imc setting up a Digital Learning Platform for Customer Education
A Digital Learning Platform for Customer Education

Increase Customers Live Time Value and Earn Their Loyalty

Here we look at how to improve customer service, retention, satisfaction and live time value with Customer Education.

Business leaders know that, on average, it is 5X more expensive to acquire new customers than it is to retain existing ones. Furthermore, it is usually far more profitable to upsell and cross-sell to existing customers than it is to simply increase your number of customers.

 

Customer education can be a powerful tool in helping you to build trust, retain existing customers and ultimately, increase customer lifetime value (LTV).

Customer ready for the meeting

What is Customer Education?

Customer Education is learning content designed to engage new or existing customers and help them to maximise the effectiveness of your products and services.

 

When it's done well, it can help to reduce customer service calls and in turn, reduce costs. It can help you to retain existing customers, and even turn some of them into enthusiastic advocates of your brand.

 

Customer education, also known as customer training, is so important that, according to a Salesforce survey in October 2020:

 

“80% of customers say the experience a company provides is as important as its product or services.”

Customer education tends to be most relevant for product-based companies, whether that’s physical products or software. It can be of most benefit if your product:

 

  • has a learning curve, where it’s common for customers to make mistakes or get stuck
  • requires people to change existing behaviours
  • generates frequent customer support calls
  • is used by people with a wide range of needs or in diverse contexts
  • is updated regularly with new features (very common in software)
  • lends itself to cross-selling or upselling (customer education can be a great sales tool!).

While customer education can be delivered face to face, online training enables any time, anywhere learning that is accessible at the user’s convenience. The Covid-19 pandemic greatly accelerated the trend towards online, helping many companies to deliver up to date content even when face to face was not possible.

 

Online customer education provides greater opportunity to deliver training across multiple formats, including any of:

Video guides

Hosted on platforms like YouTube or Vimeo, or on your own learning management system (LMS).

Icon Recording

Live or recorded webinars

Guide new, existing or potential customers through your product usage. When live, you can respond to any questions on the fly, and for those who want to watch it later, the recorded version can act as a useful, video-based FAQ resource.

Icon Graphic Image

Infographics

An engaging, fun way to present facts and figures in a creative manner.

Selection Slideshow Slide

Slideshows

A common way to quickly convert traditional, face to face presentations into an always-accessible digital format.

Games and quizzes

An excellent way for customers to test new knowledge and see if they need to return to materials or seek additional support.

Customer Education Benefits

Here are just a few of the many customer education benefits to your business:
Reduced customer support calls and tickets

This can greatly reduce the cost associated with large support teams and the frustration customers feel when waiting in queues.

Faster onboarding

Customers get up and running with your product quickly because they have learning materials to hand if, as and when they need it most.

User adoption

A huge issue in the field of IT and software products, which inevitably come with some learning curve. Most IT implementation projects fail, not because of a weakness in the product itself, but due to inadequate customer training and in turn, user adoption.

Cross-selling and upselling

The point at which customers are engaging with your product is often the best opportunity to highlight your related products and services. If you can win their trust in and enthusiasm for Product A and make the customer confident that they can use it, that’s a great time to draw their attention to Product B, C, D….

Customer retention

This is frequently the greatest benefit to a good customer education programme. A customer who is happy with your solutions because you helped them to maximise the value of it, is much more likely to renew or upgrade when the time comes.

So clearly, there are numerous benefits to making training available to your customers, but how to make this easy and cost-effective? That’s where a customer education platform can make things efficient and highly scalable.

Customer Education Platform Features

The best customer education platforms will help you to not only upload training materials to make them accessible online, but will offer a range of useful features and attributes that include:

  1. Integrations with popular software products like eCommerce payment gateways (such as PayPal) or CRMs (such as Salesforce) to reduce admin, while ensuring data security.
  2. Scalability: You’ll want your platform to handle a growing customer base, and not become a limiting factor.
  3. Multilingual capabilities - if you run an international company, you’ll want to make eLearning content available to customers in multiple languages
  4. User analytics: Data and reports will help you to learn what content and formats are engaging your customers and where people seem to struggle or switch off. This can help you identify weaknesses in your learning materials - or even the product itself. It can also help you to intelligently signpost customers to areas of your platform for additional support.

 

Well-designed training materials that are kept up to date and made available via a good customer education platform should be seen as an investment in customer success, retention and new business development, rather than just a cost.

 

Guiding users in making the most of your products should deliver increases in customer lifetime value / LTV, win you new fans, and strengthen the reputation of your brand.

 

 

Happy to help

For 25 years, imc Learning has created eLearning solutions for customer education and staff training at companies and public sector organisations across the globe.

 

Our clients include the likes of Deloitte, Vodafone, BASF and Audi.

 

If you’d like an informal chat about how we could help you leverage customer education to improve customer service and retention, get in touch with us here at imc Learning.

 

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Learning Ecosystem: A Universe of Learning

Create a learning ecosystem in the LMS that promoted self-directed learning in the long term.

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I'm very passionate about digital learning since I joined the imc marketing team in 2020.
I would like to know more about any challenges in learning & development and discuss how we can solve them together.
Francisca Lim, imc
Francisca Lim
Regional Brand Manager Asia
LMS Hot Topic Learning Ecosystem
LMS Hot Topics
Learning Ecosystem: A Universe of Learning

Learning ecosystem: A universe of Learning – why you need it, how you build it

Discovering new worlds of corporate learning

The L&D sector has largely reached a consensus: Customisation must play a bigger role in corporate learning. We must strive to democratise knowledge. The panacea needed to achieve these ambitious goals? A learning ecosystem. The focus is almost exclusively on soft factors related to the corporate and learning culture when establishing such a system, neglecting technological aspects.

 

Yet, suitable software such as a learning management system or learning experience portal is vital. Let’s take a step back to grasp what a system needs to achieve to map a meaningful learning ecosystem.

Inflexible systems and uniform learning paths for all employees are a thing of the past. Nowadays, companies face the challenge of creating a learning ecosystem that promotes self-directed corporate learning in the long term.

Such a system links various platforms and creates a clear structure for the different formats within a learning portal. The search function leverages all integrated systems, taking account of both internal and external sources.

Andreas Pohl

Andreas Pohl, Director Research & Development at imc

So much to the theory. The question now is: What technical structure enables a learning ecosystem to meet all requirements and offer real benefits to the employees?

What role does a learning management system (LMS) or learning experience portal (LXP) play within such learning universe?

imc expert Andreas Pohl, Director Research & Development, leads the development of such systems. Thanks to his many years of experience, he is very aware of the hidden potential learning ecosystems offer.

