Webinar: Skills for Tomorrow’s L&D Leaders

Brandon Hall Webinar L&D

WEBINAR – Skills for Tomorrow’s L&D Leaders:

Curator, Digital Librarian, and more…

You are invited to join us July 26 at 10a PT / 1p ET for an exciting webinar led by David Wentworth, Principal Learning Analyst for Brandon Hall Group, and Becky Willis, Principal and Co-founder of WillLearn Consulting.  In this webinar, they will define how the landscape of learning and development is changing and the skills needed prepare for the future of learning

Moving to Digital Learning means bringing together all of the changes that we have made in the past decade and bringing learning to the employee in a way that they can absorb it.  This means that the roles of those of us in L&D and Sales Enablement are also changing.

Don’t miss the opportunity to discuss the skills you need to be an L&D leader. Click the button below to register for this no-cost event:

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AI Powered Knowledge-Cloud Platform that Drives Performance

Insights Success

Origionally posted at: http://www.insightssuccess.com/edcast-ai-powered-knowledge-cloud-platform-that-drives-performance/

EdCast: AI Powered Knowledge-Cloud Platform that Drives Performance

Humans are endowed with the most sophisticated, impeccable and unequaled tool by nature, The Brain. This natural computer needs to be fed constantly to make the rest of the auxiliary parts of the human body, purposeful. This is the tricky part, and this very feeding part has become even more complex with the advent of various digital resources.

Our mind has a conscience which is based upon the received knowledge. So, it is evident that all the decisions that we take are built upon the things we know. For various business houses, skill upgradations are essential to extract the right business value. Simply put, the right people should be able to figure out the right actions at the right moment.

There is a massive deluge of information and an equally desperate need to scavenge through this information at the earliest. Apart from this external content, each enterprise has content locked in their SME (Subject Matter Expert) minds, which is “tacit knowledge”. The $100 billion problem is that corporate employees spend 15% of their time in unproductive search. We could easily avoid this $100B loss by incorporating sophisticated technologies such as AI and ML. This is where EdCast comes in to the rescue by infusing AI and ML along with cloud and mobile to bring the right content to the right user through intelligent curation and routing. EdCast’s award-winning Knowledge Cloud uses artificial intelligence, machine learning, and analytics to weave together internal content, expert insights, and millions of external resources into an easy-to-use, distributed personalized knowledge discovery platform.

The Network for the Lifelong Learner

The Current Knowledge economy that we live in is no longer about developing a skill for the first 25 years of your life and then applying it to the rest of your life. Everyone should become a lifelong learner to adapt to the ever-changing scenarios of the industry.

The present culture is profoundly influenced by the popularity of the social media and people are dedicating a significant part of their activity on these social media platforms. EdCast taps into this behavior, but with the purpose of enriching their user’s life by giving them knowledge and a healthy learning experience.

The basic structure of EdCast has been built in accordance with the currently popular social media platforms so that people who are familiar with these platforms could easily relate themselves with EdCast. The familiarity begins with the feeds, where a user could post SmartBites and Pathways. These feeds are based on the channels the user subscribes to and it obviously pertains to their area of interest. The Pathways are a kind of a micro-learning course that is mostly curated by professional trainers and trusted authors. EdCast has also introduced Live Feed Feature. The SmartBites enables the user to share a web page or a video on their feeds.

Users can also download the EdCast App on their mobile phones to instantly post SmartBites on their feeds. The members of EdCast powered organizations can take both micro-content  and macro-courses and consequently receive credentials, badges and  certificates.

Today, EdCast’s solutions such as Learning Experience Platform (LXP) and SalesU (www.salesu.io) Suite of sales enablement tools are being used by more than 50 companies, including GE, HP, Dell EMC, Salesforce, Shire, and Accenture.

The Disruption to the Traditional Learning

With the track record of building large-scale transformational technology solutions, EdCast’s executive team is passionate about enhancing enterprise knowledge-sharing, training and learning experiences for organizations around the world.

In phase 1, EdCast is focused on solving the problem at large enterprises that include Fortune 500 or G2000. The wide exploitation of the digital world has generated a large amount of fragmented and disparate data that needs a unified discovery. This is exactly where EdCast is showcasing all its pioneering innovations. With a globally scaled customer base, the team at EdCast is scaling their capabilities to a whole new level.

