Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Posted By mwasowski      Category

“Who is your main competitor?” an attendee asked my boss at the Training 2000 Conference.

“The airlines,” replied our CEO.

This was an actual exchange at the first trade show I ever attended as an employee of Wimba (well, then HorizonLive).  I thought our CEO’s response was a bit snarky and/or presumptuous and/or way too boastful, and I quickly dismissed his reply. 

So here I am, nearly 120 months to-the-day, and I just happened to recall this conversation.  You see, a few minutes ago I wrapped up a Wimba Distinguished Lecture Series presentation that featured Randy Wald of the North Dakota University System and Scott Swanson of North Dakota State University as they not only discussed their myriad uses of Wimba throughout the state, but also the savings they’ve derived.

It turns out that the North Dakota folks are saving time and money left-and-right by using Wimba for everything from instruction (from music composition to architecture) and help, to meetings (from Extension Services meetings to disaster preparation sessions) and other non-instructional uses (from candidate job interviews to virtual conferences) – all without asking its dispersed staff to drive to face-to-face meeting sites or to a few hardware-based video conferencing sites. 

For any of you who have made the 400-mile drive from Williston, ND to Fargo, ND – especially in the winter – you know it’s no picnic and that flying is definitely the preferred method of transportation.  Therefore, now that so much travel is being Wimba-ized, maybe our CEO in 2000 was right all along when he made that boastful statement.  Maybe we are competing against the travel industry in some form or another.  I just hope I don’t have to start doing competitive research and analysis against the airlines.