Changing paradigms are reshaping demands in the global marketplace; for sales personnel to keep abreast of these changes, they have to adopt modern tools and business approaches.
Stetson University is the longest-serving business school in the state of Florida, with more than a century of expertise in the field. Its educators are committed to bridging the gap between academia and practical application, providing first-in-class training for students that integrates classroom learning into real-life situations relevant to today’s business environments.
Beginning in the fall of 2017, Stetson will launch the Centurion Sales Excellence Program, open to approximately 100 students. This major and minor degree-granting program will provide multi-disciplinary exposure to academic study in addition to practical training and skill development, all while fostering partnerships with businesses throughout central Florida.
“I was drawn to Stetson because of their vision to take this program—and its students—to the next level,” explained John Riggs, Executive Director of the Centurion Sales Excellence Program. “Stetson’s program will be uniquely structured to bridge the gap between academia and practical application.”
The advent of the Centurion Program lets Stetson University take advantage of lecture capture technology and video management within a single, cost-effective solution. Matrox and Ensemble Video form the backbone of a pilot project—with sights on a complete deployment for the entire Stetson media ecosystem—comprising Matrox® Monarch™ LCS H.264 streaming and recording appliances and Ensemble Video’s content management and distribution platform.
“Ensemble Video and Matrox share a belief that video technologies should be simple, powerful, and affordable,” said Scott Nadzan, VP of marketing and sales, Ensemble Video. “Integrating Ensemble Video with the Matrox Monarch LCS delivers an innovative lecture capture and video management solution ideally suited for educational institutions. We are pleased to be part of this ambitious pilot program as we collectively push the boundaries of lecture capture solutions.”
Bridging the Academic/Practical Gap
The epicenter of the Centurion Sales Excellence Program is its innovative facilities, featuring three specialized sales training labs outfitted with state-of-the-art equipment from Ensemble Video and Matrox; these tools form the lynchpin between learning and practice. Within these labs, students will develop and hone their skills in sales, practicing role-play with customers with the aid of superior encoding technology.
Each lab is equipped with a Monarch LCS encoder , connected via the network to the robust Ensemble Video platform, which centralizes commands over the Monarch LCS appliances, the Wowza Streaming Engine™ media server software, and the university’s designated lecture management system (LMS), Blackboard®. Professors and students access the Blackboard interface to schedule times to use the lab equipment; behind the scenes, Ensemble Video sends the schedule command to the individual Monarch LCS appliances, automatically starting and stopping encoding events at the slated times.
Once each scheduled recording is complete, the Ensemble Video platform publishes the videos to Blackboard so that students and professors can access the final files. Reviewing the Monarch LCS-encoded footage for audio and visual cues to improve upon is a key element of the business training at Centurion. On-demand access to their recordings means students can readily track their progress throughout the semester.
A unique feature of the Centurion Sales Excellence Program is the peer mentorship built into the curriculum. Students take on peer review responsibilities, with senior students helping train first-year students in the finer points of effective sales. The Monarch LCS features a variety of operating modes, including picture-in-picture (PiP) and side-by-side (SbS); students can select their preferred layout configuration before they record their practice videos.
Ensemble Video’s platform streamlines management of videos, providing supplemental tools to augment the video recordings. The platform includes an automatic captions feature, which overlays captions on the Monarch LCS encodings; a unique “search inside” feature lets students search captions for key words and jump directly to points of interest within their videos. Videos can be annotated with comments and notes—applied directly through the Ensemble platform—helping students track feedback from peers and professors. With H.264 compatibility and the Wowza Streaming Engine, students can use any device, PC, or tablet to access their video content on demand.
A powerful pair, the Monarch LCS and Ensemble Video platform provide the Centurion Sales Excellence Program with the flexibility to encourage student-directed practice throughout the semester, and a smooth transition into more formal testing environments come the end of term. For their final presentation students are required to deliver a real-world sales presentation, wherein they enter the lab and have one opportunity to deliver their address, just as in a live business interaction.
Captains of Industry
Stetson University has high aspirations for its graduates, and is confident that this pilot project is the launch pad necessary to propel its students into successful sales positions.
“Few skills are more important than that of being an effective and persuasive communicator, and that is the key to the success of our students,” said Neal Mero, Ph.D., dean and professor of management, School of Business Administration, Stetson University. With state-of-the-art technology at their command, Stetson University eagerly looks ahead to rolling out their pilot initiative into full-scale deployment throughout their three campuses.
“Video encoding technology has been shown to be an integral part of effective experiential learning, especially in sales training,” noted Francesco Scartozzi, director of sales (Americas), Matrox. “Matrox Monarch LCS with the Ensemble Video platform offers a powerful and flexible, yet cost-effective solution for both ad-hoc and scheduled sales pitch capture. This pilot project with Stetson really showcases the potential of lecture capture appliances to be used in both traditional and unique deployments to suit any installation need.”