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For too long, employee training systems have been cumbersome and complex to work with. But the need to onboard employees, introduce programs, educate staff on updated policies, and offer training to external audiences has been accelerating. Organizations today do not have the time or the patience to spend months implementing clunky learning management systems. Litmos by CallidusCloud is changing that.

Litmos is the world’s fastest growing enterprise learning platform, supporting more than 4 million users in over 130 countries and 22 languages. The Litmos cloud-based solution unifies a learning management system (LMS), the extended enterprise, and prepackaged content in an engaging platform to meet any organization’s training needs. Built to scale from 100 users to 1 million users and beyond, Litmos is highly secure, focuses on the end user, and provides time to value three times faster than conventional learning solutions. With Litmos, organizations can engage learners anytime through native apps for Android and iOS, and they can extend their ecosystem by using prepackaged connectors and REST APIs. Litmos also provides local US support during business hours to help organizations be successful. Headquartered in Silicon Valley and backed by public company CallidusCloud (NASDAQ: CALD), Litmos is still run with the nimbleness of a start-up. It continues to experience double-digit growth and has a customer satisfaction rate of over 95 percent.

A POWERFUL PLATFORM: LITMOS LMS, LITMOS CONTENT, AND LITMOS TRAINING OPS

Litmos LMS is a simple yet powerful platform. Most legacy systems are over-engineered solutions with a huge percentage of features utilized by less than 5 percent of users. Litmos LMS is built with learner’s experience in mind that makes it easy to implement, administer, and manage. The platform’s open API architecture and prepackaged connectors make it simple for organizations to connect Litmos LMS to their ecosystem. And the user interface is consistent across devices, which helps organizations to engage their mobile workforce.

Litmos offers more than 700 packages of content. In addition, Litmos Content uses an in-house course production studio— composed of specialists in instructional design, production, research, technical operations, and program support—to develop more high-quality, mobile-friendly courses that focus on healthcare, HR, OSHA, sales and marketing, leadership, and more. The design aesthetics for these courses ensure better retention through engaged learning, and all content is available through the course marketplace.

Litmos Training Ops is an end-to-end training-as-a-business solution, enabling organizations to grow revenue, build loyalty, and reduce costs by automating the business side of training. A self-service, cloud-based platform, Litmos Training Ops delivers a sophisticated, integrated set of tools that help organizations automate and manage revenue, expense, global taxation, training credits, and other business processes so they can improve the ROI of their external training programs.

ADVANCING CORPORATE LEARNING

Litmos’ mission and core value proposition is to advance corporate learning by providing a learning experience that doesn’t necessarily reside in one segmented location, but in the departments where administrators work and in the applications where users spend their time. With Litmos: >> Customers will get the perfect combination of powerful search and ease of use that learners love.

>> Customers can go live in 6 weeks— many in days or even minutes—rather than in 6 to 12 months.

>> Customers will achieve time to value in less than 6 months as opposed to 24 months.

CUSTOMERS

 litmoscustomersezineimage

WHAT CUSTOMERS SAY:

>> “The Litmos platform has enabled USIC to deliver targeted, timely and efficient learning and compliance tasks to our 8,000+ employees across the US and Canada.” Tim Gale, USIC

>> “We chose Litmos because it’s extremely user friendly, you don’t need a lot of training and we love the user interface.” Miriam Calvo-Gil, Kapco Global

>> “We liked that Litmos has the ability to easily upload content, build your own content, and create courses.” Rick Galliher, 1-800-Got-Junk?

>> “What I like most about Litmos is the easy and fast implementation without needing a team of people or specialized resources.” Cheryl Powers, Coca Cola

CONTACT INFO:

4140 Dublin Boulevard #400

Dublin, CA 94568

+1 (925) 251-2220

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

www.litmos.com

Published in Insights

For too long, employee training systems have been cumbersome and complex to work with. But the need to onboard employees, introduce programs, educate staff on updated policies, and offer training to external audiences has been accelerating. Organizations today do not have the time or the patience to spend months implementing clunky learning management systems. Litmos by CallidusCloud is changing that.

Litmos is the world’s fastest growing enterprise learning platform, supporting more than 4 million users in over 130 countries and 22 languages. The Litmos cloud-based solution unifies a learning management system (LMS), the extended enterprise, and prepackaged content in an engaging platform to meet any organization’s training needs. Built to scale from 100 users to 1 million users and beyond, Litmos is highly secure, focuses on the end user, and provides time to value three times faster than conventional learning solutions. With Litmos, organizations can engage learners anytime through native apps for Android and iOS, and they can extend their ecosystem by using prepackaged connectors and REST APIs. Litmos also provides local US support during business hours to help organizations be successful. Headquartered in Silicon Valley and backed by public company CallidusCloud (NASDAQ: CALD), Litmos is still run with the nimbleness of a start-up. It continues to experience double-digit growth and has a customer satisfaction rate of over 95 percent.

A POWERFUL PLATFORM: LITMOS LMS, LITMOS CONTENT, AND LITMOS TRAINING OPS

Litmos LMS is a simple yet powerful platform. Most legacy systems are over-engineered solutions with a huge percentage of features utilized by less than 5 percent of users. Litmos LMS is built with learner’s experience in mind that makes it easy to implement, administer, and manage. The platform’s open API architecture and prepackaged connectors make it simple for organizations to connect Litmos LMS to their ecosystem. And the user interface is consistent across devices, which helps organizations to engage their mobile workforce.

Litmos offers more than 700 packages of content. In addition, Litmos Content uses an in-house course production studio— composed of specialists in instructional design, production, research, technical operations, and program support—to develop more high-quality, mobile-friendly courses that focus on healthcare, HR, OSHA, sales and marketing, leadership, and more. The design aesthetics for these courses ensure better retention through engaged learning, and all content is available through the course marketplace.

Litmos Training Ops is an end-to-end training-as-a-business solution, enabling organizations to grow revenue, build loyalty, and reduce costs by automating the business side of training. A self-service, cloud-based platform, Litmos Training Ops delivers a sophisticated, integrated set of tools that help organizations automate and manage revenue, expense, global taxation, training credits, and other business processes so they can improve the ROI of their external training programs.

ADVANCING CORPORATE LEARNING

Litmos’ mission and core value proposition is to advance corporate learning by providing a learning experience that doesn’t necessarily reside in one segmented location, but in the departments where administrators work and in the applications where users spend their time. With Litmos: >> Customers will get the perfect combination of powerful search and ease of use that learners love.

>> Customers can go live in 6 weeks— many in days or even minutes—rather than in 6 to 12 months.

>> Customers will achieve time to value in less than 6 months as opposed to 24 months.

CUSTOMERS

 litmoscustomersezineimage

WHAT CUSTOMERS SAY:

>> “The Litmos platform has enabled USIC to deliver targeted, timely and efficient learning and compliance tasks to our 8,000+ employees across the US and Canada.” Tim Gale, USIC

>> “We chose Litmos because it’s extremely user friendly, you don’t need a lot of training and we love the user interface.” Miriam Calvo-Gil, Kapco Global

>> “We liked that Litmos has the ability to easily upload content, build your own content, and create courses.” Rick Galliher, 1-800-Got-Junk?

>> “What I like most about Litmos is the easy and fast implementation without needing a team of people or specialized resources.” Cheryl Powers, Coca Cola

CONTACT INFO:

4140 Dublin Boulevard #400

Dublin, CA 94568

+1 (925) 251-2220

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

www.litmos.com

Published in New Products

 

The Consumer Electronics Show 2017 (CES), the world’s large consumer technology event happens this week, and serves the $287 billion U.S. consumer technology industry. Thousands of solutions and exhibitors are on display with the new and the next in consumer tech. But, which solutions will really move the needle for enterprise learning?

While many at CES are focused on autonomous cars and their intelligent systems architecture, there are some technologies to watch for enterprise learning on display. Let’s look at five interesting solutions that offer a mirror to the future…even some may redefine how learning is delivered.1.      

1. HTC Tracker Vive Turns on VR for Everything

htctrackerviveimage

HTC Vive has been called the most immersive VR experience to date. At CES, HTC showcased the VIVE Tracker, a new tracking peripheral that can be inserted into any product to make it work in the virtual world. Image adding the Tracker to your baseball bat to practice your swing in a VR game. Peacekeepers could use the tracker on equipment during fire simulations, police officers for standoffs, and the like. There are hundreds of potential learning applications.

The Tracker transforms any device into the virtual environment. This means any manufacturer can be a VR device manufacturer by embedding the tracker.

 

 

2. First Google Tango-enabled Augmented-reality Smartphone

googletangophoneimage2

At CES 2017, we see a trend of software being embedded in devices. We no longer must learn to code. ASUS ZenFone AR  Smartphone is the world’s first 5.7-inch smartphone with Tango and Daydream by Google. Tango's AR lets you see virtual objects and information on top of your surroundings. And, Daydream is Google’s virtual reality technology.