LMS Hot Topic Learning EcoSystem

Hello Andreas! What would a learning ecosystem look like in practice? Can you give us a specific example?

Let’s say we have an industrial client who manufactures special parts for large-scale equipment. All new employees and trainees must know how to use the equipment employed to make these parts.

They train on a training machine to learn the workflow. Now, it is possible to link this training machine to a learning management system (LMS). In that case, a new employee could log into the training machine with their personal identifier. Once they have mastered the workflow, the machine automatically transmits the training success to the LMS where the training is marked as complete.

 

This is then booked in the employee’s learning path or as learning progress – for instance, as part of their on-the-job training. Thus, the communication between the different systems makes learning easier. This example might be a little staged, but I think it illustrated the practical application of a learning ecosystem very well.

What does a learning ecosystem need to do to make learners use them?

Before you start thinking about a learning ecosystem, a suitable cultural framework must be in place.

As an employer, I need to motivate employees to use a system and allocate time for that purpose. At the same time, the user experience of the learning ecosystem (LE) must be structured in such a way that the employees enjoy using it, and make it easy for them to find relevant content.

A user will be far more likely to use the system when they can see an immediate and direct benefit. If that benefit is not obvious, you have lost.

How do you realise that from a technical perspective?

There are two approaches: First of all, I can make the LMS or LXP the central hub for my learning ecosystem. In this case, the LMS also needs to be able to present contents from external sources.

 

The learner can find materials from the entirety of the ecosystem through the frontend of the LMS. It makes no difference to them where learning content is stored – in the company LMS or, for instance, an integrated content library. For the learners, it is important that the system is easy to navigate and that they can quickly find relevant contents without jumping through hoops. Whether or not this takes them into a different system is irrelevant.

 

The second approach is to subordinate the LMS to the overarching portal. Rather than being at the centre itself, it delivers its results to the top level. This is useful when a central portal already exists and the LMS is integrated at a later stage.

How does an LMS become part of a learning ecosystem? What are the prerequisites?

In the second case – when the LMS is a cog in the wheel – the contents must be supplied to the overarching system. Indexing then becomes a major factor. That means that content must be provided in a format that triggers useful search hits presented and shown in a meaningful manner. The same applies to recommendations the system gives the user based on learning habits or interests.

 

Good APIs (application programming interfaces) are the key success factor for these types of functions. They facilitate the communication between the different applications. Effective and standardised interfaces are always important in IT, but whenever several systems come together, they become absolutely crucial.

LMS Hot Topic Learning EcoSystem Rocket engine

How does an increase in content affect the individual interfaces and components?

This is a very interesting question. Let’s break it up into two parts. To illustrate: Your universe might grow because the number of planets is increasing, or because the existing planets are becoming more populated. These are two very different scenarios.

Similarly, you can expand your learning ecosystem by integrating or linking new components, or by adding more content to the existing elements.

 

After all, the purpose of a learning ecosystem is to continuously and frequently change the volume of the learning content, and the integration of user-generated content (UGC). Going back to our analogy, user-generated content merely increases population density on a given planet. From a technical perspective, this is not a critical process, as the growth takes place within an existing system with no effect on the complexity of that system. It would therefore not qualify as a true expansion.

So, what is “true” expansion? What do we have to watch out for?

I would say a true expansion of the ecosystem involves the integration of additional systems or a new interface. This expansion process is somewhat slower, as each new system needs new interfaces or gateways.

 

Each “planet” needs to provide the information within the LMS to the other “planets” – and ultimately the user – through standardised interfaces, and various APIs as well as an event bus are utilised for this purpose. Meanwhile, the central system must be able to absorb content and integrate it in its search function to make it accessible to its users.

LMS Hot Topic Learning Satellit

How does the system know which content should be shown?

The system can only show content it knows. That means either the index content must be transmitted to the system – for example, via a data or event bus – or the system must have direct access to the index. Naturally, this can only work if indices are properly maintained and clearly structured.

What role does the data or event bus play?

An event bus is basically a messaging system. One system throws a message onto the bus, the bus takes off, and the next system can retrieve the message.

The message does not disappear after it is retrieved by one system – it remains available for the other systems. For example, systems A, B and C “take” the message, but system D ignores it, because it’s not relevant to it. Meanwhile, system D might “take” a different message that A, B and C are not interested in. Messages are thus distributed in real time, making manual message transfer to each system redundant (publisher-subscriber approach).

 

The challenge with this approach is that each system involved must be able to understand the message contents. This often requires some adjustments, as some systems might not be able to translate it directly. This is a major current topic for our development team.

What trends would you say can make learning ecosystems even better?

There is certainly room for improvement in system alignment, which also encompasses IoT (internet of things) and ESB (enterprise service buses). In other words, systems need to know both, which message they need to retrieve from the bus and which immediate adjustments they need to make.

This reduces the need for system adjustment. Now, an ESB is not a trivial thing, and might be overkill for a straightforward set-up with a small number of systems. However, my learning ecosystem is fairly complex and serves more than 10,000 employees, it makes an enormous difference.

 

Another thing we are working on at the moment is switching over to external contents. Right now, we can integrate external content in the search through our LMS, for example, through the LinkedIn Learning Content Importer. We want to expand that capability to enable the user to switch directly into the external system. We are currently collaborating with a major client to achieve that.

Finally, what should we pay particular attention to? Where do you see the most potential? Are there also disadvantages?

It comes at a cost. None of this is free. Everything we talked about needs investment. The systems need to be maintained continuously, as do the connections to the interfaces, and some of these systems might be proprietary. It’s not an automated process.

Ideally, that will enable me to create a learning ecosystem which optimises how the different needs of all my learners are met. Everything then comes from a single source, which is a whole lot more user friendly and actually feels like one system. A good learning ecosystem goes a long way towards improving the learner experience and providing real support to employees in their daily work.

 

My advice: Good planning is half the battle! It is important to clarify from the outset what you want to achieve, how many systems should be maintained and how much maintenance can be provided.

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Contact person

I have been working in the Marketing & Communication Team at imc since March 2019.

Communication, creative content and social media are my passion. "KISS - Keep it short and simple" is my credo.

 

To explain complex content in an understandable way and thus make the topic of e-Learning accessible to everyone is an exciting challenge every day.

 

Privately I love to read, play poker and travel a lot.

I am always happy to receive feedback or suggestions.

