Friday, June 11, 2010

Growth Accelerates CellCast Solution Innovations

We're pleased to report the adoption and use of mobile learning by enterprise customers has been accelerating throughout first half of 2010 -- yeah!!; And as with any measurable change in market direction, this new-found momentum comes with advantages and challenges alike. The bigger the customer and/or engagement, the more revenue that deal can contribute and the easier it is for us to expand operations and assemble an even stronger team. But the bigger the enterprise, the more apt these customers are to want (even demand) more sophisticated features and service offerings to ensure their mobile initiatives are scalable, secure and standards-based. 

As a result, our design and development teams have spent the first half of the year improving our core applications, device experiences and the underlying platform our customer and partners need to make mobile learning a reality for their own employees and customers. And somehow we've completed three years worth of effort in a six month time frame (once again!) to stay ahead of current demands and stated requirements. The tangible results are myriad and amazing. A high level summary of what comprises makes our CellCast Solution version 3.x offering would include:
  • Improved Delivery Methods
  • Advanced Mobile + Social Features
  • Highly Scalable Architecture
  • New Content Authoring Capabilities (incl Flash)
  • Support for Learning Standards (SCORM)
  • Enhanced Enterprise Security Features
  • Expanded Localization/Language Support
In the days leading up to the mLearnCon Conference in San Diego, California (held mid-June 2010) and the weeks to follow, we plan to provide more detailed background and previews on each of these advances and highlight why we're proud and our customers/partners are happy with all these positive results. For now, here's a short summary of what our blog follows can look forward to learning about in future posts.

Improved Delivery Methods. One of the true value propositions of the CellCast Solution platform is the broad reach achieved from basic feature phones on one extreme to advanced smartphone devices on the other. CellCast can deliver 18 different kinds of mobile learning content ensuring there are reliable and cost effective ways to reach virtually everyone in an organization's extended ecosystem in one way or another (likely several) from just one integrated platform. Authors use "write once/publish to many" methods and tools to create content for delivery via text messaging, voice, mobile web or native app, and can leverage support for every major mobile device used in business.  Our next blog post will highlight some of the new CellCast Widget improvements and devices we now support.

Advanced Mobile + Social Features. Not doubt about it, social content and informal learning are playing a larger role in enterprise education and the blended learning experience. To assist customers wishing to leverage these market trends, CellCast now provides an array of both Social Media ("SoMe") and Social Networking ("SoNe") features that promote the creation and distribution of user-generated content as well as providing AND MANAGING access to internal/private social networks (e.g., blogs/microblogs/wikis) and external/public social networks and feeds the establishment of managed private networks (e.g., Twitter, Yammer, Jive, RSS feeds).  Access is permission-based and easily controlled/monitored as well as measurable to ensure proper use and conduct using company-owned devices and personnel respectively.

Highly Scalable Architecture. Mobile learning pilots may may only span a limited audience but enterprise deployments can likely expand to thousands, tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of mobile learners. Our updated CellCast Solution platform now scales to meet these ever-increasing demands using the industry's most efficient methods for content compression, distribution and synchronization.

New Authoring Capabilities & Functionality.  It seems that every engagement we undertake includes 80% "situations we've seen and mastered" and the other 20% seems to be the "here's something that's never been attempted before - can you do it?" sort of situation. As such, our customers and partners have helped to continue to push the envelope in the ways and means that mobile learning content is designed and delivered.  Recent experiences with HTML5, branching logic in PowerPoints, Flash-based mobile content (today only on Froyo-based Android and newer Windows Mobile devices), even conversions of desktop bound content created in tools like Articulate Presenter/Engage/Quizmaker, Adobe Captivate and Dreamweaver and Trivantis Lectora Publisher have helped shape the way we deal with new and existing content and make it as mobile friendly as possible.   

Support for Learning Standards (SCORM). The bigger the customer/engagement, the more sensitive they are about support for training industry standards too. Take SCORM for example; what we thought impractical a few recent months has now proven to be both possible and even compelling!  Our new CellCast Widgets now provide full SCO-level tracking and reporting for SCORM v1.2 and 2004 content packages played on mobile devices in BOTH online AND offline modes using our new CellCast mSCORM Player.  Its simply fascinating to witness a SCORM package built for the desktop/online delivery running on a BlackBerry, iPhone, Android or Windows Mobile device even while on an airplane or out of wireless coverage areas.  

Enhanced Enterprise Security Features.  The requirements for ensuring the security and integrity of enterprise content has become a common theme in recent months as business accelerates its adoption and use of mobile learning. CellCast now provides enhanced end-to-end security features covering every supported mobile device and the myriad of available security options now includes content encryption features (even on iPhones and Android devices) as well as other IT-friendly services like federated authentication/single sign-on integration, remote device wipe capabilities, and even time-based access restrictions. 

Expanded Localization/Language Support. The farther the CellCast Solution travels (via multinational customers and global partners/resellers), the greater the need to provide support for languages and localization. User-facing interfaces are now available in 12 different languages (including character-based like Russian, Japanese, traditional and simplified Chinese) both via the mobile web and within the CellCast Widget; sorry, we can't help with the automatic conversion of your content though - that's your responsibility! 

You can see we've been busy. And we look forward to showcasing many of the features in the coming days in support of the mLearnCon Conference and over the summer.  Its an exciting and interesting time to be in the mobile learning business indeed!

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