Specialist Adobe Distributor, Dax Data (together with reseller First Technology) has delivered Adobe Connect to Old Mutual’s Personal Finance Advice (PFA) Division. PFA is home to a large number of brokers specialising in the delivery of financial service solutions. Now, thanks to Adobe Connect, broker training costs have been significantly reduced.
Through Adobe Connect, brokers have immediate access to information and are no longer affected by the limitations of their environment (brokers are predominantly independent, working in different geographical locations). Now brokers can attend and participate in e-learning sessions with no specialist hardware/software required – all that’s needed is an internet connection.

“Adobe Connect is an Enterprise e-learning platform that is highly scalable. It’s a cost-effective due to its scalability and the modular nature of the components; it’s possible to customise the solution to meet the client’s needs exactly – modules can be added as and when required,” says Dimitri Merritt, PFA’s IT manager.

Adobe Connect has streamlined PFA’s resource management, improved productivity and enabled managers and brokers to manage their time more efficiently, thereby affording more time for customer interactions.

“Aside from its conferencing capabilities, Adobe Connect offers learners a virtual classroom interface through which to participate and learn,” adds Jeremy Matthews, MD, Dax Data.
“Once logged on, users can receive streaming, audio/video, download documents and there’s even a polling capability to facilitate information gathering. State-of-the-art technology enables managers to streamline content development and track training content to ensure each broker remains up to date,” he comments.

A particularly attractive feature of Connect is its API (Application Program Interface) whereby third-party programs can be connected directly into Connect.

Old Mutual’s PFA has harnessed the power of this technology (which only requires one code base and can be run across multiple platforms) by rewriting its internal LUI (Learner User Interface) Adobe Air application to enable its brokers to access information online. Users can now access previously stored resources and other documents directly from the Connect Server, representing a meaningful Return on Investment for PFA.

Merritt explains further, “By way of example: should there be changes to the Personal Finance Act, PFA is able to host training sessions specifically on this topic, record these and make these available to brokers later on through the LUI application. In other words, Connect’s API allows users to interact with the features and content of Connect via a third-party application.”

Adobe Connect has helped Old Mutual Personal Finance Advice extend the reach of its broker training programmes by delivering customised, dynamic content to participants in any location, at any time (it’s now possible to train more than 2 500 brokers in less than three days).

With Adobe Connect, training modules are easily modified, and can be delivered live or on-demand from previous recordings for optimal convenience and efficiency. Interestingly, reports Merritt, pass rates on the e-learning programme are between 80% to 90% as opposed to 54% in the traditional classroom setting.

According to Merritt, “Adobe’s Connect is one of the best products available. There’s nothing to match it in the marketplace. Together with the incredible support (turnaround in a matter of hours), the amount of training material available, the ease of integration, it becomes a very powerful tool.”