"Enterprise technology is in the midst of an accelerating process of integration and convergence. Previously distinct product categories are being assimilated into integrated enterprise application suites. SAP, IBM, Oracle, Sun, Siebel and PeopleSoft all added eLearning to their suites in the last year."
So says Sam Adkins, author of "Simulation in the Enterprise," the 375-page roadmap to the next wave of eLearning released today.
Adkins foresees three watershed developments in learning:
"Courses are nearly dead. Real-time learning is starting to support getting the job done. Workers will learn what they need when they need it," says Jay Cross, Adkins? publisher and CEO of Internet Time Group. "This is not science fiction; it?s happening right now," he says."Standalone eLearning?s heyday is over."
This summer, Sam and Jay talked with an unlikely group of panelists in a session of the eLearning Forum. For the first time anywhere, the major enterprise vendors (e.g., PeopleSoft, Oracle, Sun, Siebel, SAP) and the top LMS vendors (e.g. Docent, Saba, Plateau, Click2Learn, etc.) came together under one roof to discuss the future of eLearning in the extended enterprise. The issue was not whether eLearning would be integrated into enterprise systems, but how soon; it wasn't whether LMS would become enmeshed in enterprise webs but how.
Author Sam Adkins is well-positioned to see the big picture. In his eight years at Microsoft, he worked with the leading research vendors in the industry. He forecast training channel trends and performed advanced product research on nascent developments with the potential to impact the elearning market. Previously, Sam built the world's first commercial online university, known as the Microsoft Online Institute.
Adkins' extensive new reports map the correspondences between enterprise technology, instructional simulation, learning design, Balanced Scorecard, Six Sigma and ISO9001:2000.
He describes why integrated business application suites are superior to point solutions. These suites contain not only eLearning but also business process management, business intelligence, content management and, increasingly, live collaboration.
Chief Learning Officers will see many new names popping up as specialty software companies demo new products that use simulation, workflow, and collaboration to improve human performance.
Content management vendors are buying collaboration companies. Enterprise vendors are bulking up by acquiring performance support, simulation and virtual classroom capabilities. Workflow by-products include interactive manuals, business process demonstrations, coaching inside applications, and even virtual workers and environments that collaborate in what is now called WorkSpace (what the military calls BattleSpace).
Structured knowledge management and expertise mining add Workflow-based eLearning, Workforce Analytics, and a range of new innovations to the mix.
The reports single out a select group of companies as "pioneers of innovation:" IBM, Sun, Oracle, SAP, Siebel, Microsoft, PeopleSoft, Knowledge Impact, Nobilis, VCampus, Element K, Teamplate, Ultimus, Lombardi, XStream, Knowledge Products, and Hyperwave. Standalone profiles of each highlight their extraordinary products and their likely role in the extended eLearning environment.
In today's economic climate, customers demand immediate, measurable and observable workforce improvement results (concepts familiar to both performance technologists and CFOs). As a result, says Sam, "Corporate learning is finally being recognized as a business process. It will be monitored, measured, and managed like any other business process."
"Level four and nothing but level four," says Jay. "Sam and I are canaries in the coal mine. We?re fortunate to have been in the right place at the right time to glimpse the future. Our mission is to help bring it to fruition."
The two offer free white papers, articles, and an overview of their research at the newly established Center for Expertise Learning Excellence online at www.internettime.com.
An annual, single-reader subscription to the full Simulation in the Enterprise series is $750. Individual reports are available for $250.
About Internet Time Group
Internet Time Group helps organizations improve the performance of their people by speeding up their learning. Founder Jay Cross designed the University of Phoenix's first business degree program. He converted a startup into an Inc 500 winner, training a million professionals to make sound decisions and sell services. He is CEO of eLearning Forum, an 1800-member think tank and advocacy group, and author of Implementing eLearning.
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