Thomson, through its Technicolor Network Services business, today announced it has signed a long-term agreement with The Kroger Co., one of the largest retail grocery chains in the United States, to develop and implement a comprehensive interactive distance learning (IDL) solution for Kroger stores and subsidiaries nationwide. The deployment will enable Kroger to rapidly deliver live, interactive and on-demand training content to its workforce of employees, while substantially reducing the costs associated with traditional employee training programs.
The terms of the transaction, which were not disclosed, expand the scope of an existing relationship between Kroger and Alpharetta, Ga.-based Convergent Media Systems Corporation, a unit of Technicolor Network Services, and part of the Services division of Thomson. Under the existing agreement between the companies, Convergent manages a similar IDL initiative for Kroger, which operates over 135 multi-department retail stores in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States.
The agreement with Kroger calls for Convergent to design and deploy a fully-integrated IDL solution based on the procurement, installation and maintenance of broadcast studio, VSAT and distance learning hardware in each Kroger location. Convergent will also manage space segments, uplinks, encoding for the system, and oversee disaster recovery and helpdesk services through the company’s state-of-the-art network operations center in Alpharetta. For the contract’s implementation, Convergent will integrate products from Spacenet Inc. for the VSAT terminal and hub equipment, Arel Communications and Software, Ltd. for IDL hardware and software, and Stratacache, Inc. for its content distribution system.
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