The Man with the Heart for the Financial Nomads

Karl MehtaCEO and Founder of EdCast has donned many hats. He is a Serial Entrepreneur, Investor, Engineer, Author and a Civil Servant. He has over 20 years of experience in founding, building, and funding technology companies in the U.S. and International markets.

This Computer Science Engineer has a strong background in building large-scale platforms for the complex technical problem. Karl has leveraged the encouraging ecosystem in Silicon Valley and has taken more risks early on in his life to building companies from the ground up. As of today, all his companies enjoy several million dollars of exit value, which his investors, employees, and co-founders cherish. He is passionate about leveraging technology and entrepreneurship to make a difference to about 4 billion people. Karl is always obsessed with the idea of improving daily access to knowledge and learning that is personalized and drives performance for everyone. Karl firmly believes that the income gap we see in the world is a direct result of the skills gap and he wants to solve that problem and bring more economic equality through EdCast.

Karl Mehta was a Venture Partner at Menlo Ventures, where he focused on finding and funding interesting and world-changing companies. Karl has worked as a Presidential Innovation Fellow at the White House in its inaugural batch. During his short stint as a civil servant, he learned about different problems at national and global scale and was instrumental in devising solutions for the same. It was during this time that Karl was struck with the idea of the now popular “Code for India.” He had founded PlaySpan, a virtual currency based Wallet Company which VISA later acquired. Karl has penned down his experience at White House and his endeavors as an entrepreneur in his book titled “Financial Inclusion at the bottom of the Pyramid.” In this book, he has described how entrepreneurial skills can be extended to the less fortunate people in the world.

Spreading Knowledge for the Betterment of Mankind

If we glance back into the future, then it is evident that all the progress of humanity has stemmed from those unique unreasonable people who have customized the world as per their wish. And of course, today we call them entrepreneurs. Karl advises to be that unreasonable crackerjack, one needs to have confidence, courage, and conviction to challenge the status quo and propose innovation.

Everyone is in possession of certain kind of knowledge; knowledge which is supposed to be shared to help others. This is the very purpose behind the idea of EdCast. Karl is on a mission to enable all the competent around the world to give back to the world the knowledge that they have received and put it out without any inhibitions or reservations of any sort. By virtue of EdCast, many people are connected to each other who are all sharing their knowledge with each other. With EdCast, Karl, the entrepreneur, has proclaimed to the world that wealth is not just about money. It is about creating the wealth that helps to give back to the society. His ‘Code for India’, a non-profit organization in Silicon Valley, brought together a community of techies, both in India and around the world, to help in the development of India from a digital standpoint and hence aid in nation building. Since it complements the Digital India initiative, Karl has received all the backing from the Prime Minister of India when he attended the Hackathon session held in Silicon Valley, in association with Google.

Keeping Customer at the center of all activities

The core value of the EdCast team is to be customer focused. They solve a problem from the customer’s point of view and apply the most cutting-edge technology to come up continuously with better solution. Karl and his team have great respect for the engineering culture that has the enthusiasm and talent to solve the hardest problem. They partner with enterprises in building the problem statement and co-creating the use-cases and economic impact models. Their close collaboration with their clients goes all the way to deploying and implementing their knowledge.

Karl cites an interesting instance that showcases EdCast’s unmatched customer service. EdCast was invited by a Fortune 100 Pharma & Life Sciences company to solve their issue of personalized knowledge discovery. Karl and his team built integrations to over 10 internal systems including their SABA LMS, and also built a white list of over 500 sites externally that they should be tracking daily. They have also trained the SMEs of this pharma company to record their tact knowledge. These content pipes are now pushing content to EdCast’s own NLP that is calibrated with the taxonomy engine. This way EdCast can drive AI and ML driven personalization and unified mobile app and web app to provide a seamless user experience. EdCast is continuously  expanding its API framework to support more work apps. This way they could compress the distance between working and learning to nothing.

