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How Alstom University went virtual for its annual Trainers Day

Alstom University collaborated with Komodal by Laval Virtual to organize its Trainers Day event in virtual

Alstom University chose a komodal world powered by Virbela for its interactivity and immersion.

Crédits photos : Alstom University

In order to gather its best trainers of the year from all over the world, Alstom University organized its annual Trainers Day virtually in mid-July. Last year, the event happened in a remote meeting solution. In 2021, looking for a more immersive and interactive platform, they chose Virbela. Komodal, Laval Virtual’s virtual events department, helped Alstom in this virtualization.

From remote conference calls to virtual worlds

Alstom University operates in 70 countries, working with a network of over 750 SMEs spread worldwide, leading to a need for the virtual environment and the challenge to gather everyone in a single place. For this, Virbela was really a solution that not only brought them together but also made them feel closer in times where it seemed almost impossible.

Mid-July, Alstom University arranged its annual Trainers Day in Komodal’s virtual world. Organized every year in summer, the event rewards the best trainers. In 2020, during the lockdown, the corporation had to drop the physical venue and virtualize the event in a typical virtual collaboration tool. But this year, Franck Gaillard, Global Learning Director, had another ambition in mind. “At that time, we already wanted to have something more immersive”, he related. 

Why opt for Virbela? “komodal suggested Virbela because of the large number of concurrent users”, Aurélie Perruchon, AR/VR Platform Manager, answered. Alstom University welcomed approximately 600 hundred people at its Trainers Day event. “We wanted it to be a much more real and important event than what we did in a conference call last year”, Franck Gaillard explained. “We were dreaming of something like Virbela and having the opportunity to make it happen this year was excellent for us.

Technical challenges wiped away by positive feedback

 “As a big company, we are exposed to all the difficulties related to the uses and risks of digital solutions. We need to go through some very stringent approval and testing processes”, Franck Gaillard pointed out. As a result, the biggest challenge was not to convince Alstom’s staff members to take a new virtual solution on, but to actually deploy it within the corporation. “It was much more complicated than last year when we used only remote meeting solutions”. 

In the end, positive feedback on the virtual world went wild. “We see that people are eager to use it again. We already had some requests to help some sites to organize meetings and events into that space. That’s quite unusual to have such a quick response”, Afia Tak, Head of Digital Learning, notified. The users liked the impression of being with other people again, overcoming the bad feeling of sitting passively in front of their computer screen. “We felt like we were together”, Franck Gaillard shared.

One-shot event grows into a long term collaboration

Following this beneficial experience, Alstom University decided to collaborate with Komodal on a long-term basis to operate their virtual environment. The objective is to organize meetings, events and seminars. As well, “we want to enable trainers to deliver training in this virtual world, when the use of typical virtual meeting solutions is not sufficient because we need to generate a lot of interactions between people”, Franck Gaillard explained.

It’s also part of our roadmap”, Afia Tak added. Indeed, Alstom’s goal is to engage its employees to experience virtual reality and immersive technologies and see how they can benefit from them. “We have this social interaction ambition to get people closer and more immersive.” Komodal’s virtual worlds are the first step of this digital journey.

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About author

Content editor at Laval Virtual. Obsessed with adverbs and punctuation, synonyms and keywords are my daily guides. I hunt innovative use cases about VR/AR and immersive tech.
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