The Virtual Reality War has begun. Alphabet’s launch of Pixel Smartphone and new VR headset has joined the battle with Facebook, Microsoft and Samsung. With the heavy adoption of the technology comes the realization that VR IS in the future for enterprise learning.

VR is currently estimated to be a $1 billion industry according to Deloitte Global, but will explode to $35 Billion by 2025 according to BI Intelligence.  Video games and entertainment are the largest VR market segments accounting for$18.9 billion of the $35 billion market in 2025. Enterprise VR applications will generate 54% of VR market with Healthcare and Engineering leading the enterprise market.

 

vrmarketsharecrop

Published in Latest News

--Recognizes Contributions to Federal Distance Learning

Elearning! Media Group, publishers of Elearning! and Government Elearning! magazines, announced today the Federal Government Distance Learning Association selected Elearning! Media Group for the Pillar Award for contributions to the Federal Government Distance Learning Industry.  The 2016 FGDLA Awards honor excellence in federal government distance learning to 16 organizations and professionals.

We are honored to earn the Pillar Award from FGDLA and congratulation the Association for delivering important industry practices and information to more than 350 federal agencies,” says Catherine Upton, Group Publisher, Elearning! Media Group.The organizations selected for the FGDLA Awards are an inspiring group and it is with deep respect that we accept this award.”

FGDLA is has named the following Federal Government employees and organizations as 2016 FGDLA Award recipients for demonstrating excellence in distance learning:

Individual Awards:

Hall of Fame: In recognition of an individual who has made significant contributions in promoting and developing distance learning in the Federal Government. 

Honoree: Dr. Kenneth P. Pisel, Joint Forces Staff College, National Defense University


Pioneer: In recognition of an individual demonstrating initiative and leadership in the development and implementation of distance learning in the Federal Government.

Five Honorees: Dale Carpenter, Distance Learning Group, National Park Service

Andrea Simonelli, Information Technology Department, Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division

Naval Air Systems Command

Dr. Damon Regan, Advanced Distributed Learning Initiative

JoAnne Green, iCollege, National Defense University

Paul Thurkettle, NATO E-Learning, Allied Command Transformation

Organizational Awards:

Five-Star: In recognition of an organization demonstrating excellence in providing enterprise-wide distance learning solutions for the Federal Government.

Three Honorees: Acquisition Career Management Group Acquisition Policy and Oversight Federal Aviation Administration Digital Learning Network, National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Information Technology Department, Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division Naval Air Systems Command


Innovation: In recognition of an organization demonstrating leadership in the development of emerging distance learning technologies providing enterprise-wide solutions for the Federal Government.

Three Honorees: Distance Learning Group National Park Service (NPS), Advanced Distribute Learning Initiative Office of the Undersecretary of Defense (Personnel & Readiness), NATO E-Learning Allied Command Transformation

 

Eagle: In recognition of an individual that has served the Federal Government distance learning community by providing exceptional leadership, vision, and advocacy.

Honoree: College of Distance Education and Training Marine Corps University

 

Pillar: In recognition for outstanding service or significant contribution to the Association by an organization not affiliated with the Federal Government

Honoree: Elearning! Media Group, Publishers of Elearning! and Government Elearning! Magazines

 

This is FGDLA 20th year for proudly recognizing individuals and organizations who have made major contributions to enhancing distance learning within the Federal Government,” says Alex Autry, President, Federal Government Distance Learning Association. Not only have these recipients’ improved the knowledge and skill levels of our number one resources- people-  but have ensured our Nation is second to none.”

 

FGDLA Award Luncheon

The 20th Annual FGDLA Awards Luncheon will be hosted on December 8th at 11:50 AM in Room 151A at the Washington D.C. Convention Center. The Award Luncheon is a ticketed invitation only event conducted during FGDLA’s Government Learning Technology Symposium (GLTS).  GLTS is a free two-day conference for government personnel. Uniquely focused on the needs of Federal Government distance learning professionals, GLTS provides a venue for professionals to make connections, discuss the latest developments, and identify new regulations and trends that affect our industry. If you are involved in learning, talent development, mission execution, HR services, project management, team training and leadership, you should attend GLTS.