For enterprise learning applications, AR if great for on-boarding, technical and safety training. The faster these capabilities are pushed to the smartphone and adopted, the sooner users can generate training content to share their native expertise. Learn more at: https://www.asus.com/Phone/ZenFone-AR-ZS571KL/

At CES 2016, we learned the cost of sensing technology has dropped to pennies an axial, and text to voice is now 95% accurate.  No surprise, we see these technologies integrated into some smart devices for home and work.

 

3. Voice is Everywhere: LG, Alexa and Google Home

voiceiseverywhereimage

 

Like VR, manufacturers are integrating voice assistants within devices at home. NVidia plays with Google Home to create smart home devices. LG is using Alexa in refrigerators to track use by dates, groceries to buy and can place the online order via Amazon Pantry.

These solutions are launching at rates faster than enterprises can adopt them. Enterprises are using machine learning and AI to drive business decisions today. We could drive this intelligence to voice commands at the enterprise creating the perfect assistant.

 

4. Concept: Razer’s Project Ariana

razerariana

 

We have heard of Microsoft’s HoloLens and Star Trek’s Holodeck. Now we have seen Razer’s new concept projector, called Project Ariana. Ariana can bring projection mapping to the masses. The system is a giant screen that blends seamlessly when projected across your wall, furniture and tables. Under development, expect to see this projection system engulf an entire room with visuals that simulate being there. Imagine a Super Bowl broadcast that fills the room with you immersed in the sound and visuals. For enterprises, use of live immersive projections like Project Ariana would be great for CEO meet and greets and group wide or global team meetings. See it at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dX3sz0S5PA0

 

5. Cool Tools for the Office

toolsforoffice

 

CES is not CES unless you come back with cool tools you want to take home. Here are two our editors loved.

First, Tickle Sensor is a tool to convert your PC to touch screen. Neonode Airbar is sold for $189 and clips to the screen easily. Learn more at: http://www.neonode.com/

Second, the travel keyboard that folds up to fit in a pocket is a must have. The Kanex Keyboard has a 2-day battery life.  It is Bluetooth enabled and the magnetic case keeps it closed. Cost is less than $100.

Next up from Elearning! Magazine: Key trends and consumer technology market growth reports from CES. Follow us at @2elearning or visit: 2elearning.com.

 

 

 

Published in Latest News

The virtual reality (VR) market is a $15 billion hardware market. It is projected to reach $50 billion by 2020, according to Goldman Sachs.

VR technology today divides into two types: rotational and positional. In rotational VR, you are seated or standing and look around a 360 environment, but cannot move within it. There is one point of view: looking at things around you. Samsung Gear, Google Daydream and Google Cardboard are rotational VR. The typical VR experience with Google Cardboard ranges from 5 to 20 minutes.

The second type is positional VR. This environment lets you move around within the VR space. It can be composed of mixed reality, using a video layer over a VR environment. A mixed reality environment lets people approximate what a user is seeing within a VR application in a 2D view. Positional VR can scale to many users in a single shared space.

THE VIVE EXPERIENCE

Vive is a positional VR solution. You can be seated, standing or moving within a room. You can literally stand in the center of the content (think “Star Trek” holodeck experience.) Kids to grandparents use Vive with ease because it’s natural to interact within the environment. Given the immersion, Vive experiences tend to last longer — an hour plus for users without fatigue.

To use Vive, you need a PC and headgear. There are 100,000s of Vive users globally and we are shipping about 1,000 units per day, to customers.

PC prices to run VR have dropped considerably in the past year. Nine months ago, there were no PCs on the market to support Vive. Now there are nine models at a much lower price point.

VR applications run the gamut from games and entertainment to enterprise uses, especially medical. We see examples of automotive VR for design of cars. Designers can work in VR collaboratively in the same space. This type of application can reduce the time and cost of product design.

VR applications like test-driving a car, viewing real estate, or visiting a travel destination are all in development or deployed today. The medical field has recently created a surgical theater where an MRI of a brain can be displayed in space, and doctors can walk around the brain in VR. The National Park services also launched a series on 360-degree VR experiences and 2-D video on Facebook.

GETTING STARTED IN VR

You are probably sitting on digital content you can use for VR. It is a matter of reorganizing it into a 360 experience to allow you to move around. IKEA created a VR kitchen and let users select colors and layouts before buying. This brought buyer’s remorse to zero.

When developing VR, we recommend building cross platform as much as possible. Instead of scaling up from Cardboard, you should develop for full functionality, then scale down to the user’s platform.

LEARNING GAME CHANGER The HTC

Vive has VR learning experiences, like the Apollo 11 VR Experience. The developers, Immersive VR Education LTD, created an environment of 1960s-style living room with a TV showing JFK’s speech about going into space. The user is then transported into a space capsule sitting next to Buzz Aldrin and landing on the moon. My young son used it and shared with me what he learned; historical quotes and his successful moon landing. Four weeks later, I asked my son about the moon landing, and he could still recall with great details his experience.

We have A/B tests that measured VR versus reading of material. It found VR tested higher in retention one day and 90 days later versus readers alone. VR is a game changer in retentions.

It’s these experiences that are changing how we interact with digital content and engaging people. Vive users typically spend 45 minutes to an hour in the VR experience versus 10 minutes for Cardboard. Now, that’s an engaging experience.

– By Daniel O’Brien, Vice President, VR at HTC.

Published in Insights

Is your workforce prepared for tomorrow’s challenges? Maybe you’re thinking -”my workforce isn’t even prepared for today’s challenges, let alone future challenges.” Regardless, providing employees with the knowledge and skills they need has never been more important – or challenging. And the stakes couldn’t be higher… organizations who deliver the best, most engaging, effective employee training today are going to be tomorrow’s winners in the marketplace.

TODAY’S TRAINING CHALLENGES

The modern worker has changed. The average worker is checking their smartphone nine times an hour and are typically interrupted every 5 minutes on the job. Since the year 2000, the average attention span of a person has dropped from 12 to 8 seconds – 1/3 of the attention span of workers has completely disappeared (Time).

The modern workplace is also changing rapidly. We are running our organizations lean and mean… so managers often feel that they can’t afford to have their people “off-the-job” and training for long periods of time. Fitting in training is often viewed as a secondary objective.

Finally, the shelf life of knowledge and skills has shortened dramatically. Today the shelf life of knowledge is much, much shorter with technological changes and other factors. Experts believe our knowledge and skills must be updated roughly every 18 months or we risk extinction. It’s never been more important for workplaces to use technology to blend learning new skills into their employee’s jobs and create a culture of learning.

ENTER MICROLEARNING AND LEARNING TECHNOLOGY

Thanks to YouTube and other streaming video platforms we now understand that not only do employees desire to learn, but their preferred format for learning is video. We also know they prefer shorter videos to longer ones. Research shows the ideal length of an online training video is 6-7 minutes. This type of microlearning creates 50% more engagement than other training methods.

Microlearning also works well because the programs offered by many online training providers today are designed for any device and any size screen. This is important as many organizations and industries need training available in remote locations where a traditional computer setup is not available or feasible. Fortunately, most of us carry our little video players (aka smartphones) at all times. And since we’re checking them nine times an hour on average, training has never been more convenient!

LEARNING RETENTION AND SCIENCE

So you’ve found an online training partner with a large library of microlearning content and you’re working on a marketing initiative to roll it out to your employees. Great! Isn’t that all you need to create the behavior changes and performance improvements your organization expects to see? Unfortunately no, research by neuroscientists and cognitive psychologists tells us that no matter how great our training programs are, employees will forget about 70% of what they’ve learned within 24 hours of learning it.

Don’t throw your training plan out the window just yet, however. Let’s talk solutions – solutions based on what science tells us about learning and retention.

It turns out that testing knowledge isn’t just a way to measure how much your employees know, it’s also a great way to increase their learning, and their long-term learning retention. When the brain is asked to retrieve information, it tags it as important and is less likely to forget. In practice, asking employees a series of quiz questions and other memory “boosters” related to the training they have taken, spaced out over strategic intervals, can increase learning retention by as much as 300%!

THE RIGHT MIX

We certainly have challenges as HR and workplace learning professionals today. Combining a library of microlearning content that is curated and updated, and a post-training reinforcement plan is the perfect foundation for your training program. Get the mix right and your on your way to preparing your workforce for tomorrow.

--Dean Pichee, Founder and President of BizLibrary

Published in Insights

Insights into the Future of Work

Much like serial entrepreneurs, serial learners are intellectually curious, always reaching beyond their current role to learn something new, make connections out of seemingly unrelated topics, and seek out new networks and experiences. Companies are providing access to MOOC’s (Massive Open Online Courses) and other free learning assets as a way to encourage employees to take ownership of their learning and development. As Randall Stephenson, CEO and Chairman of AT&T has publicly said, “If you don’t develop new skills, you won’t be fired, but you won’t have much of a career.” This notion of serial learning is becoming crucial to career growth, and companies committed to understanding the future workplace are getting out in front of this!

