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Jocasta Williams: Driving Technology Adoption through an Empowered Community

Jocasta Williams: Driving Technology Adoption through an Empowered Community

When we hear the term entrepreneur, we typically picture someone in their own business. Sometimes though, great entrepreneurial spirit is found in people who work for someone else.

2000 was a century leap year and our computers had survived the shift from 1999. Jocasta Williams, Jo to her friends in the Echo360 community, was working in the English Department in the Arts Faculty at The University of Western Australia (UWA) which is where she first came across a new technology called iLecture.

Unveiling the Power of Technology from UWA to the World

In the English Department, part of Jo’s role was to hand out cassette tapes to lecturers who wanted to record their lectures. She would then take the finished recordings to the Multimedia centre, where Shaun Procter and his colleagues digitised it so that students could hear the lecture again in their own time on their own computer.

iLecture has since developed to become Echo360, a video platform with lecture capture as just one of its features and Jo has grown to become the General Manager of Echo360, in Asia Pacific, a multi-million dollar business.

While Jo’s journey started in the English department with cassette tapes, she soon found herself part of the iLecture team which she joined in 2003. At the time, she was a project officer responsible for coordinating the Multimedia Centre’s activities, including supporting the few iLecture customers that had come from other universities.

While she was managing payments and arranging for deployment and training with technical teams, Jo was also learning everything she could about the technology behind iLecture. As her expertise of the technology grew, Jo researched how that technology could best support learning and teaching. She instinctively understood that she would need a broad base of knowledge to move the technology further into the market.

By 2006, Jo was using her new expertise to present iLecture (now known as Lectopia) at international conferences and to universities around the world. These leaders in education, including several Ivy League schools in the United States and Russell Group universities in the United Kingdom, were eager to learn how Lectopia was supporting learning and the benefits for students.

Sharing the message about the power of technology and the ability for students to revisit content on their own device and in their own time, is one way that Jo contributed to the growth of the company to where it is today. After a chance meeting with a group of executives at a conference in 2006, where Lectopia was a guest of Apple, a conversation began that resulted in Lectopia and its team being acquired by Anystream to form Echo360.

From User Events to Empowered Community

Global growth successes aside, one of the reasons that Echo360 is the leader in the field in Australia and New Zealand and one of Jo’s biggest career successes, started in 2006 when she coordinated the first ever community event. 21 people from across the region’s customer base came to the event to learn from the Lectopia team – as well as each other – on how best to implement lecture capture and introduce this new technology to educators. Students could see the benefits from day one, lecturers were a little more sceptical.

This 2006 networking event, followed by an online forum that was created to enable these people to continue to interact and share ideas, was the beginning of a growing community that is now recognised as one of the jewels in the crown of the entire company. 

‘Our customers are so passionate about supporting students, and it’s just such a pleasure to work with them…it rubs off on everyone.New people into the community meet some of our passionate customers and it brings them along with them… this tide of optimism and confidence and all the success stories that they had.It’s really exciting.’
—Jocasta Williams, General Manager, Echo360, Asia Pacific

The expertise of the Australia and New Zealand customer base is globally recognised, and they are often approached by Echo360’s product managers, engineers and leadership team as the company considers the addition of new features. This is one reason that seats at the region’s annual conference are hotly contested among our US colleagues.

When you speak to our customers today, as we celebrate 21 years since our technology was first created, they will say that the things that make Echo360 stand out in Australia and New Zealand are the team (hand-picked by Jo) and the support they offer, the personal touch brought to all interactions with her and the history of the broad, diverse community. Customers are now friends, colleagues are family. Jo may have officially become General Manager of the Asia Pacific team in 2014 however she began leading the way many years before.

“Jocasta has been a central figure in the evolution of instructional video in the global higher education industry.  From her early involvement in the creation of the first commercial lecture capture solution to her current role as the leader of our Asia Pacific operations, Jo has been instrumental in helping institutions to understand and get the most from this transformative educational technology.”
Chris Huff, Senior Vice President, Academic Partnerships, Echo360

There is a lot to be said for learning your craft as you shape who you are as a leader in your company and you would have to agree that Jo is an expert example of that.

 

Learn more: From campus video management, lecture capture, online learning, flipped classrooms and more, contact us to discover how Echo360 can help transform the teaching and learning experience at your institution.

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