The GLTS is held at the Washington D.C. Convention Center, Dec. 7-8, 2016. For the complete GLTS program, visit  http://glts.fgdlaevents.us/ 
Published in Latest News

 

Award Program Recognizes Top 100 Global Learning Organizations

Elearning! Media Group, publishers of Elearning! Magazine and Government Elearning! Magazine announced the 2017 Learning! 100 Award Call for Applications is now open. The annual award program honors public and private sector organizations for innovation, collaboration and learning culture that drives performance. Applications can be submitted at: http://b2bmediaco.com/learn100/2017/award/form_100.php

The Learning! 100 award winners are an elite team of high performers. From small to large enterprises, this award honors those that push the limits of learning and development, to over achieve by exceeding performance expectations,” says Catherine Upton¸ Group Publisher, Elearning! Media Group. “Learning is at the core of their success. And, every one continues to inspire us with their innovation, passion and performance.”

Previous Learning! 100 honorees include Amazon Web Services, AT&T, American Heart Association, Salesforce, NASCAR, Defense Acquisition University, and Scripps Health to name a few. 

Are You a Learning! 100?

In its 7th year, the Learning! 100 Award call for nominations is now open. Elearning! Media Group, host of the Learning! 100 Award invites all organizations, small and large, private or public sector to apply. The process is easy via an online ballot. There is no entry fee for public sector submissions. Corporate enterprises invest only $250 to apply, which includes an award and tickets to the awards event, if selected as a Learning! 100 winner.

Learning! 100 applications are evaluated on three sets of criteria: (1) Learning Culture Index developed by The Darden School, (2) Collaborative Strategies’ Collaboration TCEP Index and (3) Overall Organizational Performance. The Learning! 100 awards committee reviews all applications which are scored and ranked.  The 2017 Learning! 100 applications must be submitted by February 1st, 2017 for consideration at: http://b2bmediaco.com/learn100/2017/award/form_100.php

Important Dates

Learning! 100 Call for Applications    October 2016- Feb 1st, 2017

Learning! 100 Winner Notifications   March 1st, 2017

Learning! 100 Awards Issue Deadline July 1st, 2017

Learning! 100 Awards Reception       August 2017

Learning! 100 Winner Articles,          Aug 2017-June 2018

    Web Seminars & Sessions

Previous Winners

The Learning! 100 winners have much to share with the learning community including:

I’m truly honored that ASAE University was recognized for its online programs,” said ASAE Vice President of Online Learning Tammy Blosil. “We always strive to create courses that will advance members’ knowledge as well as provide tools and resources they can share and utilize in their organizations.”

"Our customers' success is everything to us. Seeing Amazon Web Services, Ingersoll Rand and Publicis.Sapient get recognized for their dedication, hard work and accomplishment - and knowing that our solutions are contributing to their success - is an immensely rewarding experience," says Walter Rogers, CEO of CCI and BCI.

“Being ranked in the top 20 is an honor for our organization, and demonstrates that although we are a rather small, privately held organization, we can play with the likes of Salesforce, Facebook, Amazon, and Cisco,” stated Anne Yarmark, EVP of HR & Administration.

Elearning! Media Group (EMG) announced their annual Learning! 100 awards, ranking the top 100 learning and development programs in the private and public sectors,” reported Tom Cunningham, Vice President, Global Sales On-boarding, Skillsoft. “Along with the dozens of Skillsoft customers that made the list, we are very excited to be named the #17 corporate enterprise honoree for the success of our Sales Onboarding Program!”

 

Learning is at the very core of ISTE’s mission to empower learners to flourish in a connected world by cultivating a passionate professional learning community,” said ISTE CEO Brian Lewis, who accepted the award on the organization’s behalf. “On behalf of ISTE’s board of directors, staff and the more than 100,000 education stakeholders we serve worldwide, it’s an honor to accept this recognition of the culture of learning that is ISTE.” 

To learn more about the Learning! 100 Award and prior honorees, visit: http://www.2elearning.com/awards/learning-100-awards

 

Published in Latest News

When I originally wrote the Freemium blog that was posted on our site, the thought crossed my mind about what the LinkedIn acquisition by Microsoft could mean for our industry. It was the sheer volume of data — on each of us — that could be mined, which makes you ponder the possibilities. 

Deep down, I’ve always believed that the strategy behind LinkedIn’s original purchase of Lynda.com was that together, they could have achieved a what may be considered an unfair advantage as a training provider. After all, They would know so much about each of our careers and experience. It was all there — possible education gaps, career direction, current career level, etc. But it didn’t happen. And now, Reid Hoffman, LinkedIn Co-Founder & Executive Chairman, exclaimed at the Sun Valley CEO Summit that AI and machine learning will affect more than just the manufacturing sector, it will affect those in professional spheres.

Microsoft makes its own move, bringing with them a deep knowledge of machine learning, AI, Big Data, and data mining, and all of a sudden, here sits a partner that can take advantage of that enormous asset. The potential to take each of our profiles, analyze them, and then recommend what training we might want to take, what networks we could take advantage of, and even more is all sitting there. 

