Interview with Rory Cameron, EVP of Litmos by CallidusCloud - Leader and disruptor in the corporate learning space.


We see a couple of interesting trends in our own business and across the sector. Firstly, small Medium-sized businesses (SMBs) and corporate silos, that would have previously found it technically and cost prohibitive to set-up structured corporate learning programs, are now benefitting from rapid learning platforms. I believe that this is one of the biggest growth drivers in the market and is expanding use cases across customer, supply chain, compliance, channel and employee learning. Secondly, interoperability; historically learning management systems have been closed proprietary platforms designed to be administered and worked on in a vacuum. We were an API first platform and over 40% of our customers are either using the API or one of our over 25 packaged integrations. This has allowed learning to be seamless, embedded and automated across the day to day operational workflow.


They are becoming relevant once again and clearly do not belong in HR. In the past 5-6 years, the major growth in uses cases is for extended enterprise and outside of the firewall. HR is an internal organization and not outward facing to customers, partners and supply chain.  We are seeing the CLO office more and more becoming a strategic function similar to IT. It is similar because departments are managing their own tools and platforms but the CIO office provides strategic advisory, program management and governance. I firmly believe the CLO office will replicate this model.


We are going to see some major changes in the technology landscape. There are still over 700 [LMS] vendors in the space; many of which have not added a single line of code in years. Not only are they vulnerable, but companies that are stuck with these vendors are vulnerable to very low user engagement that could have serious business impacts. Secondly, in a hot market like technology with so many vendors and, now private equity companies, buying some of the largest players, I expect to see more and more consolidation.


I really feel that Litmos will become the corporate standard for learning management, just like Salesforce has become the corporate standard for CRM. We are following a very similar trajectory. We have seen silos and business units deploying on their own, but we are now seeing the corporate division making us the standard in the organization.

Published in Insights


Why is most corporate learning not optimally effective? Many long-time L&D experts including Elliott Masie, Clark Quinn and Will Thalheimer have frequently lamented that much of the corporate learning they see is not really effective learning, because it is not mentally challenging.

By Bryan Austin

Like them, I’ve found the issue is not that learning professionals don’t know how to create learning that is challenging enough to be effective. Instead, it’s usually the harsh reality of the time, resource and cost constraints within which most learning professionals work.

Every organization provides training to its workforce primarily to improve performance and drive business growth. So let’s discuss some brain science and how to leverage it to create learning that really engages learners and actually improves performance.


A.G.E.S. is an outgrowth of neuroscientific research that examines the link between training retention and how strongly each learner’s brain is activated during training. The A.G.E.S. model focuses on four key categories that reduce distraction during training and dramatically improve retention:

Attention (focus) - Are your employees prone to multi-tasking during training? For the brain to fire at the level required to transfer learning from short-term memory to long-term memory (that is, necessary for retention to happen), learners need to pay close attention during a learning task. Deep focus is a critical factor for learning retention. Employees will engage if they intuitively understand how the learning is relevant to their success. Engagement is making the learning (and the brain!) active, not passive.

Generation (each learner makes his or her own meaning) - This means taking the “active” learning described above to the next level. Learners must generate their own mental links as they learn, not just passively listen. Training will be highly retained when learners create their own mental context to embed the knowledge.

This is most effectively done by involving multiple senses during learning. Not watching or reading, but thinking, listening, speaking and doing. If our training uses multiple senses (like playing an interactive game), we are activating different sets of the brain’s neural circuits to more tightly embed the meaning each learner creates during that learning.

Emotions (better recall) - The stronger the emotions each learner feels during training, the higher their retention of the material will be. These emotions can be either positive or negative. How can your training engender feelings of success? Or fear of failure? Are the majority of your employees inherently competitive? Trigger that competitiveness to create learning experiences that makes them want to win. Or avoid losing.

Spacing (learning blocks) - Remember how you “crammed” for that big test in school? This was effective in massing a large amount of knowledge, but only for short-term memory. Long-term recall/retention improves dramatically when we learn over several sittings. The longer employees must remember the knowledge that makes them successful, the more learning must be spaced out.

