Helping Degreed continue its international growth and develop more analytical services for its corporate clients is a new injection of $75 million in a Series C2 round. Of this amount, $35 million came in the form of equity funding from existing investors Owl Ventures, Jump Capital, Signal Peak Ventures and GSV Accelerate, along with new investor, AllianceBernstein, an investment management and research services firm. The rest was raised as venture debt, also from AllianceBernstein.

This latest cash infusion comes on the heels of Degreed’s first Series C round in March 2018, which totaled $42 million. To date, the San Francisco-based company has raised about $140 million.

Founded in 2012, Degreed offers over 1,500 certificates and credentials, aimed primarily at companies looking to develop and upskill their employees. When teams sign on, they can identify the skills that they’d like to develop, ranging from customer service to data analysis, strategic planning to user experience design. The platform then surfaces courses, videos, articles and other resources to teach users.

To date, Degreed claims it has served more than 220 corporate clients, including Airbnb, Boeing, Mastercard and Unilever. The company also offers to certify individuals in certain skills for a fee of $129.


Knowbly™ added a fully responsive, element accessible, mobile-driven, interactive video and video assessment experience to their rapid development tool.

“When you spend time creating brilliant courses with beautiful video enhancements, it’s a shame to see them distorted on mobile,” said CEO Kathryn Stewart. “It’s about providing tools that are meaningful to the people who use them. And we feel we’ve done just that with Interactive Video Mobile.” 

Knowbly’s goals of providing 508c-compliant solutions is facilitated with closed-caption controls and inputs are included. Its features include: Fully responsive interactive video player with a mobile-first navigation; Responsive interstitial layers that look good on any mobile device, including: annotations, bookmarks, multiple-choice, multiple-select, fill-in-the-blank, true/false, and short answer; Full-screen mobile interactive video with closed-caption controls and inputs in the authoring experience. 


Tuesday, 09 July 2019 07:55

HR Tech Usage Up

HR departments are increasingly relying on data to make more strategic decisions in the workplace. Eighty-seven percent of HR executives say tech has allowed them to better contribute to their organization, up from 75% in 2018, cites Paychex study.

 “The strategic contributions HR leaders make are bolstered by innovative technology solutions that not only dramatically reduce [the] time spent on administrative tasks but can also provide valuable insights on their workforce and the business overall,” said Leah Machado, senior director of HR services at Paychex.

All HR executives in the survey say they rely on analytics in some capacity at work — but the most common uses include making more informed decisions (90%), defending decisions to corporate (89%) and understanding how to communicate with employees (89%). HR departments are also spending more money on tech, and those with budget increases responded that they would be the most likely to use additional funds to purchase new tools, Paychex finds.

Paychex found that many HR teams continue to look for tools that will give them a competitive edge. A full 72% of respondents say they will continue to use technology to reach high-quality candidates and to foster collaboration in the workforce with tools including Slack, Chatter and Jive (69%).
Tuesday, 09 July 2019 07:50

WHO Names 56 Tech Pioneers

The World Economic Forum today announced its list of 56 companies selected as Technology Pioneers, and this year’s class demonstrates the growing embrace of artificial intelligence and machine learning across a broad range of sectors.

 “Our new tech pioneers are at the cutting edge of many industries, using their innovations to address serious issues around the world,” said Fulvia Montresor, head of technology pioneers at the Forum.  “This year’s pioneers know that technology is about more than innovation — it is also about application. Therefore, we believe they’ll shape the future.”

See Top 20 Applications >>> Link to website with the balance of content below:

The AI and ML Tech Pioneers are:

  1. 7 cups offers web-based and smartphone-based emotional support for free, anonymously, from anywhere, anytime       
  2. Airobotics partners with leading enterprises and governments around the world to digitize their business.       
  3. BigID makes software that redefines how enterprises find, map, and de-risk personal information for today’s privacy, protection, and governance problems.
  4. Bright Machines applies artificial intelligence to manufacturing, adding eyes and brains to the factory floor through machine learning and computer vision.
  5. CyberCube equips the insurance industry with world-class analytics and unmatched data.
  6. DabaDoc connects millions of patients with thousands of doctors across Africa.
  7. DataProphet is a leading global artificial intelligence (AI) provider for Industry 4.0, improving quality and yield in manufacturing.
  8. Descartes Labs  has built a cloud-based platform to digitize the physical world.
  9. Drishti’s pioneering computer vision uses artificial intelligence (AI) to digitize human activities in the factory and allows manufacturers to benefit from human analytics for the first time.
  10. Eureka is an artificial intelligence (AI) platform that powers partnerships between mobile operators and enterprises in industries including banking, insurance, transport, and market research.
  11. Holmusk is a data science and digital health company dedicated to addressing how the world confronts mental health.
  12. Homoola is a technology startup that will revolutionize the trucking industry and boost its efficiency and sustainability.
  13. ImpactVision is a machine learning company applying hyper-spectral imaging technology to food supply chains in order to improve food quality.
  14. Luminance Technologies is a leading artificial intelligence platform for the legal profession.
  15. Marinus Analytics is social entrepreneurship in action. It delivers solutions globally that leverage machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) to empower law enforcement and government agencies to best protect and serve the most vulnerable community members.
  16. One Concern is a benevolent artificial intelligence company with a mission to save lives and livelihoods before, during, and after disasters.
  17. Quantela’s Atlantis artificial intelligence cloud platform simplifies the collection of data and helps streamline urban infrastructure operations to enhance experience and urban management.
  18. Shape Security’s mission is to stop these web attacks, eliminating fraud and restoring trust online.
  19. Tookitaki has developed machine learning-enabled enterprise software solutions in the anti-money laundering and reconciliation spaces.
  20. Truepic is a leading photo and video verification platform.


Tuesday, 09 July 2019 07:47

What is Cognitive Learning?

Cognition is "the mental action or process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience, and the senses." Cognitive science is defined as an interdisciplinary study of the human mind used to characterize the nature of human knowledge.

 Cognitive Learning is defined by Metaari as empirical (observable and measurable) neuro-pedagogy, the intersection of neuroscience, cognitive psychology, and educational theory. Metaari's Cognitive Learning definition is heavily rooted in neuroscience, cognitive science, educational psychology, embodied cognition, and Cognitive Learning Theories (particularly the models of Bloom and Bandura).

In solutions terms, cognitive learning encompasses brain games, mental training apps (for athletes and first responders), mental wellness, and mindfulness apps. To understand how cognitive learning can impact enterprise learning, view the upcoming edition of Elearning! Magazine. The “The 2018-2023 Global Cognitive Learning Market Report will be released July 15th at under Research. Discover why revenues will more than double by 2023 and how to prepare your organization.

Wednesday, 05 June 2019 07:27

The Best of Elearning! 2019 Voting Now Open

The Industry’s Exclusive Users Choice Award Opens for Nominations

Elearning! Magazine, the industry voice of the enterprise learning and workforce technology market, announced today the Best of Elearning! Awards 2019 voting opens June 3rd, 2019 at:

Learning professionals from both the private and public sector are invited to nominate their best-in-class solution provider for consideration across 27 different categories for 2019.  Winners of each category will be revealed in Elearning! Magazine November/ December 2019 and announced at Best of Elearning! Awards broadcast.

In its 15th year, The Best of Elearning! Awards program is the industry gold standard for excellence. The program is the exclusive industry users choice award whereby learning professionals vote via online ballot for best-in-class solutions. Eighty-five percent of professionals have personally recommended a learning solution to a colleague over the past 12 months and this awards program formalizes this personal recommendation process. Award recognition is important for buyers, as 61 percent agree that award recognition impacts their buying decision, according to Elearning! Media Group’s research.

“We are honored to host an award program recognizing the industry’s most innovative and impactful solution providers,” says Catherine Upton, Group Publisher, Elearning! Media Group. “The Best of Elearning! Awards recognize brands that solve real business learning challenges. There is no greater honor than having customers nominate and vote for their best-in-class solutions.”

In 2019, we have continued hosting an open-ended category for Most Innovative Solution Provider. This offers emerging technologies to compete in this highly regarded awards program. In 2018, the three honorees were all in the VR/AR category. Voters may cast a ballot online at:


Elearning! Media Group will also recognize Hall of Fame brands in 2019 for outstanding contributions to the learning industry and innovations. Previous Hall of Fame winners are Adobe Captivate, BizLibrary and eJ4.  

The Best of Elearning! Awards issue will reveal Award of Excellence and Category Award Winners in the November/December 2019 edition. This timing gives buyers the “Must Have” list of best-in-class solutions in a timeframe to allot budgets for their 2020 purchases.

