27/11/2007 - 22:00

IDC launches new e-learning software

27/11/2007 - 22:00

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West Perth-based engineering training company IDC is preparing to launch a new e-learning software program for engineers and technicians, which provides live training online via video conferencing.

West Perth-based engineering training company IDC is preparing to launch a new e-learning software program for engineers and technicians, which provides live training online via video conferencing.

The software, called iQuokka, allows students from different locations to participate in the same tutorial, using a shared virtual whiteboard and remote desktop control.

Company founder Steve Mackay said IDC had made the strategic decision to branch into e-learning software, because most video conferencing equipment catered for the accounting and banking sectors, rather than engineering companies.

“I think e-learning will be the sector for future growth of the business,” he said.

Mr Mackay said the software project was the biggest undertaken by the company to date, and was expected to generate about $5 million per annum within two years, about 30 per cent of total revenue.

Its release coincides with a rapid growth phase for IDC, which has nearly doubled its turnover to $10 million in the past 12 months.

The company offers courses in technical training to process and instrumentation engineers, electrical technicians and electrical engineers.

It conducts both on-the-ground courses and remote learning, with course content developed and managed from the company’s head office in Perth.

The company also has about 150 instructors delivering on-the-ground training around the world.

“We struggled initially, a few years ago, by trying to run our courses in English,” Mr Mackay said.

“Now we run courses in each country using local trainers.”

IDC has also opened offices in Poland, India, Malaysia and Qatar in the past 18 months, and plans to open other offices next year.

“The biggest growth we think will come from India. There is enormous growth there and demand for technical training,” Mr Mackay said.

IDC has increased its staff by about 50 per cent in the past year, bringing its Perth staff to 30.

It also has about 45 staff based in overseas offices, in addition to its overseas instructors based on contracts.

Most of the company’s clients are oil and gas, mining and industrial companies, although past clients have included the New York Stock Exchange and Lloyds in the UK.

In addition to its training and software packages, IDC also operates a publishing arm, writing and selling 200 books on training worldwide.

About 10 to 15 per cent of the company’s business is in Australia, with WA making up about four per cent.

Canada was the company’s biggest market a year ago, worth about $1.5 million in revenue.

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