Giving EdCasters a reason to Rejoice

There is no doubt that EdCast has a great future ahead and it will transform the entire world by bringing daily lifelong learning in the palms of everyone. Although it seems like EdCast is just getting started, they are already on-board with the idea of implementing AR/VR to bring more knowledge and learning with immersive experience.

Webinar: Microlearning & MOOCs to Revolutionize Corporate Training

EdX Anant Agarwal

Micro to Massive:

How Enterprises are Using Microlearning & MOOCs to Revolutionize Corporate Training

You are invited to join us July 19 at 11a PT / 2p ET for an exciting webinar led by Anant Agarwal, Founder/CEO of EdX.  In this webinar, we will define MooCs and Microlearning and explore how these can apply to the future of your learning and development efforts.

A change in the global-scale job skills training model is looming ahead. EdX and EdCast are committed to providing an important parts of the solution, which are underutilized in the corporate workplace, Massive Open Online Course (MooCs) and Microlearning.

EdX has been revolutionizing online learning since founded in 2012 at Harvard University and MIT. EdCast is the leading developer of artificial intelligence and analytics to provide an easy-to-use, distributed personalized knowledge discovery platform. Together, the organizations are changing the way people learn and share information.

Specifically, this webinar will focus on:

  • How MOOCs fill the void in traditional corporate learning by reinventing knowledge management
  • What Universities have learned over the last four years and how that relates to corporate learning
  • How Microlearning is meeting learner’s demands and will stay at the center of future corporate knowledge acquisition

Don’t miss the opportunity to interact with leaders that are ushering in the future of corporate learning with big potential implications for your organization. Click the button below to register for this no-cost event:

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EdCast Acquires Content AI Start-up Sociative

EdCast Sociative

EdCast Acquires Content AI Start-up Sociative

Sociative’s hybrid human/machine content technology–driven by 15+ million social media influencers–to be integrated with industry-leading Knowledge Cloud

Mountain View, CA, June 20, 2017EdCast, the leading Knowledge Cloud platform for unified discovery and personalized learning, today announced the acquisition of Corte Madera-based Sociative, Inc. Founded in 2010, Sociative has developed highly focused content-discovery technology, using topical influencers, personalization and machine learning.  

Sociative founders Michael Tolson and Brad DeGraf, are pioneers in the development of algorithmic inference technology for making sense of the real-time Web. “We are thrilled about joining forces with EdCast, given its mission and innovative technology that has been embraced by leading Fortune 500 companies worldwide,” said Michael Tolson, Co-founder & CTO of Sociative, Inc. “We are looking forward to fully integrating our machine learning technology, which has gained so much traction across various applications.”

Sociative is EdCast’s second acquisition in the past 12 months, after EdCast acquired Seattle-based Sales University (SalesU.io) last June. EdCast’s AI-powered Knowledge Cloud is used by Fortune 500 companies that include GE, HPE, EMC, Accenture and many others.

“We are excited to welcome the Sociative team to EdCast to grow our AI and machine learning expertise,” said Karl Mehta, founder & CEO, EdCast, Inc. “The future of knowledge and learning is about deep personalization and contextualization, so that learning and working can become more fully integrated.”

Both Sociative founders have now joined EdCast’s management team. Michael Tolson is Vice President of AI, and Brad DeGraf is Vice President of Customer Engineering. Both will work closely with Michael Khait, EdCast’s Vice President of Engineering.

About EdCast

EdCast’s award-winning Knowledge Cloud uses artificial intelligence, machine learning and analytics to weave together internal content, expert insights, and millions of external resources into an easy-to-use, distributed personalized knowledge discovery platform. EdCast’s solutions, including its Learning Experience Platform (LXP) and SalesU suite of sales enablement tools, are now being used by more than 50 global companies, including GE, HPE, Dell EMC and Accenture. EdCast’s executive team has a track record of building large-scale transformational technology solutions and is passionate about enhancing enterprise knowledge-sharing, training and learning experiences for organizations around the world.