How often does your training initiative include a reinforcement strategy that extends well beyond the foundation training? Unfortunately, most strategic corporate training initiatives are more of a “Big Bang” with little to no reinforcement. Spaced repetition is key to learning effectiveness and retention.


The A.G.E.S. model in neuroscience is essential to create more effective learning. The best part: there are now technology solutions built around A.G.E.S. that can enable your organization to produce “A.G.E.S.-level learning” within the time, resource and cost constraints you face.

—Bryan Austin is vice president at mLevel, which produces award-winning game-based learning. More info:


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Dean Pichee, Founder and President of BizLibrary

What's happening with learning content delivery and the technology supporting it?  We continue to hear a lot about mobile, gamification and responsive design.  Where is the leading edge today?

I’ve been in the training industry for quite a while, and I’ve really never seen things as unsettled as they are today. We went through a massive amount of consolidation a few years ago, and that created an open market for companies like BizLibrary to step forward with modern and innovative learning solutions. What’s happened as a result is that today small and mid-sized companies have access to far more interesting and innovative training solutions than do enterprise organizations. Enterprise training vendors and their clients appear stuck, having made massive investments in legacy technologies and content that simply aren’t very effective at meeting the needs of a modern workforce and today’s learner. Smaller, more agile vendors are delivering far more interesting solutions — solutions that typically include short-form video content and mobile delivery.

Where do you see the market going in terms of the consumption of training content?

It’s already at the place some predicted a few years ago, with short video or micro-learning dominating the market. Since some vendors offer clients a diverse set of content options in a wide variety of formats, they are perfect “test tubes” for employee preferences. Those employees consume on average about five video training lessons per month, each averaging less than 10 minutes in length. Those that access older, legacy e-learning courses — the “click-and-advance” PowerPoint style — see their employees take about four courses per year. The message is clear. Employees are telling the entire market something very important. It’s all about video, and it’s all about short, bite-sized content, too.

What do you see as the future of employee training and learning?

The future is so exciting. As I mentioned, there are many well-established “brand” names in the industry. They have lots of clients who’ve made big investments with them, so how do you go to those same clients and tell them it’s all got to change? That’s a hard conversation. It’s also a difficult logistics problem — one that requires them to engineer a new type of learning solution, migrate users and platforms, et cetera. So I see organizations that are smaller, more agile and don’t have a massive legacy system to re-engineer at the forefront of the future. Organizations today need a new type of LMS and a new content solution as they migrate away from day-long instructor-led training programs to the short, on-demand learning that employees prefer. I think the next big thing in learning is going to be in the area of learning retention. If employees can learn what they need, when they need, and also be able to retain it, they will be able to apply their new skills to improve their performance. Which is the only objective of employee training. Tools are beginning to emerge today that allow vendors and learning professionals to deliver an end-to-end learning experience.

Published in Insights

Making a sell is harder than ever. What use to take 3 contacts to close now takes 14 contacts today, according to Tony Robbins. Plus the pace of changes, turnover and the like is more rapid than ever. Are your reps ready for this new age in selling?

Today, it takes 4.3 months to get a new sales rep up to speed according to Trish Bertuzzi, CEO, The Bridge Group. And, they average rep stays for only 24 months. Companies need to shorten the ramp up time with on-boarding strategies and provide a roadmap to success that competitors don’t offer. An added challenge is the sales management tenure is only 18 months on average, according to Walter Rogers, CEO of CloudCoaching International.

On-boarding Process

Today, 38% of companies do not have an on-boarding process according to Joe Gustafson, CEO, Brainshark. Measurement of on-boarding training is sorely lacking. Training of new team members needs to be a systematic process and not one left to the line manager. The barriers to success are focus and time. There is not a roadmap to success and inadequate time to train.

The biggest on-boarding problem is focusing too much on company products and not focusing on the customer and their needs. “Teach them about buyers first… and how solutions help them build a better business,” reports Sharon Little, Research Director, SiriusDecisions. To be effective, the system also has to measured. If it is not measured, it won’t be funded.

Role of Continuous Learning

“If you are not learning, you are dying,” claims Rogers. Customers are changing rapidly and teams are learning differently. Training needs to be personalized, bite-sized and accessible. “Continuous learning use to be difficult. There was no technology to support it. Now that is not the case. Delivering learning in the moment of need with content delivered within context is doable,” concludes Rogers.

