OSRAM SYLVANIA Improves Sales Readiness, Enterprise Application Rollouts and Six Sigma Training by Using Centra

January 9, 2004

Headquartered in Danvers, Mass., OSRAM SYLVANIA manufactures and markets a wide range of lighting products, including automotive, electronic and magnetic ballasts, and precision materials and components for industrial and commercial users, original equipment manufacturers and consumers, sold primarily under the SYLVANIA brand name, but also under the OSRAM brand. It also offers lighting systems installation and maintenance services.

“With 22 facilities throughout North America, training had become a costly and time-consuming endeavor,” said Laurie Hemmings, manager of eLearning, OSRAM SYLVANIA. “With Centra, we can easily connect our dispersed workforce online in real-time for training, using fully integrated voice-over-IP
(VoIP) for fast delivery of knowledge, product information and skills. The software is helping us improve communications, reduce operational costs and drive increased productivity.”

Since the technology was first implemented in September 2002, OSRAM SYLVANIA has saved $180,000 in travel related training costs. Hundreds of employees across 13 field locations benefit from Centra-powered online collaboration for training on a number of key initiatives – from instruction on a new Web-based version of PeopleSoft and an SAP upgrade, to helping employees understand how to use www.mysylvania.com, the company’s e-business portal.

Software Facilitates Major North American Sales Training Initiative in Three Weeks According to Hemmings, Centra proved invaluable for the launch of Daylight(tm) last February. A breakthrough product that offers consumers “the next best thing to natural sunlight,” the company had only three weeks to get its sales force up-to-speed on the product before Daylight hit the market.

“With Centra, we were able to easily and cost-effectively deliver product and market training to more than 27 sales associates by the launch date,” said Hemmings. “It was a real win for us, and demonstrates the value of Web-based training programs to help us accelerate product time to market and remain competitive.”

Company Successful in Integrating Online Training in Six Sigma Programs For Stephen St. Cyr, manager of Process Quality Improvement (PQI) at OSRAM SYLVANIA, migrating part of the company’s Six Sigma program online would minimize the impact of taking top engineers away from their desks during training. St. Cyr evaluated the program’s intensive four-month certification process and determined that Centra would be best utilized during the third week of training. Instead of flying engineers to a central location for the session, they could now meet online to review coursework, collaborate and share best practices.

“There was a risk in using a Web conferencing application to deliver highly technical training to an audience of engineers,” said St. Cyr. “They are our toughest critics, and we weren’t sure if the software could help replace a whole week’s worth of hands-on classroom training. But the result proved to be quite the opposite.”

Leveraging Centra’s VoIP capabilities, application sharing and other tools for interactive online collaboration, St. Cyr has successfully delivered two Six Sigma courses online. “The engineers appreciated the fact that we could cut back on their travel, without sacrificing the quality of training. More than 80 percent of the class gave the online session excellent marks in feedback – no small feat considering the audience,” added St. Cyr.

“Centra can help companies address many important business issues – from sales readiness and cost reduction to change management associated with enterprise software rollouts and other initiatives impacting how people work and learn,” said Paul R. Gudonis, CEO of Centra. “We are pleased to have OSRAM SYLVANIA join our growing list of leading customers in the consumer manufacturing space, including New Balance, Dupont, Siemens and Avon.”

About Centra
Leading with a proven track record of helping more than 1,200 organizations increase revenue and improve business performance, Centra offers enterprise application software that enables organizations to deliver real-time communication, collaboration and learning across the extended enterprise. Centra offers solutions that deliver enhanced integration of real-time collaboration capabilities with departmental business processes, such as sales and marketing, and virtual teamwork. Available in 14 languages, Centra applications can be deployed as on-site software or through our ASP service and are supported by an active ecosystem of value-added partners, including Microsoft, Oracle, Siebel, Deloitte Consulting, EDS and Cisco. Organizations across every major industry and market sector choose Centra, including Cadbury Schweppes, McKesson, Sysco, Viacom and Stanford University. Headquartered in Lexington, Massachusetts, Centra serves a worldwide customer base throughout the Americas, Europe, Asia and Australia. For more information, visit www.centra.com.

Centra is a registered trademark of Centra Software, Inc. All other trademarks referenced herein are the property of their respective owners. Centra Software, Inc. 430 Bedford Street, Lexington, MA 02420 * http://www.centra.com
phone 781-861-7000 * fax 781-863-7288

Sharon Dratch
Tel: 781-994-1151