Growing use of online education means less business travel and big savings, says Hewlett-Packard.
The company has produced an online e-learning system called the Virtual Classroom. Its courses claim savings against classroom alternatives. HP is also using e-learning itself.
This month, the company introduces an online one-day induction course called HP World for new staff, replacing the current two-day classroom-based system.
HP Australia/New Zealand HR director Alan Calvin says HP World not only saves time for the staff, but means fewer senior managers are needed to see staff individually, so they can carry on with their work and not have to travel.
Developed in the US, HP World involves people logging on at a PC and being guided around the company, its markets, people and values. The system also helps the company give more local, rather than American, content.
"We are halving the education time and hopefully not halving the educational experience," says Colvin.
Hewlett-Packard is developing other online courses for its managers, but realises some face-to-face contact is necessary, and the online content has to be interesting for people to look at it.
HP New Zealand managing director Barry Hastings says with his firm’s regional headquarters being in Singapore, senior staff often must travel, which also involves big hotel bills as well as airfares.
When new products are announced, four to five Asia-Pacific engineers go to Idaho in the US to learn about them, staying up to 10 days.
However, over the next few months, the engineers will soon learn about new products online.
"I can see the benefits. The bottom line is the costs of bringing our products to market. We spend less in flying people around," Hastings told HP's e-learning conference in Auckland on Tuesday.