Monday, May 18, 2009

SaaS Webinar - Link to Archive

Here is a link to the archived webinar featuring David's discussion of the impact of SaaS on learning & talent systems research:

(updated link)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

SaaS Core Insights paper announcement

Elearnity examines Software-as-a-Service impact on Learning & Talent Systems
Elearnity | Cirencester, UK

14-May-2009 » Training Press Releases » Elearnity, Europe's leading Corporate Learning Analyst, today announced its latest research on the impact of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) on the Learning & Talent Systems market.

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), the provision of software applications as an Internet service, has become a major force in the business applications market. This Elearnity Core Insights paper explores the growing impact of SaaS on applications for managing and delivering learning and talent processes within a corporate environment.

"Software-as-a-Service is a very relevant approach for Learning & Talent Systems and we are seeing rapid growth in its adoption in both the Enterprise and Mid-tier markets.", said David Wilson, Managing Director of Elearnity. "Our research highlights the benefits and barriers of SaaS for corporates, and explores these specifically in the context of Learning & Talent Systems."

The research paper looks at the evolution and specific drivers/barriers for SaaS Learning & Talent Systems. It also provides guidance and key questions for corporates to ask internally when considering SaaS Learning & Talent solutions, as well as a checklist of questions to ask to potential suppliers.

"The benefits of SaaS are particularly attractive in the current economic climate, but not all SaaS solutions are suitable for large complex organisations." said Wilson. "Overall, Elearnity expects SaaS to grow significantly as a proportion of the market, and pressure on vendors to offer more scalable Enterprise-class SaaS solutions."

The SaaS paper is available immediately for download from Elearnity's Knowledge Centre at along with other Elearnity research papers and presentations


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

E-learning anarchy

The following is a response to a question raised about how to deal with the problem of fragmented and uncontrolled procurement of e-learning within a distributed organisation. Thought it was worth adding here to ... DAVID

This has historically been a common problem, and often leads to the appointment of a central resource to support and coordinate e-learning related purchases, as well as to own the associated technical standards and sometimes the platform (e.g. LMS) they will be run on. In terms of resolving your issues - you probably need to think about it at three different levels.

1) Technical Standards - Nearly every major corporate we work with has had to put in place a technical standards document that is enforced via the procurement process. This includes: e-learning standards for compatibility with your LMS or deployment platform (AICC, SCORM 1.2, 2004 etc), technical standards for your IT environment - browser/script/java/plugin restrictions etc and network and other restictions (e.g. bandwidth), other integration requirements and so on. Will also probably include requirements for new suppliers in terms of provision of sample test content to prove LMS compatibility, as well as any associated release or delivery requirements for the content - i.e. the rules of engagement for the vendor.

2) E-learning Project Process - a standard process to be used by all parts of the organisation to facilitate e-learning projects. The aim of this is to better qualify projects and investments in e-learning, and to take them through some standard steps to help ensure the success of the projects. This could include which suppliers have already been vetted - some guidelines on procurement, guidelines on project planning and initiation etc, and (very importantly) guidelines on assurance, testing and deployment. This will help ensure projects are managed more effectively. Frequently the implementation of such a process will involve advisory support from a central e-learning advisor or team depending on the scale of the organisation. Whilst responsibility for e-learning may be devolved into the fragmented L&D operation - e-learning expertise is generally not unless an organisation becomes very e-centric and even then it still needs to rest with a few people (in reality).

3) Governance - as you have highlighted, a decentralised procurement of e-learning solutions leads to failed projects as the expertise is absent to make them successful, and basic issues of suitability, design, and deployability go out the window. Centralising all responsibility for e-learning can be a good strategy in the short term, but is frequently a bad answer long term as it fundamentally keeps it in the ivory tower. Delegating responsibility for e-learning without some form of governance and process leads to anarchy. As a minimum, you need to have some standards for projects and potential suppliers (see above), and also cross-visibility of existing solutions and suppliers across the business. Over time, this ideally would lead some form of governance network to maximise the value of what you already have and to stop reinventing the wheel 15 times in different parts of the business. Governance should also foster and facilitate innovation on a coordinated basis - innovation in terms of approach and of suppliers etc.

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS): the Impact on Learning & Talent Systems

A Webinar featuring David Wilson, of Elearnity, will explore how investing in Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)-based talent management solutions is helping organisations increase productivity and ensure high performers are engaged, developed, connected and retained – while also lowering costs. The complimentary session, sponsored by Cornerstone OnDemand, is entitled “Software-as-a-Service (SaaS): the Impact on Learning & Talent Systems” and is scheduled for Thursday, 14th May from 3pm to 4pm GMT.

According to analyst firm Gartner, the global enterprise market for SaaS will rise by nearly 22 percent in 2009, as companies turn to Web-based applications as a way to reduce costs during the economic downturn. This includes increased adoption of on-demand human capital management applications by organisations seeking economical yet effective ways for managing and developing employees.

David Wilson, Elearnity’s founder and Managing Director, commented, “SaaS is having a significant impact on the learning and talent systems market, both for enterprise customers, as well as the mid-tier market. We also see it as being particularly attractive in the current economic climate.”

Learning and human resources (HR) leaders participating in Thursday’s Webinar will:

  • Discover why leading organisations are turning to SaaS to accelerate change and deliver more value for the business from their learning and talent systems

  • Explore specific HR business drivers – including cost/time savings, scalability and flexibility – that make SaaS a superior technology option

  • Learn the key questions to ask when considering potential SaaS-based learning and talent solutions

During the session, Wilson will preview analysis and recommendations from Elearnity’s latest research. Elearnity’s research and analysis focuses on the key innovations challenging corporate learning organisations, including e-learning and blended learning, learning management strategy and systems, the impact of learning and increasing value-add, and integrating learning with human capital and performance. Elearnity’s research process is designed to develop deeper insights into corporate realities and best practice, and an independent understanding of vendor capabilities and performance.

To register for the Webinar, visit:

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Impact of SaaS on Learning & Talent Systems

On 14th May, David will be previewing a new Elearnity research paper on the impact of Software-as-a-Service on Learning & Talent Systems at a Webinar hosted by Cornerstone OnDemand.

Click here for more information and to register for the event. The paper will be made available after the webinar.