By Mohana Radhakrishnan, COO, Expertus
A recent poll of learning professionals found that 36% are now responsible for partner training. The time spent to develop a well-trained extended enterprise is definitely a worthwhile investment. Read this blog to learn three key survey findings that can improve your extended enterprise training.
The Rapid Rise of Extended Enterprise Learning
The learners in your extended enterprise are quite unlikely to think of themselves by that label. If asked, these learners would refer to themselves by titles such as customers, partners, franchisees, dealers or members.
Regardless of what you choose to call them, they are typically a key component to the success of any organization. In fact, organizations are now training their external learners at a rapidly accelerating pace. Let’s have a look at the following findings.
1. More Professionals Are Now Responsible for Training Partners
The time spent to develop a well-trained extended enterprise is a worthwhile investment. Organizations with a knowledgeable, well-informed extended enterprise are better positioned to grow their business and increase profitability. However, different learners often have different requirements. Understanding their varying needs is essential in order to develop a customized learning experience for each audience that is truly impactful.
Identifying the needs of varying learners and delivering effective training across a wide range of stakeholders is not a simple undertaking. Training professionals need to shift gears from their employee training programs and focus on what will work best for the non-employee learner. Online content, documents and in-classroom programs should be thoroughly reviewed. These items may need to be revised or created from scratch to best deliver the knowledge that will suit a particular group of external learners.
Organizations also need to determine whether or not the current solutions they utilize, such as their learning management system, have the necessary capabilities to effectively deliver critical knowledge to their extended enterprise. LMS features that may be necessary to train these learners can include:
- eCommerce─for secure processing of credit card payments and creation of invoices
- Mobile Learning─for external learners that need access to training anytime, anywhere, even when connectivity is not available
- Localization/Globalization─to provide an experience that supports multiple languages and currencies
2. More Companies Are Looking to Consolidate Redundant Learning Systems
Surprisingly, a large number of companies, government agencies and associations operate more than one LMS across their global enterprise. Some organizations use the same LMS for internal and external training, while others manage external learners on a completely different solution.
The cost of redundant systems goes far beyond the charges incurred from each of the LMS vendors. The maintenance of courses across numerous systems is expensive and time-consuming. Reporting capabilities differ widely from system to system, and likely present the data that is needed by stakeholders in inconsistent formats, with varying levels of detail.
Multiple LMSs may also increase the security risk to an organization. Each system may be integrated with different enterprise systems, such as financials, CRM, HRIS and eCommerce, while operating under separate sets of security rules.
3. Creating a Well-Trained Extended Enterprise Is Quickly Becoming Priority #1
Ideally, one LMS should be able to serve all of your learners, regardless of whether they sit inside or outside of your organization. The right solution will assure consistency of training across employees and the entire extended enterprise. In turn, a well-trained extended enterprise can:
- Increase their knowledge of your products and services
- Drive additional revenue for your organization
- Better meet compliance requirements and regulations
- Adhere to operating procedures and follow best practices
- Reduce their reliance on product/service support
Ultimately, the time spent developing a robust extended enterprise learning program, supported with the right technology, will have a positive impact on your business and provide your organization with a competitive advantage.
Want to learn more? Download Expertus’ extended enterprise survey infographic to discover the ways organizations are extending learning beyond their enterprise. You can also watch our on-demand webinar “Thinking Outside the Internal Training Box: Extending Your Learning Reach Beyond Employees”, featuring John Leh, CEO and Lead Analyst at Talented Learning.