DigitalXpress, a direct-broadcast satellite communications company, has for the first time begun broadcasting management training classes to managers of The Boeing Company outside of North America.
On April 16 and 17, the first broadcasts to an international Boeing audience were uplinked from the KCTS television studio in Seattle to the DigitalXpress operations center in St. Paul, Minn., and then transmitted via the Intel Sat K satellite to sites in London and Preston, England. Boeing managers from throughout Europe gathered at those two locations to participate in the sessions.
This week, Boeing and DigitalXpress will begin broadcasting classes via the Pan Am Sat 2 satellite to Asian-based company managers in Tokyo, and Brisbane and Melbourne, Australia.
Some 23,000 Boeing first and mid-level managers currently are attending the two-day interactive business seminar, called "Taking Care of Business." The class also is beamed live to 62 learning sites at 25 geographical locations across the United States.
Offered by the Boeing Center for Leadership and Learning (BCLL) in Seattle, the class content is presented by a moderator, speakers and live dramatization built around business case studies. Commentators interact with audience members, and questions and answers are exchanged live via telephone connections.
Tom Fideler, distance learning manager for BCLL, said the live six-hour broadcasts present a challenge -- and an opportunity. "Our European broadcasts started at 12:30 a.m., Seattle time, in order to begin at 8:30 a.m. the next morning in England," Fideler said. "It was a challenge for our on-air commentators to stay awake through the all-night broadcast.
"The advantage, however, of the unusual broadcast time is that second and third-shift managers stateside also can take the classes. In addition, international managers, who for years have felt relatively left out of the stateside education programs now have an opportunity to participate at convenient locations."
Late last year, BCLL was given the task of training more than 23,000 managers worldwide. The most efficient way to do that was through a two-day interactive televised workshop, Fideler said. DigitalXpress, which is an industry leader in broadcasting distance-learning programming to audiences in diverse areas, got the call to beam the programming internationally.
"Boeing's international presence necessitates access to a global communications network," said Joel S. Wright, DigitalXpress vice president of Business Development. "We are pleased that DigitalXpress is able to provide them with the communications tools necessary to train their managers worldwide.
"This is an example of how our focus on our customers enables us to respond to their digital broadcast service needs for the distribution of their video and data content. Our fully integrated service eliminates the complication for our customers -- they submit their video or data content to DigitalXpress and we distribute it for them regardless of country or continent."
Boeing classrooms equipped with receive sites around the country -- and now at a select number of international sites -- not only can receive the "Taking Care of Business" courses but other company developed training and communication programming.
DigitalXpress supplies a customer list representing the "Who's Who of American Corporations" with video, video-based training and data transmission capabilities.
DigitalXpress was co-founded by Boeing Commercial Space Co. (now Boeing Commercial Information & Communication Company), Conus Communications and Ceridian Corporation.