REV: OCTOBER 16, 2002
op yo In April 2001, Steve Lesser, Vice President of Worldwide Sales for Centra Software, received the first sign that his decision to augment his sales force with a telephone-based sales division would not be trouble-free. It came in the form of a call from the field sales representative who ran the Ford
Motor Company account in Detroit for Centra. She had just found out that a member of Centra’s telesales team had made a sale to one of Ford’s divisions. “Steve, how could you let this happen to me? Ford is my customer. How can I pull off the big-ticket sale if there’s a telemarketer selling a stripped-down version of our software behind my back?”
Centra was a …show more content…
The Web promised to cut the cost of synchronous learning. It made possible the ‘virtual auditorium,’ offering some of the advantages of face-to-face learning without the need to relocate participants. Using dial-up or broadband access to the Internet and software tools, a student could join an online real-time class, view an instructor’s presentation, and interact with the instructor and other audience members. Similar technology was being used to run meetings. Where once the choices had been between a face-to-face meeting or a telephone conference call, now teams could talk, see each other and share documents across multiple locations with the help of networked computers.
IDC’s report estimated that eLearning accounted for $1.1 billion of the $ 17 billion spent in 1999, and projected that it would grow to $11 billion in five years.
In 2001 the eLearning and eMeeting industries were in their infancy. A large number of startups, as many as 100 by some counts, as well as some large companies like IBM and Oracle, had begun to market training-specific software delivered over the Web during the mid-1990s. There were no sharp segments discernable in the features and functionalities offered by these many vendors. However analysts tended to distinguish between firms that sold to corporations and those that sold to universities. Reputations did not seem to