Three macro trends are leading to an increase of serial learners and they include:

I. LIFE-LONG LEARNING SECTOR OF EDUCATION MARKET PROJECTED TO GROW 30%

The higher education marketplace is going through a seismic shift. The size of the education market in the USA as estimated by GSV (Global Silicon Valley) is estimated at $1.6 trillion. This is projected to grow to $2.0 trillion by 2020. We also see that the life-long sector is projected to grow 30% over five years. This sector ranges from 38 MOOC providers like Coursera, EdX and FutureLearn, plus a host of organizations offering personalized learning experiences such as Degreed, PathGather, EdCast and CAEL. Today, what you learn directly impacts what you earn, and as the shelf life of knowledge for all roles grow shorter, the need to be a serial learner has never been more important. This trend is driving organizations to supplement their corporate learning with a host of free learning assets, from MOOCs to Ted Talks and podcasts.

II. MILLENNIALS AND GEN Z DRIVE PERSONALIZATION IN THE WORKPLACE

Millennials (born between 1982 and 1993) and Gen Z (born between 1994 and 2009) are estimated to be more than 60% of American workplace by 2025. Members of these generations expect the workplace to resemble how they live their lives: on-demand and personalized to their needs. This means companies are differentiating their employer brands by offering Millennials and Gen Zer’s not just a job but a workplace experience. This experience includes access to smart technologies at work, on-demand learning personalized to their individual needs, a culture which inspires growth and development, and a workspace which nurtures community, enables choice and promotes health and well being.

III. ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE ENTERS THE WORKPLACE

Artificial intelligence is poised to transform the workplace. Today it is a $15 billon dollar industry and it is expected to be more than $70 billion by 2020. We are half way through a century long transformation moving us from automating physical work to automating knowledge work. This will mean some jobs will be lost. The World Economic Forum anticipates a loss of over 7 million jobs by 2020. But, new jobs will also be created like Data Scientist, YouTube Content Creator and Learning Experience Designer. In addition to impacting jobs, AI will leverage machine learning and natural language processing to improve such HR processes as recruiting new employees, on-boarding and developing employees. A host of AI empowered bots are entering the workplace; such as Talla, for handling recruiting, x.ai for scheduling and calendar coordination and Gridspace for meeting follow ups.

Over the next five years, the combination of these trends will change the workplace in a way we have never witnessed before. These trends will propel employees to take charge of their learning and become serial learners, to grow their skills and avoid job obsolescence.

—Jeanne C Meister is partner in Future Workplace and co-author of “The Future Workplace Experience: 10 Rules For Mastering Disruption in Recruiting and Engaging Employees."

Published in Insights

What is 70:20:10? Most L&D professionals will describe this model or framework as:

>> 70% of learning is experiential learning: people learn and develop on the job through day to day tasks, challenges and practice

>> 20% of learning is social learning: people learn and develop through coaching, mentoring and interaction with peers

>> 10% of learning is formal learning: people learn and develop through structured events, which includes online courses and programs Simply put: this is a learning mix.

This is intuitive. “Practice makes perfect” is what we were told. It can be applied to anything … spelling words, riding a bike, learning to piano, you name it. If you don’t practice, you don’t make progress. You can’t learn to throw a curve ball by ONLY listening to a coach. You have to practice (this is the 70%), coaching on your form (the 20%), and a little bit of theory (10%).

The same applies to work. One cannot reach proficiency or even mastery without doing. Period. The more complex the skill, the more practice needed. For instance, you can’t become a really good negotiator by simply taking an e-learning course. The course can guide you. Only if you negotiate will you become an effective negotiator.

Bottom line? Formal training is important to lay some ground work and serve as a guide. Doing the job is where the development and progress happens.

“The 70:20:10 framework is fast becoming the preferred strategy to improve workplace performance. It is applicable across all sectors and organizations, regardless of size, because of its holistic and agile nature,” says Charles Jennings.

What are the benefits of doing this? “Organizations have reported up to a 75% reduction in training spend through introduction of the 70:20:10 framework,” according to the 70:20:10 Forum.

Significant results are being seen by organizations. Training and development budgets are getting a bigger return on their investment by the results of on the job development.

So how can an organization help their employees develop on the job? Here are two best practices to help learners make the transition from the formal e-learning space to on-the-job, moving you closer to achieving 70:20:10 in your learning mix.

1. Provide learners with an exercise to complete. Provide step-by-step instructions to guide the learner on a task or situation so nothing is left to chance. The 10%, although the smallest piece, is still critical for guidance and instruction.

2. Provide job aids to support the learner while completing the exercise on-the-job. The barriers come down and allow the learner to complete the exercise from start to finish. This builds confidence, and confidence leads to success.

To review all five best practices, download our 70:20:10 Guide – Structure the 70 from our website at: http://www.vadoinc.net/702010.

To see management development or employee business skill courses created to leverage the natural way a person develops, visit Vado’s website to request a demonstration: http://www.vadoinc.net/OurCoursesor telephone (952) 545-6698 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Published in Ideas

Imagine if a technology came along that allowed your students to transport themselves to any time or place, real or imagined. Imagine if this technology could be used to create a “flight simulator” for any skill, where students could practice and learn under the same conditions where they will use their skills. And imagine if this technology could also allow students to step into the shoes of a customer or a colleague of different gender, ethnicity, or culture. That technology is here. It’s virtual reality.

The world you experience when you strap on a virtual reality (VR) headset might be virtual, but the learning results are real. Football quarterbacks have seen decision-making skills improve by 30 percent. Fear of public speaking has been reduced by 20 percent. Unconscious bias has been reduced in study after study. All after just a few sessions in virtual reality.

MARCHING WITH MLK

The virtual reality learning revolution has already begun. “We have purchased 360-degree cameras and virtual reality headsets and empower faculty members to create their own VR video,” says Robbie Melton, Ph.D., Associate Vice Chancellor of Mobilization Emerging Technology of the Tennessee Board of Regents. Her list of virtual reality use-cases is already long: “One of our educational professors shoots wrap-around video in the classroom to transport future teachers to real-life teaching situations.”

The Tennessee Board of Regents supervises 47 campuses with 173,000 students and has a strategic plan for virtual, augmented, and mixed reality and holograms. Several professors use free virtual reality assets. “One of our professors is transforming his Humanities Curriculum so that when students study about Martin Luther King’s Washington March, they can now experience the march through the immersive technology of virtual reality” says Melton. The Tennessee higher education system is not just using virtual reality as a consumption tool, but a creation tool as well. “HTC Vive brings hand controllers so we can now do art projects in VR and AR,” exclaims Melton. Virtual reality painting programs like Google Tilt Brush can be used for everything from 3D sculptures, to whiteboarding of calculus assignments; and from prototyping of new products, to architectural design. Virtual reality has been particularly empowering for students with disabilities, according to Dr. Melton. “Someone in a wheelchair can experience going down a virtual ski slope or swimming in an ocean.”

This sixth-largest system of public higher education in the United States is launching a major longitudinal study to research the learning retention impact and rate and performance achievement and outcomes of virtual and augmented reality after six months. “Our assumption is that VR/AR are going to beat video or any other medium by 75 percent,” says Dr. Melton.

FACEBOOK BETTING THE FUTURE ON VR

The fervor for VR could easily be dismissed if it only came from educational leaders and smaller technology startups. But when Mark Zuckerberg is betting the future of Facebook on the new technology, there’s reason for learning leaders to pay attention. Zuckerberg was so impressed by the possibilities of VR that Facebook spent $2 billion to get a piece of this growing market, acquiring virtual reality headset maker Oculus VR. While the first generation of VR is aimed at the gaming and entertainment markets, Zuckerberg argues that VR is “the next major computing and communication platform after phones.” When Facebook launched it was mostly used for text-based updates. Today the newsfeed is filled with pictures and self-playing videos. The next step is to capture entire scenes, in 3D and 360 degrees. Most of the other digital media giants, including Google, Apple, Samsung, and Microsoft are pouring billions and jostling for leadership in the nascent virtual and augmented reality market. Would you bet against these tech titans?

Perhaps not. But learning organizations are not yet jumping in with both feet. Anthony Rotolo, Courseware Manager at the Defense Acquisition University cautions that, “We’re still in the hype cycle, we get enamored with technology solutions in search of a business case.” He doesn’t think VR is a panacea. “It has an obvious role to train a bomb squad, but I have a hard time seeing it used to teach something like an earned value management formula.” Rotolo is taking a wait-and-see approach for now. “I’d want to see a couple of years of performance before the government applies it to e-learning. It’s prudent to wait until VR is more mature and proven.”

Other organizations are piloting VR in small scale. Lehigh Valley Health Network, a hospital group with seven campuses in Pennsylvania, looks for low-risk, highreward VR projects. “We’re trying to prototype and find correlations between VR training applications and performance improvements. We have to prove that we can change metrics,” says Virginia Cooney, Senior eLearning Designer, adding: “If I can reduce error rates with catheter insertions through VR training, that would be a big win that we can build on and get funding for larger VR programs.”