EdCast Contact

Philip Levinson, Vice President, Product Marketing
EdCast
+1-844-833-2278
PR@edcast.com

Webinar: 5 Stages to Stop the Sales Insanity

Sales Insanity Webinar

Stop the Sales Insanity:

How 5 Stages can Transform your Sales Force

In this webinar, Sales Enablement & Training expert Mike Kunkle will address a number of common sales challenges faced by companies across industries, including:

  1. How to decrease new hire ramp-up
  2. How to significantly improve sales force productivity
  3. How to consistently increase quota attainment
  4. How to increase pipeline size and boost pipeline velocity

Mike will do so by outlining the common traps that mid-to-large companies fall into and how they can break free with a straightforward 5-Stage Sales Learning System. The webinar will also address how mentoring, coaching, AI and machine learning are playing increasing roles in helping the most successful sales organizations meet their revenue goals.

This webinar will be hosted by SalesU, the sales productivity suite recently launched by EdCast, whose knowledge management solutions are now being used by 50+ companies, including GE, HPE, Dell EMC, Salesforce, Shire and Accenture.

Don’t miss the opportunity to interact with a sales enablement leader who is helping companies increase their sales productivity. Click the button below to register for this no-cost event:

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Bio:

Mike KunkleMike Kunkle is a respected sales transformation strategist & sales training / sales enablement expert.

He has spent 22 years as a corporate leader or consultant, helping companies drive dramatic revenue growth through best-in-class learning strategies and his proven-effective sales transformation methodologies. Today, Mike is leading Transforming Sales Results, LLC, consulting, writing, speaking, leading webinars, designing sales learning systems, and guiding clients through all aspects of their sales transformation.

 

 

Webinar: The Democratization of Knowledge and Learning

Charles Jennings Webinar

The Democratization of Knowledge and Learning

Join us June 20 at 11a PT / 2p ET for an exceptional webinar discussing how to create a high performance organization and how the Democratization of Knowledge will redefine how we share information in the workplace.

Charles Jennings, the Co-founder of the 70:20:10 Institute and a visionary in the corporate learning space, will join Karl Mehta, the Founder & CEO of EdCast, Founder of Code for India, and noted Silicon Valley entrepreneur, to provide incredibly valuable insights regarding the future of corporate learning, which will include these key topical points:

  • “What got us here won’t get us there” research by the Corporate Executive Board
  • The world of information abundance challenging existing learning practices
  • The 5 characteristics displayed by high performers
  • How to unlock internal knowledge
  • The benefits of the Democratization of Expertise

Don’t miss the opportunity to interact with two leaders in today’s knowledge and learning revolution. Click the button below to register for this no-cost event:

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Bio:

Charles Jennings picCharles Jennings is a leading thinker and practitioner the field of building high performance strategies and solutions. He has been working with the 70:20:10 model for more than 15 years and is known worldwide for his work in this area. Charles’ background includes roles as Chief Learning Officer for Reuters and Thomson Reuters, as an academic and business school professor, and as a member of advisory boards and steering groups for international learning, performance and business bodies around the world.

He is Co-founder of the 70:20:10 Institute and co-owner of Duntroon Consultants Ltd

 

Karl Mehta pic Karl Mehta is a serial entrepreneur, author, investor, engineer and civil servant with over 20 years of experience. He is currently Founder & CEO of EdCast , the revolutionary, AI-powered Knowledge Cloud solution driving high-performance teams in organizations of all sizes.

Previously, he was the Founder & CEO of PlaySpan Inc., acquired by Visa Inc. (NYSE:V). Karl also served as a White House Presidential Innovation Fellow, selected by the Obama Administration for its inaugural 2012-13 term. He was recently appointed by Governor Brown to the Workforce Investment Board of the State of California.

Karl is founder of several nonprofits including Code For India (http://CodeforINDIA.org) and Grassroots Innovation (http://grassrootsinnovation.org). He is author of “Financial Inclusion at the Bottom of the Pyramid” (http://www.openfininc.org).

