Thirteen years ago, Elearning! magazine established the Best of Elearning! Awards; the exclusive users’ choice awards in the learning industry. Every year, up to 4,000 nominations are made by learning professionals to share the best in learning solutions. This year, Elearning! magazine added a special honor, the Hall of Fame Award, to recognize extraordinary solutions providers.

The 2017 Hall of Fame honorees are Adobe and BizLibrary. These two brands collectively have earned more than 100 Best of Elearning! honors, across a dynamic set of solutions.

What is the secret to consistently exceeding customers’ needs, while anticipating future learning challenges and solutions? We invited leaders from both organizations to share their insights.

Adobe is synonymous with e-learning. It has been named a Best of Elearning! winner every year of the awards and has collected honors across various solutions: e-learning development, mobile learning, simulation, video learning, virtual classroom and virtual event platforms.

The crown jewel of Adobe’s e-learning product line is Captivate, a 13-time Best of Elearning! award-winner.

How does Adobe Captivate continue to evolve to exceed customers’ needs? Part of the answer is in the number of resources, videos and tutorials available. There are hundreds of hours of Adobe Captivate videos alone available to users — more hours than what ones spends to earn a college degree. We asked Priyank Shrivastava, Adobe’s Director of Marketing, about Adobe Captivate’s success:

“There are many to thank for this successful milestone, starting with our hundreds of thousands of customers who keep us honest in this business and make each of us work harder to be able to achieve what we have over the years,” Shrivastava says. “Being a part of Adobe also helps tremendously as there is a culture of innovation and customer centricity at the core of everything we do. And last but not the least, it’s the people who make a brand what it is, Adobe has some tremendously talented individuals who make the journey so enjoyable.”

Q: WHAT IS YOUR  PRODUCT ROADMAP?

Shrivastava: “Our product roadmap constantly reflects changing behavioral trends among both e-learning authors/designers as well as learners. Learning behavior has been changing significantly with the introduction and adoption of modern technologies. Mobile is a case in point. Back in time, at the start of this decade, mobile handsets had begun to become popular, with mobile Internet getting better, and handsets started to become more popular when it came to accessing professional content on them.

“But mobile learning was just a blip on the radar, that is when we at Adobe decided to foray into the world of mobile learning, with a two-pronged aim to make the mobile learning experience flawless for learners, and continue to make authoring easier for designers. On that axis alone, we have delivered some remarkable innovations such as responsive e-learning design, Fluid Boxes, geo-location and dynamic mobile preview, to name a few.

“Today, mobile learning is one of the mandatory requirements for all e-learning requirements. Captivate has tremendously evolved since 2004, from when it was famously known for recording simulations to now when it is known as a tool that can handle everything e-learning.”

Q: WHAT UNIQUE FEATURE SETS DOES CAPTIVATE OFFER?

Shrivastava: “Adobe Captivate allows you to author responsive e-learning without having to create different projects for different devices, so you can author just once and the content rearranges itself to deliver the most appropriate experience on any device or browser. We have also introduced Fluid Boxes, which are intelligent containers that automatically re-align objects on a slide to fill up the ‘white space’ and deliver a fully responsive experience. Another industry first is to be able to transform older legacy desktop-only Captivate courses to fully responsive mobile learning at the click of a button with the 2017 release of Adobe Captivate."

Q: WHAT NEW FEATURES DOES CAPTIVATE OFFER TO CUSTOMERS?

Shrivastava: “Some of the above ones, and one that is a delight for learners: Adobe Typekit integration. Considering a large percentage of courses are now consumed on the browser, the aesthetics of the course are often compromised, as the original fonts are replaced by a handful of Web-safe fonts. Authors can easily integrate any Web font from their Typekit library and can deliver the exact same experience to the learner on any device or browser. That is a cool feature that designers absolutely love.”

Q: CAN YOU NAME SOME OF CAPTIVATE’S MARQUEE CUSTOMERS?

Shrivastava: “Every customer is important to us, and we treat them equally. Having said that, more than 80 percent of Fortune 500 companies place their trust in Adobe Captivate, so there are quite a few marquee customers ranging from American Express to Delta Airlines to the Walt Disney Corporation."

Q: WHAT TRENDS DO YOU SEE IN THE FUTURE? HOW IS CAPTIVATE EVOLVING TO MEET THESE NEEDS?

Shrivastava: “Some of the popular trends we foresee that could have an impact on the way learning is done is VR and AR and immersive learning as a concept. We have technologies currently brewing in the labs, and we will showcase our developments in these areas soon. Since we are so closely clued in to the L&D teams within organizations, we can build solutions to address their pain points. One example is Adobe Captivate Prime, introduced when a lot of our customers expressed their challenges in delivering and tracking e-learning content. Captivate Prime is a next-gen enterprise LMS that challenges everything traditional LMS’s stood for.

