John Steidley says the smart phone has come of age as a prime tool for just-in-time training. His company, Intelligent Mobile Support
, is now trying to prove that vision.
Formed in June of 2009, the Solon-based, company launched its services this past August as a more efficient, less costly and more rapid way to channel information to sales personnel and other mobile workers.
"If you think about how training happened 25 years ago, we'd fly people in, give them a three-ring binder try to teach them everything we knew in three days," says Steidley, the company's CEO and founder. "Three days afterward, 90 percent of the information was gone, it had evaporated from their minds."
After receiving an iTouch for Christmas a couple of years ago, "it occurred to me that the mobile smart phone was the perfect training device," Steidley says. "It was portable, it was just in time, you could go anywhere , you could catch a couple of minutes of training while you were waiting to go somewhere. And that was the turning point in my mind."
Intelligent Mobile Support, which hosts any type of web-based training material, alerts those in the field to product or software updates, market conditions or competitor data, he says. For example, someone on a sales trip can access new PowerPoint slides while waiting in the airport. The service is synced up in such a way that users can move from phone, to laptop, to PC all while keeping their place using tags, or bookmarks.
Besides mobile personnel such as sales people, Steidley says "we've got a particular focus on the healthcare sector," specifically an application directed at the physical therapy segment that shows patients how to do their exercises, all while tracking the workout for the care giver – and comparing the plan with the actual execution.
The company has three full-time employees, but partners with Youngstown-based Empyra, which has an equity stake in the company and provides software development and hosting services.Source: John Steidley
Writer: Gene Monteith