With jazzy interactive CD-ROMs that make employees actually want to go to class, IS new media is ready to put the snap back into training. CEO Steve Barook chats about creativity, training, and being contagious.
After years of standard job training methods, employees may go glassy-eyed when a new one is introduced. However, Philadelphia-based IS new media is ready to put the snap back into training, with jazzy interactive CD-ROMs that make employees actually want to go to class. CEO Steve Barook chats about creativity, training, and being contagious.
How did the company get started, and what do you provide?
Interactive Solutions new media Inc. started nine years ago as a small division of BGM Imaging Inc. We focused on marketing and communications tools primarily in CD-ROM. Over the past six years, we’ve specialized in electronic training and development. In 2000, we spun out from BGM and became our own entity. Our primary market is in the United States, but our production is done in Toronto. This provides a tremendous advantage as our access to a large pool of qualified creative talent is outstanding, and the lower Canadian dollar ensures we can offer our clients competitive pricing.
What got you personally interested in doing this work?
Prior to joining BGM, I had spent eight years at Apple Computer. The experience of being a technical trainer and systems engineer allowed me to gain a tremendous understanding of how people learn and how to utilize technology in that experience. This position allows me to work with creative people, which is a rewarding process, and it provides a constant challenge as we strive to overcome any business issues our clients are trying to overcome.
Why do you feel there’s a need for your services?
It seems that individuals in companies are being asked to do more and more with less and less. New ways of training and communicating have to be embraced. Our success derives from being able to take a customer’s content and place it into a context for the learner. This is more than simply taking raw content and dumping it into a Web page. What we strive to do is make the content memorable and fun to maximize retention.
What kinds of challenges do you see in your business?
To continue to grow and strengthen our presence in the American market. We will continue to open new locations over the coming years. Staying on the leading edge of technology is always a challenge. We are constantly researching and developing new methodologies that will aid our clients.
What have been some of your favorite projects?
I would have to say that one of my most favorite projects has to be the 11 CD-ROM training titles that we created for DuPont’s Legal group. We incorporated video-based case studies that we created, produced, and made totally interactive. This enabled the learners to relate to the subject matter. As a result of this first project we have now done work for nine other different business units.
Another project that I am very proud of was created for the advertising agency BBDO. We were asked to create their worldwide orientation program. We worked with the New York office and were given the mandate to create a training program that would energize new hires about BBDOs corporate culture, history and work ethic.
What do you like best about what you do?
I would have to say my position provides the perfect mix of creative and business challenge. I thoroughly enjoy working with our creative team to help overcome learning issues. However, my favorite thing to do is talk to new prospects about what we can do for them. I am very proud of the work we do and that enthusiasm tends to be contagious.
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