VR SIMULATIONS

Technical skill training like this can be a good start for a virtual reality pilot. “You use the same criteria as any simulation: Is it too expensive, is it too dangerous, or is it otherwise too impractical to practice in real life?” Argues Anthony Rotolo of the Defense Acquisition University. “VR has to pass that test of suitability.” Emergency response, product installation or repair, and healthcare procedures are usually good candidates for virtual reality learning.

Lehigh Valley Health Network has a large physical simulation center where actors play patients, but it’s a limited resource with a schedule filled to capacity. Virginia Cooney doesn’t think that will be replaced any time soon, but says: “as we keep acquiring new clinics further away we need to look at virtual solutions.” Her team has run 3D immersive multiplayer training programs on the desktop for years. They started in Second Life and have transitioned through several 3D platforms. “The most recent project is a 3D immersive orientation for nurses,” says Cooney. The new challenge is to transition from the desktop monitor to virtual reality headsets, where a student can experience full body immersion. “The advances in haptic feedback are important for us too, recreating the sensation of cutting into a body, for instance.”

EMPATHY MACHINE

For all the excitement about using VR as technical skills training simulator, there might be just as many opportunities to use it for soft skills training. Virtual reality has proven to be the most visceral approach to experience the world from people with different gender, race, age, or nationality and reduce bias against them. Stanford University’s Director of Virtual Human Interaction Lab, Jeremy Bailenson argues that, “For about 12 years now, we’ve been running study after study showing that feeling discrimination firsthand while walking a mile in someone else’s shoes [through virtual reality] is a better way to change attitudes and behavior.” Bailenson and his team have validated the so called “Proteus Effect,” in which the behavior of an individual, within online virtual worlds, is changed by the visual characteristics of their avatar.

Stanford’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab has even conducted experiments simulating the feeling of being a cow in virtual reality. Subjects donned a VR headset, got down on all fours, and when the simulation was turned on found themselves in a virtual pasture. The scene transitioned to the holding pen of a cattle truck, where a haptics system simulated the vibrations of the moving truck as it took them to the slaughterhouse. The study found that people felt more connected to the animals than those who simply watched the simulation play out on a screen and ultimately might be less likely to eat meat. This ability to be embodied as a different person or even a different species is why virtual reality has been hailed as “The Ultimate Empathy Machine,” by film maker Chris Milk. Imagine the opportunities to build this kind of empathy in sales and service training, coaching skill development, and diversity and inclusion programs.

VR HEADSET MARKET

The current generation virtual reality headsets range from a cardboard box for a few dollars to a $3,000 computerheadset bundle. If you’re a New York Times subscriber, you might already own a VR headset. It recently provided over a million subscribers with a fold-your-own cardboard box, including plastic lenses, magnets, and Velcro. Just drop almost any smart phone into the “Google Cardbaord” box and experience VR for yourself. If you own certain models of the Samsung Galaxy, you can get a $99 GearVR headset, which offers a step up in comfort and quality from the cardboard box. With the new Google Pixel phone, you can buy a similarly priced Google Daydream headset. These mobile headsets provide a good entry point to virtual reality. They work well for shorter and more linear experiences, such as a 360-degree spherical video.

At the high end of the virtual reality market, Facebook’s Oculus Rift and HTC Vive are locked in race for market leadership. The HTC Vive comes with laser cameras and a very long cord connected to a PC that allows you to roam around a room up to 15 times 15 feet large. Using hand controllers, you can see representations of your hands in the virtual space. A clever visual overlay in the virtual scene indicates where the real-life walls are to keep you bumping into them.

Both Microsoft and Oculus Rift have announced headsets that will occupy the middle ground between mobile and PC tethered headsets. These devices will have trackers built in, rather than relying on external laser cameras, making them easier to set up and use. They are expected to hit the market sometime next year.

Which virtual reality headset will be the winner? Or will we see a balkanized Mac vs. PC-style war of competing standards? Only time will tell. My advice would be to keep an open mind and not put all your chips on one system, yet.

AUGMENTED REALITY

On the heels of virtual reality is its cousin “augmented reality” (AR) or “mixed reality.” We all got a taste of a crude form of AR via the explosion of Pokémon Go. Virginia Cooney at Lehigh Valley Health Network is already plotting a Pokémon GO-style game for orienting new med students to her campuses: “They will get to know the new campus by walking around and finding the equivalence of poké balls and answer questions.”

But, the real breakthrough with augmented reality will be eye wear that projects holographic images on top of the real world. “Augmented reality is the real game changer,” says Robbie Melton of the Tennessee Board of Regents. “We have three HoloLenses in our classrooms already.” The Microsoft HoloLens is a see-through headset that projects holographic images on top of the real world. “The HoloAnatomy is unbelievably impactful, it revolutionizes anatomy and physiology teaching”, Melton said.

Melton is an industry veteran who puts the new technology in perspective. “I’ve been in the learning industry for 45 years, I hail from the time of chalkboards; virtual and augmented reality is by far the biggest technology revolution of my career.”

–Anders Gronstedt, Ph.D., ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ) is president of the Gronstedt Group, a digital training agency that custom develops learning games, simulations and online video

Published in Top Stories

The 2016 “Best of Elearning!” awards honor best-in-class solutions across the learning and technology marketplace. Celebrating their 12th year, these honors are bestowed across 27 different categories for which Elearning! Media Group accepted nominations.

Best of Elearning! awards are the industry’s exclusive users’-choice awards. All nominations are made directly by users of solutions, and more than 4,000 nominations were received this year.

“We are honored to recognize these 99 solutions providers as Best of Elearning! 2016,” says Catherine Upton, Group Publisher, Elearning! Media Group. ‘The number of nominations and winning organizations is a testament to the innovation and engagement of the learning industry.”

The Best of Elearning! awards formalize the recommendation and purchase process for the learning community. Research indicated 85 percent of learning professionals recommended a learning solution to a peer over the most recent 12-month period, and 61 percent claimed that award recognition “impacts their decision” to consider a product or service.

Since 2005, four companies have been recognized every year. They are Adobe, Cisco, Skillsoft and Articulate. This year, BizLibrary, SAP, and Articulate lead with four honors each. Additionally, Adobe won three categories and INXPO two.

Repeat winners from last year are SumTotal, DominKnow, Bizlibrary, Vubiz, Articulate, Adobe, INXPO and TransPerfect. Last year, Bizlibrary won three awards and Adobe two.

NOMINATION PROCESS

Elearning! Media Group community members, subscribers and wider learning community were invited to nominate their best-in-class solution providers via an online ballot between June and October of this year. The ballot was open-ended with only categories designations stipulated. No short list of brands were provided. At close, the ballots were reviewed and validated. Editors verified product types and categories before counting. The top vote earners in each category were identified as finalists. Those with a 10 percent lead over all other products in a category earned category winner status. The balance of finalists earn an Award of Excellence.

To learn more, visit www.2elearning.com/awards/best-of-elearning-awards.

 

 

Honoree Spotlight

 

LMS CLOUD

Winner: Litmos LMS, a Callidus Cloud Co.

PRODUCT INFORMATION

Litmos has more than 3 million users and is used by large enterprise companies, SMBs and not-for-profits. It is easy to build courses, assign them to learners, and accurately track the results. Litmos is a hosted training system, so administrators don’t need help from the I.T. department to set it up and get started. Content is added in the form of modules; custom branding is available; and users can take advantage of a training scheduler and learner training profiles to make certain users are being exposed to content that they need. Users can access the API to seamlessly share information between Litmos and other systems. Single sign-on can be enabled so that users don’t have to remember their Litmos password.

WHAT USERS SAY

>> “Simple, easy-to-use interface for both administrator and user.”

>> “Module form makes it easy to replace individual modules when we release a new or improved feature.”

>> “Best set of features for the price.”

>> “Easy, reliable and affordable.”

PHONE

(866) 812-5244

 

LMS ENTERPRISE

Winner: SumTotal Learn, a Skillsoft Co.

PRODUCT INFORMATION

Established more than 30 years ago, SumTotal’s Learn connects the dots between the skills and competencies people need to be better at their jobs — delivered in the context of what they are trying to accomplish — and prepare the organization for tomorrow, to measurably improve performance. With adaptable learning plans, a visual timeline of priorities and tasks and individualized insight into learning progress contextual actions are a click away, and people have visibility into the measurable impact of their efforts. Learning recommendations, personalized to every individual’s needs and preferences, keep people engaged in continuous learning effortlessly. Engaging and responsive mobile design and notifications make it easy for every role to engage with the learning they need on-the-go or from remote locations, whether online or offline, to ensure learning is prioritized and accessible when and how people prefer to consume it.

WHAT USERS SAY

>> “Second in usage only to email among employees.”

>> “Month over month, over half our employees come back, so they really see the value of it.”

>> “With the reporting function, we’ve been albe to say how we’ve invested in our people and how it has helped our business grow.”

EMAIL

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LCMS

Winner: DominKnow Platform, DominKnow Learning Sys.