And it all started with the Freemium model which created tremendous value because of what we all willingly contributed to it for free. It’s like Wikipedia’s value. And what’s in it for us to have shared all of this information? As long as all of us can use the crowd-sourced data for free, find interesting groups to belong to, discover like-minded individuals, and possibly get our credentials in front of someone who might think we were a good match for a position opening, it has great value to each of us. 

It’s when people want to dive deeper, like in the case of recruiters and sales reps looking for prospects, that this model can easily be monetized. People will pay for extending their search and email solicitations, or even to view data in certain ways. Imagine the value of running a sales conference in a metropolitan area and then being able to see all of the sales people in that area. Or maybe it’s a specific training event for instructional designers.

The next step along my marketing and sales journey is to advertise to the target audience. The marketing capability is a huge potential that not even LinkedIn has taken advantage of fully. To me, it would have been of great value to see an “Events In Your Area” newsletter that gets customized for each of us.

So will this mining and interpreting of data happen? I suspect not right away. But here’s what lingers in my mind. Microsoft owns Dynamics — a competitor to Salesforce.com. Imagine what could be extracted from LinkedIn about prospects. Microsoft also owns Yammer — a competitor to Facebook and other social networks, but a network that competes at a more professional level. And then there’s our world where Microsoft is trying to play a stronger and stronger role. It includes Microsoft Classroom for the K-12 arena, and then LMS365 Cloud, Learning Management for Office 365 for the rest of the market. 

However, in all of these cases, Microsoft isn’t the market leader.  Does that point to systemic weaknesses in their organizational fabric and management? Is there not sufficient autonomy to let people execute? Are their moves over-scrutinized by regulators?

We’ll probably never know from the outside looking in, but I’m also thinking that they won’t be as nimble when it comes to achieving this outcome. That’s especially true because they have to first assimilate all of these new cultures into their own.  But consider the potential. It’s all there, waiting for Microsoft to execute the plan.

— Joe DiDonato is Elearning! Magazine’s Editor-at-Large. He has served as CLO for Oracle and Countrywide, as well as CEO of many learning technology firms.

Published in Deals

Recharge your training by thinking like a marketer.

If a sales team keeps a company propelling forward by hitting numbers and marketing spurs ripples by creatively capturing mindshare, what are trainers? Trainers help keep business afloat from the bottom up, imparting the data and strategies high-performing personnel need to successfully do their jobs.

That’s all well and good — after all, no company, whether enterprise organization or SMB, wants a stagnant workforce. Wasn’t it Einstein who said, “Once you stop learning, you start dying?” I stopped studying quotes years ago, so I digress.

Sarcasm aside, the fact of the matter is that while training is necessary, it can also be sluggish and a big budget suck if it’s not approached appropriately. What can help? Train like a marketer — specifically, a forward-thinking, design-savvy, customer-empowering, data-analyzing, digital marketer. Here’s why.

THE MARKETING GRASS — IS IT REALLY GREENER?

Trainers often look at the marketing team in envy, with their big budgets, fancy graphics, and lavish events. Marketers in this digital age are sort of like hipsters — you don’t really understand everything they do, but you know it’s probably trendy and cool. This, understandably, can be a little off-putting to trainers stuck in a downward spiral of endless budget cuts, PowerPoints and 18 options of Word Art.

Although marketers may appear to have more options than trainers when it comes to design (and the truth is that anyone can design, by the way), the real point of contention here is that many trainers don’t seem to need marketers. In fact, they have the tendency to exhibit a bit of indifference when it comes to the tactics marketers use — after all, isn’t most training mandatory? The marketing frills, then, don’t do trainers any good. People will show up anyway — donuts or no donuts, Word Art or cinematography. Not true.

The corporate landscape is changing. Now, trainers have to approach customers and partners — not always the other way around — to not only help them improve product knowledge, but even boost product usage or revenue. In addition, some trainers today are being asked to improve attendance rates. That’s where marketing skills come into play. Let’s break down some of the major lessons trainers can take from their marketing brothers and sisters down the hall.

MARKETING TIPS FOR TRAINERS

Here are a few lessons trainers can take from the marketer’s playbook:

>> Leverage, leverage, leverage. Marketers leverage spokespeople all the time, so why can’t trainers? Executive sponsors are recognizable, relatable, and authoritative. You’re probably not going to get an executive sponsor to deliver the training, but he or she could at minimum ask people to participate via email, intranet, instant message or Slack. Even better — have the spokesperson film a short video invitation to hype up the training. It shouldn’t be difficult to get the sponsor on board with this idea. It won’t take much time and, as a stakeholder in the success of the business, it should be a nobrainer.