Webinar: Why Your Sales Ramping is Way Too Slow

Sales Enablement Webinar 5

Why Your Sales Ramping is Way Too Slow — and How to Accelerate It

Join us on May 18 at 11a PT /2p ET (CLOSED – View Recording) for a unique sales enablement-focused Webinar featuring author Amy Slater, Founder and CEO of Amy Slater Consulting and former Vice President, Enterprise Corporate Sales for Salesforce.com. The Webinar will also include Protik Mukhopadhyay, Principal Partner at Standav, a leading Systems Integrator that delivers business and technology solutions focused on CRM, Quote-to-Cash and Sales Enablement. And the Webinar will be moderated by Philip Levinson, a Business Insider contributor and Vice President of Product Marketing at EdCast, which just launched SalesU, a sales ramping software suite.

We will discuss the typical traps that sales organizations fall into that lead to slower-than-expected ramping of their sales efforts. These challenges include:

  1. Initial and ongoing training of sales team members
  2. Asynchronous sales education processes
  3. Rapidly-changing market and product environments
  4. Diffuse and varying sales efforts involving communications, presenting and demonstrating on behalf of the company

We will also review tools and methods that companies are using to overcome these challenges along with specific, real-world examples.

Sales enablement is a key priority for us, and you may have seen our press release about the launch of EdCast’s SalesU yesterday.

To watch the recording of this webinar, click the button below:

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EdCast Launches SalesU for Faster Ramping of Sales Teams

Train Sales Teams SalesU

EdCast Launches SalesU for Faster Ramping of Sales Teams

 

The SalesU Productivity Suite Features Three Key Sales Acceleration Solutions Complementing EdCast’s Industry-leading Knowledge Cloud

 

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–EdCast, the award-winning knowledge management and learning platform, announces the launch of SalesU™, the most robust end-to-end sales ramp suite available to mid-to-large enterprises. EdCast’s SalesU allows enterprises to seamlessly train and coach their sales teams using its AI-powered SaaS platform.

The SalesU Suite includes three core SaaS solutions that help sales ramping in terms of both training newer sales reps and helping experienced reps learn new products, skills or target prospects’ details:

  1. AI-powered role-play and mentoring app for perfecting sales pitches and demos called EdCast Coach™
  2. Real-time contextual knowledge and information from both internal sources and external premium content providers (e.g., Bloomberg, Dow Jones, Hoovers, Crunchbase, Pitchbook, Mattermark) from a Salesforce AppExchange app called EdCast Insights™
  3. EdCast’s GuideMe™, an in-app guidance and training app for software, websites and online services that sales ops managers and administrators use to create personalized walkthroughs of companies’ customized instances of sales tools (e.g., Salesforce, Apptus, Steelbrick, Five9)

“We are thrilled that EdCast’s SalesU solutions have already been embraced by many of our large enterprise customers,” says EdCast CEO and founder, Karl Mehta. “Sales enablement is one of the most important aspects to our partners’ success, and we have designed our SalesU Suite to address these specific needs as both a complement to the EdCast Learning Experience platform and as a stand-alone offering to new customers.”

With current customers that include GE, HP, Accenture, Shire, Dell EMC and other Global 2000 companies, EdCast is already making its SalesU Suite available to these and other customers in addition to their current EdCast Knowledge Cloud solutions. In addition, new customers can also buy or test EdCast’s SalesU solutions via the SalesU.io website on a no-cost trial basis.

Mehta reiterates EdCast’s commitment to enterprise sales teams with his recent blog post, stating, “Making salespeople highly productive is absolutely mission critical.”

This notion is reinforced by industry experts.

“It is clear that companies across industries have a common need to quickly ramp their sales teams to accelerate sales cycles and to grow pipelines,” says Amy Slater, Founder and CEO of Amy Slater Consulting and former Vice President, Enterprise Corporate Sales for Salesforce.com. “EdCast has a great track record of success with its enterprise knowledge platform, and its SalesU Suite represents a new and innovative approach to address the challenges we consistently see in sales enablement.”

For more information, contact EdCast at SalesU@EdCast.com.

About EdCast

EdCast’s Knowledge Cloud uses artificial intelligence and analytics to weave together internal content, expert insights, and millions of external resources into an easy-to-use, personalized knowledge discovery platform. EdCast’s solutions are now being used by 50+ companies and organizations, including GE, HPE, Dell EMC, Salesforce, Shire and Accenture. The EdCast executive team has a track record of building large-scale transformational technology solutions and is passionate about enhancing enterprise knowledge-sharing and learning experiences for organizations around the world.

