Creating global learning experiences through high-quality video conferencing

Monopad by InFocus transforms cross-cultural communications at Florida research institution

The Florida Institute of Technology, which serves 16,000 students on main, satellite and online campuses, boosted its global reach with the creation of the Institute for Cross Cultural Management. This applied research organization provides training to prepare individuals and organizations for success in a global environment. ICCM’s research-backed best practices help its clients learn remote communication skills and negotiation skills across cultures. In addition to its e-learning library, leaders at ICCM conduct workshops and remote instruction for constituents from around the world.

Face-to-face communication is a vital part of these interactions. But previously, ICCM’s video conferencing setup was less than desirable.

“We were using a video camera, USB and microphones cobbled together with other technology,” says Richard Griffith, executive director of ICCM and professor of industrial organizational psychology. “We had to toggle the technology whenever we wanted to see our remote colleagues versus a shared computer screen.”

ICCM also experienced connectivity issues due to people around the world using different technology with different networks. More time was spent messing around with the technology than having meaningful dialog, says Griffith.

“We were looking for a one-button solution that would allow us to have engage with anyone anywhere in seconds, reliably and with no tech support team,” he says.

Simple yet powerful
He found that solution thanks to a recommendation from FIT’s Instructional Technology department. The InFocus Mondopad supports ICCM’s cross-team, cross-cultural brainstorming through a high-definition multi-touch display screen. The easy-to-use touchscreen system creates virtual conference rooms where users can collaborate, annotate files and share materials, all in a single device.

“It was the tool I had been seeking for a decade,” says Griffith. “The price point was excellent, it hit all of our criteria and it was even mobile.”

The team mounted Mondopad on a cart, plugged it in and started using it immediately. Griffith reports that Mondopad has become a coveted piece of equipment that requires no training prior to use within the department.

“It has all the functionality of a computer, making it seamless to move back and forth between presentations or applications and pull in colleagues from all over the world at will,” he says.

Increasing value
Leaders at ICCM feel the quality of their services has only gotten stronger through the implementation of Mondopad. Being able to see clients’ non-verbal cues helps Griffith’s teams solve problems more easily.

“Mondopad has changed the way we communicate,” says Griffith. “When we work with people in real-time we see how people approach a problem from different perspectives. When we can identify assumptions and work through them, we’ll get a better solution.”

Mondopad enables ICCM to engage more broadly, efficiently and rapidly with even better results. In the past this required a lot of travel and time. But recently, ICCM was hired to provide advice on the cross-cultural elements of a new terminal complex at the Orlando International Airport. Instead of spending time and and money to transport the ICCM team to Orlando, Mondopad was engaged for a brainstorming session.

“Even though Orlando is only an hour away, we’ll jump on Mondopad to work with the team there,” says Griffith. “It’s more efficient and equally productive.”

Mondopad allows users to seamlessly connect whatever devices or applications they’d like to use.

“I don’t even know what devices people use to access Mondopad from other locations,” says Griffith. “It just works. Our students and the faculty here go back and forth using different software for visual brainstorming while simultaneously engaging with colleagues across the world—all without training or IT intervention.”

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