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Thank You From the Blatant^ Mo Bros and Mo Sista

November 30, 2012 Leave a comment

Many if not all of the Blatant Media Mo Bros will tomorrow be shaving off their facial hair. Mo Sista Danielle Roberts will, sadly, be peeling off her moustache. On behalf of everyone on the Blatant^ Movember team, thank you very much for your generosity.

Special thanks as well go to our Team Captain, Michael Ferster. Creating a Blatant^ Movember team was Michael’s idea. Also, in an effort to restore some grooming decency in the office, Blatant^ matched all donations,  bringing our total so far to $3475. (It’s not too late to make a donation.)

As promised, here are the before and after photos:

Al Kinnear Al Kinnear
Al Kinnear
Bryan Harrigan Bryan Harrigan
Bryan Harrigan
Danielle Roberts Danielle Roberts
Danielle Roberts
Don Landry Don Landry
Don Landry
Ethan Millard Ethan Millard
Ethan Millard
Michael Ferster Michael Ferster
Michael Ferster (Team Captain)
Monte Rattray Monte Rattray
Monte Rattray
Richard Nantel Richard Nantel
Richard Nantel
Troyden Fissell Troyden Fissell
Troyden Fissell

Meet the Blatant Mo Bros (and One Mo Sista)

November 9, 2012 2 comments

It’s the time of the year when Gillette, Schick, and other producers  of men’s razors likely experience a drop in revenue. In November, men throughout the world reduce or abandon altogether their shaving to raise awareness and money for men’s health issues, specifically prostate cancer and male mental health initiatives.

In support of this worthy cause, Blatant Media has formed a Movember team.

“Since its humble beginnings in Melbourne Australia, Movember has grown to become a truly global movement inspiring more than 1.9 Million Mo Bros and Mo Sistas to participate.”

In less than ten years, this important initiative has raised more than $850,000 million.

We’re now in the second week of November so all of us—with the exception of Mo Sista Danielle Roberts—are at the stage where our faces could be used to scour dirty pots and pans. Animals and small children run away when we enter a room. Needless to say, no one dares kiss us.

In three weeks, we all, (with the exception of Danielle), hope to resemble Brad Pitt and Johnny Depp . You’ll be the judges. We’ll be posting before and after photos of team members at the end of the month.

Until then, we hope you’ll support this great cause. Donations can be made here: http://ca.movember.com/team/536633/

Movember stats:

Movember stats

Blatant Media Named One of TrainingIndustry.com’s Top 20 Learning Portal Companies for 2012

August 30, 2012 Leave a comment

We’re thrilled to announce that for a third year in a row, we’ve been named one of TrainingIndustry.com’s Top 20 Learning Portal Companies. Selection of this year’s winners was based on the following criteria:

  • Breadth of functionality and capabilities
  • Commitment to the corporate training market
  • Industry visibility, innovation and impact
  • Number and strength of clients
  • Geographic reach

Training industry.com’s leadership describes the companies named to this list as follows:

“Our Top 20 Learning Portal Companies list represents the pioneers of technologies companies in the industry. These innovative companies integrate an array of technologies into their portals and serve multiple industries.” said Ken Taylor, Chief Operating Officer of Training Industry, Inc.

“These companies offer a variety of learning portal services and present various levels of customization for their clients. There is also a strong focus on improving the ease of use through simple, innovative platforms and interfaces” said Doug Harward, Chief Executive Officer of Training Industry, Inc.

Our full list of awards and accolades is located here.

At Last, a “Blatant Media” Google Alert Worth Reading

May 18, 2012 1 comment

Most of the Google Alerts I receive for the words “Blatant Media” are for Blog posts by enraged political activists who feel that there’s a conspiracy by the media to defame their preferred candidate. These posts can be entertaining at first (lots of exclamation points) but after a while, they become repetitive and predictable.

So-and-so was a shoe-in to become school commissioner until BLATANT MEDIA BIAS ruined her chances by printing the article about her dog killing a neighbour’s cat yada yada yada.

So, you can imagine my excitement when this week, Google alerted me to this Metro News article about the Blatant Media games room located in our new offices in the Inglewood area of Calgary.

Metro News: Calgary company’s $20K gaming room aims to bond employees

Audio Interview with Blatant Media Co-Founder, Mike Eggermont

February 10, 2012 Leave a comment

Craig Weiss, CEO of E-Learning 24/7, a consulting firm in the e-learning industry, recently interviewed Blatant Media Co-Founder and Partner, Mike Eggermont. The interview is part of a series called E-Learning One On One.