“Another area I feel is going to transform the learning landscape is social/ informal learning, and we are currently exploring how we could formalize and scale the process of social learning within an organization.

“Through efforts like these, we wish to be a strategic partner for organizational L&D teams and help them with solutions across the board, from design, to delivery for their customers and learners.

BizLibrary has earned 24 Best of Elearning! honors in 16 categories. BizLibrary wins are extraordinary as they span learning systems, social collaboration and content categories. BizLibrary was early to the video learning market and capitalized on it by developing content that exceed customers’ expectations.

According to Dean Pichee, every video in the BizLibrary collection scores four out of five stars or it goes offline and is re-engineered. Congratulations to BizLibrary on being an elite brand named to the Hall of Fame for the Best of Elearning!

Q: WHAT DO YOU ATTRIBUTE BIZLIBRARY SUCCESS TO?

Pichee: “First, it is an honor to be included in the Hall of Fame, and we appreciate the recognition. I started BizLibrary more than 20 years ago, with one simple goal: to improve the way employees learn at small and mid-size organizations. Over the years, we’ve grown to serve hundreds of thousands of employees, in thousands of organizations of all sizes. After 20 years in business, I attribute our success to constant innovation and improvement, and to our focus on the importance of building successful partnerships that last — with our producer partners, our clients and our employees.

Q: WHAT IS YOUR PRODUCT ROADMAP?

Pichee: “Our product roadmap for the next year includes many new features and enhancements to our platform as well as some exciting additions to our content collection. Some new features include our upcoming release of gamification as well as enhancements to the user interface (including a new and improved home page design), enhanced administrative functionality, and much more.

“In addition to these platform updates, we are focusing on expanding the reach of our content offering into international markets by releasing localized libraries. To start, we have recently released libraries in Spanish, French and German with plans for more than 20 additional languages in the near future. Additionally, we have recently added more than 800 new short, performance-support video lessons to the library on ‘how-to’ topics relevant to today’s workplace.

“In terms of our content strategy, the biggest change we have made over the past five years would be the introduction of BizLibrary Productions. As the needs of our clients evolved,we needed a way to quickly address those needs and fill topic gaps in the content library. With BizLibrary Productions, we are able to work with subject-matter experts and produce the content needed to ensure the BizLibrary Collection is meeting the highest quality standards possible while remaining fresh and relevant to today’s business challenges.

Q: WHAT UNIQUE FEATURES DOES BIZLIBRARY’S VIDEO CONTENT OFFER?

Pichee: “The unique combination of video-based microlearning and training reinforcement delivered in an aggregated library model is what sets our solution apart from other providers on the market. The length and format of the content, on a variety of topic areas, meet the needs of the modern learner by delivering a true on-demand solution. Reinforcement ensures they are able to retain and apply the training to their job for increased business results.”

Q: WHAT NEW FEATURES DOES BIZLIBRARY OFFER TO CUSTOMERS?

Pichee: “We recently announced some exciting new features at our annual client conference. Those features included Curriculum Builder, Playlists, and Curated Learning Paths.

“Curriculum Builder is a tremendous advance, allowing learning administrators to quickly and easily preview and manage content within our platform or in a third-party LMS.

“Playlists allow both learners and administrators to create playlists, organize content for a variety of training purposes, quickly and easily save searches as a playlist, and share playlists with teammates for additional collaboration and social learning.

“Curated Learning Paths are developed by BizLibrary experts, and organized by job role and key topic areas. Each curated learning path contains three to five hours of training content, is assignable, and allows learners quick access to relevant training material.

Q: WHO ARE BIZLIBRARY’S  MARQUEE CUSTOMERS? 

Pichee: “We recently concluded our 10th annual client conference where we were able to meet with clients face to face and recognize the success of their training programs.

“Since partnering with BizLibrary, Pechanga has seen an annual savings of $78,000. Viewpointe has reduced turnover by 400 percent. Long Island Plastic Surgical Group has reduced patient complaints by 32 percent. Red Roof Inn has saved more than $342,000 due to a reduction in turn- over. Watco Companies reduced employee turnover by seven percent within the first year and saved more than $3 million. It is results like these that validate our mission at BizLibrary, and we couldn’t be more proud to partner with these organizations.”

Q: WHAT FUTURE TRENDS DO YOU SEE THAT WILL IMPACT LEARNING?

Pichee: “We are seeing a continued increase in the need for organizations to provide an on-demand training solution in addition to prescriptive or assigned learning. Learners are driving this need, and continuing to produce video content on a single topic that is short and relevant will allow BizLibrary clients to continue to meet the needs of those learners."

