Backgrounder The relevance of an IDL platform
Benefits for the corporate entity How does the network function?
What makes Train-need different? Options to consider
Many uses for Train-need© Opportunities in content development
More about Interactive Distance Learning Costs


The shortage of good trainers and terachers, the high cost of training, and the need for continuous upgradation of skills, have made the traditional classroom and learning systems very limited, and extremely expensive, in their approach. Technology has allowed training to go beyond the classroom and has provided unprecedented access to quality training regardless of the location of the student. 

The use of such Interactive Distance Learning (IDL) platforms and the use of broadband VSATs have permitted the best of content to be made available to almost everyone – at any time and at any place -- and have thus made the concept of high-quality and individualised lifelong learning a reality. It thus offers anytime, anywhere learning.

E-convergence Technologies Limited (ETL) decided to opt for the Interactive Distance Learning (IDL) platform because of several reasons:

    It saw how it is being used to train the entire workforce of The Royal Bank of Scotland across all its 1,200 centres and branches. The training platform is used to upgrade the skills of the bank’s support staff, educate middle level managers and executives to learn of new banking concepts, practices and processes. And it is used to multicast the talks of any visiting specialist across the centres thus making a valuable resource and knowledge available to those authorised to access the same, also saving on time and costs at the same time. The same is done by Nokia as well across all its centres globally.

    In the US, the platform is used by Echostar to train over a million students every year. The same is the case with centres in Korea, Italy and a host of other countries.


What makes Train-need different?

ETL believes that there are many features that an Interactive Distance Learning (IDL) Platform requires for a market like India. Cultural differences between India and many developed countries require the slides to be a lot more animated and the interaction to be a great deal more personalised. There is a great need in India to ensure that evaluation too talkes places in such a manner that the potential for forgery and fraud gets minimised (ETL has potented processes to ensure this).  The manner in which voice and text chats take place also needs to be modified. Most important, bandwidth costs must be minimised as far as possible.  Thus, ETL kept three objectives in mind while developing its own IDL 

    Effective use of bandwidth

    Personalized interaction

    Price – most IDL platforms are far too expensive for a country like India

After almost two years of development, it introduced its own Interactive Distance Learning platform Train-need® in order to cater to the needs of business and the corporate sector in India far more effectively and economically.

Some of ETL's strengths are: 

    ETL has tied up with TataNet (a part of the Tata Group of companies) as its service provider, and as its Interactive Distance Learning platform associate for offerings to the corporate sector.

    It has already tied up through TataNet with P&G for enabling the latter to launch its products to its dealer network across the country.

    It has been short listed by many corporates for making its training centre go national using Train-need®


Options to consider:

Options for using ETL's Train-need© and Studio facilities

Serial No. Renting out ETL's studio and Train-need© ETL Network connected to corporate LAN**  Train-need© at corporate office Studio at corporate office Corporate Network Remarks







Connectivity through ISDN, Lease Lines or Microwave





Ideal combination for large corporates










* The studio may be the one owned by ETL or others owned by Tata Indicom/VSNL in eight major Indian cities.

** ETL is in the process of creating franchised outlets which may be used by the corporate for conducting exams, or offering its generic, non-confidential, training courses to the public.


What can Train-need® be used for?

Corporate Training:

This can be offered by the corporate for training fresh recruits who need to go through an induction programme. It can also be used for exisiting staff in order to upgrade their skills or to ensure that they are updated on market developments. Unlike other recorded media, the IDL allows the HR department to actually ascertain if the candidate has understood what has been communicated to him. The HR head knows 

    when the candidate went through the course

    the candidate's comprehension levels -- on a time series basis

    a list of all other courses that the candidate has been exposed to

    questions answered right, wrong and those not attempted all. 

    number of times the candidate had to go through the course before achieving the scores.

Recruitment and evaluation:

ETL’s Interactive Distance Learning platform can also be used for 

    Evaluating the performance of candidates who seek recruitment. This automatically allows the corporate to reduce the time taken to filter out those who meet the minimum benchmark standards laid down by the company.

    Alternatively, this platform can be used by organisations to evaluate the performance of its workforce, especially of those who occupy positions at junior to middle levels in the organizational hierarchy. This would allow for round the year evaluation using standardized tools, thus saving on time, costs and (not unusual) charges of bias on the part of a manager while assessing the performance of a colleague.

In case the corporate wants to offer the facility of examinations to people seeking recruitment, or to its existing staff as part of an across-the-board evaluation process which could be a precondition to promotions, the corporate can avail of the same from ETL’s servers even through the Internet. ETL will ensure that security norms are observed at all times, and also ensure that the evaluation scores are available to the top management whenever it requires the same.

Product Launches

While this was not the original intent behind the introduction of Train-need®at least one FMCG company has selected this platform as a means to launch its newest products by addressing all its dealers across the country from ETL's studio.