Craig and Mike discuss:

  • eBooks and E-Learning
  • Learning games
  • Using devices such as game consoles for learning
  • 3D content
  • Learning management system selection
  • Emerging technology and E-Learning

You can access the interview here.

Categories: Uncategorized

PRESS RELEASE: Blatant Media Launches `The Learning Management Pain Clinic’

February 8, 2012 2 comments

 Pain Relief photo (Some rights reserved by o5com)CALGARY, ALBERTA– (Feb 8, 2012) – Blatant Media Corporation, creator of the award-winning learning management system, Absorb LMS, is happy to launch a new Webinar series titled “Learning Management Pain Clinic.” These monthly online events are designed to help organizations make workplace learning more efficient; from registration of new learners to certification, and beyond.

“Our ‘no pain, no gain’ mentality makes us believe that we need to sweat through everything in life, including the management of workplace training. That’s crazy!” said Mike Owens, Co-Founder and President at Blatant Media.

Registration is presently open for the first two events:

How to Automate the Administration of Learning Within Your Organization

How to Manage Large Scale Learning Initiatives Painlessly

Future events will be listed on the Absorb LMS Web site (www.absorblms.com) as well as the Absorb LMS blog (absorblms.wordpress.com,) and Twitter feed (@AbsorbLMS).

According to Mike Owens, “Enabling learning in others shouldn’t be painful. It should be rewarding and fun. Let’s leave the suffering for the gym.”

About Blatant Media

The creator of Absorb LMS and Absorb SMARTLAB, Blatant Media Corporation is an e-learning company that leverages the power of technology to improve learning for clients throughout the world. Blatant Media was named one of the Top 20 Learning Portal Companies in 2010 and 2011 by TrainingIndustry.com.

About Absorb LMS

Absorb LMS is an award-winning learning management system; having captured five Brandon Hall Excellence Awards since 2010. More than 600,000 learners in 300+ organizations throughout the world use Absorb LMS as their learning environment. Clients include Adobe Software Systems, American Medical Systems , Dannon, New York University, Oakley, Rolls Royce, Virgin Mobile Canada, the United States Anti-Doping Association and many others.

Blatant Media is headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. www.absorblms.com, (403) 520-2595.

Media Contact

Richard Nantel
VP, Enterprise Learning Solutions
Absorb LMS | blatant media
(403) 277-4856
Richard.Nantel AT AbsorbLMS DOT com

Welcome to our Newest Absorb LMS Customers

February 2, 2012 Leave a comment

Photo by: Rameshng

We’re thrilled to continue adding new customers across all industries. Here are a few of the organizations who have recently selected Absorb LMS as their learning platform:

Bomgar — “Bomgar replaces 1st generation remote control support tools with a solution specifically designed for the needs of security-conscience support organizations. Bomgar enables IT support representatives to remotely access, diagnose, control and fix attended and unattended computers and mobile devices. Bomgar allows enterprises to remotely support any device – from anywhere at any time.”

Centre for Paramedic Education and Research – Hamilton Health Sciences — “The Centre for Paramedic Education and Research provides Medical Direction, delegation, leadership, and counsel on pre-hospital emergency health care. CPER strives for excellence in pre-hospital care facilitated through education, continuous quality improvement, and research.”

Foley & Lardner LLP — “With offices throughout the United States and across the globe, Foley combines powerful resources and award-winning client service to help you achieve your business objectives — efficiently and cost-effectively. We draw on the legal knowledge and hands-on industry experience of attorneys in more than 60 practice areas to provide the full spectrum of legal services — any of which can be tailored to meet your unique challenges.”

Inmarsat Global — “Inmarsat has been at the forefront of mobile satellite services for more than 32 years and is the leading provider of global voice, data and IP communications solutions. Inmarsat owns and operates a fleet of 11 satellites providing seamless mobile voice and data communications around the world, enabling users to make phone calls or connect to the internet – whenever and wherever they need – on land, at sea or in the air.”

PROPHIX — “Prophix is a leading developer of solutions designed to automate financial processes including budgeting, planning, reporting, analysis, and performance management for the mid-market. Thousands of finance leaders around the world use Prophix to empower their organization and gain greater insight into business performance. Prophix and its partners deliver the best value by combining high end functionality, low total cost of ownership, and the fastest implementations in its class.”