The Voting Process

Elearning! Media Group readers, industry professionals and community members can nominate and vote for products and solutions at NO COST via Elearning! Media Group’s online ballot at:

Voting opens June 3rd and closes September 1st, 2019. Each ballot is verified with vendor ballots and those cast with Gmail, AOL, and other non-company domain email addresses being nullified.

Recognizing Excellence

Sixty-one percent of learning leaders shared that award recognition impacts their decision to consider a solution provider.  Therefore, the Best of Elearning! honorees are featured in Elearning! Magazine’s November/December 2019 edition. Buyers discover what their peers and colleagues say about various solution providers. See who made the cut in 2019 in Elearning! Magazine. Learn more about the program at:

“The awards issue is by far the most popular edition of the year. Those seeking world-class solutions go to the Best of Elearning! issue to short-list brands and see what real users say about the solutions,” reports Upton.

The Best of Elearning! Awards broadcast will also return. This online industry celebration offers executives share and learn about the best learning options and engage with technologists and learning leaders. Attend additional Best of Elearning! sessions across the year to hear customer stories and share advice on learning ecosystems and more. Watch for announcements at:

About Elearning! Media Group

Elearning! Media Group serves the $243 billion enterprise learning market.  Elearning! Media Group, owned by B2B Media Group, LLC, consists of 7 media products including: Elearning! Magazine, e-magazine, e-mail Alerts,, Elearning! Web Seminar Series, Learning! 100 Awards, and Best of Elearning! Awards.  In combination, these brands reach more than 2 million executives, practitioners and professionals, all evaluating or implementing enterprise learning and workplace technologies across their organizations each year.  Suppliers and practitioners can follow us: online at; on Twitter: @2elearning, via Facebook: Elearning!-Magazine; and, LinkedIn: Elearning! Magazine Network or Enterprise Learning! Events.

Tuesday, 04 June 2019 06:26

Absorb Software Acquires Torch LMS

Absorb Software, provider of the Absorb Learning Management System (LMS) and the newly introduced Absorb Infuse, has acquired Torch LMS, a Utah-based SaaS LMS provider. The Torch acquisition is the first of what the company anticipates will be several future acquisitions, as Absorb expands beyond organic growth and further leverages its strategic investment from Silversmith Capital Partners.

There is a growing demand for best-of-class learning technology. The corporate learning market is expected to see explosive growth, from $9.2 billion in 2018 to $22.4 billion by 2023. Major LMS market drivers are increased adoption of digital learning, growing prevalence of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies and enterprise mobility, and extensive government initiatives, all of which are increasing the significance of eLearning in corporate and academic setups. The Absorb acquisition of Torch will better position the company to capitalize on this eLearning explosion.

"Our profitable, organic growth history and strong financial backing empowers us to capitalize on opportunities where they occur. Acquiring Torch LMS is just one example of how we are expanding the reach of our world-class learning technology to a broader universe of customers," said Absorb CEO, Mike Owens. "We welcome Torch employees and customers to the Absorb family."

This sentiment was echoed by Jake White, Founder and CEO of Torch LMS, "Torch has always strived to delight customers with an intuitive, business-focused learning management system. We are absolutely delivering on this promise by joining Absorb. Our customers will reap the benefits of its world-class technology and service, and we couldn't be more pleased."

From skill gaps and a changing workforce, to employee retention, channel education and compliance, Absorb offers deep and flexible learning solutions to address these modern workforce challenges. The company looks forward to bringing these benefits to Torch customers.

Tuesday, 04 June 2019 06:23

Kallidus Adds AI Recommend Feature

Kallidus new AI feature for Kallidus Learn, available as a beta-release, suggests new learning courses to employees other learners have rated highly. The algorithm learns and improves as feedback increases on courses, providing ever-improving recommendations to help employees boost their skills with relevant and engaging digital learning.

“As organizations enter the age of AI, this disruptive technology has huge potential to personalize and enhance learning and to help employees advance their careers, said Rob Caul, CEO of Kallidus. AI is set to play an increasingly important role in taking today’s modern learning and talent platforms to the next level.”

Kallidus’ new AI feature has been built with Microsoft’s Vision AI infrastructure. Kallidus is planning to use Microsoft’s infrastructure to develop and integrate machine learning and AI across its human capital management software suite to improve the employee experience from initial hire to high-flyer.