PRODUCT INFORMATION

The dominKnow Platform is a Web-based authoring and publishing solution that helps teams collaborate in real-time, share and re-use content, and easily engage subject-matter experts in the review process. Content is ready for delivery from virtually any location — all from a singlesource. It offers all the features needed to create engaging, media-rich learning experiences, including customizable testing, flexible interactions and animation creation, advanced variables, branching, audio/video recording, software simulations, and system and author-created templates. The platform outputs HTML5 content that is WCAG 2.0 Level AA and WAI-ARIA compliant and publishes to SCORM, AICC, xAPI (TinCan) and PENS standards. Content is ready for delivery from virtually any location — the Web, your own LMS or LRS, the desktop, mobile apps, or document formats.

WHAT USERS SAY

>> “Allows for collaborative (SAS) approach as well as an intuitive design.”

>> “The best e-content manage system enhanced using multimedia u-learning technology and complying with latest learning specifications/standards in all platform aspects.”

>> “Robust environment for content development.”

PHONE

(613) 800-8733

 

CONTENT AGGREGATION

Winner: Bizlibrary Collection

PRODUCT INFORMATION

The BizLibrary Collection contains thousands of employee training videos on key topics your employees need including business and soft skills, leadership, sales and customer service, human resources compliance, I.T., software, industryspecific content, workplace safety and more. Content formats offered meet the needs of all types of learners from short, micro-video lessons, to more in-depth video courses, interactive video programs and e-learning courses. Many of the lessons and courses include quizzes and additional support materials to extend the learning process, increasing both retention and the return on training investment. Administrators can deliver employee training videos across platforms: desktop, mobile and tablet.

WHAT USERS SAY

>> “Great library of micro-learning.”

>> “Depth and width of the collection are staggering.”

>> “Competency guides and live support help to develop curriculum paths and curate the robust content.”

EMAIL

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Award of Excellence: OpenSesame

PRODUCT INFORMATION

OpenSesame makes buying and selling e-learning courses easy. Users can preview courses, read reviews and research sellers in the marketplace. Administrators can buy courses with no subscriptions or long-term commitments and use them instantly in any learning management system. Let us do the heavy lifting, so you can focus on choosing the best courses for your employees. Buyers can personalize their interaction either through browsing the extensive listing of courses online or interacting with one of our content specialists to custom build their training catalog. Sellers can stick with the learning management system they know best and can rest easy knowing their material is protected.

WHAT USERS SAY

>> “Not just the biggest but the easiest platform I could integrate into an enterprise LMS in 15 minutes, while many content vendors struggled immensely over months to get to the same spot.”

PHONE

(503) 808-1268

 

OTHER LEARNING PLATFORMS

Winner: Bizlibrary Company College

PRODUCT INFORMATION

BizLibrary’s learning management system is conveniently organized into three tiers to allow users the option to customize their solutions based upon the needs of their respective organizations. All three tiers offer approval agents, branded website design, a personalized user experience, online and dashboard reports, self-regulation or administrative course assignments, a Cloud-hosted online learning center, certification of completion, social ratings and reviews, a course recommendation engine and email messages and reminders. The second tier of the program, Content Management, offers management of custom documents, links and videos; a quiz and survey builder; the ability to add custom courses, embed video and learning assets; and community social learning and collaborative application. Learning Management, the highest tier, offers all of the previous benefits in addition to classroom management and on-the-job external training, certification management and virtual classroom integration via WebEx or GoToMeeting.

EMAIL

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Award of Excellence: ej4 Thinkzoom

PRODUCT INFORMATION

Thinkzoom is ej4’s comprehensive video training platform. With several interactive tools and resources, Thinkzoom helps employees during and after training. Thinkzoom allows administrators the knowledge of which videos their employees are watching and how well they comprehend the material with its built-in interactive exams. Score requirements can be set and additional student materials can be provided so learners can put their knowledge to practice. Thinkzoom also has a comprehensive reporting feature that allows administrators to create custom reports based upon users, groups, courses and topics. Understanding which courses are popular and which are lacking participation can help measure training progress and communicate future training goals.

WHAT USERS SAY

>> “Easy to implement, easy to use, engaging and rewarding for our learners.”

>> “Able to train all departments (including remote employees) with relevant, and customizable content.”

>> “Easy to upload, with a lot of good native content.”

EMAIL

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Award of Excellence: Skillsoft SkillPort

PRODUCT INFORMATION

SkillPort is a modern Cloud-based content delivery platform that delivers highly targeted learning —when and where people want to learn. SkillPort technology, in conjunction with Skillsoft’s unique combination of content, service and experience builds talent and delivers powerful business outcomes. SkillPort offers a full learning experience as a standalone learning platform, or it can be easily integrated with existing business and I.T. systems. The system offers a variety of learning modalities to match individual learning styles; a rich user-experience with a beautiful, clean user interface; analytics, reporting, measurement tools; extensive search and discovery capabilities; personalized learning recommendations, featured topics and curated learning plans; social and collaborative learning to connect users across each organization; and mobile access.

WHAT USERS SAY

>> “We’re leveraging SkillPort to align content to strategic training needs.” >

> “Being able to choose new courses keeps our catalog from getting stale and allows us to meet emerging needs as they develop.”

PHONE

(866) 757-3177

 

TMS

Winner: SAP SuccessFactors TMS

PRODUCT INFORMATION

SAP SuccessFactors provides a complete, recruit-to-retire solution across all talent processes, and comprehensive content such as skills and competency libraries, job descriptions, goal catalogs, as well as legal and coaching content. In addition to content, SAP SuccessFactors talent management solutions are provided with a foundational set of capabilities, including Talent Insights, Talent Search, Basic Jam, Job Profile Builder, and SAP SuccessFactors Presentations. The solution includes modules that expressly target recruiting, onboarding, learning, performance & goals, compensation, and succession & development.

WHAT USERS SAY

>> “Ease of use.”

>> “Has made us more effective and helped us to keep our people engaged.”

>> “You’re not just getting software; you’re getting all of the experience of SAP in deploying the software in many companies and industries.”

EMAIL

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HR TECHNOLOGY

Award of Excellence: SAP HCM Cloud

PRODUCT INFORMATION

Empower, engage, and develop your talent – with human capital management (HCM) software from SAP SuccessFactors. The cloud-based human resource management solutions support the needs of multigenerational, global, and contingent workforces. Administrators have access to collaborative tools for onboarding, workforce scheduling, payroll, and more. The software allows organizations to foster a culture of continuous learning and professional development for better business results. Core human resources and payroll functions deliver flexible and efficient global human resources processes. The talent management feature helps attract, develop and retain talent to achieve business results and prepare for the future. Time and attendance management functions optimize the deployments and utilization of each employee’s working time. Human capital analytics increase the success of workforce strategies with reliable and real time, relevant insight.

WHAT CUSTOMERS SAY

>> “We will save close to $1.2 million per year.”

>> “Frees up our people to do what they do best.”

>> “Allows accessability from all our facilities around the world.”

PHONE

(800) 872-1727

 

I.T. TRAINING

Award of Excellence: Skillsoft I.T. Skills Library

PRODUCT INFORMATION

Skillsoft provides a wide array of integrated learning types to continuously develop and maintain IT skills — including short expert-led videos, video-based e-learning courses, live web-based instructor-led training, free live mentoring services, certification test preparation, and access to tens of thousands of full text online books. It offers support for more than 100 professional IT certification exams from leading software, hardware, networking, web service companies and professional organizations. Leading experts and mentors provide an affordable fast track to IT certification and offer test preparation designed to improve pass rates.

WHAT USERS SAY

>> “Combines courseware, Books 24x7, videos and live learning to provide a well-rounded array of modalities to impart I.T. information.”

PHONE

(866) 757-3177

 

Winner: ej4 Software Skills Training

PRODUCT INFORMATION

Ej4’s “plug and play” content fits any organization, providing information that is always ready to use. Short formats and on-demand availability facilitate training, making it available to everyone, anytime, anywhere.

WHAT USERS SAY

>> “Video format allows you to see the applications being used in ways that learners can relate to.”

>> “Easy to use; excellent information; adaptable; current.”

EMAIL

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SOFT SKILLS

Winner: Bizlibrary Business Skills

PRODUCT INFORMATION

BizLibrary’s Business Skills Training program include videos and coursework on topics ranging from planning strategic relationships and managing body language. Other series contain several parts, for example, Measuring Employee Engagement discusses what passes for employee engagement at many organizations, how to measure employee engagement, and how you can improve employee engagement. Other lessons include successful time management and mastering social media.

WHAT USERS SAY

>> “Able to customize a professional skills program as well as compliance courses and even office ergonomics.”

>> “Soft skills trainings are helpful, not just in the workplace, but in every facet of life.”

EMAIL

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Award of Excellence: BCI Win-Win Negotiations

PRODUCT INFORMATION

BCI’s Win-Win Negotiations training helps individuals tap into their own strengths and experiences, hone their skills, and align around a proven framework — so they approach every negotiation with a plan, and with the confidence to achieve their goals. Lessons help users increase profits through well-planned collaboration and concession strategies, shift from using tactics to planning, while reinforcing key corporate values, focus upon interests and issues and avoid dangerous positions, enhance communications by developing a common negotiation language and build strong relationships with customers, partners and colleagues.