“Learning is the new coin. Millennials want skills development more than money,” touts Trish Bertuzzi, President, The Bridge Group.

The coaching role has become more critical now. There is an important role for coaches in facilitating on-the-job skill development. “In the past, managers would get 1-2 days training and expected to be a good coach. But…coaching is not a natural skills. Formal coaching programs are needed to perform the function effectively,” reports Rogers.

To develop effective coaching programs, companies need to do three things. First, when using internal sales management as coaches, take work off their plate to provide time to effectively coach. Second, coaching is not a natural skill but can be trained. Use outside resources to train coaches or use as coaches for your internal teams. Finally, measure the impact of it. “Collect better data on what is actually going on and focus on the outcomes measured,” says Gustafson. “Use the tools available in salesforce,” adds Little. The data is collected there from hire, train to retire.
There are 9 disciplines to focus on with the data to support focus,” says Rogers. They are outlined in the Pathways to Success series offered by CloudCoaching International.


There is more sales content than ever available to sales teams. Which investment is driving revenues? Most companies don’t know.

“Today, 100% of companies measure revenue, 30% measure knowledge, but less than 10% are measuring revenue from the content that drives it, “reports Gustafson.

“You must tether your content to revenue. Finance knows the expectations, so go ask them if you don’t,” reports Little. “First identify which products drive the most revenues to the organization. Then identify the selling motions of those sources and the process to convert it to revenue,” adds Little.

The day of updating the content archives every 90 days on automatic are over. New content should be viewed through a governance process before being launched. When the content goes live, it can be hosted on a trackable cloud video system, like Brainshark, which reports view, tracks buyer interactions and links to the client record. Tools like these are sales accelerators for the sales team.

The Wish List

What improvements do sales organizations need?

“Availability of useful data and apply it to remove the pain of failure,” claims Little.

“The sales readiness role needs to move from training to the sales team. The trainer needs the street sales experience to know buyer challenges,” claims Bertzzi.

“We need to be aware that success is 80% psychology and 20% tools,” concludes Rogers.

Source: Are You Reps Ready? Insights for Better Sales Conversations, Dreamforce 2015.

Participants: Trish Bertuzzi, President, The Bridge Group, Walter Rogers, CEO, CloudCoaching International, Joe Gustafson, CEO, Brainshark and Sharon Little, Research Director, SiriusDecisions

Published in Insights

ChequedImpact is a patent-pending HR technology tool that provides employers with critical early-stage feedback on the effectiveness of new hires.

Using it, employers for the first time will be able to gather real-time data soon after a new employee starts work.

Through a simple automated process engaged at a time selected by the employer, feedback is gathered from the new employee, the hiring manager and other key stakeholders.

The resulting information helps to quantify how well the new employee is adapting to the job requirements and company culture, while also assessing the company’s return on investment through the hiring process.

—More info: htpps://

Published in New Products

Transparency and engagement are two key trends that switch the focus of human resources departments from processes to people.

Other key observations about the evolving HR function in companies, from a new whitepaper:

>> A time and attendance system is uniquely qualified to promote both transparency and engagement in an organization. Unlike other systems which focus on a user group — like customer relationship databases for sales — nearly every employee in an organization uses a time and attendance system. With this powerful tool sitting at the heart of an organization, it can shift the focus from processes to people.

>> A people-focused time and attendance system can encourage open communication and active engagement with confidential communication, automatic benefit accrual, mobile access, and personal information management. These attributes help employees experience how much an organization values their time, engagement and satisfaction.

The whitepaper is titled “HR Tech Trend: People-Focused Time and Attendance.”

