New Study Shows Digital Media Becoming Mainstream Technology for Enterprise Businesses

REDMOND, Wash., June 17, 2002 — When you hear the term
“digital media”
, you are more likely to think about digital music and streaming your favorite radio station than a Fortune 500 company. But digital media has quietly evolved beyond just being a new way for people to use their PCs. It is quickly helping to revolutionize how some of the largest and oldest of businesses train and communicate within their organizations and with their customers.

A new study of 700 large U.S companies from Market Decisions Corp. (MDC) shows streaming media making significant inroads among large companies. While the data shows one in four large companies (those with over 500 PCs on their corporate desktops) uses streaming technology today, among the very largest companies (those with 5,000 or more PCs), the use of streaming jumps dramatically to 40 percent using streaming.

What are they using it for? MDCs study showed that the top uses for streaming technology in large companies and organizations include:

  • Internal employee training — 76 percent (up 21 points from November 2001)

  • Internal Webcasts — 51 percent (up 21 points)

  • Corporate messaging — 46 percent (up 15 points)

  • Marketing and sales tool — 42 percent (up 17 points)

As digital media becomes more mainstream for business, the MDC study concludes that companies who use streaming are increasingly choosing to use only one type of streaming technology. The percentage of companies using one technology for streaming has grown from 54 percent to 69 percent in the past year, the MDC study found.

As companies increasingly choose only one technology for streaming, the technology that they are choosing is Windows Media. The MDC data showed that Windows Media is chosen by seven out of 10 companies using streaming.

Two of the most recent large companies to deploy Windows Media, Hyundai/Kia Motors and Roche Diagnostics Corp, illustrate how major firms are transforming the way they train their staff and communicate internally and externally.

Hyundai/Kia Motors, the largest automobile manufacturing company in Korea with revenues of US$22 billion, adopted Windows Media to unify its technical training after a massive corporate merger. The companys new system now provides training to nearly 12,000 technicians while reducing travel and training costs and increasing productivity. Hyundai/Kia also uses Windows Media and the Web to introduce all of its major passenger cars, including its new compact car, the Hyundai Click, to its customers in Korea.

“Video-on-demand training materials, developed using Windows Media, are one of the powerful new tools that helped us exceed even our best expectations for reducing the cost of training and improving the flow of information,”
says B.W. Yoo, general manager of the Service Technical Training Team at Hyundai/Kia.
“Information technology for training and education is developing at a tremendous speed, so using Windows Media-based e-learning for Hyundai/Kia is a major step toward maximum efficiency in our business operations.”

Roche Diagnostics, a leading developer of products for centralized medical diagnostics and diabetes care, previously conducted duplicate corporate meetings to accommodate a growing base of 3,500 employees in an off-site leased auditorium. Now, Roche Diagnostics uses Windows Media to deliver live
meetings, available to each of its employees across all local and remote PC desktops. The technology reduces travel time by two hours per employee per meeting, saving 7,000 total hours of productivity while eliminating off-site facility rental costs.

Windows Media not only is reducing the cost of training and communication, it also is helping to overcome key barriers to broader digital media adoption. In November 2001, Microsoft introduced Producer for PowerPoint 2002 to address everyday business users need for easy content-creation tools by providing an easy way to create compelling rich-media presentations on the PC desktop. Last year, Microsoft also introduced the Enterprise Deployment Pack for Windows Media Player 7.1 to make it easy for network administrators to centrally customize, configure and manage Windows Media Player 7.1. Microsoft continues to focus on making Windows Media easy for companies to implement within an existing computer infrastructure, and offers a lower cost per stream along with the industrys most scalable streaming media server technology.

Beyond the cost savings, innovative enterprise users are making streaming media a mainstream technology because, at many large companies, the broadband infrastructure that taps streaming medias full potential already exists. Huge work forces deployed across multiple locations and long distances have more pressing needs for streaming media applications that speed information flow while cutting costs of meetings, travel and communications.

Large companies, spanning many traditional industries, have embraced Windows Media, including Aetna, General Mills, Hewlett-Packard, Marathon Ashland Petroleum, Mercedes-Benz USA and the Williams Companies. More information on how these companies use Windows Media to better train and communicate with their staff is available at .

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