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Nadine Kreutz
Communication Manager
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Training members
A learning platform for membership organisations

Learning Management Systems for Membership Organisations - Key Features to Look For

Here we look at the unique requirements you should look for in a learning management system (LMS) for membership organisations, in order to make your platform effective for current and future training needs, while improving many other aspects of member administration.

Over the last few years, many professional bodies and trade associations have added online training, services and member benefits via an LMS to supplement their offline offerings.

However, as everyone is becoming more tech savvy and comfortable in doing more of their business and social networking online, many membership organisations now conduct the majority of their communication via an LMS or online portal, with some even being primarily or entirely run online.

Add to this the need for social distancing and remote communication while the coronavirus pandemic continues through 2021, and many membership organisations need an online hub to be able to function at all.

Often, generic LMS solutions can technically be adapted to meet the needs of a membership organisation with some custom development work. However, choosing one that has this use case catered for by design (rather than being very focused on training internal company employees) can save a lot of hacking around and headaches.

 

At imc, our Learning Suite has been developed with membership organisations as a key user-type, making it easy for administrators to organise training, certifications, CPD / CE, online communication and much more.

hybrid onboarding

LMS key features for a membership organisation

These are some of the key features we have worked to continually improve, and that we recommend you look for when choosing the best LMS for a membership organisation like yours:

 

CPD / CE

Social Learning

Multi-Tenancy

Low-Cost Scalability

Software Integrations

Adaptive Learning

eCommerce

Virtual Conferences

Content Creation Tools

User Hierarchies Analytics and Reporting

CPD / CE

Many professional membership organisations require a level of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) / Continuing Education (CE) for members to demonstrate their commitment to staying up to date with the latest industry information and best practices.

 

Therefore, a good membership LMS will help both users to follow and record any points-based training, whether conducted online or offline, while enabling administrators to signpost suitable courses and content.

Social Learning

While the typical LMS for employee learning and development will be set up to deliver on the top-down training requirements in line with a company’s business and compliance needs, many people join an organisation for the benefits of expert instructor and peer to peer support.

 

Therefore, a membership LMS should facilitate group chats, threaded discussions, and many of the content liking, sharing and commenting features that users will be familiar with from social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Multi-Tenancy

Membership bodies, especially larger organisations, may have multiple types of learners, each with their own needs in terms of features, as well as content. For example, there will be the members themselves - who may form one or more type - there may be the organisation’s own staff who need training and their own ongoing support and development, and there may be external partners, such as affiliates and 3rd party training companies.

 

A multi-tenancy LMS like imc Learning Suite allows you to use a single learning platform instance to create distinct learning environments for each of your audiences. Each group sees only their self-contained learning experience, which can be tailored to their needs in terms of content, hierarchies, active features, and even branding.

Learn more about multi-tenancy here.

person waving to webinar

Low-Cost Scalability

Many trade associations and membership organisations, including some of our clients, have tens or even hundreds of thousands of members. Therefore, you’ll want to make sure your LMS can scale with you to large numbers of members without costs spiralling out of control.

 

Unlike online training for company employees, many organisation members will need to stay enrolled but may be relatively passive - perhaps not active at all for many months or longer.

 

Therefore, the pricing model used within an LMS for membership organisations should be tailored to or flex to reflect that lower level of resource usage seen within a typical corporate LMS that will be priced based on users / active users.

Software Integrations

Of course, there are many moving parts within a membership organisation, with training being just one of them. Admin time is therefore a potentially big expense, so management of member data should be as seamless as possible across software platforms for CRM, email, video conferencing, finance, multimedia content and more using APIs.

 

For example, imc offers easy integration with popular 3rd party applications such as PayPal, Shopify, GoToMeeting, Microsoft Teams, Linkedin Learning and Salesforce.

 

It’s this streamlining of software products that enabled the RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects), who have 47,000 members worldwide, to go from 5 different systems for attendance bookings, training content, email notifications and more to managing everything within their LMS.

Adaptive Learning

Keeping content relevant and fresh is key for learner engagement with your content. Adaptive learning capabilities within your LMS helps to intelligently assess learners’ existing competencies as they progress through training content. It will guide them to what they need to learn and improve on, and reduce the repetition and frustration that can come from ploughing through training where they are already capable.

eCommerce

LMS ecommerce functionality enables a membership organisation to deliver self-service enrolment, and purchase of individual or group courses, event attendance and more. 

 

For larger organisations especially, this can greatly reduce admin overhead and bring significant cost savings. Look for integrations with popular ecommerce payment gateways, such as PayPal and Shopify.

entertaining employees

Virtual Conferences

Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, many events were already moving to a hybrid model in order to reduce the need for travel and open themselves up to a much wider audience. 

 

Having virtual conferencing capabilities within your LMS allows you to quickly and easily set up and deliver tradeshows and member events at a fraction of the traditional cost and logistics. They can even be recorded and made accessible for any timezone, and open up discussion forums in moderated groups.

Content Creation Tools

Specialist learning and development teams will often create elearning content with popular software, such as Articulate, and make it available within the LMS. However, a membership organisation will often have tens or hundreds of subject matter experts who could be sharing their valuable expertise with the community.

 

An easy to use learning content development tool, like our own imc Express, can enable experts with no formal learning design experience to create and share training materials all within the LMS ecosystem. This can greatly reduce the time and expense of rolling out new training.

User Hierarchies

A large membership organisation will often have various levels of management, and local area leaders governing and supporting members within their group. 

 

An LMS that is purpose built with membership organisations in mind will allow you to easily create hierarchies with differing levels of permissions, reflecting your own organisational structure.

Analytics & Reporting

Many membership organisations will have one or more overarching objectives supported by projects and events running across a year. A good LMS will enable you to easily create custom reports, giving you clear visibility of progress against overall and group targets.

 

Detailed analytics will enable you to laser in on groups or individuals that need additional support, as well as high-performers who could be earmarked as future leaders.

How we can help membership organisations like yours

If you’re involved in the running of a membership organisation and are looking to improve training delivery or reduce the time and expense of managing multiple software platforms, then the above checklist of features could help you leverage an LMS.

 

With the imc Learning Suite, we’ve helped a wide range of membership organisations, such as the ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) and the Australian NRL (National Rugby League) to manage many areas of their member administration - not just training - all within the single ecosystem of their LMS.

 

If you’d like to discuss how an LMS could benefit your organisation too, contact us at imc for an informal chat about your requirements.

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Training external audiences

The concept of training external audiences like members, is often referred to as Extended Enterprise Training. But what is an extended enterprise?