According to Deloitte’s State of the AI in the Enterprise report, 42% of executives believe that AI will be of ‘Critical Importance’ in their business within the next two years. Meanwhile, Gartner’s 2019 global CIO Survey found that enterprise use of AI has grown by 270% over the past four years.

 “Over the next five years, AI is going to bring big changes to the LMS and will help enable organizations to deliver a truly consumer-grade learning experience which learners now increasingly expect in the workplace, reported Philip Pyle, Chief Revenue Officer. The use of AI to suggest well received learning courses is an exciting step in our product development roadmap for Kallidus Learn.”

For more information, visit

According to Deloitte’s 2019 Global Human Capital Trends Report, the rise of the social enterprise has arrived.  Organizations need to go beyond merely fulfilling their stated corporate social responsibility goals, says the 2019 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends report. While they remain focused on profits, organizations must also pay attention to the betterment of their employees, their customers, and the community in which they live.

There are four key elements that will shape the social enterprise. More>>

 “So much of what needs to change in organizations comes down to mindset, said David Mallon, Vice President, Bersin by Deloitte Consulting LLP.  And who better to take up the charge of shifting mindsets in organizations than the experts on the people side of business, HR.”

What Is the Power of a Social Enterprise?

 “The true social enterprises understand that there is tremendous value in growing social capital in their networks inside their workforce and outside the organization’s ecosystem,” explained Mallon. That social capital can be spent in service of creating strong ties with the communities and societies in which the organization operates, leading to benefits such as customer loyalty and an attractive employer brand. Internally, social capital can translate into higher operational and adaptive performance.”

How Can Organizations Become Social Enterprises?

Anand Shankar, Partner, Human Capital Consulting at Deloitte India LLP, called upon organizations to “do what is right, not just what is profitable.” These four key areas that will impact the future of HR.

1. Reinvent with a Human Focus: From Digitization to Digitalization

Digitization involves turning paperwork into digital data. Digitalization ensures that people are digitally empowered to do their jobs better. It involves using data to make sound across all disciplines and practices.

Data interpretation, gaining insights, and thinking creatively can ensure that this data is put to good use. Social enterprises will combine both purpose and profit.

Digitalization also involves reskilling the workforce to stay relevant. “Leaders must be careful not to simply replace old, out-of-date skills with other soon-to-be-out-of-date skills,” cited Mallon. They should be helping to ‘reframe’ as much as ‘reskill’ while also focusing on cultivating growth mindsets.”

2. Shift from Employee Experience to Human Experience

Employees outside the workplace are treated like royalty, with the convenience of lightning-fast internet to personalized recommendations from Amazon to real-time push notifications on flight delays even as they wait at the airport. Yet, when they come to work, they are forced to use outdated software and sometimes complete manual paperwork for certain HR processes shared Shankar.

This dissonance can leave them demotivated. It is upon organizations and HR to create a consumer-grade experience for employees.

Fifty-three percent of people surveyed in the report revealed that their organizations were willing to offer meaningful work to their employees. Shankar believes that HR must now evolve to include work in the flow of life as opposed to the traditional concept of life revolving around work.

In doing so, HR can help employees answer the questions, “How is my work impacting the bigger picture?” “Am I making a valuable contribution to my organization and society at large through my work?”

Mallon adds, “Put simply, if an organization’s workforce is now an ecosystem comprised of traditional employees, contingents, partners, customers, crowds and machines, the experience of those segments is material to the organization’s success, not just that of on-balance-sheet employees. With that said, organizations need to pull back the aperture and optimize the human-centered experience for all.”

3. Prepare for the Advent of the Superjob

Traditional jobs are evolving into superjobs that challenge our cognitive faculties as t4echnology assumes the repetitive tasks. These superjobs will force us to use creative thinking, innovation, sound communication, and judgment.

Everyone – organization leaders, their HR teams, and employees – need to take the onus to reinvent the traditional job. The responsibility is divided, and each player must guide the other in pursuing skills and education that will prepare them for the roles of the future – roles that simply don’t exist today.

A collaboration between HR, the C-suite, and leaders across IT and finance will result in the development of a strategy on how to reskill employees and redesign work to ensure that they augment the creative freedom that the advent of technology is offering them.

