With a large percentage of the workforce working from home during the pandemic, for the first time, many organizations are discovering the challenge of training and developing people not working in the same building. And some companies have been grappling with dispersed learning audiences and learners who do not even work for the organization.

The “extended enterprise” is a complex network of customers, resellers, channel partners, franchisees and more. It can be difficult to get a handle on governance, technology and accountability issues related to extended enterprise learning. It requires a cohesive, standardized strategy and the technology to get it right.

The challenge starts at the top. Who owns the extended enterprise? Is it marketing; reaching out to customers? Is it sales; training a network of resellers? Maybe it is operations,  who oversee franchisees or distributors. This fragmentation exists because there are too many disparate priorities across these groups, and it can often make sense for them to own their slice of extended enterprise training, even if it appears to be, on the surface, a learning process.

From a technology standpoint, however, these groups do not often have insight into the features and functionality of learning solutions and how they can be leveraged for the extended enterprise. There is an opportunity here for the learning function to partner with these other functions to develop an extended enterprise technology strategy and go through a selection process.  

In Brandon Hall Group’s 2020 Extended Enterprise Study, 79% of companies said that technology was, to a medium or high degree, the main reason for the effectiveness of their extended enterprise learning. And among companies that say their efforts are effective or highly effective, two-thirds use an LMS, compared to 54% of those whose efforts are less effective.

But not all LMS solutions are equal. It isn’t just about providing access to extended enterprise learning audiences. There are other considerations. Different audiences outside the organization may need unique environments requiring white-labeling or branding configurations. There should be a mechanism for accurately tracking and measuring all learning activity since the learners do not work for the organization. Additionally, extended enterprise learning represents an opportunity for the Learning function to generate revenue by selling training. This requires e-commerce functionality, something that is not available in every LMS.

The value created by providing learning opportunities to your extended enterprise will continue to expand as remote work becomes routine, markets become more global and the use of contingent and gig workers increase.

Begin your new year by joining me for a webinar with Patrick Devlin of Meridian Knowledge Solutions as we explore the extended enterprise and how technology makes it easier to reach more learning audiences. We strongly encourage any HR/Learning professionals to invite others from their organization who may be in marketing, operations, sales, or any other function that needs to communicate and train the extended enterprise.

David Wentworth, Principal Analyst, Brandon Hall Group

 About Brandon Hall Group Inc. 

Brandon Hall Group is the only professional development company that offers data, research, insights and certification to Learning and Talent executives and organizations. The best minds in Human Capital Management (HCM) choose Brandon Hall Group to help them create future-proof employee development plans for the new era. 

For over 27 years, we have empowered, recognized and certified excellence in organizations around the world influencing the development of over 10,000,000 employees and executives. Our HCM Excellence Awards was the first to recognize organizations for learning and talent and is the gold standard, known as the “Academy Awards of Human Capital Management.”

Our cloud-based platform delivers evidence-based insights in the areas of Learning and Development, Talent Management, Leadership Development, Diversity and Inclusion, Talent Acquisition and HR/Workforce Management for corporate organizations and HCM solution providers.

To learn more, visit https://www.brandonhall.com

For information on Brandon Hall Group’s research and how we can assist your organization, please visit www.brandonhall.com

Become a Brandon Hall Group member!

We are a human capital management research and advisory firm with more than 10,000 clients globally. For over 27 years, we have been delivering research-based solutions that empower excellence in organizations around the world. Our vision is to inspire a better workplace experience. Becoming a Brandon Hall Group member means our team joins your team. Membership provides a host of resources and services and – most importantly — a seasoned team of thought leaders and client support professionals dedicated to your success.

Click here for more information and to sign up for a free trial membership

Click here for information on Brandon Hall Group’s Professional Certification Program

David Wentworth

David Wentworth has been a senior research analyst in the human capital field since 2005 and joined the Brandon Hall Group in 2013. He has authored reports and articles on various human capital subjects with an emphasis on workforce technology. He has contributed to several reports published by ASTD, including authoring Mobile Learning: Learning in the Palm of Your Hand, The Rise of Social Media: Enhancing Collaboration and Productivity Across Generations, and Instructional Systems Design Today and in the Future. His work has also appeared in Compensation & Benefits Review and T+D Magazine.