UW E-Business Consortium and E-Business Institute

UW E-Business Consortium and UW E-Business Institute bring business leaders together with Mediasite.

UW E-Business Consortium and UW E-Business Institute bring business leaders together with Mediasite. The UW E-Business Consortium (UWEBC) and UW E-Business Institute (UWEBI) were established to facilitate collaboration among executives of leading businesses to enable sharing of e-business best practices and validation of strategic decisions in a business environment where the internet is playing an increasingly important role. The consortium needed a reliable and effective way to make this collaborative learning and knowledge sharing accessible to members unable to attend meetings, and it turned to Sonic Foundry for a solution.

The Mediasite webcasting platform had the necessary capabilities for UWEBC to unite its geographically dispersed membership. Mediasite captures, synchronizes and webcasts the consortium’s Peer Group meetings over the internet for members to view anytime, anywhere. UWEBC foresees Mediasite playing an integral role in further expansion, eventually improving e-business efforts beyond state borders.

At a glance

  • Information capture inadequate for members unable to attend Peer Group meetings
  • Organization needed to facilitate collaboration to enable informed decision-making by company executives in growing e-business environment
  • Mediasite enables member companies to communicate across the state of Wisconsin
  • Archival capabilities provide future organization members a historical background
  • University resources benefit audiences outside of state borders

Challenge

In the mid-1990s, new internet technologies were rapidly emerging that would come to revolutionize business communications and commerce in ways never before imagined. During this new era in technology, the University of Wisconsin-Madison invited a number of leading executives to campus to discuss how the university could assist industries with their e-business initiatives. The internet’s potential for transforming all areas of business in the future was among numerous insights developed at the meeting. Because it could easily bring various disciplines together to address the issues and unanswered questions regarding e-business
in a holistic manner, the university was well positioned to facilitate this ongoing discussion among area business leaders. Expanding upon this strength, the university established the UWEBC and UWEBI.

“The University of Wisconsin-Madison is one of the leading universities in the world,” said Raj Veeramani, executive director of the UWEBC and UWEBI. “Our university prides itself on its rich tradition of collaboration with the business community and its support for economic development through research, education and outreach activities.”

As the UWEBC began to expand, it developed into a collaborative environment to share, cultivate and develop knowledge and best practices in e-commerce and e-business for the Wisconsin business community.

“Pooling knowledge and sharing lessons learned among companies reduces the risk of making bad decisions,” said Veeramani. “The true essence of the consortium is to tap the collective wisdom and experience through this trusted knowledge network of industry-leading companies and organizations based in Wisconsin.”

Veeramani was charged with finding effective ways to bring member companies together to facilitate collaboration and assist in low-risk decision making. One successful strategy involved Peer Group meetings that served as a trusted forum for executives to discuss and debate issues and challenges and to take away actionable ideas and insights. However, with many individuals unable to personally attend each meeting, Veeramani needed to explore other options that would make Peer Group meetings accessible on-demand to all members.

“Typing up notes and minutes from meetings simply never captures everything. For so many of these companies, the true knowledge is in the delivery of the information,” said Veeramani. “For our organization, it was an ongoing issue of business executives not being able to attend every meeting yet still possessing the desire to participate and learn from one another.”

 

Solution

Veeramani looked no further than his own backyard to bring the geographically disparate organization together. Located just blocks from Veeramani’s office, consortium member Sonic Foundry, Inc. had the perfect solution.

A leader in rich media communications technology, Sonic Foundry’s webcasting platform, Mediasite, seamlessly captures and webcasts knowledge as it is naturally shared. With Mediasite, the consortium could record Peer Group meetings, synchronize the presentation with any accompanying media and webcast the entire presentation over the Internet for members to view anytime, anywhere.

“For the UWEBC, it was not only a matter of us capturing information for members located an hour’s drive away, but many members expressed interest in sharing and further discussing this important content with colleagues at their company,” said Veeramani. “Mediasite has allowed our organization to more efficiently and effectively make the content of the meetings available, which is important in order to continue to build the
collective knowledge base of the consortium.”

Result

The ability of Mediasite not only to capture but also to archive content allows members to review presentations online as many times as they like and share the information with other leaders at their company long after the presentation has been recorded.

Complementing the collaborative learning that goes on in the consortium, the UWEBI is engaging in a variety of federally funded research projects on topics such as Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) that have profound implications for industries in Wisconsin as well as across the nation. Mediasite will play a major role in this endeavor to support knowledge-transfer by the UWEBC and UWEBI to diverse audiences throughout Wisconsin
and around the globe. “The philosophy of the Wisconsin Idea was articulated over a century ago by then-UW president Charles Van Hise, who believed that the boundaries of the university are the boundaries of the state,” said Veeramani. “In today’s e-business environment, the entire university is a resource, and Mediasite is making it possible to expand our boundaries and expertise even outside of Wisconsin.”

 

About the UW E-Business Consortium and E-Business Institute

The UWEBC is Wisconsin’s leading organization that helps companies gain a competitive advantage through e-business. Members are business executives and senior managers from the Midwest’s leading companies. They tap into world-class university resources and the collective experiences of the group to address and share strategic e-business and information technology challenges, best practices and lessons learned. Companies that become members of the UWEBC collaborate with other member companies, consortium staff and UW-Madison faculty to make informed decisions and learn practical, real-world e-business best practices. This university-industry partnership is a non-commercial, trusted environment for executives to address company-specific e-business issues through Peer Groups, Member-to-Member Advising, professional- development events, special projects with UW faculty and students, UWEBC best practices guidelines, decision-making aids, assessment tools and a monthly e-mail newsletter.

The UWEBI is a campus-wide initiative to help enhance economic development of Wisconsin industry clusters through adoption of e-business strategies, technologies and practices. Current research and industry-wide activities include RFID technology and applications in packaging, printing and healthcare. UWEBI expands upon the company-specific e-business Peer Group collaboration enjoyed by members of the UWEBC.