WHAT USERS SAY

>> “Absolutely vital training delivered in a systematic way.”

>> “We realized it’s not always about one person winning; it’s best when everyone can walk away feeling like a winner.”

EMAIL

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Award of Excellence: ej4 Business Skills Library

PRODUCT INFORMATION

Ej4’s Business Skills library contains the courses needed to effectively run any business. The Business Skills library contains courses covering professional productivity, communication skills, sales, project management, leadership, supervision, safety, presentations skills among others. The library is made for employees with varying levels of experience ranging from from recent hires to experienced managers.

WHAT USERS SAY

>> “Quality micro-learning that easily understandable and digestible in a video format.”

>> “Easy to use, excellent information, adaptable, current.”

EMAIL

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SOFT SKILLS

Award of Excellence: Vado Management Dev. Learning Track

PRODUCT INFORMATION

Vado’s management courses are designed for supervisors, managers and leaders who are responsible for leading, coaching and inspiring employee performance. These courses help build the skills needed to manage individual and team performance, engage and retain employees, and contribute to the organization’s success. They offer bite-sized content, video and mobile access.

WHAT USERS SAY

>> “Their approach to chunked learning and real-world, direct applicability engages the learner to be an active participant in his/her learning journey.”

>> “Content from experts yielding expertise transfer, plus collaborative work that exploits each content partner’s transforable value proposition.”

EMAIL

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LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT

Award of Excellence: Vado Leadership Development Learning Track

PRODUCT INFORMATION

Research shows that 70 percent of development happens on the job, and Vado provides off-the-shelf e-learning courses that help learners apply learning on the job through step-by-step instructions and exercises. The combination of short videos followed by step-by-step instructions help learners put into practice the learning they just completed, which means organization leaders are confident that the transition from learning to application on the job actually happens, and organization capabilities are increased. Vado’s new Remote Leadership Toolkit is designed to equip managers with the tools and skills required to successfully manage others remotely.

WEBSITE

http://vadoinc.net/contact-form/index.php

 

Award of Excellence: Bizlibrary Leadership and Management

PRODUCT INFORMATION

BizLibrary’s leadership and management courses cover everything from discipline and accountability, high-performance coaching, handling disagreements at work and everything in between. They also cover helpful topics such as managing remote employees, succession planning, handling team expectations and making the transition from co-worker to boss. Users get unlimited access for their first 30 days free.

WHAT USERS SAY

>> “Terrific variety in the contemporary, quality videos.”

EMAIL

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Award of Excellence: ej4 Leadership Development

PRODUCT INFORMATION

Ej4’s “plug and play” content fits any organization, providing information that is ready-to-use now. Short formats and on-demand availability facilitate training, making it available to everyone, anytime, anywhere. Leadership Development is part of the company’s Business Skills library and touches on everything from transformational leadership and building an effective leadership team. WHAT USERS SAY >> “Quality micro-learning that easily understandable and digestable in a video format.” >> “Just a tremendous resource to have.”

EMAIL

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TRANSLATION & LOCALIZATION SERVICES

Winner: TransPerfect Translation & Localization

PRODUCT INFORMATION

As the world’s largest privately held provider of translation services, TransPerfect uses a rigorously tested network of industry-expert linguists and full-time quality managers to ensure that the work it delivers is second to none. TransPerfect offers multiple levels of service based on client needs, ranging from draft/summary translation up to certified translation, featuring a multi-step translation and review process to ensure the highest level of accuracy and meet the evolving needs of global businesses. The company can translate from/to more than 170 languages, using more than 5,000 native-speaking linguists.

WHAT USERS SAY

>> “Benefits include customer service, range of languages provided, time to production, cost/quality and responsiveness.”

WEBSITE

www.transperfect.com

 

SALES TRAINING

Winner: ej4 Selling Skills

PRODUCT INFORMATION

Selling is part art, part science, and all about the approach. Your team will be able to move prospects down the funnel with ej4’s cutting-edge sales training content. A number of courses are available including Retailer Hot Buttons: Transaction Size, Selling to Different Customer Roles, Building Great Sales Relationships, and Determining Customer Needs.

WHAT USERS SAY

>> “Our salespeople have more confidence knocking on doors, and have vastly improved sales skills.”

>> “It’s taken us three calls less per customer to sell them on our products, and I tie a lot of that to the training.”

EMAIL

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COMPLIANCE TRAINING

Winner: VuBiz WHMIS

PRODUCT INFO

Vubiz provides full-service e-learning content, development and delivery software with solutions that are flexible in practice. By having thousands of hours of off-the-shelf content available for purchase as-is or tailored to a specific client situation, it offers a number of compliance courses including preventing and stopping sexual harassment, equal opportunity and affirmative action courses for managers, content about the Americans with Disabilities Act and Alternative Dispute Resolution.

WHAT USERS SAY

>> “Easy to use, excellent content and price.”

>> “Sound content; adult learning principles paid attention to; and clarity.”

>> “Excellent customer service from the VuBiz team, quick response time, great at customizing info when needed, and overall great team to work with.”

WEBSITE

http://store.vubiz.com/store/ContactUs

 

Award of Excellence: ej4 Workplace Compliance Library

PRODUCT INFORMATION

ej4’s Workplace Compliance library keeps users in legal compliance with federal and state regulations while sharing best practices for the workplace. The Workplace Compliance library contains titles covering diversity, workplace conduct, workplace harassment, fair labor standards, and a number of human resource issues revolving around hiring practices, medical leave, termination, and more.

WHAT USERS SAY

>> “[The ej4 team is] real good at figuring out what it is that I’m envisioning.”

>> “We’re changing behaviors, we’re setting standards...”

EMAIL

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GAMIFICATION

Winner: Gamelearn Pacific Serious Game

PRODUCT INFORMATION

Pacific offers learning in video game format and is designed for the development of leadership skills. It was launched with the aim of becoming a practical manual on how to run and manage high-performing teams. Pacific turns leadership into a survival adventure to develop management skills such as defining roles, responsibilities and objectives; analyzing the needs of the team, improving processes and increasing motivation; resolving conflicts within the team; improving communication for the delegation of tasks; encouraging teamwork and performance orientation. Developed in 3-D animation and HTML5 language to be adaptable to a variety of devices, Pacific is available in eight languages and requires only an Internet connection.

WHAT USERS SAY

>> “Funny, didactic and dynamic.”

>> “The first training program in video game format for the development of leadership skills.”

>> “Challenging, user-friendly, unexpected!”

WEBSITE

https://game-learn.com/contact/

 

SOCIAL LEARNING

Winner: Bizlibrary Community

PRODUCT INFORMATION

With up to five different generations present in a workplace, people see the world and the way it works differently. This can create conflict about how to complete tasks, reach goals, or run the organization. The challenge is harnessing conflicting viewpoints and ideas and turning them into cooperative creativity for how to be both productive and innovative. An important first step to bringing together a variety of talents and ideas is recognizing the similarities that connect people. Finding common interests, beliefs, or skills (whether work-related or not) can create a bridge over a generational division that energizes collaboration, innovation and problem-solving. To find those commonalities, it’s important for coworkers to be willing to think from a perspective different from their own, taking others’ life experiences into account and how that affects their viewpoint. With an RSS feed, community members receive HR and employee training news, tips and best practices delivered straight to their inboxes.

WHAT USERS SAY

>> “Works two ways: internal for our employees and even smaller teams, but also for L&D professionals who are a part of the community to ask questions and share recommendations.”

>> “Easy way to get updates from the vendor and share best practices with other customers of BizLibrary.”

EMAIL

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OUTSOURCED LEARNING SERVICES

Award of Excellence: Skillsoft Learning Services

PRODUCT INFORMATION

Skillsoft begins by developing a personalized e-learning program in conjunction with each client’s strategies, culture and events to leverage best practices — then working to maximize e-learning success. Skillsoft e-learning consultants, customer support and application engineers provide core program support services — a fundamental value-add. These teams deliver the expert e-learning services and advice to help clients establish general strategies for deployment and adoption of powerful learning programs.

WHAT USERS SAY

>> “Tremendous catalog.” “Whenever I ask for something, they say ‘we will handle that’...I come back and it’s done.”

>> “The instructors are fantastically knowledgeable.”

PHONE

(866) 757-3177

 

MOBILE AUTHORING

Award of Excellence: DominKnow Flow

PRODUCT INFORMATION

Flow is content-authoring software that outputs fully responsive and adaptive HTML5-conformant content that automatically adjusts depending on the screen a user views it on. Flow is built it on the same engine that powers DominKnow’s award-winning Claro. It not only offers responsive content that changes and rearranges according to the device one views it on. It also gives authors the ability to choose what content gets delivered, thus adapting to the user’s device for a more meaningful and contextual end-user experience. And it does all of this in a Web-based authoring environment that allows for collaborative development, sharing and re-use of resources, and anywhere, anytime, any platform access.