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Gijs Daemen
Gijs Daemen
Global Marketing Manager
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LMS Hot Topics
Turning a learning curve into an earning curve

Why companies cannot afford to skip training their external partners

Turn a learning curve into an earning curve

Only considering your own workforce when planning your training is short-sighted. After all, distributors, franchisees, agents, brokers, as well as association members and even volunteers contribute to corporate success just like your in-house employees.

Consequently, these external partners need to know all the details of your company’s products and services. In this article, our experts show how to set online training up for success in such an extended enterprise learning scenario, and how to turn a learning curve into an earning curve.

Revenue losses through deficient distributor and network partner training

To understand “partner training” let’s picture the following scenario: A manufacturer of glasses and other optical aids is launching new contact lenses that are particularly thin and suitable for sensitive eyes. First of all, the company’s own sales staff need to know the benefits of these contact lenses, as they sell the products either directly to the customers or to other companies like Company B.

If the products are sold on via a trading partner as an additional distribution channel, the sales consultants employed by Company B also need to know the particularities of the new lenses. The crux: You can only sell a product if you know its benefits. This holds true even more when a trading partner sells products from more than one provider and has several suppliers.

imc learning Suite on mobile devce

NOTE

Distributors, trading partners AND external sales people all have the same need for specialist and product knowledge. Leaving out this target group when arranging learning and development measures is a missed opportunity for significant revenue growth.

Which target group should an extended enterprise training scenario take into account?

The circle of distribution partners includes more than just external sales employees. Depending on the sector and the orientation towards B2B or B2C business, a completely different set of target groups should be addressed and included. For example:

  • Distributors and dealers (car dealerships, opticians)
  • Franchisees (restaurants, insurance companies, real estate agents, etc.)
  • Specialist staff in the insurance, health or medical technology sectors
  • Joint ventures
  • Partners
  • Customers
  • Members and voluntary staff
  • Friends and family
  • The general public
Young woman presenting facts for Salessomething

Sales training for external partners: online or in person?

Once the external partner network has been defined, the question is: Is it better to train these employees online or in person? Both options have advantages and disadvantages which need to be balanced precisely. The idea to present such distributor training online – for instance, in a learning management system (LMS) – is not new.

The benefits are obvious: Instead of sales consultants travelling to attend on-site training, all employees ultimately involved in selling the product can complete relevant product training in the convenience of their home or their workplace using various devices. For instance, an optics manufacturer placing their products with various chains can provide remote access to the product training to all sales staff of those chains’ branches.

However, the drawback of such online training is that employees are often under time pressure or lack motivation to get started with such training. It is therefore crucial to minimise any barriers to entry for training measures.

For instance, complicated registration processes act as a deterrent. Combined online and face-to-face training within a hybrid learning concept or even a true blended learning scenario may also be suitable options.

 

Having assisted numerous imc customers with the development and support of such training, training expert Anika Rabe recommends:

Anika Rabe, imc AG

Anika Rabe

“Most of the time, product training is not designed for the general public and must therefore be set in a secure area. An LMS is a suitable option for this.

Yet, the training courses must be easily accessible for everyone and, above all, they must be interesting. In particular, external employees must be involved on an emotional level rather than stopping at technical product knowledge.”

group of employees laughing

Facts tell, stories sell

No emotion – no sales. Especially when technical differences between products or brands have no major impact, brand loyalty and great storytelling are key.

An external employee needs at least the same degree of emotional investment as a team member of the manufacturer - they must both convey enthusiasm for the product. That is exactly what product training needs to deliver. Items like smartphones, jewellery or cars are frequently bought for emotional reasons, rather than based on mere facts.

If a sales consultant can share their enthusiasm for a product, customers are more likely to buy it – even if, objectively, it is not better or cheaper.

Tap clogged with money

One size fits all is a thing of the past

The training that helps external partners internalise these stories differs from that most helpful to your own employees. Internal team members already have a special connection to the brand or the products. They already believe in the quality standard, and need not be won over.

This is an important aspect to take into account. One-size-fits-all solutions no longer have a place in training design – and even the best training will fail if it is unnecessarily difficult to access. This is why training expert Anika Rabe recommends: “Making it easier to access learning means making it more likely for the learning experience to be shared by everyone. For example, adding a QR code to products that are new or involve a steep learning curve is easy, and can be used to direct the user to the relevant training course with a simple scan.”

However, Anika notes that simplified access also makes it harder to verify training. If a training course requires no prior authentication, the creator of the learning content cannot know with certainty whether the end user really completed it, nor how much time they invested. It also remains unknown how much the learner actually learned, and whether they actively apply that knowledge.

Yet such assessment is important, especially when optimising and evaluating learning content. While in-depth learning analytics would be taking things too far in this context, it is a topic L&D managers should keep an eye on.

Combining both worlds to boost sales

According to Dr. Wolfram Jost, Board Member and Head of Product Management at imc, the only thing that really matters in the end is this: The learning curve must be transformed into an earning curve. No company trains employees just for fun – whether that is internal employees or external partners. Especially in the extended enterprise learningscenario, the fundamental objective is to increase the company’s sales. Partner training must contribute to corporate success.

It helps to keep these key questions in mind when designing your extended enterprise training to transform the learning outcome into revenue.

  • Objective: What is the training designed to achieve?
  • Target group: Who is meant to be trained? What prior knowledge does my target group have? What information and which stories do they need?
  • Conceptual design: What type or combination of training is suitable?
  • Performance assessment: How do I define success? How and when do I measure it?
  • Training access: How can I simplify training access?
  • Learner motivation: How can my training design ensure that external partners enjoy the training process and retain the learned content?
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Contact person

I have been working in the Marketing & Communication Team at imc since March 2019.

Communication, creative content and social media are my passion. "KISS - Keep it short and simple" is my credo.

 

To explain complex content in an understandable way and thus make the topic of e-Learning accessible to everyone is an exciting challenge every day.

 

Privately I love to read, play poker and travel a lot.

I am always happy to receive feedback or suggestions.

Photo of Nadine Kreutz
Nadine Kreutz
Communication Manager
Langeweile, Akten
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An interview with a representative from the medical technology industry

There will always be challenges to face when converting or introducing a Learning Management System (LMS). However, it becomes even more difficult if the learning platform also needs to map validatable processes. This is a particularly important issue in the medical, pharmaceutical and medical technology industries, as work processes and training courses must be fully documented. We spoke with a representative from the medical devices industry who recently made this type of changeover.

Hans-Heiko Müller, pfm medical ag

Hans-Heiko Müller, Team Manager for Organisational Learning at pfm medical ag

Hans-Heiko Müller works for pfm medical ag, an internationally operating medium-sized family business from Germany that offers special solutions in the healthcare sector. As Team Manager for Organisational Learning, he is responsible for the documentation of internal training and professional development.

