Using Private Podcasts For Training and Internal Communication – VMware

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While there’s nothing wrong with newsletters, emails, and group conference calls, some companies like VMWare have taken a step further and implemented internal podcasts for communication and training purposes.  

According to Marty Boyzuck, Director of Enablement Technology Architecture & Design of VMWare, it’s not a new concept.  Out of all the careers he’s had and places he’s worked, several things led him to use private podcasting through audio and video podcasting.

“One was a great experience I had in a past life working, actually, with a group in HP Software, where we had done – and this was many years ago – we had done kind of an internal version of podcasting . . . very manual, very difficult, we weren’t able to leverage ease of publishing and the simplicity that you get on a podcasting platform like Podbean, you had to do it all manually.  We had great success in the field with our audience.  

“And as I moved into the world here at VMWare, we’d been pushing this agenda for many years and finally got the right combination of people who believed in the need for greater and better communication, as well as a little extra budget available for one quarter.  We got to try the pilot and, as expected, it was as successful with the field as we want it to be, and it’s just kind of grown from there.”

VMware creates their podcasts on a quarterly system, according to Marty, to allow for the fact that not everyone can sit down at the same time to listen, especially when employees are traveling or out of the office.  

“Our learning management system and our other communications tools really didn’t have a good offline playback experience available within them.  So as people, especially this technical audience that does a lot of traveling, you know, they’re not able to sit down and take their training or review information when they’re on a plane.  Whereas everyone else loads up some podcasts to have available for their plane ride, you get to enjoy episodes while you’re logging miles. So it was really the fact that we couldn’t deliver the training they were asking for in any other way, other than the podcast-type solution.”

As a leading tech company, one of their biggest concerns was with privacy – after all, they work with enterprise-level operating systems, and even a small leak could be devastating to their entire company.

“Of course this content had to be secure.  So that was the big piece that really drove us to Podbean is that ability to have a SSO-authenticated verification before people are able to download and consume this content.  So it was really driven by the audience themselves.”

His advice for companies that are considering starting their own internal podcasts?

“In my opinion, the key is finding the passionate amateur, the prosumer in the audience that wants to take it to the next level, and give them enough budget to get the Adobe studio, to get a decent microphone and a mixer if you need to, and just show them how to use it.  I think that’s the key to really building up podcast culture and keeping it going, is finding people that really want to take it on, and give them what they need to make it happen.” 

Podcasts are another tool at your disposal to enhance training and communications in your company.  Check out our interview with Marty on Podcasting Smarter, and learn more about utilizing podcasts for corporate training and internal communications.

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