The predecessor to Podcasting Kit for SharePoint (PKS) was Academy Mobile; the latest addition to a series of online learning initiatives developed within the Enterprise Partner Group (EPG) at Microsoft. New and existing Microsoft employees in field sales were limited to two primary opportunities to develop their skills by utilizing internal offerings branded under the Academy moniker:
- Academy Live -- Length: 1 hour - Webcasts delivered by product groups using Microsoft Office LiveMeeting service. The focus is primarily on product positioning, business value, competitive strategy, and emerging technology. Live sessions include Q&A and whiteboarding and are recorded for on-demand playback.
- Academy Focus -- Length: 1 hour per day over 2-3 weeks - Peer led learning opportunities around architectural design, new product features, and competitive tactics. Content is by the community for the community and includes peer mentoring across activities.
In July 2006, a need to provide learning and sales content in a shorter modular format was recognized by Ludo Fourrage (Group Program Manager of Academy), and together with Phil Morel (Director of Academy) they envisioned the creation of a "YouTube in the Enterprise", which became after a few months Academy Mobile
. Instead of hour long sessions, experts had the choice of creating and sharing shorter audio and video content and were not limited to hour sessions. In July of 2007, Academy Mobile became the first enterprise podcasting experience built on top of SharePoint 2007 aimed at providing knowledge via social media nuggets to the Microsoft field. Academy Mobile quickly grew and it became apparent that a more robust product was needed to scale. In addition, we wanted to meet the demand of customers and partners' podcasting needs, expand compatible content types, and improve the social interaction and user experience of Academy Mobile.
In January 2008, "Academy Mobile vNext" development began to meet these growing needs and embrace a larger vision of social interaction via CodePlex. Academy Mobile vNext eventually was renamed to Podcasting Kit for SharePoint (PKS) in order to resonate in the minds of the public and more effectively identify itself.
As of June 2008, Academy Mobile counted 2123 podcasts, 3215 podcasters, 1800 average hits a day and a total of more than 80,000 downloads since its launch.