He had already been working with imc's LMS and the imc Learning Suite since 2014 and initiated and oversaw the company's conversion to a validatable system. In this interview, he tells us how the conversion went, what challenges he and his team faced, and how many metres of DIN-A4 folders he now saves.

INFO

The term validation or validation obligation means that detailed evidence that a technical process has complied with requirements must be documented. Simply stated, the aim is to assure the quality of a product in order to prevent serious errors. This is extremely important for eliminating the endangerment of patients in high-risk industries such as the pharmaceutical industry and the manufacture of medical devices.

INTERVIEW
file folders

Hello Mr Müller, please tell us: What do validation processes and learning management systems have to do with each other?

The European Medical Device Regulation MDR and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration FDA impose very strict requirements for this. These requirements state that, if a computer-aided system is integrated into a quality-relevant manufacturing process, documented evidence of this must be provided.

This evidence must show that the system meets the requirements and will perform exactly as specified, both now and in the future. In other words, the system, or in our case the LMS, must be verifiable at all times, and every process must be clearly traceable. This applies, for example, to any changes made to training materials.

At pfm medical, you decided to take the step towards a validatable LMS in mid-2020; how did this come about?

There were several reasons. For one thing, we have to meet the legal requirements, and the European Medical Device Regulation, which was enacted in 2017 and is mandatory as of May 2021, included some innovations that had to be implemented.

Another consideration was the fact that, generally speaking, documentation prior to validation was very time-consuming. We had to carry out a great many procedures manually.

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How can I picture this manual documentation?

Basically, all employees must complete certain training courses, for example professional development courses on the individual products. Depending on the type of training, it may need to be repeated or renewed on a regular basis.

Before the conversion, the documentation worked like this: We manually enrolled an employee in the course, and they were able to complete it either online in the LMS or in person. Afterwards, they had to print out a certificate showing that they had taken the test, acknowledge this with their signature and either submit the slip in person or send it by post.

After receiving the letter, we had to check whether the employee was really enrolled on this course and confirm their participation manually in the system. Because we are required to keep these records by law, and in some cases for decades, we manually filed the supporting documents in paper folders.

 

This added up to about ten running metres of DIN A4 folders within two years. My colleague and I spent several hours each week comparing and categorising. This standard procedure, which is the order of the day in many companies in the medical technology sector, ties up a lot of resources.

100 PAGES DOCUMENTATION PER UPDATE

That sounds very cumbersome indeed. What does this process look like now with a validatable LMS?

All employees are assigned to different groups, and I can book these groups in specific training courses and onto specific learning paths. The additional professional development courses that are relevant for validation are also found there.

Let's take the example of medical device consultants who have to instruct doctors on our products. If I specify that the group with all consultants must attend a training course on the latest products every year, the system automatically books the entire group into the appropriate training courses. I can also set automated reminders (called escalation management) in the system. This will send a reminder to those who have not completed the training course by a certain time.

 

Once the employees have completed the course, they can log it directly into the system. To do this, they have to be logged in with their user name and password and also confirm their participation with their electronic signature (e-signature). That's it. We can then see when the employee has completed the training course, and the certificate is stored in the system. We don't have to print anything out or file anything extra.

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Can you give us some insights into what was important to you when selecting a vendor?

We not only wanted support with the conversion of the system, but also help with the documentation going forward, because with every update, with every small change I make in the LMS, the potential impact of the change has to be documented. This is extremely time-consuming, and each update quickly adds up to 100 pages.

Theoretically, we could also do this work ourselves, in other words, run through all the scenarios completely and document them. However, I would need to hire at least one full-time employee to do this. We wanted a "comprehensive, worry-free package" that would not only cover the issue of security, but also make our work considerably easier.

What was the actual conversion process like?

First, we worked with imc to create a requirements analysis of the company's learning processes. This involves such aspects as the organisational structure and the structure of the learning content or learning processes. This was followed by the reconciliation of validation documents and the provision of user requirements and functional requirements including risk analysis.

 

Then, in the planning phase, we were provided with a development system (DEV system) for initial workshops. In the workshops, for example, the administrators were trained, and we set the system up and used it on a test basis together. In the third phase, a test system, or STAGE system, was put into production, and this in turn was tested. This was followed by the deployment of the productive system.

The process took just under four months altogether. If we had done it completely on our own, it would have taken us an estimated 18 to 24 months.

MORE SECURITY - LESS FLEXIBILITY

Did you have any fears or anxieties about the conversion beforehand? How did you deal with them?

Of course, we had respect for a project of this magnitude. But we saw the conversion as an opportunity to bring the old world into the digital age. For example, we took another look at all the processes and checked to see where they could be streamlined.

As a result, we now have training processes that are uniform for all employees, including those of our subsidiaries. There was a real change in culture which was also initiated by the fact that we worked with so many different departments.

 

At the same time, this presented a certain challenge, in that we first had to find out which "language" everyone spoke. Terms such as system or DEV system can be interpreted differently by each department. For example, since we worked with HR as well as IT, it was immensely important to make sure that everyone knew what was meant by which term. Clear agreements and a regular exchange are essential for this.

Were there any other challenges?

Personally, I didn't find it easy to relinquish some of the responsibility and rely on an outside vendor, because as I mentioned, I had already been working with the LMS since 2014, knew how it worked, and could make changes myself.

During the conversion, however, it was the provider, and not I who worked on the system. In a way, that was a leap of faith, because I didn't know exactly what was going on in the background. It made me a little nervous at first. However, we agreed on short sprints, in other words, weekly coordination meetings with the possibility of readjustments, so that I was reassured and could follow where we were in the process at any time.

 

However, you should be aware that you lose some flexibility with this sort of system. Changes that I could previously make myself with a check mark are now locked and have to go through a change process which has to be applied for, checked within the context of a four-eyes-principle and documented before it can be implemented. This strict process ensures the prescribed safety, but the price is less flexibility. Still, the advantages clearly outweigh the disadvantages for pfm medical.

Medizinproduktebreater, OTS imc AG

What would you recommend to companies facing the decision to have their system changed?

My advice: You have to take a careful look at the processes in advance and then have the courage to adapt them to the technology. Not the other way around. This way you can be sure that there will be no problems during audits.

 

Thank you so much for all your insights!

Further information

Curious to find out more about pfm medical's validatable LMS? Then check our reference page.

Or download the whitepaper about how to master validation with an LMS.

Not enough? Then watch the webinar recording with Hans-Heiko Müller related to the topic validation in a LMS (German only).

