A Strong Start to the Year

Our team started 2015 in full speed all over the world.

In London, we were a sponsor at Learning Technologies 2015. George Walker, our director of Global Services, gave a “Back to the Future”-inspired presentation: “From small data to big data – the benefits of learning and talent analytics.”

Liam Butler, our EMEA GM, participated in a Google Hangout session with Matt Wicks, CTO of Dreamtek. The session focused on the future of Learning Management Systems, and it was moderated by Don Taylor, Chairman of the Learning Technologies Conference. You can catch the recording of the session here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FC2mxRD3VRc

In Karlsruhe, we exhibited at Learntec 2015 with our messaging around high-consequence industries resonating very well with the audience. Dirk Flaskamp, one of our Sales Directors in Germany, gave a presentation at the “Anwenderforum”(User forum) on “Talent Management for Everyone.” Our focus was on why organizations should really focus their Learning & Development programs to the middle employees instead of just their top talent. We were also delighted to meet up with a few of our German clients, like tesa, SEW-EURODRIVE & Fresenius Medical Care.

Shows

Next Steps 2014 Chicago recap

Last week we were delighted to spend two days with our clients at Next Steps 2014 in Chicago. Next Steps is our annual user conference and our theme this year was innovation and business results. Innovation in terms of new technologies, tools, apps, practices, ways of thinking that shape how we work and live. New ways to take advantage of the NetDimensions Talent Suite across different functions in the organization. Business results in terms of how learning & talent management technologies and processes link to actual business metrics that are relevant to CxOs. Metrics relating to revenue contribution, cost control, change enablement, and risk management.

 

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My panel on talent analytics with Betty Mills of Centra Health, Jerry Bishop of Brigham Young University, Richard Beaumont of Omega Performance, Dan Sherman of The Nature Conservancy, and George Walker of NetDimensions.

Announcing Next Steps 2014

Right after wrapping up Next Steps 2013, our annual user conference, we were already well into planning Next Steps 2014 (if you are curious, find out what happened at Next Steps 2013).  The overwhelmingly positive & exciting input from our clients, partners, and colleagues who attended last year’s conference in London, Chicago, or Shanghai, has reinforced our decision to keep investing in this event in terms of continued variety of what we add to the agenda, more interactivity in all our sessions, and ample opportunities for networking.

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We are very proud of what we’ve planned for next year. Here are some things to look forward to.

Next Steps 2013

October, what a month!! We just wrapped up Next Steps 2013 (#nextsteps13), our global user conference, and it was quite a cross-continent run.  We gathered with our clients in three locations – Chicago, Shanghai & London – with more participants than ever before representing over 120 organizations worldwide.

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Next Steps is focused on creating value for our clients, but it’s always a tremendous learning experience for us too.  Year after year, I come out of Next Steps inspired by the level of innovation our clients are demonstrating on how they use our software in demanding, results-driven environments.

This year was no different …

Mobile Learning – The 6 C’s of Innovation

It’s been almost a year since we made available our new on-demand mobile learning native application for iPad and Android tablets on the AppStore and Google Play. It’s called NetDimensions Talent Slate and I think it provides a fresh an innovative approach to how our clients are approaching mobile learning. Of course, the market will tell us at the end if we have been right or not.

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What I can say though is that for some time now we have been thinking very hard about what mobile means to learning, employee enablement, and talent development. And allow me to concentrate on tablets here. Because with the advent of the iPad, never before have we experienced a single device on which we can check email, browse the internet, deliver a presentation, do our expense report, read a book, listen to music, watch a movie, play a game, place a video call, and share with our kids. All on the same device.

So, although some describe mobile learning as yet another “channel” or another “modality” of learning, I disagree. I think mobile learning is a paradigm shift, similar to what e-learning was for classroom training. And tablets are the forefront of this paradigm shift.

Nevertheless, most of the early efforts we have been witnessing in mobile learning were all about trying to get e-learning to work on mobile devices. Hence the prevailing question: “how can I get my flash courses to run on the iPad?” I argue that this is not even the right question to ask now, is it? If mobile learning is a paradigm shift, it requires a new wave of innovation for designing, delivering, and tracking learning.

Some of the things we have been working on (and we are still working on) when it comes to our approach on innovating on tablets are:

  1. Cruising – navigating on a tablet is not the same as navigating on a PC or a laptop. NetDimensions Talent Slate features an intuitive navigation concept based on federated search.
  2. Context – context in learning has always been important, but never so much as in mobile learning. My job role and task at hand, my geo location, who (and what) is around me, what I have been doing, the type of device I am using, all provide context that can be extremely relevant to my learning experience.
  3. Connectivity – can it be taken for granted? Is connectivity really ubiquitous globally? We have made NetDimensions Talent Slate operate both online and offline with smart synchronization logic when internet connectivity is available.
  4. Collaboration – a mobile device is used to communicate, so there is the expectation that the application will allow me to locate and connect to other users, share own-generated content, and contribute to the overall knowledge base.
  5. Co-operation – the ability to easily integrate and play well with other systems in the mobile ecosystem is now an even more obvious requirement. Interfaces like the TinCan API will help systems & content speak to each other so that organizations can collect all the learning experiences of their users from across multiple systems into one place.
  6. Content – This will require a different instructional design approach, more tailored to the mobile user and taking better advantage of the unique affordances a mobile device like a tablet offers to users. If we can’t get interactivity or personalized content nuggets on a tablet, where else will we get it?

We have a long way to go still, but now is the time of innovation in the industry, innovation both from technology and content providers and from organizations deploying mobile learning solutions.

And in closing, here’s a product briefing report from the Brandon Hall Group  about NetDimensions Talent Slate.