—Download the paper:

Published in Latest News

Much like the life cycle of a butterfly — which, as we all learned in school, begins as a caterpillar — employees have a life cycle of their own; they evolve in their careers both personally and professionally. Whether it’s an employee’s first day, 10-year anniversary or the day before retirement, organizations need programs to help educate and support their employees. Online learning tools not only help support the evolving needs of workforces at any stage, but they also can accelerate the time needed for employees to begin contributing value to their employer. After a caterpillar forms its cocoon, it can take weeks or months to see the beautiful new butterfly emerge. Similarly, finding, onboarding, training and engaging talent is a process that takes time. Every employer’s needs differ, but many organizations find success utilizing on-line learning products for every stage of the employee life cycle:

Online job fairs. Interacting with potential employees enables employers to introduce their brand and mission, and mine great talent from multiple locations.
Pre-onboarding. Employers gain an advantage and shorten the time to value by building online programs to educate new hires before they come into the office. For example, new hires can use online tools to get to know their new employer, get an overview of department responsibilities, and complete preliminary tasks before reporting on their first day. A pre-onboarding program can allow access to a learning portal even before a new hire has received company credentials, as the employer has complete control of access to the content.

Onboarding. Once new hires start, they will need to learn a lot, and quickly. Using an online learning tool can help them to learn more about their department and specific duties as well as cover Human Resources issues such as compensation, benefits and company policies. The flexibility of online learning portals allows each organization to design programs and access around its own use cases, making these tools highly effective.

Moment-of-need training. Throughout an employee’s tenure, additional training and certification may be necessary to keep the employee qualified and up to date on best practices for his or her specific duties. From formal certification to ad hoc programs, learning portals let employers document progress, supply tests and utilize engagement tools to test information retention.

Leadership. As organizations grow, communication from leadership becomes important for understanding strategy, sales reports, and quarterly or yearly updates. Programming through an online video learning portal allows employers to reach their entire workforce through a single destination that can be viewed live or on demand.

Human resources. When organizations update company policies such as vacation, health-care benefits or other important topics, learning portals make it easy for HR departments to record changes that can be viewed by everyone in the organization. In this format, employers can answer questions in real time and share documents, ensuring everyone will better understand policy changes.

Online learning portals are an effective way to consolidate resources and save time when communicating important information to a large audience. Regardless of where staff may be in the employee life cycle, online learning portals make the employer’s job of communicating and educating employees easier.

Emma King is vice president of Learning for INXPO which markets enterprise video communication solutions. More info:


Published in Insights

Our industry is advancing so fast, it's interesting to see how much top trends change from one year to the next. Let's pause to consider what our industry will likely be seeing this year.

1) Ongoing training and coaching
Organizational leaders are catching on that the information-dump training sessions of old no longer work. Technology now lets us follow a campaign model in our e-learning, delivering training material to users when they need it. Information can be broken into easily consumed chunks, and we can follow up with automated reminders, coaching and more.

2) Personalized experiences
Rather than cramming employees of all different disciplines and experience into one room for a training class that may or may not apply to their role, organizations are moving toward personalized experiences, creating custom pathways based on role, experience and individual training needs. We can use digital dialogs to assess each learner's background and knowledge level and send them down the most appropriate path.

3) E-learning will shift into developing markets
As technology becomes more globally accessible, we'll see e-learning adoption spread into emerging markets.
In the "2014 E-Learning Market Trends & Forecast Report," the highest regional growth rates are in Asia (driven by India, China and Australia) at 17.3 percent, Eastern Europe (driven by Russia) at 16.9 percent, followed by Africa and Latin America at 15.2 percent, and 14.6 percent, respectively.
The study was also able to uncover the three largest areas of growth under the e-learning umbrella: Content, Authoring Tools and Learning Platforms.

4) Big Data and robust reporting
Digitized training allows for advanced data collection and aggregation, and we're figuring out better ways to leverage that data to understand our audience, optimize our learning campaigns, and measure training effectiveness — especially in the days and weeks following training. Is training driving sustained behavioral change? Now we can find out.

5) Continued growth in mobile adoption and custom apps
Mobile adoption for delivering training was one of our top trends for 2014; in 2015, we expect that trend to continue with increasing use of custom mobile apps for learning. LMS systems have made interactive training content available online, and mobile applications are the next frontier, giving learners access to the same content on a mobile device. This offers flexibility and allows for device preference, or a BYOD approach.

