Modest Tree is the Canada-headquartered provider of immersive training and sales engagement solutions
At 35 employees and a growing international presence, Laura Bohnert, director of public relations and marketing, says Modest Tree is leading the industry in innovative development while establishing itself as a thought leader exploring the impacts of immersive tech.
VRWT: What is the background of Modest Tree?
Laura Bohnert: Modest Tree all started with an idea to build software for new innovations that could move the technology industry forward. In 2011, our chief executive officer, Sam Sannandeji, realised that the innovations shaping gaming technologies could be applied to resolve a significant gap in enterprise training.
Soon after establishing Modest Tree, the company was awarded its first contract, which involved developing immersive training for the Canadian Air Force. The success of that project opened the door to the market potential of an idea that hasn’t stopped growing and expanding since its formation.
And Modest Tree hasn’t stopped growing, either. By 2015, the company had released its first product, and later the same year signed an important contract with Jazz Aviation LP.
By 2016, Modest Tree had become the software platform of choice for the Canadian Department of National Defence.
In 2018, we became a Microsoft Mixed Reality Partner, and later the same year, MAN Energy Solutions selected Modest Tree to develop the first VR training solution of its kind in the marine sector for the MAN engines onboard the Royal Canadian Navy’s new Arctic and offshore patrol ships, under construction at Halifax Shipyard.
In 2019, we signed a partnership with FlightPath, and RENK joined the picture as a minority shareholder, making Modest Tree an official member of the Volkswagen Group of companies.
VRWT: What are your solutions and what problems do they solve?
Laura Bohnert: Modest Tree provides software to enable companies with complex physical products to provide immersive training and sales engagement solutions.
The manufacturers we work with, including those in defence, healthcare, and automotive, have complex products that require detailed operational and training scenarios.
By completing training in a 3D virtual environment, learners are able to experience and practice their training as if it was the real thing. This enables them to ‘practice-by-doing’ in software that can be delivered as remote training from anywhere in the world.
Our clients are typically seeking to ensure that they can scale their remote training and provide immersive 3D solutions (desktop/AR/VR) that makes the learner actively experience and engage with the task.
Being able to remotely train employees and end clients, and to connect and collaborate with clients remotely, in an interactive 3D virtual environment proved critical during the recent pandemic, and seeing this increased need for remote collaboration further contributed to Modest Tree’s product development.
In the past few months, Modest Tree has developed and released two new products: Leaf, an end-to-end encrypted communications platform to enable secure data sharing and collaboration within an organisation; and Distantly, our brand-new remote event hosting platform, which consolidates the virtual tradeshow and event phenomenon into one seamless experience, allowing organisations to present, showcase 3D interactive products in a virtual exhibition booth, and connect with other organisations in engaging and easy-to-facilitate meetings.
VRWT: How receptive are your clients to immersive tech? Have they embraced your solutions, or is education required to demonstrate benefits?
Laura Bohnert: Immersive technology is becoming more widespread, but it is still relatively new for enterprise training. And as with all new things, education is required to help those who are unfamiliar understand how best to leverage the technologies and put them into practice for meaningful solutions in their business.
Of course, the challenge is that new technology doesn’t always have as extensive a research base to draw on, and the nature of innovative, bleeding-edge technology is that it adapts and changes so quickly that, by the time substantial research can be generated, it is often already outdated.
It puts Modest Tree into an interesting position. We get to lead the industry in innovative development while also establishing ourselves as thought leaders who are exploring the impacts of immersive tech at the same time that we are responding to industry needs to ignite further innovations and adaptations that will develop the technology even further.
VRWT: What do you offer to help your clients get the most out of your solutions?
Laura Bohnert: At Modest Tree, the benefits our clients can obtain from our products is paramount, and that’s why we collaborate so closely with each of our clients to provide customised solutions that fulfill their objectives and requirements.
This doesn’t just happen during initial engagement, though. We take all of our clients’ feedback into consideration to adapt our products to meet their needs on an ongoing basis.
We know the only way our products will stay relevant is if they adapt and change with our clients’ changing needs, and with the ongoing changes of technology.
Our clients are an integral part of allowing our solutions to fulfill their highest potential, and that helps our clients get more out of their engagement with our products and services, too.
VRWT: What do you have in store for 2020?
Laura Bohnert: It’s going to be an exciting year for Modest Tree. Our plans include continuing our international expansion.
In terms of our products, we’ll be continuing to add new and exciting features to Xplorer for clients to create 3D training and sales engagement on their products.
We’ll be expanding the capabilities of Leaf, and we’ll be busy with the development of our newest product, Distantly, which we just unveiled at the beginning of July.
We also have something big on the horizon that we aren’t quite ready to disclose just yet—so you’ll have to stay tuned for our next big unveiling.
VRWT: How can interested parties get in touch?
Laura Bohnert: Contact us through the contact page on our website, www.modesttree.com, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also give Xplorer a try for free by downloading the Modest3D Xplorer app from your app store, or by registering at www.app.modest3d.com.