>> Make email automation your friend. This might not be suitable for all training programs, but it certainly is for the ones that have to reach an outside audience like partners or customers. Trainers can send emails via an email marketing automation platform for speed, but there’s another bonus — analytics. Track those efforts to better understand which approach is working and which, if any, you need to reevaluate.

>> Get social. Social is a powerful tool, and its benefits aren’t isolated to one department. Like marketers, trainers should consider leveraging (see, there it is again) social media organic and even social advertisements. Facebook has excellent options because it is user-friendly, affordable, and allows for hyper-targeting.

>> Empower and inform, don’t dictate and preach. Both marketers and trainers seek to tell their respective audience something — that’s a given. The difference often lies in the approach. Successful marketers tend to view campaigns from a very human, audience-driven perspective. As a result, winning campaigns aren’t dry regurgitations of features and benefits — they’re engaging, memorable snippets of a bigger picture of a brand. Trainings can be, too.

>> Go small or go home. Yeah, you read that right. Marketers don’t tell their consumer base everything about a product in one piece of content. Rather, they focus on digestible chunks presented in a memorable way. Rinse, repeat. Trainers can take a hint here. In order to get the big picture, sometimes baby steps are required. Breaking trainings down into segments can be an effective way to reach a larger percentage of the audience more effectively.

>> Make it pretty. As marketers know, design and delivery are uber-important, and trainers can get in on the action, too. So, maybe all trainers don’t have access to the hottest design software—but I bet many of them have a smartphone or a device that can record video. Start there. Incorporating video into trainings is an easy and fun way to break up the monotony of text blocks and slide transitions.

THE CASE FOR COLLABORATION

When I worked at Cisco once upon a time, I worked with Faith Legendre, a wonderful learning and development expert at Cisco. She was always trying to get the marketing experts and training expects together when it came time to design, implement, and promote new training initiatives. She is the one that taught me that marketers and trainers can learn so much from each other.

Legendre said, “Just like an effective well designed commercial that a brilliant marketer would do (hint, hint partner with marketers) break up your training into digestible nibblets, take the complex and break it down, make it super simple, sequential and fun. Then embed it right where the learner needs it on that page of the system, application, or even a Word doc.”

I agreed with her then and I agree with her now — the case for collaboration here is a strong one. Trainers and marketers have a lot to learn from each other. Trainers, for instance, take so much time and effort to create content that can easily be consumed. They’re also great at making sure that knowledge is transferred. Marketers are great at identifying a message that will reach an audience in a memorable way — seems like a match made in heaven, if you ask me.

If your trainers regularly had the help of marketers, how do you think knowledge retention and session attendance would improve in your company? Isn’t it at least worth a try? Can you relate to any of the suggestions above and find one or two that would be a cinch to implement? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

– Eric Vidal, Editor & Chief Content Officer, The Marketing Scope. @EricVMarketing

Published in Insights

 

More than 150,000 people convened at Dreamforce ‘16 and hundreds of solutions from AI, gamification to sales enablement tools were on display. These are a few cool solutions our editor’s picked as best of Dreamforce:

Simple Productivity Tools

Anyone who uses Salesforce (SF) knows it can be a powerful tool if used correctly. A few solutions make the CRM as simple as a click to post a call, opportunity or note. LiiD is one app that automatically logs a sales call or activity into SF. When a call is completed, you click and it saves it to the contact record, as long as the client phone number is in the contact database. The speech-to-text feature lets you save meetings or add notes easily. Use the personal sales assistant to remind you of important tasks. The app is available on Android and iOS. Learn more at: liid.com

ZynBit, another productivity tool for SF, that let’s sales reps post actions from the MS Outlook email account. The SF client activity is a popup side bar, so information can be entered in a click, without leaving the email account. ZynBit identifies or captures contacts information from your email automatically. Add-ons like ZynSync and ZynIQ can deliver prescriptive and automated insights alongside your email conversations. Starting at $10/ user, it is worth a test. Learn more at: zybit.com

Gamified Learning Platform

We had a chance to meet with founder and CEO Gal Rimon to talk about GamEffective. Rimon was founder of a BI company which he sold in 2012. Then, he launched GamEffective. Initially, a gamification application, Rimon realized that gamification can’t work in isolation. So, armed with his BI background Rimon built a learning environment built on business process rather than completion or competition.

