Why You Need a Training Subscription

EPISODE 140 | Guest: Fanette Ronjat, professional services consultant for Visix

Digital signage isn’t PowerPoint – it’s an enterprise business system. If you’ve invested in a content management system to inform and engage your audience, you need to know what it’s capable of, how it integrates with your existing systems, and how best to use it to achieve your goals.

In this episode, we discuss why a software training subscription is a critical part of launching a successful digital signage strategy.

  • Learn what’s included in the Visix training subscription
  • Understand how it can help you work faster and smarter
  • Explore how to find out if you already have a training subscription
  • Discover both free and paid training options from Visix
  • Hear about other resources and services to help you succeed

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Learn more about our Training Subscription here.


Derek DeWitt: Now, something we’re always talking about on here is how easy digital signage is to use to create content for, and then schedule and manage and deal with your playlist and all that. It’s actually pretty easy. However, there are a lot of little tricks, and we’re changing things all the time, adding new capabilities and so on, and so it is kind of important to have some kind of training. To that end, having a subscription for that, access to the LMS, the learning management system and other things, is extremely useful, and actually, I think money well spent. But don’t just take my word for it instead, listen to what my guest today has to say. She is Fanette Ronjat. She is a professional services consultant for Visix, and she’s here to talk to me today. Hi, Fanette.

Fanette Ronjat: Hi, Derek.

Derek DeWitt: How are you?

Fanette Ronjat: I’m doing great, thank you. Thanks for having me on.

Derek DeWitt: Thank you. And thank you, everybody out there, for listening. Don’t forget, you can subscribe, and you can follow along with a transcript of the conversation we’re about to have on the Visix website under resources and podcasts.

So, like I said, we wanna make sure people are comfortable with using the software and confident in how it works. And basically, we don’t want the nitty gritty of how to get content on screens and manage it to get in the way of creating really fantastic content. And so, one idea is that we get a training subscription. Why is this a good idea?

Fanette Ronjat: Well, there are many reasons why it’s a good idea, but just as a starting point… I mean, to be fair, if you’re just going to import content into the CMS or if you’re gonna just use stock templates, maybe you can figure it on your own, no problem. But in many cases, you’re really gonna need a little bit of help.

So, obviously when you get started with our system, somebody’s gonna be helping you with the implementation. That’s gonna be connecting the hardware to the software, adding users to the system or even putting some of your basic content all the way to the screen.

But once that’s done, you are gonna have to get started. And if you want to show data visualization or if you wanna include interactivity to your screens or feeds, well, you are definitely gonna need help figuring that out.

I mean, this is not a PowerPoint presentation. Basically, this is a business system like your accounting software or a CRM platform. So, it would be a little bit tricky to figure it out on your own.

Derek DeWitt: Yeah, I think that’s true. Now, granted, in the old days, basically it was PowerPoint, but it’s just become so much more than just, Here’s a slide I made. We used to actually call them slides, now we call them messages, but we used to call them slides just like in PowerPoint. Here’s the slide I made, and it just stuck it up on the screens.

Digital signage has transformed into a much more complicated, potentially much more complicated, much more comprehensive communications tool. And so, yeah, I think learning all the different things that it can do is probably an excellent idea.

Fanette Ronjat: Exactly. You’ve invested in a system, so you wanna be able to use it to its fullest. Otherwise, it’s kind of a shame. You’re wasting your money a little bit.

Derek DeWitt: Yeah, that’s true. Exactly right. Especially an enterprise-wide system, like you said, like this is. To quote from the movie Blade Runner, show me a negative before we talk about a positive. What’s the most common scenario you’ve seen when people don’t do training?

Fanette Ronjat: Well, I’d say for me, in my experience, the most common scenario is gonna be people procrastinating. So, it happens quite often that we get a call from a client who got implemented weeks ago, months ago, and they went in the system, they figured out how to schedule some basic content (or they did that during implementation), and then they poke around to try to get different content on each screen. After a while, when they can’t figure it out on their own, well they, you know, go for coffee, stop, put a pin in it, put it on their to-do list, and honestly, simply never come back to it.

Derek DeWitt: So, that’s it. So, they basically, they’ve got a supercharged Ferrari and they’re using it to drive 20 miles an hour.

