly,” Mark Pollard, CMO of Altus, explained, “on desktop or mobile, at the Point of Interest (POI).”

The mobile aspect is becoming increasingly important as workforce deployment becomes more dynamic. “vSearch Mobile allows users to consume video from virtually any device,” said Pollard, “but they need relevant content.  That’s why vSearch granularity is so important; it allows search down to the spoken word.”

Sure enough, in the demo Mark provided us, the video’s scrolling transcript highlighted the exact words or phrases we were searching for.  Search parameters included Boolean, category, topic, and exact phrase (on tablets and browsers).  The video itself is optimized for the various devices, with small formats for smart phones, to minimize bandwidth issues.    And yes, it will support Android, at versions 2.1 and above.

The ROI on POI must make business sense, as Altus’ client list includes big names like Oracle, Cisco, IBM and SAP, with a 25% upsurge in new customers over the past six months.  They’ve increased their staffing by over 50% in the past year, and their most recent results, for their fiscal third quarter of this year, show revenue increase also up 50% versus the same quarter a year ago.

At BrandTech News, we’re still musing about whether our readers prefer PDF or straight HTML email delivery.  Maybe we’re barking up the wrong media tree.  With solutions like vSearch available, maybe we should be making the leap to video … after we hire better-looking spokespersons, of course.  Long-hand or lattice, if video can help us multiply, we’re ready to take our seats in summer school.

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