GamEffective’s number one goal is to improve performance management. But rather than use esoteric Key Performance Indicators, Rimon suggests creating campaigns effective by employee and roll to: Build awareness; Provide product info – Teach them; Do things with product, talk about it, use it; and, measure performance to help create a habit performing.

gameeffectiveimageembed

  The Millennials are changing the face of work. “We need to train them first, show you care about them, claims Rimon. “They focus on work and caring… [and] thrive on constant feedback that is personal to them. GamEffective can make each employee a hero of their own game. And, it moves the overall company performance needle”, concludes Rimon.

Test drive it at: GamEffective.com

Infer’s Analytics Solution

Infer showcased their Host Analytics solution at Dreamforce. With their solution, sales, marketing and even training organizations can create digital analytics dashboards that pulls all data into one location.  You don’t have to wait for the next system upgrade, or IT to build it. Infer has the solution that can be branded and formatted however you choose.

Host Analytics is a cloud-based application that knows ow to make data actionable. Their team will construct a “math of the business” approach, to help you determine which metrics to hit using reverse waterfall calculations.  Infer will first implement a predictive scoring model to identify the ideal customer, sales rep or employee. Using your HRIS, CRM or Marketing data, Infer will provide predictive metrics that help guide decision marketing, track performance, spot trends and prevent potential problems.

With this actionable data, you can easily shift efforts to those making the most impact. From sales deployment, marketing spends, or skills development. Learn more at: infer.com

 

Smarter Salesforce with Bluewolf

Bluewolf was in full force at Dreamforce. Recently acquired by IBM, this digital agency has morphed into a full service salesforce deployment partner.  Eric Berridge, CEO and co-founder, revealed how to use Cognitive to uncover invisible data to better serve your customers. (See his book titled Customer Obsessed on Amazon.) These fingerprints are found in Go for Sales Cloud.

SF users can leverage the intelligence available only to larger organization’s with Bluewolf Go for Sales Cloud. The solution helps companies of all sizes to launch SF in weeks with the Bluewolf approach. They focus on providing visibility and access needed to find customers, close deals, grow accounts and service customers faster.  The platform includes Sales Cloud, Analytics, Data Migration, Project Management and Training. Starting price is $69,000 for SMB deployment. Learn more at: bluewolf.com

 

Published in Latest News

 

Einstein was introduced at Dreamforce this week. Einstein reveals the customer’s DNA within the salesforce platform. By knitting together the digital fingerprints of each consumer, Einstein provides actionable analytics in a smart app. This AI solution offers predictive analytics, machine and deep learning and understands natural language all born from $1 billion of recent acquisitions.  Marc Benioff’s goal is to take a complex solution like AI and make it easy to use within Salesforce.

Einstein is AI built into the core of the Salesforce Platform where it powers the CRM. IT delivers advanced AI capabilities to sales, service and marketing- and enables anyone to use clicks or code to build AI powered apps that get smarter with every interaction. Now, everyone in every role and industry can use AI to be their best. Einstein literally captures data, feeds it to the engine to learn, guide and recommend based upon trackable customer needs and wants.

IMG 4652

Salesforce users can leverage Einstein to serve customers better by Anticipating sales opportunities with Sales Cloud Einstein; Proactively resolve cases with Service Cloud Einstein; Creating predictive journeys with Marketing Cloud Einstein; and, Embed intelligence in every app with APP Cloud Einstein.

“Hundreds of thousands of businesses and millions of people will benefit from the best machine learning to make smarter decisions and function more effectively,” shares Shubha Nabar, Lead Data Scientist, Salesforce.

Schneider Electric, a company that supports a majority of commercial buildings across the globe, uses Einstein for Field Service. Einstein receives information on the status of electrical panels within buildings, identifies power interruptions and sends info to the field for immediate response with the status available immediately to the technician. In this example, the technician was equipped with Virtual Reality headset to view the dashboards and repair methodology while evaluating the power panel.

Why do we need Einstein?

“B2B and B2C customers are automatically generating information just by having a smartphone and interacting with the sensors it carries,” replies Shawn Belling, Vice President, CloudCraze. “This creates huge amounts of data that any commerce or AI engine can write integrations and algorithms to connect o and consume. The challenge is making sense of all of this data, and using it to generate value. Einstein could make this easier for everyone.”

 “AI [Einstein] can analyze CRM data to equip businesses with the tools to personalize messages to multiple decisions markers in real time. This add overall value to customers by enhancing efficiency, and driving revenue through better business processes and available insights,” continues Belling.

IMG 4658 resize

What does the future hold for AI?