You have been there before. Your leadership team is asking for e-learning courseware that looks like your organization. They want courses with your branding; they want courses with your company images, videos of your storefronts, manufacturing facilities or hospital hallways, and they want courses with your specific company policies and resources. From a leadership standpoint, this makes sense.

BENEFITS OF CUSTOM E-LEARNING

There are good reasons your leadership team wants to deliver custom e-learning courseware to your company employees and leaders. As Sairam Chawhan, e-learning evangelist, says:

1.  Custom content is more relevant, meaningful, engaging, and more authentic than off-the-shelf courseware.

2. Custom content aligns with the organization’s branding and, more importantly, connects the organization’s values with your training modules.

3. Custom content increases learners’ motivation and engagement with the courses.

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While the benefits of custom courseware are significant, there are a few limitations. Many organizations don’t have the budget or the time to either hire a company to create custom courseware or pay for an off-the- shelf courseware provider to customize courseware. Additionally, many organizations don’t have the internal team to create their own custom courses.

That has all changed now.

Vado’s self-service editable courseware is the answer. With Vado, you get to select the courses that will meet your company’s development needs from a catalog of more than 375 micro-learning, mobile-responsive courses.

With your selected courses, you’ll then use the proprietary Course Editor software tool and personalize the courses to your organization. Change the branding, add a company video, add company images, or company policies and forms. The choices are endless.

HOW TO START

Vado’s award-winning management development and leadership development learning tracks are the perfect place to start. Edit the courses and make your desired changes, and in no time at all you’ll be introducing your learners to customized management and leadership development courseware.

Provide your learners with courses they can connect with and courses they want to take.

You’ll reap the all the benefits of customized courseware at a fraction of the time and cost. The results of editable off-the-shelf courseware will surprise you.

To learn more about Vado’s editable courseware, visit the Website www.vadoinc.net/Ed- itableContent, or phone (952) 545-6698.

—Cindy Pascale is CEO of Vado, Inc., a multiple Best of Elearning! honoree. Email her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Describing “leadership” is not an easy task, and definitions can vary depending on who is asked. Is leadership a quality, an attribute, an attitude, a job title? A lot of the trouble we face in finding the best definition arises from confusion. It’s essential to distinguish between holding a leadership position and demonstrating leadership skills. Making this fundamental distinction can help clarify what we truly mean by leadership.

Organizations assign leadership positions to selected individuals: this means that they receive a mandate from the company to lead others and are recognized as such. Only a small percentage of employees can hold a leadership position.

However, any employee can demonstrate leadership skills, regardless of seniority, job title, place in the hierarchy, or even management experience. To understand this, we need to start looking at leadership as a daily practice, not a job title. In the words of Chris Worley, it’s essential to think of leadership “as an organization capability, rather than as an individual trait or position in the hierarchy.”

For an organization, it is both essential and beneficial to have as many employees as possible demonstrate leadership skills; it is a key driver for increased performance. Employees with leadership skills will be more engaged in their work and will actively contribute to the organization’s bottom line. They will also demonstrate more vision, more adaptability and increased innovation capabilities. It’s obvious that organizations have everything to gain from having employees with strong leadership skills; this is why they must strive to foster and develop this capability in all employees, from the bottom up and across every department.

It’s also important to keep developing employees that currently hold leadership positions, to make sure they are growing and that they will keep bringing more value to the organization.

LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT HAS TO BE A SHARED RESPONSIBILITY BETWEEN L&D AND THE REST OF THE ORGANIZATION.

Countless studies, both empirical and statistical, show the correlation between successful organizations and powerful leadership. As we’ve seen, there is just as much opportunity in developing employees that currently hold a leadership position as there is in creating leadership capabilities in every employee. This mission will never be over — and this is why L&D departments play such a crucial role. They have to bring their expertise to make sure that leadership development remains a priority and that leadership training is accessible for everyone in the organization.

However, they can’t do it alone. In order to stay relevant, L&D teams need to engage with all departments across the organization, to make sure that the training they provide aligns with the bottom line.

Our business environment and the way people learn are both changing at an unprecedented pace. This heightens the need to increase communication between L&D departments and the rest of the organization, including business leaders and learners. L&D programs must aim at developing the right skills at the right time, in ways that modern learners will relate to. This can’t be done without ongoing discussions with representatives of relevant departments. This approach will also help the L&D function to demonstrate its contribution to organizational results, something that continues to be an issue in large corporations today.

These fresh, innovative learning strategies will be co-designed for leaders of today and tomorrow. This virtuous circle will enable all employees to think about the leadership practices they can adopt and convince them that they don’t need a specific job title to lead.

The 2017 release of Adobe Captivate - which went live in April - contains several enhancements and additions that make it easier and faster for e-learning authors to create high-quality, responsive content without programming.

