ING Australia moves to online training

Web-based system allows online and offline viewing

Costly and inefficient paper-based training has been replaced with a Web-based portal that delivers video content at banking and financial services giant ING Australia.

ING Australia does quarterly releases of its e-business platform for some 10,000 financial advisers across Australia and needs to train them on a quarterly to keep them abreast of updates and changes.

This quarterly training was performed via "offline" methods including brochures and seminars with training managers on-site, according to ING Australia's sales and marketing group e-business manager, Stuart Magrath.

"We didn't get the cut-through we required and a lot of advisers found new functionality on the site anyway," Magrath said. "We needed an ongoing help system that is contextual and relevant."

An online system would also eliminate a lot of the waste associated with discarding quarterly brochures every three months.

After sending its requirements to its three Web development partners, one recommended Adobe's Connect, which was called Breeze before Adobe acquired Macromedia.

Magrath, who's role is to manage the delivery of online services to partners and customers, also wanted to be able to deploy the application in-house and not have to technical staff to use it.

ING is also using the Presenter module for Connect which integrates Microsoft PowerPoint, allows voiceovers, and can publish to Flash.

"Presenter was significantly less [cost] and the source files are PowerPoint so we didn't need a flash developer," Magrath said. "Other options were standard flash or an in-house tool for Flash creation. They would have done what we wanted but I was concerned about the upgrade path."

The testing and integration of the new software took two weeks which Magrath said was very rapid.

"There are some smart little things in the software, like being able to save it to a CD to do roadshows and conferences and business development people can use it without an Internet connection," he said.

Magrath estimates the cost of delivering the quarterly training is about 20 percent of what it previously was and the software has paid itself off in Six months.

The on-going costs are hosting and the software subscription fees.

ING Australia will now expand the use of Presenter for podcasts, and possibly to distribute a Flash version of its company newsletter.

"We use it to train our sales force as well, which are distributed around the country," Magrath said.

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