Planner: Calculate the Cost of a Virtual/3D Training System

Virtual/3D applications offer more than just fun and games for your large industrial equipment manufacturing firm, which hasrelied on dynamic computer-aided design (CAD) tools for more than a decade. This project to implement a virtual/3D platform willquite literally add a new dimension to your wealth of CAD data, technical documentation and training programs by integratingthem into an interactive, browser-based virtual world within your intranet.

The core of this system will be an application platform that gathers the data, optimizes it for virtual display and Web delivery,and helps developers structure the user interface. While much of the 3D data you’ll need already exists in CAD outlines andvisual training programs, you’ll have to invest some heavy resources to bring that data to the next level, as well as to update yourintranet’s design and architecture.

Proof-of-concept will be important here, so go slowly, says Connell Gallagher, president of Dublin, Ireland-based ParallelGraphics, a provider of virtual/3D solutions for large enterprises. Spend the first six months defining the business case and its requirements, Gallagher suggests, and then prove that case by building out one area first—for example, a single virtual training program that instructs staff on how to maintain one of the complex printing presses your company produces. This will clear the way for more rapid and smooth deployment of other segments, such as online training manuals and real-time collaboration forums.

Return on investment comes in a variety of ways, from more efficient training and less downtime to better collaboration andmore rapidly developed products. “There’s almost a wiki idea to this,” Gallagher says. “You’re creating an environment that reallytransforms training and the technical documentation workload, and more easily allows people to collaborate and arrive at the bestanswer for your products.”

To see the details behind this Planner and fill in your own estimates, click on the “Get the Tool” icon above and download the interactive worksheet.

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