SOLiD Technologies — “The evolving nature of wireless services, technologies and opportunities is exactly why we’ve designed each and every SOLiD Technologies solution with the inherent ability to adapt. Our solutions are as flexible as they are scalable and as powerful as they are simple. This modularity is in sync with our customers’ need to react to diverse environments and growing challenges. SOLiD’s technology provides an easy-to-scale, fiber-based distributed solution for all of your indoor and outdoor applications.”

Using an LMS for Highly Effective Retail Training: Part Two

January 9, 2012 Leave a comment

My last entry provided a setup scenario for using an LMS in retail. I’d like to now get into some practical examples of how you can use an LMS effectively to solve some of the common training challenges faced by retailers.

 

Here are five common training challenges faced by retailers, and some examples of how using an LMS can address those challenges:

 

1. SCALE: We all know that employee turnover in retail is extremely high. This means that there are ALWAYS new hires in need of training. Getting many people trained quickly, so that they can start being effective in a short period of time will have a major, positive, business impact. Obviously, not doing this effectively will have a major, negative business impact; you just may not see it this way if this is your status quo.

 

A good LMS can be used to automate a lot of your learning processes. For example, we typically integrate the Absorb LMS with our client’s HRIS (Human Resource Information Systems) in order to automatically create LMS Learner accounts.  Using the automation available in our LMS, new hires can be automatically notified of their LMS login credentials, sent to the correct branded area of the LMS, put into the proper department for reporting and approvals, enrolled in courses, course bundles, curricula and assessments and provided access to resources specific to their job, department and/or location.  In short, once you create a new employee record in your HR system, the LMS can completely handle initiating the training process and even sending reminders to the learner and their manager to complete required training.  In terms of scalability, this can be automated for dozens of new employees per week or thousands. Can you imagine manually on-boarding 1,000 new users into your learning program in time for the Christmas rush?

 

2. TIME TO MARKET:  Depending on the nature of your business you may be introducing new products on a weekly basis. Let’s take mobile phone retailers as an example. The technology is constantly evolving and new devices with new features and operating system updates are coming out all the time. How can you possibly hope to have your staff stay on top of the latest products?

 

Some of our smartest clients have rediscovered the power of video-based training. What they’ve effectively done is cut out the middle-man (e-learning designer) so to speak. By having product or category managers discuss new product features in short (3 to 8 minute) videos, they are able to get effective training content into the LMS and out to Learners in a matter of hours, not days or even weeks. As a best practice, these videos are presented as short courses which require the learner to complete a quick quiz in order to complete the course. In some cases, (using our SMARTLAB LMS), the Learners also receive points for completing training. These points can be used as incentives in a number of ways, e.g.  to qualify for contests or to be redeemed for merchandise or product discounts. The added benefit of delivering short video-based courses is that the Learners start to recognize the product or category managers and may start to build a connection with the individual as well as the brand. This idea of brand immersion in an LMS could be a topic for a short book so I’ll stop there and let you use your imagination.

 

3. BUDGET: Even if we have a firm grip on what it would take to stay on top of these challenges, we simply may not have the money to implement our ideal plans.

 

Once you’ve got your LMS in place (presumably, having built a business case and proven out a great ROI) you will still have your ongoing challenges with training budgets. Doing more with less ($) can be frustrating at best.  Using the video example above, you can utilize any number of under $200 HD video cameras to create great looking training videos. You don’t even need an authoring tool. Just shoot, edit (using free or inexpensive editing software) and upload into the LMS as an online course. Adding a quiz at the end as a knowledge test will ensure that they’ve watched and understood the content.  In our Absorb LMS you can follow this process to create a quick and effective course without an authoring tool, by simply uploading and sequencing one or more short videos, adding a quiz and including some downloadable resources (such as product brochures or sales sheets).

 

4. AUDIENCE SEGMENTATION: While you will have general on-boarding training that all retail employees must take, your employees are probably specialized to some degree. Targeting and segmenting training content can be a formidable challenge.