Fanette Ronjat: And you have three slides running on the screen, three messages running on the screen. You know how it is. Like most of us, if it’s something that you know will take you time and you’re not entirely sure you’re gonna succeed to it, you keep pushing it down your to-do list. You just do the things that you can do straight off.

And then we have that call two days before that big launch party or before the big client comes in. The CEO walked in the doors, looked at the screens, doesn’t like it, comes to that person and says, Joe, why are all those messages the same on all the screens? And then Joe calls us, and understandably, is very stressed because they have 20 minutes to put some new content on the wall.

And honestly, we try to assist as best as we can, but sometimes there’s just not enough time, and the result is just not gonna be to anybody’s standards.

Derek DeWitt: And of course, how can we avoid this? Well, by taking advantage of the training, obviously!

Fanette Ronjat: Exactly.

Derek DeWitt: Because here’s the thing, when you’re contacting support, ’cause that’s a support call that, Oh God, I have 48 hours to get everything completely different, my boss finally dialed in or finally showed up, and this is not the system that he envisioned. So, and it’s not the system’s fault; the system’s ready. Like I said, it’s a supercharged Ferrari. It’s ready to go. You just don’t know what it is.

So, in the meantime, instead of using your training (that you probably have already paid for), now you’ve gotta pay for support calls. So, you’re actually throwing bad money after good money, which is a shame.

Fanette Ronjat: Yeah. And usually during trainings, that’s one of my favorite part of actually doing trainings is having clients have all those aha moments on the call where they were envisioning doing something and then suddenly I show them this widget and they’re like, Oh my gosh, so I don’t have to actually connect to the design application to make changes to my layout on the seconds before graduation to interrupt my regular content with a live stream of a ceremony?

No, we have a program widget. You can configure it way in advance, and that will do just that. It will interrupt your content to show a live stream video. Or many, many other widgets that aren’t necessarily super obvious to our users, but the moment I show them to them during the training, it’s like this big revelation that they’re gonna save so much time.

We have those pick-and-fill templates they can create directly in the web browser application. And they create them once and for all, and then it’ll take seconds to put the content on the screen every week, every month, every day.

Derek DeWitt: So, as we said, someone’s gonna help you with implementation. You’ve, you know, got some messages up there. Maybe you’ve connected to a few data sources. Now, at what point should the people who are going to actually be the ones who create and schedule the content get involved in that whole process?

Fanette Ronjat: Oh, that’s a great question, Derek. I mean, hopefully, they’re gonna be involved from the get-go. Hopefully, they’re part of the purchase. They know what it is, they’re the ones who want it. That’s like ideal world. But usually that’s not what happens. Usually, we have IT that’s gonna purchase the system. They’ve been talking to the sales rep. So, our creative team will come in a little later in the process.

Regardless of when they come in, I’d say as soon as they are part of the process, we want them to get some basic trainings. We want them to familiarize themselves with the software. Even if they’re not implemented yet, get to watch a few videos, get to be aware of what the system can do. Because our first step is always gonna be brainstorming. And brainstorming is made much harder if you don’t know what the system can do.

Derek DeWitt: Yeah, actually that’s an excellent point. Exactly. How can I brainstorm if I don’t know what my options are, what my building blocks are?

Fanette Ronjat: Because, you know, you don’t know what you don’t know. You just can’t know in advance. So, if you watch videos, if you go to trainings, you can hear other people talking about what they’re doing with the software. Get inspired, see the final results. Go on our website, look at the galleries, see what other clients have done with the software, and then you can start your brainstorming with some really precise idea of what your final product should look like.

Derek DeWitt: And that also helps inform what’s gonna be your content strategy coming up.

Fanette Ronjat: Absolutely.

Derek DeWitt: So, let’s just say, all right, I know how to do like text and stuff, but let’s just say I want to get some JPEGs or some videos up on screen because, you know, everything I read says, Hey, it’s visual. So you should, you know, show as much as you can instead of tell. ‘Cause these messages are only up for seven seconds, so they have to really pack a punch. What do we do?

Fanette Ronjat: So, the first thing that I encourage any client to do, training subscription or not, we have just launched a Fast Track to Content on Your Screen live course. It happens once a week. It’s 30 minutes long. It’s really packed with a lot of content. And this is available to all. No subscription necessary. As long as you are a client of Visix, you can come to this live training.