Scott Horn, CMO at (24)7, an AI-powered customer engagement solution provider suggests, “Einstein is a sign of the true potential of AI- as a supplement to the human intuition. By turning cold calling into warm-calling, this is an opportunity for AU to prove itself as a truly productive counterpart to the human mind. And, the applications for this technology go well beyond sales. AI is bringing automation to customer service, which will bring major benefits to consumers. For the first time, businesses can now understand and act on consumer intent, meaning that consumers will no longer have to repeat information or be bombarded with irrelevant information. This technology will be commonplace in the next five years.”

How do you get Einstein?

First, you need to use Salesforce, and activate Lightning, Thunderbolt and then Einstein. You literally build upon this AI cloud leveraging the Salesforce Cloud. To discover your path to AI, visit trailblazers.salesforce.com.

 

Published in Latest News

Providence Health & Services recently launched a community of practice — a group of individuals who collaborate to fulfill both individual and group goals — and this group needed an online platform to reach members across several states about instructional design. I learned about Path2X during a workshop several months ago. Path2X incorporates numerous helpful features. I was excited about implementing the enhanced tools and I understood how these tools matched the organic ways in which people learn such as finding, sharing, and discussing articles or asking for help with a particular skill from an experienced peer. The failure was not due to Path2X, it was due to factors that should have been considered when launching any social learning initiative, regardless of the platform used.

LESSON #1: START SMALL AND FOCUS ON USERS’ NEEDS

I made the mistake of explaining how each tool in Path2X worked immediately, rather than focusing on the purpose of the group — instructional design. Many group members became lost in the amount of information about the tools and were quickly turned off to using them.

The lesson I learned was to first focus on the users’ needs. I should have identified their high-priority needs, then I should have identified and used the tools that supported those needs. I later found that they primarily wanted to download templates, learn how to use specific skills, and discuss best practices with particular authoring workflows. These needs all stem from a desire to increase their production capacity on their current and upcoming projects. They did not want to learn about the latest trends nor how to track their progress.

I would have initially focused solely on file sharing, lessons and tutorials and group discussions since they matched the user needs. Hold off on introducing other tools until there is an interest or an organic way to introduce them.

LESSON #2: COMMUNICATE THE BENEFITS IN A WAY THAT USERS WILL UNDERSTAND

When I first started this initiative, I had spent some time configuring the site so it would best support the group’s learning needs. I made examples of how the mentoring would work, aggregating more than 5,000 relevant blog articles, tutorials, templates and discussion threads. In a very real sense, I was completely focused on how the features worked rather than identifying what the benefits were and how they supported the goals of the group. For example, the group said they wanted to have templates to help them author their projects faster to meet their deadlines. The benefit of being able to access and use templates is reduced production time which results in less stress and greater ability to meet due dates. If I could redo the Path2X launch, I would have explained a basic tool by explaining its benefit then shown how it can be used to decrease production time.

LESSON #3: BE CLEAR ABOUT EXPECTATIONS

During the set-up of the online forum, I often thought about the vibrant social learning that could occur including the exchange of timely questions and thought-provoking answers, feedback on projects and developing valuable relationships.

The lesson I learned was how important it is to clarify expectations. I did not explore with key stakeholders and explain to the users what was expected of them, me, and of the whole project. Before implementing social learning, be clear about how often users should participate in online discussions, and the frequency that facilitators will post templates and other resources.

Looking back, instead of thinking about what could occur, I need to be thinking about clarifying what should occur. Avoid this by having discussions early with key stakeholders about expectations of the users, host, and project.

A FINAL WORD TO THE WISE

The Path2X launch was an implementation failure, not a technical one. It doesn’t matter how good whatever social learning platform you use — you’ll be three steps ahead of the game if you learn from my mistakes.

— Johnny Hamilton is Online Instructional Designer at Providence Health & Services. He is a 2016 Learning! Champion for extraordinary contributions to the learning industry.

Published in Ideas

If knowledge is power, then organizations who are able to effectively and quickly tap into it and distribute it to its employees are already a leg up on the competition. Organizations that are able to distribute the power to affiliates beyond its employee base may have an even greater competitive advantage.

In the context of learning, extended enterprise is learning offered to non-employees such as customers, partners and other affiliates. Aberdeen Group defines it as “learning specifically for customers and/or partners, beyond just internal stakeholders like employees and management.” It can include training, knowledge, certification or performance support to a “beyond-the-wall” group of constituents.

Many may use the terms or variations of terms “extended enterprise” or “extended enterprise learning” while some, such as Moodle use “multi-tenancy” interchangeably. The concept is the same in that multiple affiliates both inside and outside of the organization’s wall can access one learning management system (LMS) instance as separate tenants.