Leading the Sales Productivity Revolution with SalesU.io

Sales Productivity

Leading the Sales Productivity Revolution with SalesU.io

Why is EdCast launching a sales ramping platform today?

One of the most precious assets a company possesses is its salespeople’s time. Analyze your salespeople’s workday. If they are not spending at least 70% of their time interacting with prospects, then there is a significant probability that your organization will under-perform on its revenue forecast. As we know, your sales team drives the new revenue that helps pays the bills and company payroll. I often say to my company’s employees and companies I meet, “Imagine how all those innovative growth plans and wonderful employee perks will fare if revenue targets are not achieved.”

Since EdCast was founded, we have believed that  the learning curve is the earning curve. Some of the smartest thought leaders in learning, including Bersin by Deloitte’s Josh Bersin and Accenture’s Chief Learning & Talent Officer Rahul Varma have been quite articulate in explaining this learning equals performance/earning equation in depth at our Future Learning 2020 Summit last year.  

Over the past three years, we have been fortunate to work with some incredibly talented CLOs and Learning & Development (L&D) leaders as we rolled out and implemented our Knowledge Cloud platform at visionary and fast-growing companies. We have worked with various job families, roles, functions and departments with the quest to empower them with better performance via continuous learning. In this quest, we have discovered that although the correlation between learning and earning applies to all functions and to an organization as a whole, there is one function that stands out with the most urgent needs and largest push for mission-critical ROI: the sales team.

Needless to say, making salespeople highly productive is mission critical. Failure to do this can and will lead to catastrophe, regardless of the size of a company and the moat it has in the marketplace.

With this in mind, we have been inspired to solve this hard and important problem of making sales teams productive and making this “learning equals earning” equation work better. We think of the sales team ramping problem across three dimensions, and we are thrilled to make them the three core pillars of our new SalesU.io platform:

  1.     Contextual insights that reduce unproductive time by 30%: Sales teams are drowning in content but starving for precise knowledge and insights that can help them specifically close a deal faster. There is a deluge of collateral, playbooks and content both on the web and inside internal repositories, but why have salespeople waste time searching unproductively or using ineffective and outdated content? Based on our three years of work in perfecting our Knowledge Discovery Engine, we are excited about making content discoverable and pushed based on the context with each opportunity that a salesperson is chasing — and surfacing it right inside the CRM (Salesforce.com in our first release) with daily recent and curated insights.Sales teams can discover content they need much faster. In our experience, this capability helps cut down at least 30% of salespeople’s time and makes each interaction with prospects more meaningful, accelerating the sales cycle as a result.
  1.     Great coaches can make the difference between success and failure: Last year, I took my family to the Himalayas and Nepal to learn what it takes to summit the gorgeous Mount Everest. I learned that no books or reading was comparable in preparing us compared to getting actual real-time insights from a Sherpa. This is not a surprise because we know that behind every winning team, there is a great coach. We know successful leaders have great mentors. Marc Benioff, a great visionary and  compassionate leader in the tech-industry, discussed at TechCrunch Disrupt in 2013 how he would look up to Steve Jobs as his mentor and would go to him for advice.  In designing the EdCast Knowledge Cloud, one of the first features we had created was SME (Subject Matter Expert)-based learning. With SalesU.io we have built a mobile-first experience for salespeople to perfect their pitch through feedback from coaches and mentors. We are also leveraging some cool machine intelligence technology to act as coaches and provide feedback. We think great performers in sales are not born with all the  talent they need to succeed; we believe they work hard and are well-coached
  1.     Becoming a Ninja in Sales Tools:  We see salespeople struggle using at least several tools they are required to use at their company, including highly customized CRMs, Quote-to-Cash tools, etc. Just finding information from the tools and reports is becoming increasingly hard to do as these tools gets customized and configured. Last month, we had launched GuideMe.io as an in-app interactive guidance to train any person on any software or online solution in minutes. Every time a configuration changes, it is easy for administrators to create a walkthrough (guided tour) about it in few minutes, and save the frustration and unproductive time of salespeople. GuideMe.io is part of the SalesU package to provide on-demand and real-time in-app training to ramp new and existing sales teams faster.

