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The Voyage to OnCue 5: Building HTML5-compatible eLearning tools to reach PCs, smartphones and tablets

The SANS Institute is the largest provider of computer security training in the world. They first evaluated Impatica OnCue over three years ago. When we first met with their management team, we realized that while OnCue Version 3 met many of their needs, we had a ways to go to meet their medium and longer-term objectives.

Along the way, the world changed! Apple turned the world upside down with the introduction of the iPad. Google got into the OS business big time with Android and HTML5 became a standard especially with Microsoft’s introduction of IE 9. These all provided new opportunities and challenges for both SANS and Impatica.

SANS offers their courses at major conferences about a half dozen times a year. Courses range in length from one to six days. All content is collected (audio, video, demoes, PowerPoint slides and other course materials) at the conference. Hackers are finding new ways to access confidential personal, corporate, government and military information every day. SANS instructors are experts in the field of data security and constantly update their courses. The biggest challenge for SANS OnDemand, the online version of their classroom courses, is to launch new courses quickly and keep them up-to-date.

To meet these needs, we took OnCue, our award-winning tool for synchronizing video, PowerPoint slides and associated notes, and made it even better. Version 5 contains a set of tools not only for synchronizing a wider variety of content, but also inline editing of video and audio files. And the output from OnCue 5 is played by our unique new presentation player that uses HTML5 when available, but still works when it is not.

As I said, instructors constantly make changes to their course. The challenge for OnDemand editors is to find those changes and update the existing course immediately following a conference. OnCue Version 5 rapidly identifies where the courses have changed, allowing the content developer to immediately focus only on the changes.

It is best if I let them tell their own story:

“Three years ago we thoroughly vetted many different software providers and selected Impatica to build SANS OnDemand. Impatica has truly proven to be a wonderful development partner,” said Eric Bassel , Director at The SANS Institute. “They spent a great deal of time understanding our business and the unique challenges we face. They listened and learned very well and have become an extremely responsive partner that understands our needs and designs solutions accordingly. Impatica OnCue allows us to rapidly create and update courses of extremely high quality”.

In November 2010 SANS announced a promotion based on iPad delivery of SANS technical content. “Using OnCue, we were able to create one version of our content for all devices without compromising quality.  Impatica enabled us to run the iPad promotion, which was our most successful promotion ever.  In order to run this promotion, Impatica literally worked night and day to hit a very aggressive time schedule.  I’m convinced few software providers could have successfully achieved this,” he added.

The following videos show how SANS OnDemand has deployed Impatica technology.

OnDemand Overview from SANS Institute on Vimeo.

iPad – SANS Ondemand from SANS Institute on Vimeo.

I know many of our clients have been waiting patiently for Version 5 of OnCue and Impatica for PowerPoint. Just send us a few minutes of your content and we will create a compelling presentation that you can load on your server or LMS. We will show you how easy it is to create content Once and Deliver it Everywhere…on your PC or Mac, iPad, Android Tablet, PlayBook or most smartphones. To find out more, feel free to email me directly:

It has been an exciting voyage we can’t wait to show you the result!

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