 “Organizations need to separate work design from role design,” shared Mallon. By doing so, leaders can then better identify which parts are best done by humans, which are best done by machines, and which are best done as part of human-machine collaboration. It’s that collaboration that will be of most importance.”

4. Advance Your Leadership Strategies

Twenty-first-century leaders are expected to have the following skills, according to Mallon:

  •          Creating followership and managing a workforce comprised equal parts of human and tech
  •          Having a growth mindset
  •          Recognizing opportunity in uncertainty and continuously improving from past situations
  •          Demonstrating comfort with risk and vulnerability
  •          Being transparent in decision-making
  •          Demonstrating stamina to see difficult long-term goals to fruition
  •          Creating space for others to contribute as their authentic selves
  •          Building networks and teams and working collaboratively with teams across the organization


 “These future of HR trends revolve around thinking differently about how we access the talent we need, leveraging learning in the flow of life, improving mobility as a means of meeting our own internal talent needs, continuing to build onto cloud as a technological foundation for the future evolution of HR, and providing a human-centered workforce experience,” summarized Mallon.

Source: 2019 Deloitte Global HR Trends Report

Tuesday, 02 April 2019 08:40

Managing People Is Getting Harder


By Bruce Tulgan

Undermanagement can be difficult to identify. After all, everyone at work is surrounded by metrics and meetings all the time. It may seem like management is ever-present. But what is missing in most workplaces is the human element of management: managers providing direct reports with the guidance, direction, support and coaching that they need to succeed.

The reality is that it keeps getting harder to manage people. The vast majority of managers are still struggling to provide employees with the high-structure, high-substance coaching they need. When managers fail to provide that structured leadership, person-to-person, it exacerbates the very factors that make it hard to manage people in the first place. As a result, too many managers are stuck in a vicious cycle of undermanagement. But most don’t even realize it.

The undermanagement epidemic persists. And it is hiding in plain sight in nearly every workplace.

There Are Five Reasons It Is Harder to Manage People Today

It’s always been hard to manage people. Managers have always been stuck in the middle between the employer and the employee, trying to negotiate their competing needs and expectations. But today, managers are telling us that it is harder than ever before.

Why? There are five powerful trends in the workplace today making it harder than ever to manage people:

1) The Pace of Work Is Increasing

The intensity, complexity, and pace of work is increasing – for everyone. Regardless of position or title, continuous improvement is now the norm. In order to maintain a competitive advantage, ongoing skill building and mastery is a requirement.

2) Hiring and Retention Challenges

Hiring and retention challenges mean most organizations are understaffed in key departments, placing additional pressure on employees and managers in those departments. Organizations that disproportionately rely on new, young employees are also more likely to struggle with skill training and wisdom transfer.

3) Fewer Layers of Management

As organizations have removed unnecessary layers of management, the managers who are left are responsible for larger and larger teams. There is an increased likelihood that managers are responsible for employees working in remote locations, or on different schedules.

4) Constant Pressure to Improve Productivity and Quality

Managers are under more pressure to increase productivity and quality from their teams. Today, that means getting more work out of fewer employees, while utilizing fewer resources.

5) Increased Interdependency

More work is handled in interdependent working relationships and cross-functional teams. Managers and their employees are responsible for managing more relationships and moving parts than ever before. Most employees are answering to short-term project leaders in addition to their primary manager.

The Solution Is More Engagement, Not Less

In nearly every one of the thousands of cases we’ve studied, there is a straightforward solution: a commitment to learning and practicing the fundamentals of leadership. That means regularly scheduled, high-substance, high-structure one-on-one meetings between managers and their direct reports, so that leaders can stay on top of what’s happening and help their employees plan and prioritize for the best outcome.

We’ve watched how consistently practicing the fundamentals of management has dramatically improved the effectiveness and bottom-line results of managers at all levels, in organizations of all shapes and sizes.

Is undermanagement affecting your organization? Learn more about identifying and preventing the vicious cycle of undermanagement in our latest white paper: The Undermanagement Epidemic Report 2019.

About the author:

Bruce Tulgan, Founder & CEO, RainmakerThinking, Inc. Bruce Tulgan is an adviser to business leaders all over the world and a sought-after keynote speaker and seminar leader. He is the founder and CEO of RainmakerThinking, Inc., a management research and training firm, as well as, an online training service. Bruce can be reached by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , you can follow him on Twitter @BruceTulgan, or visit his website


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