And in the training, we go through all of the vocabulary, all of the words that we’re gonna be using in our communication with you, in our videos, in our trainings, so we’re talking the same language. Using the words the same way, really, really helps.

And then we go through a basic workflow. Because after implementation, you’ll have content, you’ll have our stock messages on your screen, you’ll have our stock layout that matches your screen aspect ratio, but the content will be the same on all the screen. And it’s gonna be our messages that basically say, Content Coming Up Soon.

Derek DeWitt: Right? Or Your Message Here or something,

Fanette Ronjat: Or Your Message Here, exactly. The World Is Your Oyster. You know, after a while, they’re gonna be on your screen and you’re gonna wanna change those, definitely before the CEO walks in the room and sees your screen. So, that 30-minute training, that’s what we do in there. We go through that workflow, go get some content.

And if you don’t have content yet, we have some free messages on the Visix website that you can access, and I’ll show you how to do that. We get those, put them on your screen, so that you have your own tailored content up there. And then you can breathe ,and you can start all the other trainings. If you get the training subscription, you can go from there, make more complex workflows where the content is not exactly the same on every screen and go from there.

Derek DeWitt: Obviously, like a lot of companies, Visix is moving to a subscription model. So, what’s included in this, I assume, is it, it’s an annual fee, right?

Fanette Ronjat: So, it can be an annual fee, it can also be a four-month subscription. If you’re confident that your team’s gonna just tackle it really quickly and get the content up really quickly and do all the trainings quickly, you can also subscribe for four months.

So, once you have a subscription, you get unlimited access to online instructor-led classes. Those happen every other week, and we’re probably gonna be adding even more. They go through, it’s three live trainings right now. They are one hour each, and they build on each other. And they go through one of our common workflows that brings different content to each of your screens.

So, in those trainings, we go through the workflow, we go through how to schedule messages, we go into the layouts, into the designer application to make changes to the stock layouts. Then we go back into the Manage application to work with templates, create your own branded templates, so that you can easily get content on your screen. Or if you go on PTO, somebody else can just come in the system and add a few words to a template and make it beautiful and branded.

Derek DeWitt: Unlimited access. Does that mean that I can attend a particular training more than once?

Fanette Ronjat: Absolutely. And actually, I encourage that a lot. Coming to the training the first time, watching the workflow, you don’t have to be connected necessarily, you don’t even have to have the system ready yet, but you familiarize yourself with it. And then once you’ve started working on your system, you can come back to the training and have questions ready.

Questions are great because they bring ideas to the other participants, and we can build from that. We can do tips, we can use more widgets than what was originally planned in the training, just to answer the questions. So, bring your questions.

Derek DeWitt: Right. I always like to say that the way that you know you’ve really learned it is when you go back for your nth time and you’re like, Oh my God, of course I know this. When you’re bored with it, you’ve got it.

Fanette Ronjat: Right. Exactly.

Derek DeWitt: And then there’s an online management system as well.

Fanette Ronjat: We have a training platform that has a lot of content in it, divided into different courses. So, they’re divided into different themes. If you want to schedule messages, if you want to design messages and layouts, or if you are the IT person and you need to troubleshoot. Also, we have some videos and quizzes and documents in there for you to do some basic troubleshooting.

So, for data mapping, also, we haven’t mentioned this, but we have a lot of clients that use data map sources, Excel, Outlook. So, there are some step-by-step tutorials and quizzes to help you do that.

Derek DeWitt: Because it’s a video, again, I can watch as many times as I want.

Fanette Ronjat: Exactly. So, the live trainings give us an overview and give us a workflow, and the videos give us a step-by-step that is more specific. They’re usually about couple minutes long, up to 2, 4, 5 minutes long, and you get each step. So, you can easily just go back to that specific moment in the workflow.

Derek DeWitt: And of course, the LMS, the learning management system, has recently been updated thanks to you. You’ve given it a whole new look. It’s a lot friendlier. It’s kind of fun. Tell me about that.

Fanette Ronjat: So, one of the things that we’ve worked on. And it was a big teamwork, you were part of it as well, Derek, don’t be shy.

Derek DeWitt: Yeah. But you were the director of it, let’s be honest. It was your project, and we were just there to make you look good.