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I have been working in the Marketing & Communication Team at imc since March 2019.

Communication, creative content and social media are my passion. "KISS - Keep it short and simple" is my credo.

 

To explain complex content in an understandable way and thus make the topic of e-Learning accessible to everyone is an exciting challenge every day.

 

Privately I love to read, play poker and travel a lot.

I am always happy to receive feedback or suggestions.

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Nadine Kreutz
Communication Manager
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Build resilience with a
learning culture

When the Act of Learning Becomes a Habit

Organisations that can readily adapt and change are the one's that succeed. Those who look beyond using learning for compliance are reaping the benefits.

A featured article in The Australian Financial Review

Researcher Imed Bouchrika, writing on research portal Guide2Research, says training has become an integral part of workforce development, employee performance and organisational competitiveness, noting that “intellectual capital is valued just as much as physical and financial assets”.

 

“Training and development is most effective when implemented strategically, which involves content development, method of delivery and integration of technology,” Bouchrika writes.

 

To remain competitive, continuous learning has become imperative in creating and maintaining a sustainable advantage.

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imc's featured article as printed in the Australian Financial Review

Nick Petch, head of learning experience design and strategy at imc Australia, says a “big shift” is needed in organisations’ approach to learning and development.

 

“For many organisations, the core skills and competencies that drive their organisations have shifted and changed almost overnight. Overcoming these challenges means radically changing the way learning and development occurs,” he says.

The adoption of a successful strategy starts by enabling organisations to shift their mindset and perspective towards learning.
Learning, according to Petch, occurs not through a single intervention but through “a multitude of experiences” taking place over the entirety of the employee life cycle. It must become deeply embedded as a way of working.
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I've been working in the Marketing Department at imc since February 2020. My passion is developing cult followers of the imc brand, cultivating loyal customers and communicating imc unique selling propositions.
Understanding learning and development leaders' challenges, transforming workforce skills and positioning imc as the right partner through our strategic marketing program are my daily food for thought.
I'd love to connect with people to understand and to listen to their thoughts.
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Francisca Lim
Regional Brand Manager Asia
Multiple learning portals, one system
Serve various learner groups with one LMS

Multi-tenancy LMS solutions

Here we look at multi-tenancy LMS solutions, including a definition, the types of organisations that leverage them, and how imc can help clients to maximise their effectiveness to deliver training across diverse groups of learners.

What is multi-tenancy?

In the field of software, the term multi-tenancy refers to a single application shared by multiple user groups who each experience their own, individualised working environment.

Each ‘tenant’ is a group of users that shares certain common features with other tenants, but that may have certain design elements, layouts and privileges that are unique to their group.

A useful analogy is a block of flats. The building has a shared entrance, lifts and stairways, but each tenant has their own, self-contained flat. The tenant can choose their own appliances, furniture and interior design / decor.

What is a multi-tenancy LMS?

A multi-tenancy LMS is a single learning management system instance that serves various learner groups with differing training needs. This may take a range of potential forms, depending on your organisational needs, and could include: 

  • Different departments across a large organisation - for example, you may have separate learning environments for Sales and Manufacturing teams because their training needs are so different 
  • Local offices across different locations - even multiple countries, allowing localisation or translation of training content 
  • External partners - you can create tailored learning platforms for groups outside your own organisation, including suppliers, distributors and channel sales partners. This type of partner training is known as Extended Enterprise Learning
  • A specialist training company, delivering any number of client-branded learning environments, or even using ecommerce to sell courses online. 

Your organisation-wide L&D team can control what content and features are rolled out to all tenants, and what is managed within each individual group. 

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Benefits of a multi-tenant LMS

The benefits of multi-tenant LMS vs a standard learning platform are numerous, but the overarching themes are efficiency and flexibility. Here are some of the elements that L&D managers and business leaders are looking to achieve when they choose multi-tenancy:

Cost reduction

When you need to segment the learning experience across departments, it has been common in the past for each one to have their own LMS. A multi-tenancy LMS offers economies of scale and allows each department to share the cost of the core platform and any common content, features, and system upgrades.

Knowledge and resource sharing

When every department operates in completely distinct silos, there is less functionality and visibility between them to facilitate resource and knowledge sharing. If something works for / is created within one department, a multi-tenant LMS makes it easy for the central administration team to share it across more or all departments.

Departmental and centralised analytics

With multi-tenancy, you can drill into course and learner analytics at the departmental and group-wide level. This can help you to identify and address training needs and weaknesses among certain types of user. It also helps you avoid overall learner data getting skewed by one or two outlier groups.

Speed of implementation

When something changes that affects several or all of your teams, it can be much faster to roll out from central management if they can influence all of those learning management systems in one hit. 

For example, new legislation like GDPR could affect all departments, so managing relevant training from a central location, while allowing it to be customised if and where needed, can greatly quicken roll out.

Brandability

Whatever the training needs of a certain learner cohort, a multi-brand LMS enables each group to make their LMS feel like home. 

Whether it’s for external clients to have their own company branding or internal teams who just want to customise it to their preferred style, a branded LMS can enhance user acceptance and in turn, improve compliance, engagement and learning outcomes.

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Why an imc learning management system?

Founded in Germany, imc is one of the world’s leading elearning and LMS providers, with offices and clients across the globe. With a diverse, international presence, we understand the needs of companies that need to train dispersed and diverse audiences. We combine some of the sharpest technology minds with deep experience within L&D. 

 

imc is trusted by well-known brands, including Vodafone, Deloitte, Sky, Daimler, BASF and many more to deliver on their elearning needs. 

Many of our clients benefit from our ability to create and deliver powerful multi-tenancy solutions that work equally well in multiple languages, offline or online, on desktop or mobile. 

 

With a huge, unique array of integrations made possible via APIs, we can help you to create a learning ecosystem that plays nicely with your existing training, HR, sales and other business systems. This allows you to plug seamlessly into 3rd party tools like Workday, Adobe, SAP, YouTube, Salesforce, and even ecommerce gateways like PayPal and Shopify if you want to sell elearning courses. 

 

Whatever your internal staff or external partner training needs, imc can help you to create a multi-tenancy LMS solution to power your current and future learning. 

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CONTACT

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As imc has over 20 years of experience working with 1,200+ organisations globally, we can confidently say we have seen and solved many business challenges just like the ones you are facing today.

 

That’s why we would love to learn more about your situation and to give you some tailored, expert advice to solve the obstacles that you are facing.

 

Feel free to connect with Tracey for a free consultation call.

