With an overwhelming need to stay connected and have information on the go, companies are putting Blackberries in the hands of their executives, sales force, mobile workforce, and even administrative staff. However, with little training and virtually no best practices in place, this leaves most users operating the device blindly and increases internal Help Desk calls to an already busy Help Desk staff. Recognizing the magnitude of this challenge, and its implications on productivity and performance, People-OnTheGo released the BlackBerry Training Suite available in virtual live workshops, Web self-paced classes, and onsite classroom training. This Training Suite is designed to help companies and users better leverage their investment and communicate more effectively using the BlackBerry device.
â€œUsers are only employing the absolute minimum of the deviceâ€™s capabilities, and spending too much time figuring it out. Companies are only achieving a small percentage of the promised ROIâ€ said Pierre Khawand, Founder and CEO of People-OnTheGo. In addition, the Help Desk staff are experiencing increased call volume, and in many cases regarding issues that are non-technical. While the Help Desk can help users with synchronization or setup problems, they may not be equipped to handle application and best practices issues. â€œIt is important to help users operate the device efficiently, and minimize the Help Desk support needed in the processâ€ said Mike Egbert, Help Desk manager at Metrocities Mortgage, who is considering to make the training required for all BlackBerry users.
â€œWhen we released the People-OnTheGo Blackberry virtual live workshops, they filled up immediately and we had a waiting listâ€, said Christy Meek, training coordinator at Wells Fargo. â€œUsers are hungry for some guidance on how to use the device and manage their data and workflow effectivelyâ€. â€œThe class was very valuable for me; it covered beginner and advanced functionality, and I learned about application switching, taking notes while on the phone, and many time saving shortcutsâ€ said Catie McIntire, one of the users who participated in the virtual live workshop.
In addition to the challenges mentioned above, there are others associated with the use of such handheld devices. â€œPeople who use handheld devices for email face a cultural challenge in that they can seem abruptâ€ said Julia Kennedy Tussing, Managing Director of Finance and Administration at the Stanford School of Medicine. These handheld users tend to write short e-mail messages, potentially omitting the friendly greeting, and therefore perceived as abrupt or even rude on the receiving end. E-mail being the playground for miscommunication requires careful attention to tone and content to avoid potential misinterpretations. This is harder to do when you are typing on a keyboard that is smaller than the palm of your hand. â€œUsers need to be reminded of the impact that these e-mails may have on othersâ€ adds Julia.
The People-OnTheGo classes are typically 90 minutes long, and are available as virtual live workshops through Web and audio conferencing, or Web self-paced classes, or onsite classes. Individual users can register and take the classes online at www.people-onthego.com. Corporate classes can be up to half a day and tailored to the companyâ€™s needs. The classes are scenario based; t. They mimic real-life situations and show real demonstrations of the device in action. The corporate classes address the issues of etiquette and best practices to help minimize the organizational and cultural challenges associated with mobile devices.