—The author of this article, John Bryson, is an e-learning project manager at Expand Interactive ( Access Docebo whitepaper: contactform/elearning-market-trends-and-forecast-2014- 2016-docebo-report.pdf

Published in Top Stories

A smartphone app called "Facebook At Work" might enable the billion-user social network to expand into the corporate training and e-learning sector.  Facebook has been working on the experiment since at least last November, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

Facebook At Work is a collaboration tool that lets employees communicate through either a Web interface or a mobile app, instead of using email. The software is still in the early stages, the company says.
Facebook At Work looks and feels similar to Facebook's consumer-oriented social network service, so one of its selling points is familiarity. But there are no advertisements, and the application doesn't track users or hold their data.

In addition to being somewhat of a professional meeting place, Facebook at Work reportedly aims to enter into Cloud collaboration, too. So that means employees could connect via the new, separate network with their co-workers and work on projects — documents, presentations and the like — together.  That would be a direct attempt at taking away from popular Web-based collaboration tools offered through Google Drive, Microsoft Office and others.

A key feature of the app is Groups, which the company believes could replace email lists. Another feature is a news feed that's similar to the consumer edition of Facebook.  Reed Albergotti, a WSJ blogger, believes that Facebook "could face trust issues from chief information officers wary of allowing a company that specializes in gathering personal data to tap into sensitive corporate conversations."  But Facebook contends that it will gather no data on corporate users, and the actions of Facebook At Work users will not change their usual Facebook profiles.

When it's ready, Facebook At Work will be available from both the Apple's iOS App Store and Android stores.

Published in Top Stories

By John Ambrose, Senior Vice President of Strategy and Corporate Development, Skillsoft

The growing demand for adaptive learning solutions that optimize employees' performance is driving organizations to implement a platform that goes beyond basic employee management. Today's most forward thinking organizations are looking to deliver learning-centric Talent Expansion solutions that drive learning to the core of all business processes and strategies.

Our recently conducted research reveals that organizations need to do a much better job of understanding the learning habits and behaviors of their employees. This gap between what employees actually need and organizations deliver has led to a learning crisis that is forcing a fundamental shift in the way learning will be delivered and consumed in the years to come. Increasingly, we're seeing a shift from the idea that there is a talent crisis to that there is actually more of a learning crisis. This shift is heralding the introduction of what we call the Learning Age – an era that focuses on developing employees to their fullest potential through learning.

In the Learning Age, success, velocity, and market leadership will be defined by very different factors than they were in the past. The ability for organizations to rapidly acquire and apply new knowledge and skills that ensure employee success and advancement will be the critical factor in market leadership. In today's fast-moving, global business environment only those organizations that are committed to pervasive learning across their workforce will earn and sustain their leadership positions.

The underlying key to adaptive learning will be an organization's ability to leverage information. Data-driven, adaptive, individualized learning will be the difference-maker as organizations look to fill skills gaps in an evolving workforce, and we believe that our work in the field of big data is providing the foundational building blocks for this. We're particularly excited about the demonstrable and measurable impact at reasonable scale that we're already seeing in two separate cohorts of live customer pilots where we successfully injected big data techniques into the learning process in organizations with employee populations ranging from a few thousand to nearly 100,000 employees. During our live pilots we found an:

• 84% of users stated that one or more recommendations made by our big data algorithms were relevant to them

• 128% improvement in user engagement with learning assets compared to the baseline

The early results we're seeing with this big data initiative underscore the critical elements of success in this new Learning Age: adaptive, personalized learning and next-generation solutions that will allow organizations to more effectively close skills gaps and build better networks of human capital.

We're heading towards an era where learning will define organizations' success on a global scale more than ever before. With the combination of content-rich learning programs developed through the application of big data and talent-centric solutions, organizations will be able to develop their employees' full potential and create an environment that caters to the talent development of employees, resulting in overall success for the business.

Big data enables organizations to deliver optimized learning experiences and uncover new learning patterns that can be applied immediately so that the system is continually improving. By understanding these learning patterns, organizations can easily adapt their learning solutions to address new situations and equip their workforce for success. This level of adaptive, personalized learning will be paramount in the Learning Age.

We all agree that the shortage of skilled workers impacts organizations around the world. The only way to overcome this shortage is by ensuring that workforces are engaged and given the right learning tools and content so they can quickly build their skills and meet organizational needs. Harnessing technology, specifically sophisticated big data algorithms, will prove to be a critical component to achieving this goal.


Published in Insights
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