JBHXR and PIXO | Providing a Complete VR Solution for Enterprise
JBHXR & PIXO
As the usage of virtual reality (VR) continues to increase rapidly across various industries, training consultancies worldwide are searching for ways to leverage this emerging technology to complement their current training offerings. For JB Hunter, an Australia-based Registered Training Organization (RTO) that delivers technical and safety training primarily within the telecommunications, utility, construction and mining industries, the implementation of VR training at scale has been a process with many challenges.
In 2020, JB Hunter launched JBHXR, with a goal to bring highly immersive real-world safety training to Australian business through virtual reality. Working to make VR possible for all businesses, JBHXR came across some hurdles in providing this new technology to clients.
Shane Darwin, CEO of JBHXR, chronicled some of the challenges his organization encountered when it came to VR implementation. Step one was identifying the business-critical need for VR. It was vital that stakeholders understood the value and benefits associated with VR training.
“Ensuring that all stakeholders involved in the implementation understand the strategy and have bought into it is important. This is easier to manage in smaller rollouts, however in larger organizations it requires more focus and attention,” Darwin said. “Having stakeholders on board [with VR] helps post-implementation when you need assistance to manage issues, changes and updates.”
Conveying the compelling business need for VR was not the only challenge JBHXR had to face. JBHXR needed an expanded library of VR content for their clients, along with an easier way to manage users, and the ability to capture data/analytics from training sessions.
JBHXR has to manage a large portfolio of training customers across Australia, so it became increasingly important to find a partner/platform that can securely deliver on all of these technical needs at scale, all without losing sight of the main goal of providing clients with the best immersive learning experience possible.
“We were looking for a partner that offered a cloud-based platform solution to enable us to manage the delivery of content and management of users. They had to be able to help us with content development and deployment,” Darwin said. “We also were looking to work with a company that was focused on immersive learning rather than just XR for general business use. We were looking for a company that would be a partner, not just a supplier. One that could bring technical expertise to the client solutions we need. The platform needed to have the ability to manage user credentials. We work in the accredited training space and user validation is critical to authenticate who is completing the content.”
JBHXR needed a platform that gave them the power to deliver (and customize) VR content, manage users remotely (on various headset models), and provide useful session data/analytics.
Enter: PIXO VR
JBHXR partnered with PIXO VR, the market leader in enterprise virtual reality solutions, to easily access, distribute, and manage VR training delivered on the company’s distribution and analytics platform, PIXO Apex.
Why PIXO? PIXO VR provided the ‘complete solution’ that JBHXR was looking for:
Clients can achieve a fast time to value and lower perceived risk by utilizing existing, proven content to show value internally, or they can work with PIXO to produce custom content to fit specific training standards / needs.
Apex eliminates the headache of deploying content to devices and works with any headset so your clients aren’t restricted by preferences or hardware.
All activity interacting with training content is tracked and that information can be easily sent to the client LMS with the Apex API.
The Apex platform has built-in parent/child functionality, so technology and services companies can extend Apex into each client while handling program administration.
Plus, it is all white-labeled so any company can brand Apex as their own offering, eliminating confusion for clients.
For JBHXR, it was clear that partnering with PIXO would give their clients the solution needed to truly leverage the power of VR training, all while being more versatile and cost-effective. The content capabilities PIXO provided were certainly a major selling point.
“What we liked about PIXO over our previous provider was the access to a library of content,” Darwin said. “Content is king in VR, and being able to offer our customers additional content that can be customized for their specific needs allows us to provide more cost-effective VR.”
On top of this, JBHXR was also able to sell their own content into a global market, by adding it to PIXO’s ever-expanding content library. According to Darwin, that would be a very difficult market to reach without Apex. When it came to content, the JBHXR / PIXO partnership was a win-win scenario.
With the Apex platform, JBHXR no longer had to worry about complications involving non-compatible headsets. Apex content works on any headset, regardless of model, which makes the technical hurdles of VR worry-free for program administrators. Furthermore, through Apex, admins have the power to wirelessly deploy VR content to any headset in their fleet, worldwide.
“PIXO allowed us to be headset agnostic, with content available to be developed for all major headsets,” Darwin said. “And for us, the ability to deliver content to a headset anytime, anywhere is critical.”
Data capturing problems were also a thing of the past thanks to Apex’s custom dashboard for real-time session data capturing.
“Some of our content is used as formal accredited training. This means we need to be able to accurately capture data. The platform we use needs to be able to deliver this,” Darwin explained. “We always saw the ability to provide data as a key benefit of VR. Data capture is critical to the integrity of this content and what it can offer. We need to be able to get this data just in time so we can manage our users.”
Tied right into data capturing, integration issues with a Learning Management System can often be a hurdle for organizations in a situation similar to JBHXR’s. Partnering with PIXO removed this concern. With the Apex API, all of the incredible data from Apex can flow right into existing LMSs to provide a holistic view of training program performance. The API is simple to use and works with any LMS that has API integration.
Arguably one of the most crucial hurdles JBHXR needed to resolve was the issue of scalability. In fact, from their first client, they noticed the importance of a platform that can securely achieve scalability.
“Scalability was a factor right away,” said Darwin. “Our first rollout to a customer involved 100’s of headset and 1000’s of users.”
For Telstra, one of JBHXR’s first clients, providing an XR solution that was flexible and scalable was key.
“PIXO allowed us to utilize their network of headsets to access new content,” Darwin explained. “As we expanded VR through Telstra, PIXO allowed us to be agnostic on the hardware side. This made the solution more flexible.”
Looking to the future, JBHXR sees plenty of potential in their partnership with PIXO for clients like Telstra and their other utility, construction and mining customers. JBHXR plans to bring a wider variety of content to their clients, including safety, technical, and soft skills.
“PIXO has a suite of additional safety training that we could tap into,” Darwin said. “We are also excited about the use of VR for soft skills, and the chance to blend it as part of training courses.”
The initial success in the partnership between JBHXR and PIXO seems to be just the beginning.
“We would like to be able to offer our customers more content. Content that means the customer can leverage their headsets investment and the benefits of VR,” Darwin explains. “We hope that PIXO will help us bring more innovative design ideas to the development of future content.”