Learning in a Global Business: How Waters Corporation Uses Online PresentationsRemember science class? That’s where, as kids, we got to mix chemicals, dissect frogs, and burn stuff. What fun!
Yes, we also had to memorize the periodic table and calculate equations, and yes, we’d sometimes wonder when we were ever going to use these scientific concepts.
Waters Corporation has been putting science to good use for more than fifty years. They’re a leading maker of analytical instruments for measuring fluids and substances used in healthcare delivery, environmental management, food safety, and water quality.
So it’s a good thing the people at Waters paid attention in science class. If you eat food, fuel your car, or use medicine, equipment from Waters probably had a role in ensuring the safety and effectiveness of the products you use.
Would you guess that their internal learning programs are a little, shall we say, involved?
Brian SanSouci is Senior Technical Writer at Waters, and he is responsible for making sure that new products and features are well-known across the company. Waters has more than 5,000 employees worldwide. Whenever they launch a new technology, it’s Brian’s job to create learning presentations and materials to educate the engineering teams.
Recently, I talked with Brian about how he uses KnowledgeVision to support learning programs for their field and in-house personnel. You can watch the entire Waters interview here, but I want to recap some of the highlights and draw some lessons from the discussion:
Combine Multiple Formats: Waters needs to educate people all around the world, whether they are in-house or on site with a client. They use presentations to provide an in-depth overview of products and features, with video, slides, supporting materials, and links to make learning more effective.
“Just recently we finished a large introduction of an update to an older product,” Brian told me. “It dealt with a lot of history to bring the newer field service engineers up to date.”
Give Viewers Control: Brian found the asynchronous nature of a KnowledgeVision online presentation helps ensure that everyone has the ability to view it according to their schedules, and navigation so viewers can control the experience. He finds this raises the viewership and response rates.
“We decided to do some tracking,” Brian told me. “We found that there were many people who spent a lot of time watching it all the way through. It’s going to give us an idea of the impact of these presentations.”
Make Presentations Portable: Because KnowledgeVision presentations can be downloaded and viewed locally instead of online, they’re great for using in those places where WiFi is a bit spotty. This was a surprise that Brian was able to put to good use.
“Much of our field and sales organization travel throughout the world. In many of these countries, the internet connection may not be that great. I was surprised, pleasantly surprised, by the ability to download the KV presentation onto your hard drive or thumb drive– you can play this presentation anywhere, from your laptop, a desktop, even project the image onto a large screen.”
Support Your Audience: When getting started with KnowledgeVision, Brian found the client success team to be extremely helpful and responsive. This is a model for Waters as well, because their own teams provide a top notch level of support and services to their client organizations.
“The service organization at KV has been terrific. The training sessions that you’ve offered in-house have been great. Sue Murray, Matt, and Christian have provided me information almost as quickly as I have asked the questions. It’s that good.”
Plan For The Future: At Waters, using KnowledgeVision presentations for technical overviews and product launches is only the beginning. Brian has been planning for future expansion of KnowledgeVision presentations for the entire organization.
“The global service support organization saw the last product launch that I did. They thought it would be a good idea to use these in the future for some of the training of field service engineers,” Brian added. “You simply do a presentation, show them how you did it, and now everybody wants one. It’s that simple.”
In science, experimentation and analysis is critical to finding new ways to do things. This is true in content as well, whether an organization uses content for internal learning programs, like Waters, or content marketing and sales support.
Brian SanSouci is exploring the future of online presentations to add value to Waters’ products and services. View the entire interview here.
Originally published on the KnowledgeVision Fresh Ideas Blog.
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