WHAT USERS SAY

>> “A new authoring tool integrated in the Claro LCMS.”

>> “Fully responsive with excellent, new thinking functionalities that allow you to produce truly responsive content that does not only make the content bigger/ smaller, but that actually totally adapts the content to the screen size.”

PHONE

(613) 800-8733

 

 

Litmos by CallidusCloud

AWARD WINNING LMS-CLOUD

ENTERPRISE LEARNING THAT WORKS

For too long, employee training systems have been cumbersome and complex to work with. But the need to onboard employees, introduce programs, educate staff on updated policies, and offer training to external audiences has been accelerating. Organizations today do not have the time or the patience to spend months implementing clunky learning management systems. Litmos by CallidusCloud is changing that.

Litmos is the world’s fastest growing enterprise learning platform, supporting more than 4 million users in over 130 countries and 22 languages. The Litmos cloud-based solution unifies a learning management system (LMS), the extended enterprise, and prepackaged content in an engaging platform to meet any organization’s training needs. Built to scale from 100 users to 1 million users and beyond, Litmos is highly secure, focuses on the end user, and provides time to value three times faster than conventional learning solutions. With Litmos, organizations can engage learners anytime through native apps for Android and iOS, and they can extend their ecosystem by using prepackaged connectors and REST APIs. Litmos also provides local US support during business hours to help organizations be successful. Headquartered in Silicon Valley and backed by public company CallidusCloud (NASDAQ: CALD), Litmos is still run with the nimbleness of a start-up. It continues to experience double-digit growth and has a customer satisfaction rate of over 95 percent.

A POWERFUL PLATFORM: LITMOS LMS, LITMOS CONTENT, AND LITMOS TRAINING OPS

Litmos LMS is a simple yet powerful platform. Most legacy systems are over-engineered solutions with a huge percentage of features utilized by less than 5 percent of users. Litmos LMS is built with learner’s experience in mind that makes it easy to implement, administer, and manage. The platform’s open API architecture and prepackaged connectors make it simple for organizations to connect Litmos LMS to their ecosystem. And the user interface is consistent across devices, which helps organizations to engage their mobile workforce.

Litmos offers more than 700 packages of content. In addition, Litmos Content uses an in-house course production studio— composed of specialists in instructional design, production, research, technical operations, and program support—to develop more high-quality, mobile-friendly courses that focus on healthcare, HR, OSHA, sales and marketing, leadership, and more. The design aesthetics for these courses ensure better retention through engaged learning, and all content is available through the course marketplace.

Litmos Training Ops is an end-to-end training-as-a-business solution, enabling organizations to grow revenue, build loyalty, and reduce costs by automating the business side of training. A self-service, cloud-based platform, Litmos Training Ops delivers a sophisticated, integrated set of tools that help organizations automate and manage revenue, expense, global taxation, training credits, and other business processes so they can improve the ROI of their external training programs.

ADVANCING CORPORATE LEARNING

Litmos’ mission and core value proposition is to advance corporate learning by providing a learning experience that doesn’t necessarily reside in one segmented location, but in the departments where administrators work and in the applications where users spend their time. With Litmos:

>> Customers will get the perfect combination of powerful search and ease of use that learners love.

>> Customers can go live in 6 weeks— many in days or even minutes—rather than in 6 to 12 months.

>> Customers will achieve time to value in less than 6 months as opposed to 24 months.

CUSTOMERS

litmoscustomersimage

WHAT CUSTOMERS SAY:

>> “The Litmos platform has enabled USIC to deliver targeted, timely and efficient learning and compliance tasks to our 8,000+ employees across the US and Canada.” Tim Gale, USIC

>> “We chose Litmos because it’s extremely user friendly, you don’t need a lot of training and we love the user interface.” Miriam Calvo-Gil, Kapco Global

>> “We liked that Litmos has the ability to easily upload content, build your own content, and create courses.” Rick Galliher, 1-800-Got-Junk?

>> “What I like most about Litmos is the easy and fast implementation without needing a team of people or specialized resources.” Cheryl Powers, Coca Cola

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Published in Top Stories

Sales Enablement Superstars Reveal Their Secrets

What would you do when you’re faced with training your sales team on 722 significant new releases in a year like Amazon Web Services? What do you do to motivate sales executives to forecast accurately? What would you do if you had nearly 500 global subsidiaries to sales manage like Ingersoll Rand?

The sales enablement gurus from Amazon Web Services, Publicis.Sapient and Ingersoll Rand reveal their secrets to these questions. And, it all starts with changing the sales and learning culture.

AMAZON WEB SERVICES INNOVATES AT THE SPEED OF LIGHT

As the fastest-growing Enterprise IT Company in history — having grown to $10 billion in 10 years and still growing at an annual rate of 64 percent year-over-year — Amazon Web Services continues to accelerate the pace of its innovation. After starting with one storage service, today Amazon Web Services offers more than 70 services including compute, storage, databases, analytics, mobile and enterprise applications. The organization announced 722 significant new features and services in 2015, which is 40 percent more than what was introduced in 2014. And, just recently, Salesforce named Amazon Web Services its “preferred public cloud infrastructure provider,” and announced that its investing $400 million on Amazon Web Services during the next four years. Amazon Web Services’ growth has happened organically, and it’s placed an emphasis on innovating — rather than dictating — a company culture that contributes to its customerobsessed nature.

Known for its “Amazonian” style of doing things, Amazon Web Services has a rigorous dedication to its culture, best exemplified in its 14 Leadership Principles. One can easily see how it would require an immersive learning culture to deliver on its standards by just looking at a few of these principles: >> Customer obsession

>> Ownership

>> Invent and simplify

>> Hire and develop the best talent

>> Insist on the highest standards

>> Learn and be curious

While these are the traits expected and even demanded from its leaders, Amazon Web Services holds all of its employees to such exacting standards. So, when the company needed a way to standardize its primary leadership principle, customer obsession, it took a thorough approach to learning that was both broad and deep.

CUSTOMER OBSESSION

Amazon’s primary leadership principle of customer obsession is the major driving force in the company. “One of the things that Jeff Bezos has set out to be as a company is the most customer-obsessed company on the earth,” says Mike Clayville, Vice President of Global Sales. “That’s his goal. It’s written on our walls. It’s embedded in our leadership principles and it’s lived every day at every level of the organization.”

“What it means here at Amazon Web Services, and in particular in our organization that deals directly with customers, is that it translates to our team being problem solvers with the customer,” Clayville continues. “When we are working with a customer to help them understand how he or she can gain business abilities through using the cloud or how he or she can reduce cost if that’s his or her goal in using the cloud, what we enable them to do is leverage that technology in the best way possible and we do that by sitting at the table with them. On the same side of the table, understanding the issues that are in front of them and helping them solve the problem.”

As the company quickly grew, leaders knew they needed a way to unify by implementing a common methodology and language to further extend the customer-obsessed mindset across its global sales force. Through collaborating with CloudCoaching International, and through deep discovery and design, a global program called Outcome Based Account Management was developed and deployed for sellers across Amazon Web Services. This program provides language, process, behavior and methodology that even further increases customer intimacy and focus on both business and personal customer outcomes.

OUTCOME BASED ACCOUNT MANAGEMENT

It was critical that the learning solution match the Amazon Web Services culture. So, a customized version of the Customer Outcome Selling course was developed to line up with the methodology and language of Amazon. This Amazonian selling approach is called Outcome-Based Account Management (OBAM).

OBAM is the process, tools, competencies, and dialogue architecture for initiating and solidifying Amazon Web Services’ customer-obsessed relationships, fixated on the journey of transforming the sellercustomer engagement into a lifelong strategic relationship.

“We’re not trying to sell you parts and pieces or technology. What we’re trying to help you do is get the business outcomes,” says Clayville when defining OBAM. “Our job is to sit down and help. We really talk about it as the four E’s: explore, engage, empathize and enable. Those four E’s are ingrained in the behaviors of our teams that are really supporting this notion of problem solving, identifying business outcomes, creating a path for those business outcomes to be achieved and then helping the customer achieve those business outcomes.”

THE RESULTS

The development of this program has spanned three years and is currently on its third release. The immersive program thrives on a blend of pre-call, pre-work, a live one-day collaborative training day session, three post-workshop coaching calls, and an on-demand OBAM playbook.

The program has been delivered globally to around 1,000 people in all geographies, including Europe, the Asia-Pacific region, and North and South America. In every location, the program is being met with great success, achieving a global average score of 4.2 or higher out of five from participants.

Amazon Web Services’ deep commitment to a culture of continuous learning and skill development enables innovation and customer obsession.

PUBLICIS.SAPIENT MERGES CULTURES

Sapient is a marketing and digital services agency that helps marketers transform their business to go digital, and the culture of Sapient goes back to its roots. Culture is always at the forefront at Sapient.