Opportunities in content development:

The ETL Team has tremendous experience in content development. ETL can support the corporate in several ways:

    It can help in training the people in the company on making training content suited to the needs of the candidates, the medium which has its own peculiarities and opportunities, and the corporate's own objectives which must never be forgotten.

    It can help the corporate identify the right resource people for developing content for a variety of topics that the corporate might need from time to time.

    If the course is generic in nature, ETL could work out ways with the corporate to make the same course available to other corporate clients as well, thus converting the cost of training into an income stream for the company.

    If the course is one that every employee needs to go through once he is recruited, the company could actually brand this course for the markets and offer the same to the general masses with the stipulation that only candidates scoring more than the minimum prescribed marks -- say 75% -- would be considered for interviews with the HR team. This way the corporate could actually lend its brand to the market for such skills, and could also convert a cost into an income stream. Most importantly, it could thus ensure a better quality of personnel at the recruitment stage itself. 

    It could make use of the content ETL has itself created, or courses that have already been created by some of its content partners and for which ETL has the distribution rights. Most of these courses relate to:

          • management
          • Finance

          • information technology

          • marketing

          • computer applications and languages

          • English and other foreign languages


Benefits for the corporate:

By adopting ETL’s solutions, the corporate benefits in several ways:

  1. It manages to avail of training facilities whenever it needs – it is anytime training whenever required – 24 x 7.

  1. It manages to keep costs down to at least half of what the conventional training systems would cost.

  1. It can be dovetailed with evaluation schemes that are transparent, effective, and flexible – people who score less can benefit from practice sessions and take the test once again.

Why corporate training?

With product cycles getting shorter, business environments getting more unpredictable, and competition getting fiercer, there is an urgent need for constant learning -- especially in fields relating to new products launched, marketing, finance, IT security and communication.

Learning is required at all levels

-- the secretary who needs to know of better ways to address customers/clients over the telephone,
-- the office assistant who has to learn how to make a letter look more presentable and readable,
-- the middle manager who has to organise his data on a spreadsheet, or make a power point presentation.
-- the senior management levels which must keep abreast of latest trends in the markets. This means that they have to spend lots of money sending managers and staff to training courses all through the year.

All this can be managed from within the confines of the office itself through Interactive Distance Learning, which has been explained below.


How does the Network Work?

The teacher, faculty, subject-matter-expert, or a visiting resource person, sits in the studio and the multicasting centre at ETL (it can be recreated at the corporate centre as well).

Of course, before this is done, a lesson plan must be prepared, which involves the creation of slides, charts and the questions that form part of the quiz and the evaluation process. In case the course requires polls to be conducted and the results of the same to be captured on the Train-need®database, the corporate will have to inform ETL of the same.The multicast stream is then sent to the TataNet VSAT hub, Network Operations Centre (NOC) at Mahape near Mumbai from where it is multicast to any centre to which the course may have to be sent.

The courses the corporate needs can either be multicast from ETL's centre 

  • at fixed hours (in a live or simulated live mode) which allows the student to interact with the trainer and ask questions and get replies in a voice-chat or a text-chat mode.
  • at any time as an on-demand facility by offering the same as a recorded service with interactivity as well. The only limitation over the live mode is the inability to get answers to questions asked promptly. The candidate may have to wait for 12 to 24 hours before receiving a reply

  • Complementary to the Educational Institution’s offline or physical initiatives

  • Ability to make a small number of excellent teachers reach out to a much larger audience

  • Ability to cater to areas where the density of students for a particular course may not be large enough to justify opening a conventional training centre.


Advantages for Individuals
Interactive Distance Learning allows an Individual to:

  • overcome location and time restrictions

  • precisely target the areas in which he seeks development

  • opt for self paced training -- at his own pace and time.

  • interact with instructors and students

  • gain certifiable and employable skills.

  • save money on tuition fees, travel, etc.

  • remain in touch with the latest developments as online course material is constantly updated.

Benefits for Corporates
Interactive Distance Learning allows Corporates to

  • eliminate the need to have centralized training locations

  • economise, as it saves the costs of transporting employees to these centralized locations.

  • eliminate the downtime associated with training off-site and also to accelerate the learning process.

  • offer effective training because studies indicate that learning occurs 50 percent faster on-line than in a classroom setting

  • provide the flexibility of allowing employees to take training at their pace, at a time and location convenient to them.

  • offer just-in-time (JIT) education, and targetted content delivery

  • offer modular learning, by delivering as much information as and when needed.

  • make it easier to learn because this method is interactive and uses simple language.

  • allow monitoring of an employee's progress as well as the effectiveness of the training program, from a central location.

  • save large sums of money by eliminating the expensive duplication of thousands, of quickly outdated paper manuals and documents.

  • score over CD-ROMs, which suffer from quick obsolescence. When the same content is posted on the Web, training directors can instantly update the material as needed.


Almost half the costs that are associated with conventional modes of learning, with more effective impartation of knowledge.




Teachers open the door, but you must enter by yourself.....chinese proverb.

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