Intuitive Surgical Selects Meridian for Learning

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<p><strong>Chantilly, Va. &ndash; April 10</strong><br />Meridian Knowledge Solutions LLC, a provider of enterprise learning and knowledge management software, signed a contract to implement its learning management system (LMS) at Intuitive Surgical Inc.</p><p>Intuitive develops and sells technology for doctors to robotically perform surgery. Intuitive&rsquo;s products include the da Vinci Surgical System. The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company will use Meridian&rsquo;s LMS to design and deliver a sophisticated Web-based training platform that offers not only a central repository for clinical data but also a blend of classroom, online and self-paced courses. <br /> <br />&ldquo;Our company has grown at a phenomenal rate, and the most important investment we can make is in the people who work for us,&rdquo; said Armando Lopez, senior sales training manager for Intuitive Surgical. &ldquo;We decided, as an organization, to buy the Meridian LMS to accelerate and enhance the quality of everyone&rsquo;s learning.&rdquo;<br /> <br />Intuitive plans to use the Meridian LMS to deliver highly sophisticated product information, build a central repository for storing clinical data and create employee development plans that ensure its sales force is equally equipped to deal with surgeons from specialties such as cardiology, gynecology and urology. <br /> <br />&ldquo;Our sales force works very closely with surgeons. We sell our systems to hospitals, but our sales force is also responsible for convincing surgeons to use our product once installed,&rdquo; Lopez added. &ldquo;Initially, we&rsquo;ll roll out the Meridian LMS to our sales force, but eventually all 700 employees will have access to the product from either work or home.&rdquo;<br /> <br />Along with delivering training and knowledge, Intuitive will use the Meridian LMS to measure and evaluate employees&rsquo; competencies. <br /> <br />&ldquo;We didn&rsquo;t buy an LMS to just roll out reading material.&rdquo; said Lopez. &ldquo;Implementing Meridian gives our employees a way to apply the knowledge they collect. The LMS is a vehicle to get training content out and test and track people&rsquo;s skills.&rdquo;<br /> <br />Before purchasing the Meridian LMS, Intuitive relied on instructors in classrooms to train employees. According to Lopez, there was no easy or consistent way to capture what was learned in these classrooms and disseminate the know-how on a broad scale to employees. With Meridian&rsquo;s LMS, Lopez and his team aim to record classroom training and offer video on-demand for employees.<br /> <br />&ldquo;We believe Meridian&rsquo;s LMS will give us the ability to capture any formal training and roll out that learning to our entire organization,&rdquo; remarked Lopez. <br /> <br />Intuitive&rsquo;s customers, many of whom are surgeons, rely on the company&rsquo;s sales force to support the da Vinci Surgical System in hospital operating rooms. The Intuitive sales force facilitates training, develops marketing programs that will attract surgeons to adopt the use of da Vinci and ensures the da Vinci Surgical System is set up correctly. <br /> <br />&ldquo;Due to the advanced type of sales we make, Meridian&rsquo;s LMS was really the smartest way to provide sophisticated training,&rdquo; Lopez said. &ldquo;We put a lot of responsibility on our sales force. For example, we ask them to show surgeons the value of da Vinci. Our sales people consult with doctors on how the product can take on more complicated surgeries and help a doctor&rsquo;s practice. To quickly and efficiently train our growing sales force, we needed the Meridian LMS.&rdquo; <br /> <br />Intuitive expects the Meridian LMS to be rolled out to its sales force during the third quarter of 2008. <br /></p>

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