Tracey Blamire
Business Development Manager
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The primary objectives of digital learning

-A guest article by Daniel Antman, Managing Director imc Australia-

It’s hard to think of a time when the importance of training, learning and development has had greater focus than now. Improving employee performance and achieving better financial results are the primary objectives of learning in the digital era.

Data suggests that when organisations spend USD 1,500 per employee per year on learning, they achieve improvements in profit margins of around 24% (Source: E-Learning Industry 2019). Corporate learning has been forced into rapid change and the requirement to learn anytime and anywhere has never been more important.

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Bringing all parts of digital learning together

Virtual conferencing tools have become the dominant medium for communication and we’ve quickly become accustomed to this new way of connecting. What we have yet to come to terms with is how to develop and train employees and our extended networks in a purely digital environment.

 

Make no mistake, virtual conferencing tools are critically important in this new age, yet we must recognise they are not designed to deliver impactful and outcome orientated learning. The solution is bringing the sum of all the parts of digital learning together - technology, content and strategy.

Increasing revenue, improved efficiencies and organisational growth

Successfully doing so will deliver exceptional learning, development and training experiences that align with the learning organisation’s objectives of increased revenue, improved efficiencies and organisational growth.

The key to success are:

  • leading-edge digital learning technology combining next-generation learning functionality
  • high degrees of customisation based on users specifications
  • simplicity of use for learners and administrators

For learning, training and development to be impactful and to align with an organisations objectives, a powerful combination of systems and content is required. The most sophisticated and technological advanced vehicles are only as good as the fuel source that powers them. It’s no different for learning.

Impactful learning by combining LMS, Content and Strategy

A cutting edge, functionality rich and highly customisable enterprise grade learning management system (LMS) can be applied for different purposes. These can include compliance, employee and external audience development, as well as onboarding and competency management.

The real power comes from connecting such a system with a content strategy that combines conceptual design, technology and analytics. So you will achieve the best learning experiences – be it 100 % custom content and/or ready-to-use off-the-shelf-material. The result will be impactful learning that has been proven to drive the achievement of business objectives. The benefits are clear and measurable.

AT A GLANCE
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Greater Employee Engagement

Capturing the time and attention of those who matter drives adoption, loyalty and understanding. When the people you are trying to reach become consistently engaged with what you offer, a defining difference sets you apart from the competition.

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Increased Capacity

Digital transformation is the key to future growth. Enabling this capability today means setting your organisation with a greater capacity of obtaining better outcomes during unanticipated disruptions, marketplace fluctuation and restructuring.

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Effective Onboarding

Empowering new hires to learn your organisation‘s ins and outs is only the beginning, as ongoing development will bring alignment and value to everything you do. When done right, overheads are minimised, and the hearts and minds of the people who matter most are won with ease.

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Efficiencies Through Focus

Well trained and developed team members enable them to focus on their core responsibilities to drive value for their end clients. This drives a reduction in support overheads and will deliver far greater outcomes for everyone involved.

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Retention – Employees and Customers

The process of obtaining great relationships, loyal customers and ongoing growth is an extremely time consuming and expensive investment for all successful organisations. Well trained stakeholders (internal or external) will drive value, trust and ultimately long-term loyalty.

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Growth of The Bottom Line

When done right, training your team effectively can drive tangible and ongoing benefits to your revenue streams and overall bottom line by enabling your customers to see the value in what you provide.

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Hi, I'm Daniel, a strategic and commercial leader with extensive experience as a market development, product, business development, marketing, branding project management and institutional client relationship professional.
With a unique blend of leadership, facilitation and execution skills, I have driven strategic initiatives in local and global organisations where I have consistently delivered outstanding results.
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Daniel Antman
Managing Director Australia and New Zealand
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Job Slot
Unique people. Random questions.

Conductors of the Software Orchestra

A look behind the scenes of Product Management

When watching a Play or an Opera, the greatest attention is usually only on those who are directly on stage. On many Company Websites or Brochures, it is a similar situation. If real employees are visible at all, they are usually from marketing or sales for example.

However, as we know, it is not only those at the front that contribute to the success of any production or product, but there are also many people involved who are unseen and work very hard behind the curtains.

 

In a software company, Developers may be the first to come to mind, which is certainly not wrong. In my experience, one special department which has one of the most important tasks of all, is often overlooked, that is the “The Product Management Team”.

Here, important decisions about the direction in which the software will be developed and what requirements it must meet, are made. That is why I was excited to talk to Lia Ghita from Sibiu, who is one of the Product Managers responsible for imc's main product, the Learning Management System (LMS) imc Learning Suite.

Lia Ghita

Job | Product Manager

Working in | Sibiu, Romania

Worked at imc since | 2014

Super power | pro-activness & problem-solving

Favourite food | Mam's pasta with tomatos and mushrooms

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Hi Lia, thanks for joining! So, first of all: How would you describe your job to a child?

Maybe not to a five-year-old but rather to an older child who ever saw an orchestra perform, I could describe my role as something like an orchestra conductor. The conductor is the one who helps everyone in the orchestra to reach the tone, the amplitude of the sound and tells the different instruments when to play.

In a way, a product manager’s role is similar, as we coordinate, prioritise, and balance the tasks and the different roles involved in the software development process.

How did you get into Product Management?

I would somehow call it a series of fortunate events that led me here. Although I studied computer science in high school, I wanted to try a completely different path and ventured in studying law.

However, halfway through my studies I realised that I would not be happy being a Lawyer so after graduating I started working as a Customer Service Representative in a multinational company. As part of that role, undertaking technical support among other things, I started to come closer again to the computer science domain.

 

I always think about it as transitioning from one type of code to another...

I first started with imc as part of the Quality Assurance Team and that experience helped me form an understanding about LMS use cases and our customers’ workflows. Not long after, I was given the opportunity to work with a dedicated team of developers to enhance our native apps, which opened the door to the universe of Product Management.

So how would you describe a typical day?

I think the easiest way to explain this, is to take you a little through the steps in Product Management, because there is no such thing as a typical day.

We always start from a business need, meaning we identify a direction in which we want to go with the product. Based on that, we identify the concrete use cases and create a roadmap. In that phase we are also in close contact to our customers and based on their requirements, we plan the next release.

Once the scope for an innovation package is agreed, we prepare the functional specifications and work closely with our Design Team to prepare workflow mock-ups. We groom with our development team to identify solutions and have them estimated and then we proceed with the implementation, in an Agile way.

We usually close an innovation pack with an internal knowledge transfer and documentation of the recently implemented enhancements.

Throughout all these phases, we are in contact with all the roles within imc and our customers, which can make it a very diverse experience from one day to the other.