SalesU EdCastAlthough we spent a huge amount of time with the best talent in Silicon Valley building this solution for sales teams, we have a beginner’s mindset, and we look forward to learning from sales leaders and sales enablement experts and their feedback, so we can iterate rapidly. With the launch of SalesU.io today , our goal is to both enhance and accelerate improvements in  productivity that will have meaningful impacts on companies’ profits. Please test SalesU today — and let us know your thoughts at km@edcast.com

Killer Apps for AR/VR: Interview with Karl Mehta

AR VR Apps

Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) get a lot of attention when it comes to pure entertainment — but this reflects just a fraction of the power of AR/VR video. According to Karl Mehta, CEO of video education platform EdCast, more useful applications for enterprise and consumer markets alike are truly revolutionizing the AR/VR video space.

Telco Transformation recently sat down with Mehta for a Q&A about demand for and trends in AR/VR video. The Q&A has been lightly edited for length and clarity.

Telco Transformation: Where are you seeing the greatest demand right now in terms of your customers and how they want to use more advanced video solutions like AR/VR?

Karl Mehta: The demand is really mainly in the private sector. There is consumer demand, but I think it’s still more in the early stage; consumers are [saying], “It’s nice, fancy new stuff,” but there are not that many applications that are targeted yet for consumers in a lot of this VR, AR or 3D video space. But in the enterprise space… field operations are getting revolutionized. (See AREA’s Sage Advises Augmented Reality and Defining Productive Video.)

Think of a company like a cable company, and they have 10,000 people in the field installing routers getting you Internet to your home or to your big commercial building. If you’re running that operation, how do you train those 10,000 people on a continuous basis? Because [as] a new router comes in, new complaints come in. So you could, rather than bringing people [and] flying them in to one location, you could now have a video-based app or a virtual reality-based app where right on their phone they can see what is the way to install, implement and configure a router.

You can immediately see ROI because you can see the cost savings [comparing] a traditional way of trying to learn something [versus] now using video and VR.

TT: You mentioned the difficulty in the AR/VR consumer market. Do you see a possible solution — or at least a process to finding that solution — to figure out how this is going to work for consumers and how they are going to want it, etc.?

KM: The fundamental thing that every great technology needs is a killer app. I think AR/VR still needs to find its killer app in the consumer. I mentioned the killer app in the enterprise sector is anything to do with field operations, because field operations is “people who are not in the building.” It’s not in your office. They are outside in the field. Think about oil and gas. There are people who are out on the rigs in the ocean — and how do you train them? How do you replicate situations which will be so expensive to replicate inside in an office or in a lab? So I think field operations is a killer app.

On the consumer side, gaming is where you’re seeing pretty much all the investments and funding going from the VR companies. Pretty much all VR and AR companies right now are focused on games or entertainment. There is education going on, but very little, because there isn’t enough funding available for that.

TT: Do you see a role for this advanced video definition, 3D video, AR/VR, and that sort of thing in helping along what we’re talking about?

KM: Absolutely. I think the killer app for AR/VR and 3D videos is a model in education. I mean, yes, there are other applications like health and military and all of those, but fundamentally, even within each one of those verticals, the fundamental is education. How do you train military personnel? How do you train healthcare professionals? And we’re already seeing tremendous use of virtual reality now in a lot of situations where you just cannot replicate that in a lab; you’re teaching someone chemistry and you may not have all of the equipment, but you can actually create it in virtual reality.

I just built a virtual reality app for an automobile company who trained the mechanics across all of their dealerships about how to change the brake pads [in] a new-model car. In the old format, you would have to write so many instruction manuals — and still, some mechanics would install the brake pads the wrong way. But now, you can just go into 3D virtual reality — and you know exactly where to go in and pull out which screws, and how to pull out the old brake pads, and how to put in the new one. (See How VR Helped Land Rover Raise the Roof.)

I mean, I did it in like ten minutes, and I felt like I’m a pro. I’m nowhere close to being a good automobile mechanic to do anything hands on, but that’s the power of virtual reality.

— Joe Stanganelli, Contributing Writer, Telco Transformation