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Canon U.S.A. Know How Learning Zone Delivers Online Sales Training to Thousands of Sales Reps

7 Aug, 2002

Canon U.S.A. Know How Learning Zone Delivers Online Sales Training to Thousands of Sales Reps

How do you educate more than 8,000 sales representatives about the digital imaging market and an ever-growing product line? Since cloning or, more appropriate for this market, making multiple copies of sales instructors is not an option, a new e-learning strategy designed by Canon U.S.A. was created to help the sales force sell more digital copiers and printers, networked office systems and graphics systems.

The "Canon Know How Learning Zone" combines advanced low bandwith delivery technology with rich media capabilities over the Internet. With the click of a button, this centralized online training source delivers to thousands of sales representatives, whenever they want and wherever they are, a unique package of instruction that contains product knowledge, tech background and the tools required to help increase sales.

Convenient to access and easy to use, the "Canon Know How Learning Zone" provides a detailed learning experience regardless of knowledge level or location. Since most participants access training with portable computers that require dial-up modems, Canon challenged the instructional design and technology teams to provide a robust learning experience even at 28.8kbps. The user can create personalized and detailed learning plans. An important feature for sales reps who need information quickly is voice with animation over IP without download wait time.

As the entrance portal into a world of robust learning opportunities, the "Canon Know How Learning Zone" blends online instruction with classroom courses. The online curriculum covers a variety of generic technology such as copy process, color theory and Canon-specific product modules for the complete line of Canon office machines. The company's sales training group complements web training with instructor-led courses aimed to deliver more ambitious objectives that quickly increase knowledge level. New classes  are regularly added to the course catalog.

When Canon's Imaging Systems Group entered the digital imaging market and expanded distribution channels, the company's 20 field instructors could not keep pace with training demand. To continuously provide quality information to the vast number of sales reps across more than 13 sales channels, Canon concluded that thorough retooling would require web-based solutions.

Canon selected a fulfillment-centric strategy that requires providers that ordinarily compete with each other to work together to support Canon's business and learning goals. Canon chose INTELLINEX as its main e-learning solutions provider and asked INTELLINEX to work with other key vendors to create a supply side synergy. By combining the INTELLINEX business solutions approach, e-learning technology suite and content development services with streaming and download technologies from other providers, Canon has grabbed the lead in providing its business equipment sales force with comprehensive web based training at low to medium bandwidth.

Mr. Bardwell offered his own lessons for companies considering a similar online learning tool:

  • Understand the implications on the organization by placing the e-learning implementation within human resources, IT, marketing or sales training.

  • Understand your audience profile, web based training for systems engineers is designed differently than for sales people.

  • Learn first by analyzing successful/unsuccessful e-learning projects.

  • If your team does not have the technological expertise, hire fulltime or contract support.

  • Insist that suppliers work together to support your efforts.

  • Ensure upper management/key stakeholders understand the need for documentation of the requirements.

  • Leverage expertise elsewhere within your company.

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