Fanette Ronjat: Oh, you’re sweet. So yeah, what we tried to do with this is really to make it a little bit more user friendly, to find the videos, to find the quizzes more easily inside of the learning platform. Also working a lot with workflows, working with screenshots that you just click on and, okay, this is the widget that I want to explore, so you click on the widget and then that opens the video that explains this specific widget.

So, just making things a little bit easier to understand, and also have more quizzes and more exercises where you have to do the work yourself. So, you’re not just passively watching a video whilst drinking a cup of coffee. But you watch a video, and then you’re asked to actually do it on your own and, and double check that you’ve understood.

Derek DeWitt: Right. And you have quizzes in there, too. And I have to say, when I was proofing them, I don’t have a digital signage software platform, you know, I don’t have anything of the kind, I don’t create content for such a thing at all, and yet, almost all of them, I could figure it out very… I just watched the video and then did the quiz, and I was like, Oh, well, the answer’s in there.

Fanette Ronjat: That’s kind of the point.

Derek DeWitt: Right.

Fanette Ronjat: Right. And one function actually on this learning platform is that any user can leave feedback. So, we’re happy to receive some feedback on the videos, on the quizzes. If there’s anything you think is missing, just go up there, there’s a feedback section, and you just click on feedback and send the feedback on the trainings. We’re always adding more.

Derek DeWitt: Yeah, for sure. And of course, you’ve added sort of a gamification element to it. You’ve got, like, leaderboards and cute little icons.

Fanette Ronjat: Who doesn’t like a good, healthy competition, Derek?

Derek DeWitt: That’s right.

Fanette Ronjat: So yeah, we have some tokens, some badges, some levels that you can reach. And within your organization, within your team, you’re going to be able to see the leaderboard and know who watched the most videos, who answered the most quizzes.

And to be honest, this is also an easy way for team leaders to keep an eye and see, okay, well, we have these users who are supposed to put in the content on the screens, and we purchased the training subscription, and now we notice that they’re telling us they’re not able to put the content on the screen, but also they haven’t watched any of the videos and haven’t done any of the training. So, maybe within the organization they can directly go and talk to these people and say, Hey, it would be a great idea to start with what we purchased, which is a training subscription.

Derek DeWitt: Right. And I also have to say each little section and module, they’re not very long. It doesn’t take that much time. It’s like, ’cause it’s really well divided up into sort of steps. Hey, you wanna accomplish this one thing? Here’s how. It’s honestly, you could do it on a break. Bam, just do one, you know. 10:00 in the morning to 10:10, just do one. And then at 1:00 in the afternoon to 1:10, do another one. I mean, it’s really no time.

Fanette Ronjat: Yeah. It doesn’t take long. And to be fair, it saves a lot of time because … You’re a teacher, Derek, you know, that like unlearning takes much more time than learning. So, you might as well get the right information, right away, and not start trying to assume things and make mistakes and then… it’s just very, very hard to unlearn something.

Derek DeWitt: Yes, that is true. I mean, this all just sounds like a great deal. And so, of course, I have to ask, why the heck don’t people buy this? And yet, I’m aware there is a certain segment of my friends for example, who are very much the, I don’t read the IKEA instructions. I don’t look at the pictures, I don’t do any of that. I just jump in and hope for the best. And all of their stuff is messed up, always. And then they go, Man, IKEA’s stupid. Look at my bookshelves; they’re all screwball. And you’re like because you didn’t use the instructions. So, I get that there are gonna be people like that.

But like you said, at the organizational level, Joe Blow, who’s in charge of putting on content, did not purchase this system; the company did, or the school did, or the hospital did. So, why do some organizations not buy it?

Fanette Ronjat: I think there might be moments where it’s a misunderstanding of how complex the software can be. Just thinking that it’s gonna be a PowerPoint presentation. And, you know, it’s only creative. Creative can be done by a 5-year-old.

Derek DeWitt: Right. You either got it or you don’t!

Fanette Ronjat: Right, exactly. There’s no learning it. So, I think that that’s one misunderstanding.

So, another thing that happens quite often is that the training subscription is actually bought, but the users that are gonna be doing all the content, they’re not aware that there’s a training subscription. So, the communication just didn’t happen within the organization. So, that’s one scenario.