OPPORTUNITY IS IN THE MINDSET SHIFT

The impact of learning is powerful, it closes skills gaps and it’s a way to keep up with ever-changing technology. If executed correctly, not only will organizations keep up with the pace of change, but they can use to be an agent change agent. What happens when you shift the mindset away from training employees to building a strategic and unified global network with all company affiliates? There is an even greater potential with broad thinking and its more profitable potential; one that may earn a seat at the executive table. While the knowledge base of internal employees will increase, there is a genuine opportunity for organizations to save and make money simultaneously by extending learning beyond the walls.

Nearly a quarter of organizations cite that extended enterprise learning was one of their top goals according to an Extending Enterprise Learning: Educating the Channel to Improve Results, an Aberdeen Group study. Furthermore, “organizations with extended learning in place found a 17 percent greater year-over-year improvement in revenue per full-time equivalent [full-time employee].”

So, who is using extended enterprise learning?

Seventy-four percent of respondents offer learning to customers and 47 percent deliver extending learning to reseller/channel partners and supply chain partners, according to the 2016 Learning Platforms Study conducted by Elearning! Magazine. Some believe that if you’re not offering extended enterprise, you’re already behind your competitors.

Why aren’t all organizations taking advantage of this potentially lucrative extended enterprise learning?

Target audiences for an extended enterprise solution vary by industry but generally fall into the following categories: customers and prospects, channel partners and resellers, contingent workers and supply chain organizations. Organizations may extend learning for free or for a fee by utilizing an e-commerce component of the LMS, the latter being the heart of the solution. Additionally, certification, recertification, advanced training and accreditation programs are all potential areas for an added revenue stream or simply added value.

EXTENDING LEARNING TO CUSTOMERS AND PROSPECTS

Customers, end users and prospects fall into this category and the return on investment is a compelling argument in its favor. “Companies that extend learning to customers experienced an 800 percent greater year-over-year increase in revenue per full-time employee than companies that don’t extend learning to its customers,” according to Aberdeen Group. Online reference libraries, product trials, training and demonstrations, and online and instructor-led courses all contribute to a number of benefits.

Have you ever considered training as a lead source for your organization? This is especially helpful if your learning is relevant to the prospect and/or if your product is in fact, learning. Universities, content providers and continuing education organizations can all benefit by giving to receive. “As customers educate themselves they voluntarily absorb knowledge about products and services without costly active involvement from the sales force or channel,” reports Talent Learning’s CEO, John Leh.

The benefits of extending learning to customers and end users include:

>> Increased brand awareness

>> Increased product/service knowledge

>> Increased engagement

>> Accelerated sales cycle

>> Increased customer retention

>> Increased customer satisfaction

>> Increased customer experience

>> Improvement in relationships between customers/prospects and products

>> Reduced costs in customer and technical support

VENDOR AND CLIENT SUCCESS

Japan-based manufacturing company Mori Seiki, reveals the competitive advantage in offering extended learning to customers. Mori Seiki had a customer without a machine operator quit unexpectedly with contracts to fulfill. This customer couldn’t wait for a machine engineer to train an employee in-person to run it, so the owner and supervisor accessed online training. With their baseline knowledge of the machine and the information they obtained in the training, they were able to get back online with production with little down time. The deal was saved!

Cloud-banking company nCino, a 2016 Learning! 100 winner, extended learning beyond its walls to customers and channel partners. Doing so helped them save thousands of dollars from the reduction of printed training materials and now more efficiently disperses needed training.

EXTENDING LEARNING TO CHANNEL PARTNERS AND RESELLERS

There is data supporting the positive return of offering training to this group. According to Aberdeen Group, “Companies who extend learning to partners experienced nine times greater annual improvement in revenue per FTE than those who don’t.”

Imagine if your partners were involved in your new product launch. How would that reduce time, human resources and costs if the launch was executed concurrently through an LMS? With training offered at the same time as the internal organization, you’ll have an opportunity to increase speed to market.

Especially in situations in which channel partners bring home the most bacon, it’s imperative that a comprehensive, scalable solution is available to provide the information needed to continue selling. Security technology company McAfee delivers highly specialized training for 85,000 channel partners who need certifications before selling the respective products. This is important because these partners are responsible for 75 percent of the company’s revenue.

Extending learning to channel partners offer the following benefits:

>> Increased knowledge and collaboration

>> Improvement in relationships between companies and partners

>> Increased speed to market

EXTENDING LEARNING TO CONTINGENT WORKERS

This group comprises contractors, laborers, consultants, independent agents, and seasonal workers, etc.

