An Interview with Vikas Joshi
Interviewed By: Geetesh Bajaj
Date Created: February 27th 2007
Last Updated: March 5th 2009
Vikas Joshi is regarded as a thought leader for pioneering eLearning and knowledge management. He is also known for his groundbreaking work in the online learning industry, product innovations, and offshore outsourcing models. Under his guidance and leadership, the Harbinger group has built innovative software products for the global marketplace. He has also designed and executed outsourcing strategies for several enterprises such as Microsoft, AT&T and Citibank. He has been instrumental in innovating Raptivity, the world’s first rapid interactivity builder based on a patent-pending technology, and Elicitus, the award-winning e-learning authoring tool.
Geetesh: Tell us more about yourself and Harbinger.
Vikas: Harbinger Group, where I serve as Chairman and Managing Director, was founded in 1990.
Harbinger Knowledge Products, a Harbinger Group company, is the creator of Raptivity, and specializes in developing highly interactive eLearning content and tools.
Recently, TrainingOutsourcing.com recognized Harbinger in the global top 20 specialized learning process providers. Harbinger was also short-listed for eLearning Awards 2006 by e.learning age, UK, in the ‘most innovative new product in e-learning’ category.
Raptivity recently won the eLearning Guild Platinum Award for highest user satisfaction in simulation tools category. Raptivity also won the Gold Award under games tools category.
I am excited to work in this field because of the immense opportunities it offers for innovation in the knowledge domain, while leveraging my team’s technology background.
Geetesh: About Raptivity, how did the product evolve. Also, tell us more about the positioning of the product -- is it more targeted to basic users or advanced users.
Vikas: Since 1990, Harbinger has been at forefront of providing products and services in information technology with a particular focus on eLearning. Being active in this industry since so long, we understand the needs of the users. We realized that online learning can get boring if learners are not interacting. But to build interactive training, traditionally, it used to cost a lot of time and money. Because of this, creating interactive training was not possible for all.
That’s when we thought of Raptivity as a tool which allows course creators to create highly interactive courses in less time and money and that too without the need of any programming knowledge.
The product serves trainers, educators and subject matter experts who want to create interactive training quickly, easily and on budget.
Geetesh: How can PowerPoint® users benefit from Raptivity.
Vikas: Great question. A lot of trainers and presenters use PowerPoint to capture their ideas and present them to an audience, whether live or online. The content in PowerPoint is brought alive easily with Raptivity.
Raptivity has a library of 175+ interactions and that growing. Many of the interactions are for presenting the content. Since the output of Raptivity is a single flash file, it can straight away integrate in PowerPoint. Users can use Raptivity with PowerPoint to make their presentations more attractive or if they are creating the training in PowerPoint, that can be made very interactive with games, puzzles, simulations included in Raptivity interactivity library.
Geetesh: What's your favorite Raptivity feature?
Vikas: There are many, and it is hard to make a choice. Wearing a trainer’s hat, I think the Learning Theory feature is great. From a course developer perspective, the learning games are very useful. Overall I would say it’s a huge library of interactions. I feel the various interactions included in Raptivity library give wide choice and flexibility to course creators.
Geetesh: Tell us more about your support infrastructure.
Vikas: We have a global technical support team which guarantees a reply to email in 24 hours. The standard support is free to evaluators and customers which includes email support. There are also other premium and advanced support plans available for a fee.
Geetesh: How do you look at the Raptivity platform in the near future?
Vikas: As we speak, e-learning is growing in many ways. The need of interactive training is increasing day by day and Raptivity will continue to offer the best platform for creating high quality interactions quickly and easily. The library will continue growing.
Geetesh: Can you share some trivia with Indezine readers? Maybe, a funny incident, or an unconventional use of Raptivity? Or maybe just something you want to tell all readers?
Vikas: Our users are really creative in the use of these interactions. One of our users used Raptivity in a way none of us had imagined: to find food! Here is what the user did. He created an induction training module for new employee onboarding. In that training course, a new recruit is asked to play a treasure hunt to find the lunch coupons! By the time you complete the treasure hunt, you have learned key elements of the company procedures and policies.