Intracon has enjoyed creating Virtual Reality (VR) experiences for HP Inc. for a number of years. What began as an innovative approach to marketing has become an indispensable tool for its Global Training department. The technology giant and its channel partners have been thrilled with the ROI, competitive advantage, and possibilities for expansion VR training provides. And when the pandemic hit, they were all the more grateful to have this technology already in regular use.
A number of HP’s channel partners are located in remote regions and have only one or a few field service engineers (FSEs) to cover all service calls in their territory. These offices can’t spare an FSE for week of face-to-face, hands-on training whenever a new product is launched. When HP introduced its A3 Commercial MFP portfolio, they also wanted to make training on these products more accessible for all partners. Intracon created VR-based training that was incredibly lifelike, allowing FSEs to train at their offices and with zero down time. We then packed all the necessary hardware and software into custom-built, durable flight cases and shipped them to FSEs around the world.
This rollout was so successful, HP wanted to take things a step further with VR service and support training on a number of products. Partners were excited about this high-quality training tool and all the benefits they were seeing. Our VR training experience includes trouble-shooting scenarios that reproduce the most common and costly issues encountered in the field. This translates into higher first-time fix rates and fewer service calls. It is also extremely effective in building muscle memory, helping FSEs work more efficiently and making retraining a snap. And, of course, VR training eliminates the expenses of travel, a training space, and equipment for hands-on learning.
In VR, there’s no such thing as office hours. Field service engineers can also work around service calls, pausing and resuming their training at will. This kind of flexibility makes upskilling and reskilling extremely efficient and greatly reduces downtime. HP’s partners have seen increases in knowledge retention and performance in the field. A representative from BMS Group in Australia observed, “I’ve never seen our technicians so excited to attend a training! There are heaps of benefits other than cost savings. Thumbs up all around.”
Our VR training has now been used on every continent by hundreds of channel partners and HP’s own FSEs. And while VR will never completely replace in-person training, VR training is even being used in traditional classroom settings. HP’s remote advanced support personnel are getting in on the action and are now able to remotely support issues quickly and easily.
HP partner Forum Group Australia has been extremely pleased. “The quality and consistency of the VR training is uniform. The ability to have this training mobile is also a great innovation. It’s a game changer!” DEX Imaging, one of the leading providers of document imaging equipment in the U.S., had this to say: “We instantly saw the value in HP’s VR training. This tool has provided us with new ways to reduce the cost normally associated with delivering face-to-face sales and service training courses. It has also given us a new way to deliver contactless training.”
As the first in their field to implement VR training, HP is enjoying a unique competitive advantage and reinforcing its reputation for innovation and leadership. The technology has even earned them a Bronze Stevie award. Partners are asking for VR training for more printer models, and HP and their partners are also demoing VR training as part of the sales process. It’s the perfect way to showcase HP’s industry leadership and its above-and-beyond support for partners and customers.
Intracon’s VR experience kept HP’s employees and partners learning during these unprecedented times, and we are very excited about where the future of VR training will take us all.