The contingent workforce accounts for up to 30 percent of the staffing at some large enterprises, according to Bersin by Deloitte. And, it is on the upswing. If you aren’t supporting this group of workers now, you will be in the future.

Today the contingent workforce isn’t always treated like full time employees. Including them in an extended enterprise solution would help to bridge communication gaps, increase product knowledge and in some cases, help to instill in them the company culture and purpose. Extending learning to contingent staff benefits include:

>> Increased knowledge and collaboration

>> Decreased safety incidents

>> Expedited onboarding

>> Well-coordinated company-wide rollout

>> Increased speed to market

CONTINGENT WORKFORCE SUCCESS STORIES

Zumba Fitness needed a certification course launched to its Zumba Instructor Network (ZIN) members. The courses were deployed worldwide to thousands of users in multiple languages. Training is now available sooner and more cost-effectively to the instructors than before. Additionally, Zumba Fitness benefits from the added revenue stream.

“We see how well our instructors are responding to the platform and are engaging in the content. We are super excited to continue to build programs that will continue to inspire our instructors around the work,” says Joy Pouty, Director of Education, Programs and Training, Zumba.

Autodesk, CAD software publisher, provides teacher training to support its Autodesk Certified Instructor (ACI) Program created for anyone who teaches Autodesk software. There are 11 regional distributors across the globe managing their respective courses using an assortment of online and classroom-based training as well as user-generated content.

“We wanted a global approach because the ACI program is global, content is global and we manage this at the global level [with a system that] allows us to manage it in regional silos,” says Rickard Lautrup, Global Projects Manager at Engage Global Solutions, Autodesk.

EXTENDING LEARNING TO SUPPLY CHAIN ORGANIZATIONS

This group is made up of manufacturers, wholesalers, and distributors, etc. This group understands dependencies and has a genuine interest in helping you succeed. You can quickly see how extending learning to this group has a domino effect on all sides of the supply chain.

SUPPLY CHAIN PARTNER SUCCESSES

Klein Tools, a leading manufacturer of professional hand tools and occupational protective equipment, offered training to its tradesmen in their respective professional fields. By using incentives and syndicating their courses with seven association universities, Klein Tools got the visibility, exposure, and participation they wanted. Partner benefits include:

>> Increased knowledge and collaboration

>> Increased process efficiencies

>> Increased communication of value proposition

WHERE EXTENDED ENTERPRISE IS HEADED

There are several indications that extended enterprise is here to stay, if not, grow. There are three key drivers that point to this conclusion.

1 Future LMS purchases are being based on it.

Nearly a third (29.4 percent) say an LMS purchase in the near future must have e-commerce to support for partner/customer training according to the 2016 Learning Platforms Study conducted by Elearning! Media Group.

2 There is an influx of vendors in the space.

We will be seeing more of extended enterprise according to Leh. “Lots of LMS companies are entering the market because the barrier of entry is a lot lower than it ever was before.”

3 Vendors themselves are seeing growth, making enhancements and re-positioning the solution.

While the solution has been around for a while, SumTotal now offers extended enterprise as part of the Talent Expansion® Suite the organization unveiled in early 2016.

Kristy Sadler, Chief Marketing Officer at Docebo says extended enterprise is an area where they are seeing incredible growth and opportunity.

Rory Cameron, Managing Director, Litmos by Callidus Cloud points to the company’s 32-percent increase in revenues in the second quarter of 2016 as evidence of the market’s growth.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg. Many vendors offer training solutions beyond the wall. Training companies are also aggregating content and selling it under umbrella brands like Upside Learning. As extended enterprise learning expands, human resources and learning leaders will be revenue generators as well as strategic business partners, earning a seat at the table.

If your company doesn’t have an extended enterprise initiative deployed, or an LMS to support it, this may be some extra incentive for implementing one. If you are in the majority of medium-to-large sized organizations that already have one, find out if your provider offers an extended enterprise solution. It may be well worth your time to consider your future training needs and determine whether or not your organization, affiliates and bottom line would benefit from an extended enterprise learning solution.

Published in Top Stories

HTC is opening a dedicated virtual reality app store called Viveport which will host non-gaming content separately from Valve and its Steam store. The Viveport store will be available in Vive headsets, web browsers, the PC app and a mobile app.

The Viveport store will focus on nongaming verticals including education, design, art, social, video, music, sports, health, fashion, travel, news, shopping, creativity tools, and more. The store will also support in-app purchases and subscriptions in addition to a pay-to-download model.

—Learn more: http://blog.htcvive.com/ us/2016/08/introducing-viveport/

Published in New Products
Page 9 of 91

 


You are now being logged in using your Facebook credentials