Orkin Launches Companywide Interactive Satellite Television Network
Pest control leader collaborates with three firms to pioneer one-of-a-kind technology, revolutionize training
ATLANTA, April 12, 2006—Orkin, Inc., the 105-year-old pest control company, today announced the launch of Orkin TV, an interactive satellite television communications network that links the company’s 8,000 employees through first-of-its-kind live broadcast technology.
Commissioned by Orkin and developed by three firms specializing in satellite broadcasting and digital content delivery, the system creates a live “virtual classroom” for Orkin’s employees across the country. While satellite television networks have been available to businesses for years, Orkin TV is the first to deliver interactive video on-demand (IVOD) to the classroom, through a system that also allows employees to play back past programming (much like digital video recorders found in many homes) and participate in past broadcast events. Furthermore, IVOD participation is tracked and recorded in Orkin’s learning management system.
Orkin Satellite Television’s Distinguishing Features
- Interactive Video-on-Demand—Orkin’s branches will have the ability to play back past programming stored on each receiver’s hard drive. While viewers of “on-demand” video are not able to communicate live with the instructor, they can respond to questions in real time and view survey results.
- Integrated Satellite Receiver and Site Controller—Allows viewers to communicate with instructors in real time—as if in a live classroom—and respond to survey questions via a site controller keypad. Results are tabulated and displayed immediately.
- Direct-to-Monitor Broadcasting—One of the features of the system is that programs are delivered to TV monitors that are dedicated to use by the satellite system—an important benefit for Orkin’s workforce, many of whom do not have access to a computer.
Orkin is using the satellite training system to add interactive distance learning to its award-winning employee training programs. The system will help Orkin save time and monetary resources related to traditional employee training, as new hires will no longer have to travel to the company’s Atlanta headquarters for initial training sessions or wait for an instructor to visit their region. And, the time needed to make a new employee productive will be cut in half.
“This technology addresses a critical need for companies like ours that are growing steadily across many different regions,” said Orkin president and COO Glen Rollins. “We’ll be able to maintain the highest training standards while reaching more people, more often, and at a lower cost—regardless of their location.”
Ramiro Banderas, Orkin’s director of media services and Orkin TV, noted, “By adding the video on-demand component to our training, we’re able to start training new technicians just days after they’re hired. Before, it would take six to eight weeks to teach them the skills necessary to be productive and ready to work. Now it will only take three to four.”
Plus, because the training sessions are broadcast live to the branches and recorded digitally for on-demand playback, Orkin trainees receive consistent, uniform messaging from the company’s best instructors, said Craig Goodwin, Orkin’s director of training. This benefit is also useful for special announcements from company executives—in the event of good news and emergencies.
“This system allows us to communicate at the speed of business,” added Banderas. “For the first time in Orkin’s history, we can reach out and touch nearly every employee immediately.”
All three technology firms involved played a vital role in pioneering the groundbreaking system. GlobeCast, a subsidiary of France Telecom, developed the platform for satellite delivery. One Touch Systems, Inc. and Helius, Inc. collaborated to create the satellite receivers equipped with hard drives for digital video storage and software applications for the viewer response capabilities.
Orkin launched the network on January 20 with a nationwide address from Orkin, Inc. president Glen Rollins; the company’s first two-week satellite-based training sessions kicked off the following Monday. To date, Orkin TV reaches more than 320 locations, giving employees in every region access to the interactive technology.
The technology has caught the attention of other large and geographically diverse companies. Helius and One Touch are currently working with an American automaker and two retailers on similar systems. The automaker has already converted its network to accommodate the satellite technology, but is waiting to see how well IVOD performs for Orkin before adopting the on-demand aspect for itself.
About Orkin, Inc.
Founded in 1901, Atlanta-based Orkin, Inc. is an industry leader in essential pest control services and protection against termite damage, rodents and insects in North America. With more than 400 locations, Orkin’s almost 8,000 employees in the United States and Canada serve approximately 1.7 million customers. Orkin is a wholly owned subsidiary of Rollins, Inc., which is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (ROL). Learn more about Orkin by visiting www.orkin.com and www.rollins.com.
GlobeCast—a subsidiary of France Telecom—is a global content management and delivery company for professional broadcast. Via its worldwide satellite and fiber network, the company manages and transports 10 million hours of video and other rich media yearly for its core customer base of broadcasters, as well as corporate, government and retail clients. GlobeCast is network agnostic and ingests once to deliver content to any network via multiple platforms, including direct-to-home satellite, cable, video-to-mobile, IPTV/video-over-ADSL, desktop broadband, and more. It is now the world’s largest provider of delivery services to live television-over-mobile operators and in 2005, it won Cable & Satellite International’s Product of the Year award for Best Outside Broadcast Technology for WING Content Exchange, its IP-based file delivery platform. The company’s global presence includes 15 teleports and technical operations centers throughout Europe, America, Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Australia. For more information visit, www.globecast.com.
About Helius, Inc
Helius Inc. provides leading business-class data broadcasting solutions through secure and reliable delivery of broadband IP over satellites and local area networks. Helius products serve as the communications bridge between the satellite transmission and terrestrial integration of business-critical data, addressing in particular the stringent requirements for video transmission. This reliable and secure integration gives organizations the ability to implement new high bandwidth applications such as digital signage, distance learning, and corporate sales training and deliver these applications from satellite distribution straight to employee desktops. For more information, visit www.helius.com.
About One Touch Systems, Inc.
Since pioneering highly interactive distance-learning in 1989, One Touch has been extending the reach of traditional classroom training to a distributed workforce with measurable and certifiable results. Headquartered in San Jose, Calif., One Touch has a premier customer list that includes Ford, Safeway and JC Penney. Currently, our customers use One Touch classroom training for SOX compliance, on-going employee certification, management training, and human resource messages. Over 1 million users, spanning the globe,use a fully interactive One Touch solution every year at a fraction of the cost of traditional “in classroom” training. For more information, visit www.onetouch.com.