 The new features are:

>> Fluid Boxes

>> Integration of Typekit fonts

>> Conversion from non-responsive to responsive

FLUID BOXES

The most significant change from Adobe Captivate 9 to Adobe Captivate (2017 release) is the addition of Fluid Boxes: intelligent containers that use white space optimally. Objects placed in Fluid Boxes get aligned automatically to the device or browser, without the e-learning author having to manually adjust the content, so learners get a fully responsive experience. Fluid Boxes can be laid out horizontally or vertically and have a host of properties that can be adjusted to give the desired outcome to the responsive project.

INTEGRATION OF TYPEKIT FONTS

With Adobe Typekit integration, e-learning authors can use high-quality fonts from the Typekit font library and ensure that a great viewing experience is delivered to learners across devices and browsers. Adobe Typekit is a Cloud-based repository of fonts that are Web safe - which means that the chosen font will look the same across devices and platforms, even if the font isn't installed. This is especially important with the prevalence of HTML5, where the content comes as text instead of a graphical element as in Flash.

CONVERSION FROM NON-RESPONSIVE TO RESPONSIVE 

Another major enhancement in the 2017 release of Adobe Captivate is the ability to convert a legacy desktop-only (non-responsive) project into a responsive course with just a few simple steps. This means that e-learning authors need not scrap or redo their old desktop courses. Instead, they can just launch an old Adobe Captivate (v8 and 9) project in the Adobe Captivate (2017 release) and save it as a responsive project before re-opening it and publishing to HTML 5 for a truly responsive e-learning experience.

ALIAT UNIVERSIDADES selected D2L’s Brightspace to modernize its teaching and learning experiences for its 3,500 teachers and 45,000 students. Aliat is a network of 27 Mexican universities based in Mexico City. It has a presence in 15 Mexican states and offers a variety of programs, degrees, specializations, master’s programs and doctorate programs.

INTELLIBOARD announced its new Premium Integrator partnership with Moodle, the world’s largest, most-adopted, open-source learning platform. Corporate and educational users of Moodle worldwide can use the IntelliBoard plugin to significantly augment their reports and analytics – leveraging the rich data stores captured within their Moodle sites.

FACEBOOK launches Oculus for Business product line; Partners with Cisco with Spark product line. VR version of Spark is a collaboration platform that supports messaging, voice calls and video conversations. Spark in VR allows remote workers to meet and communicate in virtual environments using avatars, allowing them to brainstorm on virtual whiteboards and interact with files. There are also integrations with Cisco’s digital whiteboard, Spark Board.

Sierra-Cedar released the 20th HR Technology Study this month. Three macro-trends were revealed:

Data security and IT risks are hot topics in the news this year. We see that 70% of the organizations with the highest HR Talent and business outcomes have a risk and security strategy that includes HR system.

As employees and leaders come of age in the world of big data, they expect a level of personalization and customization which HR Technology is beginning to address. 30% of organizations are increasing learning, recruiting, and HR data analytics roles to meet this need.

Next generation technology is designed to inform our decisions and simplify our activities; it’s meant to be invisible and ubiquitous in our lives. The line between what organizations want and what they can do may come down to Intelligent platforms.

The top HR technology initiative was business process improvement followed by HR systems strategy. The study queried 1320 organizations across 28 countries. Fifty-four percent were SMEs.

Josh Bersin, principle, Bersin by Deloitte revealed 10 disruptions that will transform the HR technology field. They are:

New focus on tools for workforce productivity like mobile and social

ERP and HCM move to the cloud as the talent market reinvents itself as “team management”

Continuous performance management has arrived following talent from project to project, data driven and in real-time.

Explosion of feedback, pulse survey & analytics tools going beyond employee performance to well being

Reinvention of corporate learning is here to keep pace with new technologies, A.I., machine learning and the like

Recruiting market is rapidly changing and focused on smart recruiting

Well being market is exploding to focus on the whole person vs solely on productivity

People analytics market has grown and matured with embedded analytics, A.I. and organizational network analytics

Intelligent self-service, communications and employee experience tools to facilitate decision-making

10 HR departments are becoming digital and innovative,  team-centric and intelligent

Global corporate e-learning market is set to grow at a CAGR of close to 19% during the forecast period, 2017-2021 according to Technavio. The Americas currently account for $15.59 billion in revenues or 41% market share. EMEA represents 32.7% share and is expected to reach $30.82 billion by 2021. APAC regions is 26.3% share and will see 20% CAGR.

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“The market is expected to witness rapid growth during the forecast period owing to the increase in digitization and corporate realization of the importance of training in strengthening the workforce. In addition, e-learning helps companies overcome the obstacles that may arise from traditional learning formats,” says Jhansi Mary, research leader, Technavio.

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