skillsoft perspectives 2015More than 1,200 global HR and learning professionals are gathered this week in Orlando at the Rosen Shingle Creek sharing success stories, challenges, trends, and priorities for today’s new-age learner and solutions to closing critical skills gaps.

2015 Skillsoft Perspectives is the company’s 17th annual conference and the first event for the combined Skillsoft and SumTotal organizations since their merger announcement last year.

Skillsoft’s acquisition of SumTotal Systems was just the first acquisition to better serve the learning needs of today’s diverse and distributed workforce. During the opening keynote, Skillsoft CEO Chuck Moran and COO Jerry Nine spotlighted Skillsoft’s acquisition of Vodeclic, officially announced just a week ago.

Vodeclic, a Paris-based firm founded in 2007, brings to Skillsoft more than 25,000 videos in six languages in the cloud for on-demand access. If the reported 1 billion+ accessing YouTube videos daily is even remotely close to accurate, online video is fast becoming a key means for employees to satisfy their “just for me, right now” learning and information needs.

Skillsoft’s new video solution leverages its expertise in instructional design and integrated assessments and offers an engaging and interactive vehicle to improve capability in a hyper-personalized fashion.

The Vodeclic acquisition is not Skillsoft’s only response to closing the near epidemic skills gap. This week the company also announced the re-launch of its online Client Community Center. This online resource provides at-your-fingertips access to learning and talent benchmarking information, curated content, filterable searches, and virtual networking capability with Skillsoft’s 6,000 global customers.

To round out the trio of new offerings to close the skills gap crisis and align with today’s modern learning, Skillsoft highlighted the recent (January 2015) launch of its mobile learning app. Go to Apple’s app store, search on “Skillsoft” and up pops the Skillsoft Learning App. This on-the-go solution enables learners to stay current with expert thinking and thought leaders’ online books, audios, and videos in a 24×7 fashion. Learners can set up notifications and tag learning assets for personalized and targeted skills development and capability building.

Brandon Hall Group’s research shows that more than 50% of senior business leaders rank capability-building as a top-three talent priority. Skillsoft’s strategic acquisitions, modernization of learning content, commitment to curating content, and coming to market with mobile-enabled, highly personalized learning solutions show its willingness to ensure their clients are armed with solutions to closing critical skills gaps.

After the first full day of the conference wrapped up, I also found myself struck by Skillsoft leadership’s keen attention to today’s prevailing requirement for talent and learning analytics. Separate from metrics, analytics are essential for providing insights to “what if” scenarios that enable organizations to forecast critical talent and skill gaps. Analytics are a must-have for organizations aspiring to high-performance and delivering on business goals. Skillsoft has analytics up front and center on its radar and is a few steps ahead of most.

As the keynote came to a close, More and Nine summed up their assessment of the six elements essential for what they called the “self-developing organization” – those organizations committed to leveraging user-directed learning to close critical skills gaps and building capability by leveraging analytics:

  • Analytics
  • Predictive recommendations
  • Talent profiles
  • Multi-modal learning
  • Workforce management
  • Learning experiences

2015 Skillsoft Perspectives promised, and delivered, on showcasing just how Skillsoft continues to shape their offerings and solutions to keep pace with the changing demands of our HR, talent, and learning needs.

Until next time…

Laci Loew
Vice President and Principal Analyst, Talent Management
Brandon Hall Group

Laci Loew

A principal talent analyst and consultant with Brandon Hall Group, Laci is expert in all areas of human capital management particularly talent management, leadership, leadership development, and succession management. She has worked in the public and private sectors consulting global and matrix Fortune companies across all industries on integrated talent initiatives. Laci holds a bachelor of science from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign; earned her MBA from Keller Graduate School of Management; and is currently a PhD candidate in organizational psychology. Laci’s hometown is Chicago and she is based in Las Vegas.

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