 

Your LMS should allow you to assign courses based on any aspect of the Learner’s account or profile such as their job title, department, location. Our customers use our Absorb LMS enrolment filters to enable self-enrolment and/or automated enrolment of training based on these common filters as well as adding custom fields to the profile through the Absorb Survey tool.  By renaming custom fields and populating them through surveys you can build rich and powerful Learner profiles that go beyond the information pulled in from the HRIS. For example, our client Oakley engages learners by capturing who their favourite Oakley sponsored athletes are and then pushing out news and twitter feeds from those athletes, targeted only to those Learners who have an expressed interested in that athlete (another great SMARTLAB feature). The bottom line is, you can really only enable product specialization if you have a way to target content at the right people.  Simply creating a wide variety of courses and making them available via self-enrolment is often not effective.

 

5. MEASURING THE ROI OF TRAINING: We all want to do this but it’s nearly impossible without having accurate training data that can be tracked and correlated with store performance (sales) data.

 

Over time, you will have built up a meaningful amount of historical training and sales performance data. Typically, this will come from two systems, the LMS (training data) and your Financial system (sales data). If you’ve set up your LMS with measuring ROI as one of your end goals, then you should already be tracking things like, total training by course, by learner, by product, by location and by department as well as training costs per course and per learner. With good financial data, you should be able to then correlate training on a specific product at a specific store (or even a specific team of employees) with sales data for the following 3 to 6 months (for example). If you do this properly, you will be able to identify which training content/activities are having an impact on sales. Of equal importance is that you will be able to see which activities are having little to no (or even negative) impact. Not only will you be measuring the impact of your training investment but you will also be able to continuously enhance your programs each quarter or fiscal year. Who knows, you may finally be in a position to confidently request a budget increase!

 

As I said in Part One of this post, retail is a complex science (with a bit of art thrown in from time to time) and I have tried to keep this practical and specific. I do hope that I’ve generated at least one or two ideas for you to explore further.

Please contact us if you want to discuss any of these ideas. We’d love to hear from you!

 

 

 

 

Categories: Uncategorized

When SaaS gets Sassy (Part Two)

November 7, 2011 Leave a comment

Dan Medakovic, VP Learning Solutions

When SaaS Gets Sassy (Part Two): The Rise of “Mass Customization” in the LMS World.

or

Would You Like Fries With That? – Enterprise Software Goes Down Market

The introduction of Software as a Service (SaaS) was a benefit to all types of organizations, but especially to small and medium businesses (SMB) who could now afford enterprise type software such as Learning Management Systems. SaaS is still the most popular way for companies to acquire software. It is affordable, typically requires little-to-no support from an I.T. department and can usually be implemented in a short period of time.

What’s not to like?

Well, in our experience, there are still many organizations that do not want to compromise their “brand experience”. Especially where interacting with external users (retail employees, agents, distributors, field reps or customers) are concerned. Some of these companies have invested millions in building a brand and they are very serious about having their brand’s qualities reflected in everything that they do. For them, the ability to upload a logo and select a colour scheme for their LMS user interface will simply not do. They still want all the savings and time-to-market benefits of a SaaS LMS, but only if it can be purchased with the deep brand immersion elements of a custom portal or website.

The following illustration shows how far we’ve come and where, I believe, we are headed.

SMARTLAB to the Rescue!

Blatant Media has responded to this need by creating a highly customizable interface which leverages the power and cross-platform capabilities of HMTL5 and the benefits of using web parts which can be customized (size, placement, colour, text, etc.) that pull data from our award-winning off the shelf Absorb LMS platform. We call this product SMARTLAB and it is currently being deployed by several of our clients and is generating tremendous interest in the market. In addition to reflecting and extending your company’s “personality”, SMARTLAB is also in a category of its own. SMARTLAB provides a complete set of “learner engagement” features which allow you to easily create and target informal learning content such as News, FAQs, Polls and Contests right alongside your formal training offerings (videos, quizzes, SCORM courses). The best part? It looks nothing like an LMS! :- )

The use of our Absorb LMS on the back-end and web parts on the front-end means that a company can have all the benefits of a highly customized system, at a fraction of the cost and in a fraction of the time.

Sound interesting? Why not attend our upcoming webinar to learn more or contact us for a personal demo.

Connection Point MVS Selects Absorb LMS

October 12, 2011 Leave a comment

We’re pleased to welcome Connexion Point MVS to the Absorb LMS user community.

Connexion Point MVS is an industry leading service provider for a wide range of storage and network infrastructure. They are experts in installing and maintaining data storage on the desktop, in the data centre, and in the cloud. The company is based in the UK and has operations in North America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia.

You can find out more about Connexion Point on the company’s Web site: www.connexionpoint.com

On behalf of everyone at Absorb, welcome!