IPod as Business Training Tool?
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iPods in the workplace? Short of those who work in the entertainment industry, it's hard to imagine Apple's music and video player being on any IT manager's purchasing list, or an approved expense by a department manager.
But the hot-selling consumer device might start making business inroads if today's announcement by Trinity Workplace Learning is a sign of things to come.
Trinity said it will deliver training and education content on the iPod, as well as new services. The Dallas-based business-to-business provider of educational materials said it will also make services available for content providers to facilitate enabling their audio and video-based content to play on the iPod and other personal digital players.
The addition of iPod as a delivery mechanism is a natural extension of Trinity's product line, according to Mark Vevera, vice president of marketing and product management at the company. "It allows us to make on-demand personal player-based training an option to our more than 2 million end-users and further extends the reach for our library of digital training and education in the workplace," he said.
Vevera told internetnews.com that the first courses aren't likely to appear until the second quarter of 2006. The company specializes in industrial, security and health care-related video training. While its material is typically 15 to 30 minutes long, the company is considering shorter modules for iPod's small screen.
"I've been surprised there hasn't been more learning material out there for PDAs and media players," said Tim Bajarin, analyst with Creative Strategies. "You think of a product like the iPod as a digital entertainment Device, but it's also a great time-killer product for when you're standing in line at the DMV, the bank and so forth. Learning and mobile education is a nice fit there, it doesn't have to all be about entertainment."
Trinity typically offers customers an on-demand subscription service. For the iPod, Vevera said Trinity is considering a plan where it would offer companies a packaged solution, selling them a quantity of iPods and subscriptions to specific learning modules.
"We can, for example, offer a professional security officer a series of skills updates," said Vevera. "The other market is a lot of our customers already have iPods, so we can sell directly to them."