Meet Michael Shane, the director of Microsoft Desktop and Soft Skills Training Company, Quasar. Quasar, a company based in the United Kingdom, specializes in delivering training on Microsoft applications and customer service to large organizations all over the world by providing courses where and when companies need them. Recently, however, they have changed the way they deliver information by adding video to their training services.
Traditionally, Quasar delivered all training initiatives through instructor-led sessions in its London, Manchester and Hertfordshire locations, or at a customer’s office. Since the economic downturn, Michael found his clients were cutting back their training budgets. To remain competitive, Quasar looked for a way to cut costs and offer flexible learning, which is where training videos came in.
By offering video options along with their in person training, Quasar was able to lower their quotes to clients for training sessions. Because Quasar trainers don’t have to travel and hold multiple sessions for large groups anymore, the total amount of a trainer’s time needed is drastically reduced, which drastically reduces Quasar’s quotes to clients.
“An organization that needs training for 1,000 employees would typically have to arrange 100 training sessions for groups of ten,” said Michael. “Each training session could cost upwards of £800 (roughly $1,200), making the total cost at least £80,000 (roughly $122,000). Digital training can be used as an alternative; the 1,000 employees would have access to our portal for a licence fee that could be up to 85 percent less.”
Quasar’s video training program, known as Quasar Anytime, now contains over 1,000 training videos. These videos can be combined in varying ways to create courses for users at both beginner and advanced skill levels. The videos cover a variety of software such as Windows and Microsoft Office.
“Let’s face it, no matter how thoughtfully written manuals are designed and presented, they leave the training session and ultimately have one path: desktop, top drawer or the trash,” said Michael. “Easily accessible, engaging video content is much more likely to be used by someone who might have forgotten a process originally taught in the formal session. They can simply search through the database and watch a video when they need a refresher. The videos can be especially useful for those who might be too embarrassed to ask for help.”
Michael and his team use Camtasia Studio from TechSmith to create various training videos. With this software, Michael can easily record everything on his computer screen, from applications in use, to PowerPoint presentations and web browsing to fully deliver his messages. These screencasts can also include voiceover and even webcam videos, so Michael and his employees can explain what is happening on screen. Using screencasting, Quasar has been able to record in-person training sessions in precise tutorials, without losing the quality of training provided by the trainer being present.
“We established Quasar Anytime to help fill the skills gaps in organizations,” said Michael. “Screencasts allow trainees to learn at their own pace whenever and wherever suits them, provided that they have Internet access. Screencasts are naturally visual, and allow you to communicate everything you would in a formal session, remotely.”
While Quasar now offers digital training, in-person training sessions are still available. If companies choose this method, attendees are offered access to Quasar’s digital bank of screencasts. This blended learning approach provides trainees with access to engaging learning materials whenever they need them. Whether a customer is looking to learn a new skill or simply needs a refresher, Quasar’s digital bank of screencasts has them covered.
To try free Microsoft video tutorials from Quasar, click here.