by Gary Sabala
The following is a review of the Oracle Corporations use of multi-media training applications for training both internal Oracle employees and external Oracle customers. The goal of this paper is to both review some of Oracle's multi-media training applications and how multi-media can be used a value added training tool. The ability to find new mediums to effectively train new personnel is a never ending goal of many corporations, mainly due to the high cost associated with training. Another issue with training is the large task of bringing together employees who are in need of training, especially in widely dispersed organizations. The effective use of multi-media applications which can run on desktop computers has recently posed an interesting alternative to the traditional training class in corporate America.
The Oracle Corporation has been one of the industry leaders in the area of Information technology innovation and thus has sought to use this competency in developing new ideas in the area of the training of the numerous new hires which are continually entering the organization. One of the ways that Oracle has accomplished this goal is through the use of multi-media based training CD-ROM's. Oracle has developed and extensive library of internal training CD-ROM's which are used as a way to quickly give the employees the needed skill to successfully complete their jobs. This report will discuss one of these training CD-ROMS and outline the benefits and drawbacks of using this medium for training.
One of the CD-ROM applications that I was exposed to during my stay Oracle was the training application on the corporate structure of Oracle. The purpose of this application was to give new employees an overview of different business units within Oracle and what each of the business units were responsible for. Upon loading the CD a giant Oracle sign flashes across the screen followed by a icon based index of the various levels of the Oracle organization corporate structure. The four sections of the CD are Executive Board, Consulting Practice, Products Group, and Corporate Services. By clicking on the Executive Board icon, a new screen appears and all the pictures of the Executive Committee of Oracle appear on the screen. By clicking on the name of any of the names you can get a complete history of the person including past work experience, area of command, and favorite hobbies. The Icon of Larry Elison (the CEO) has a video clip attached to it which welcomes you to Oracle and give a short speech of why Oracle will be successful in the future. All pages of the CD-ROM have various function like a "go back one page" or "return to index" which keep you from getting lost within the application. The rest of the index icons will take you through a variety of levels which describe the various organizations and the variety of services that they offer. By viewing the CD, I was able to experience an interactive tour of the Oracle organization and how each of the different business units interacted to provide customers a complete product. I liked the fact that I was able to experience this type training from my own computer at a time that was convenient to my schedule. But even though the application was well put together, I thought that there were some room for improving the way they presented the information. One key element that I though needed improving was the need to provide the most up to date information. Because Oracle seems to be in a constant state of growth and re-organization, I found much of the information on the CD-ROM training application to be out of date with what the corporate structure currently looked liked. The CD-ROM was over a year old, and many organizational structural changes had taken place within that period. I also think that the CD-ROM should have included sources of addition information (i.e. employees and other application) which could be used as a source of more detailed information on the business units presented in the application. In many cases I found myself wanting additional information that was not included on the application (for what ever reason).
In conclusion, I thought the Oracle training CD-ROM's are an excellent use of the new multi-media applications which are become more popular as the power of desk top PC's increases. The use of movie clips, pictures, and multiple levels keeps the CD-ROM interesting and interactive. Oracle has used this internal training effort to test how employees would react to using CD-ROM application in the place of traditional training seminars. Because the cost of training can be dramatically reduced using the CD-ROM applications, the CD-ROM training applications can widen the scope of training that can be made available to Oracle's employees. Due to the success of these training CD-ROM's, Oracle is planning of developing additional CD-ROM's to assist customers in using Oracle products. Other titles of Oracle CD-ROM training library include:
These titles are only a small sample of the many multi-media based training
application that Oracle has developed.
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