Scenario number two is that at some point they were told, they received an email, they put that on the back burner, and they just never came back to it. Never really went into the system, never created their user account for the LMS system, the learning management system.

So, all of these things can happen, or just not feeling incredibly motivated by the project because they weren’t part of the initial purchase, and it’s something that was just added to their plate. You know, I feel for users that were asked to suddenly create content, and it’s not their initial job, and they don’t necessarily have a lot of training in how to do that, or no training at all. And for these people, I’d say come to the live sessions. That’s the first thing to do. Come to the live trainings. You don’t even have to look at any video before that. We’ll go through the workflow together.

And then after that, in the follow-up email, I’ll point you to the videos that you really would want to keep and watch when you are working, so that you don’t have to poke around everything and do everything if you’re gonna do something simple. But at least you know how to use the basics. And I can show you where to find some messages, some free content, so you don’t have to design it or how to create those templates, so that you can easily then design new messages without taking too much time off of the rest of your job.

Derek DeWitt: Yeah, that’s for sure. And obviously you can, if for example, whoever bought it forgot to or just, you know, rejected getting a training subscription, you can add it whenever, right? I mean, it’s not like, No, you didn’t do it at the beginning, so too late for you.

Fanette Ronjat: No, absolutely not. Any time you can add the training subscription. Even if you purchased it for four months and it’s a year later and you have new people come in and you wanna purchase it again for another four months, you’re welcome to do that.

Or if you are one of the users and you’re not entirely sure who to ask, it’s a big organization, you don’t know who the administrator of your system is, and you just wanna reach out to us, go on to visix.com. The chat will pop up, write in your organization, your name and ask whoever’s on chat that day (it might be me!) if you have the training subscription. We’ll look into it and email you an answer, and even your token that you’ll need to create your user account on the LMS platform.

Derek DeWitt: You’re right. If you’re sitting there going like, I don’t know, do we have a subscription? I don’t know. Ask Visix, we know.

Fanette Ronjat: Right.

Derek DeWitt: So, we have trainings, we have the LMS; are there any other things that can help people?

Fanette Ronjat: Well, then we have other services that are available too. You have advanced configuration, which is basically a one-on-one training. It’s another service.

You can also, if you’re really not a creative person and you need something extremely branded, tailored, complex, then we have our creative team that will do it for you. It’s another service that we offer, and they do magnificent work, really, really beautiful.

Just reach out, talk to your sales rep, talk to your client success manager, just stay in touch with us and together we can figure out the best content, the best solution for you.

Derek DeWitt: Right. And of course, there’s also, you know, there’s product help online and even the Visix client portal has FAQs and a knowledge base. So, there’s actually just a bunch of stuff out there for you.

Fanette Ronjat: We have it all!

Derek DeWitt: Well, that sounds exciting. So, you know, I gotta be honest and say I don’t understand why anybody wouldn’t use it, because it just, it really does…I had never interacted with the LMS until you asked me to just kind of proofread it and play around with it, and I was impressed. I thought, Wow, this is a pretty dry topic, but it was kind of fun! I had a really good time doing it, and I learned things. And I mean, that’s just… What more do you want?

Fanette Ronjat: Right. When it’s fun and light, you’re more likely to learn, you’re more likely to appreciate what you’re doing and, do a better job at it, really.

Derek DeWitt: Yeah, that’s true. It’s an opening, not a closing. So, all very interesting stuff. That’s why maybe a training subscription is a good idea. But even if you don’t want to, there are lots of smaller level items out there as well that can help you really get a handle on what it is that you have and what it is that you can do with it.

Like I said, it is not a car just for commuting back and forth, you know, taking the kids to school and going to work; this is a supercharged Ferrari, and you really should learn all the stuff that’s available. And then you could decide to use those things or not use those things. But you can’t use them if you don’t know about them.

Well, I’d like to thank my guest today, Fanette Ronjat for talking to me today. Thanks, Fanette.

Fanette Ronjat: Thanks, Derek. It was a pleasure.

Derek DeWitt: It’s always nice to talk to you. And, of course, everybody out there, thank you for listening. I remind you again that there is a transcript on the Visix website, under resources and podcasts, where you can read the conversation we just had, and there are lots of helpful links there as well.