“The most important thing in your business is not what you’re going to sell but what you value,” says Bill Kanarick, Chief Marketing Officer of global services company Sapient, who helped steered the company since it startup days. Culture was so integral that when the company reached 49 employees, Sapient dedicated two of them to keeping its culture intact.

As Sapient continued to grow and expand, its dedication to culture has never wavered. And, learning is clearly a deeply held value at the core of many of its founding principles.

Sapient believes in the need to cultivate openness to create the conditions for curiosity and change. As such, the company is committed to exchanging information, feedback and ideas which engages employees, piquing their curiosity. Sapient understands that learning is continuous, no matter an individual’s role in the organization. Sapient embraces a culture so:

>>Individuals let go of what is no longer working.

>>Individuals welcome healthy conflict in the service of more robust thinking and better outcomes.

>>Individuals leave behind hierarchy for hierarchy’s sake and enable a meritocracy of ideas that gives each person a valued and respected voice based on the quality of his or her thinking.

>>Individuals understand the critical role of failure to teach and can recover quickly and come out better for it.

THE CHALLENGE: INCREASE VISIBILITY

In order to deliver at the speed and agility of the digital marketplace Publicis. Sapient required a world-class business platform, and selected Salesforce. It also selected Salesforce to help promote better collaboration and visibility into the pipeline.

Because Sapient’s culture is highly creative and opt-in, it doesn’t mandate training on its new CRM. Knowing that its team would benefit from Salesforce, the organization decided that it needed a solution to drive adoption, quick onboarding, and a clear path to competency for all Salesforce users. To get the team’s buy-in, it needed to create a highly engaging experience that would pull the users in. It also needed the training to be in a highly scalable format that clearly shows each employee what’s in it for each of them individually.

THE SOLUTION: SALESFORCE ON-BOARDING

Enter the new Salesforce On-Boarding and Adoption Program developed in partnership with CloudCoaching International. This program addresses the challenges of global diversity and opt-in culture by creating an engaging, informative and creatively executed end user Salesforce on-boarding and adoption strategy.

To sustain learning and encourage selfpaced, incremental growth, the program focused on three main areas: strategy, implementation and fine tuning. The design of this effective strategy included a comprehensive blend of executive coaching, leadership coaching, virtual workshops, open office hours, video communications, self-paced e-learning, and corporate communications and change management.

This unique blend appeals to all learning types and, because it’s delivered over time, it maximizes retention and effectiveness. Additionally, the e-learning series is delivered via an interface by an engaging video host that takes end users through an informative and enjoyable learning journey that introduces the new company sales philosophy and methodology, step-by-step Salesforce process demonstrations, knowledge checks and even a little singing.

So far the deployment has impacted more than 1,200 users across North America, the Asia-Pacific region and Europe. Based on the success of the initial program, Publicis.Sapient, which is composed of Sapient as well as digital agencies Razorfish and DigitasLBi, will continue to use and evolve this approach to drive end-user adoption and consumption with its Salesforce platform.

THE RESULTS

Sapient has seen measurable results since it began the implementation. It has a 50-percent increase in early-stage entry, improving the accuracy of its forecasting and pipeline. It also has 75 percent engagement in Salesforce, showing that the team is opting in and making use of the company’s major investment.

“As an extremely creative, opt-in culture, we needed a highly engaging solution to captivate the imagination and clearly show our end users the benefits of using the system,” says Seth Bartlett, Global Chief Operating Officer at SapientNitro. 

INGERSOLL RAND INSPIRES PROGRESS

Ingersoll Rand is a $12 billion global diversified industrial firm that provides a wide range of innovative products, including complete air compressor systems, air conditioning systems, tools, ARO pumps, material handling systems and more. It continues to lead the way in the market through an impressive portfolio of market-leading brands, which include Club Car, Thermo King and Trane.

Ingersoll Rand strives to lead the way in solutions that make everyday living healthier, more energy efficient, more comfortable and more productive. To constantly inspire progress, innovate positive solutions, and unleash the potential in employees, along with the customers, Ingersoll Rand relies on a culture of learning.

Ingersoll Rand is focused on driving learning and growth across its corporate culture. In 2003, it established Ingersoll Rand University to support the development of leaders and staff through strategic competencies and a single pervasive culture.

THE CHALLENGE: 484 GLOBAL SUBSIDIARIES AND ONE STANDARD

While Ingersoll Rand made learning a predominant feature of its culture, like so many other companies, it needed help establishing a consistent methodology and process for its sales management teams. Because of an inconsistent sales management process and pipeline tools varying between business units, Ingersoll Rand’s sales management team was struggling to set standard practices. Sales representatives focused on driving sales excellence but found themselves impeded by a fragmented sales management culture.

“On the surface, those of us who are not in this latest generation of the workforce tend to think about selling and sales in much the same way it has traditionally been seen for many generations,” says Melissa Nelson Tate, Enterprise Director of Sales Excellence. “If we take a step back and look at how buying behavior has changed, we see a different playing field. Buyers have all the information they need at their fingertips. Think about how you buy for yourself today either personally or in your position. Technology has added an incredible dimension to buying and that dimension compounds the work of the seller, for developing sales people and accelerating their learning curve has become more important than ever.”

She explains that sales leaders have to be ready to put on their coaching caps to harness the potential and to realize the performance available to their team. “It’s a much, much different space to operate in today than it has been for the last several decades,” she says.

STANDARDIZING THE SALES PROCESS

Ingersoll Rand selected the Pathways to Growth Sales Management System (PTG), which is a series of nine sales management disciplines, authored by Tony Robbins and Walter Rogers. Ingersoll Rand’s Sales Excellence Division, Ingersoll Rand University and Baker Communications collaborated to customize PTG to meet Ingersoll Rand’s specific requirements. The collaboration resulted in a single global sales management standard: IRSMX. This standard serves as the template for each business unit to customize in order to meet its business unit requirements, without altering the integrity of the overall system. In fact, the company took its commitment to the program so seriously and believes so heavily in its effectiveness that it mandated IRSMX be used across the entire company.

As the system was being implemented globally, BCI suggested that Ingersoll Rand consider using Salesforce as the system of record to enable IRSMX. With support from BCI, Ingersoll Rand selected the CRM leader to standardize the ISRMX process and reporting in order to support the global initiative. IRSMX is now further accelerated with the use of Salesforce as it rolls out globally.

The implementation spanned multiple geographical, cultural, and business unit environments, requiring customized content and coaching to address the worldwide business unit and diversity. All together, this project will impact more than 7,000 sellers and managers across North America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, India and Asia.

“Such a complex implementation goal requires the design of the learning strategy be creative and impactful for all of our diverse learners,” says Tara Cargle Ashcraft, Strategic Capability Learning Manager installing Sales Excellence. “Our blended approach is both traditional and innovative; it includes assessment, e-learning, face to face classroom learning, experimental field work, and a 12-week virtual coaching cycle to support adoption, reinforce learning, and practice application of content. Our sales teams are supported throughout the launch of the sales management system. It’s not a one and done. The commitment of our leaders to coach through the change is the secret sauce.”

Due to the scale of the project and Ingersoll Rand’s desire to accelerate adoption of IRSMX across various business units, global delivery was accomplished through a joint effort between BCI Master Coaches and BCI-certified Ingersoll Rand business unit Coaches, with both groups leading IRSMX workshops and IRSMX coaching cycles. Ingersoll Rand continues to leverage BCI Master Coaches for IRSMX delivery and on-demand support, including coaching, content changes, and specialized delivery needs. 

THE RESULTS

Ingersoll Rand’s desire to make IRSMX a part of all its business units’ operations has led to faster-than-expected adoption of the methodology and substantial business results, while ensuring a high level of pipeline health, forecast accuracy, and regular one-on-one coaching sessions between sales managers and sales representatives. It also found that the switch to Salesforce has been an incalculable benefit as the company uses it to track, communicate and report on the health of the business.

Through the determination and desire shown by Ingersoll Rand’s Sales Excellence division to make the IRSMX method a part of its core sales management culture, it will succeed in reaching the end goal of rolling out IRSMX to every sales manager.

“Through the areas of strong sales leadership that we have in Ingersoll Rand, we have consistently seen improvement in engagement scores where teams have a focus on strong and improved sales leadership and coaching practices,” says Nelson Tate. Sales professionals describe their time with management and as a team as important to each member’s success.

An unexpected result is that sales leaders have a better work life balance. “[Sales leaders] have seen that they can more proactively, strategically, effectively lead their teams to greater performance by actually putting in less direct hours in a day. Of course, all of this improves retention and we know how costly it is to have poor performers. Those are some of the softer results we’re seeing,” Nelson Tate says.

“On the quantitative side, we definitely are seeing cleaner pipelines, better forecast accuracy, improved win rates,” she says. “We’re getting bigger pipelines, better deals at the table and winning more of those deals, which, of course, drive revenue improvement and then translate to market share gains.”

BY KEREN STANLEY AND CLAIRE JOHNSON

Published in Top Stories
Page 8 of 90

 


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