Which character traits are particularly important for your job?

As a Product Manager, you must be a very pro-active person and you must be able to organise yourself. In my role you do not get a set of tasks and someone tells you to do these or that.

You must know the overall goal and work towards it. You must be able to prioritise and to organise yourself, your team and the time accordingly. The mindset is also important. The mindset that tells you: “Just do it, find a solution, get out there and solve the problem!”

Subsequently, what is your most valuable skill?

I would say problem-solving skills and the joy I find in the process of figuring out the solution for a complex problem. This is one trait that brought me closer to the development part of the process and to the many debugging sessions together with the developers to try and find solutions together.

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What is the strangest thing that you have ever experienced in your job?

The example that comes to my mind was not so much strange but different and unique.

Recently we had a workshop with a customer from Italy and the customer was not so fluent in English, although they could understand it. I understand Italian, as it’s very similar to my native language Romanian, but I can’t speak it. So finally, we ended up with me speaking English and the customer speaking Italian – and it worked!

What is special about working at imc compared with other companies?

Well, I’ve only worked for one other company so far. There I also changed different roles and learned a lot, but here is a completely new level.

I really enjoy getting to know different aspects of running the E-Learning business and I also like the size of the company, it’s not too big or too small. You still have the chance to get in contact with other departments and colleagues from different roles.

I think it is important to get out of the comfort zone and to extend it.  At imc you have the chance to experience that every day.

What’s the most important thing you’ve learnt since working here?

I have learned that it’s never too late to learn new things. Since joining imc I had the opportunity to explore once again programming, which even motivated me to pursue my second bachelor’s degree, this time in Computer Science.

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What motivates you?

Reactions like we recently received in our knowledge transfer! This is an internal format where we introduce new releases to all our colleagues from imc.

In the last knowledge transfer, when we demonstrated the highlights of the new release, our colleagues from all over the world were so impressed and happy and wrote things like “Wow, this is such a great feature”, or “looks awesome, great job”. It is such a good feeling to see your work being appreciated after you put in so much effort.

Do you have a professional or personal role-model?

Since I started in Product Management and even imc, it was Daniel Dahrendorf who I worked with closely. I appreciate his calm and patience. He can transfer information in a very relaxed manner. This is something I admire as I sometimes struggle a little to stay calm, but I try to work on that and take him as an example.

Another very important question: Chips or chocolate?

Chips. I don’t like sweet things most of the time.

And finally: Your team in one sentence?

We're united, supportive, and share a good energy, it’s just a pleasure to work together!

 

Thank you so much Lia for the great interview and all the best for the future!

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IMC CAREER

Would you like to know more about imc as an employer? Then take a look at our career section, maybe there is a suitable position for you.

We are also always happy to receive unsolicited applications!

imc Job Slot: Unique people. Random questions.

Random questions, regularly new faces and jobs – that's the job slot of imc.

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I have been working in the Marketing & Communication Team at imc since March 2019.

Communication, creating unique content and social media are my passion.

 

"One can not not communicate" - Paul Watzlawik.

To explain complex content in an understandable way and thus make the topic of e-Learning accessible to everyone is an exciting challenge every day.

 

Privately I love to read, play poker and travel a lot.

I am always happy to receive feedback or suggestions.

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Nadine Kreutz
Communication Manager
Partner training
Training your network
Why training your partners makes sense
"A learning curve leads to an earning curve"

Growing your business through partner training

It’s no secret that your internal team is your organisation’s greatest asset. However, you should bear in mind that it isn’t your only asset.

An organisation doesn’t operate in isolation. Its growth and success are also dependant on its network of partner relationships.

 

Your partners’ success is your success and in order for your partners to be successful, it’s your job to support them in every way you can. Training plays a pivotal role in this. If your organisation trains its network of partners, you empower the people outside of your organisation to contribute to your business goals.

 

It results in:

  • more trained resources
  • more efficient collaborative processes
  • more revenue

Plus, it turns your partners into advocates and your advocates into your most ardent sales representatives.

 

In short, it will grow your business.

A massive opportunity, especially now

In these unprecedented times, many organisations are cautious when it comes to future plans. However, many others use this moment to accelerate their organisation’s digital transition and see new business opportunities.

 

“With massive disruption comes massive opportunity. I've seen many organisations rethinking their business model, with digital learning becoming an enabler to help them extend reach, drive new channels or implement new business approaches”, says Russell Donders, imc’s Director of International Markets. “(Digital) partner training is definitely one of these opportunities to grow businesses in challenging times.”

Partner training in an extended enterprise

The approach of empowering partners through training, is often referred to as Partner Training or Extended Enterprise Training.

But what is an extended enterprise?

An extended enterprise acknowledges that its growth and success is (partly) dependant on its network of partners. Therefore, it invests in its partner relationships and strives for optimal communication and collaboration with these partners, ultimately, to achieve shared business goals.

 

Aligning and training are essential in leveraging the collaborative relationship of all the partners involved in this extended enterprise.

 

And that is not just sales partners. Customers, members or even the general public can also be valuable partners who can contribute to your business goals. Keep that in mind when we are talking about partners; among all those external audiences connected to your organisation, there might be more potential partners than you think.

Competitive advantage

As most organisations fail to effectively empower external audiences, partner training (or extended enterprise training) will create a strong competitive advantage in your target market.

 

Ultimately, unlocking all that extra market potential will result in increased earning potential.

Or as our imc board member, Wolfram Jost, puts it: “a learning curve leads to an earning curve.”

Wolfram Jost

Wolfram Jost, imc board member

What about not-for-profit organisations?

The concept of an extended enterprise sounds perfect for businesses, but what about not-for-profit organisations? Such entities often don’t see themselves as businesses or any form of commercial enterprise, for that matter.

 

Thankfully, the principles and ideas of extended enterprises for commercial entities also work well for non-profit organisations.

 

Remember that the word ‘partner’ can refer to all kinds of external audiences. If you run a not-for-profit organisation, the extended enterprise concept and the idea of training the partner network can also apply to e.g. your members or volunteers. Educating those external audiences will help your not-for-profit organisation achieve its goals, even if these goals are not primarily commercial.

How to get started with partner training

The concept of partner training sounds good in theory. But, how does it work in practice?

You may be worried about the logistics, the complexity or data security, data privacy, and compliance. All these thoughts conjure up many red flags in your mind and cause alarm bells to ring.

 

In other words, the mere thought of partner training is causing you to break out in a sweat.

 

But what if setting up a training environment that caters to all your needs isn’t as complicated or scary as it sounds?

 

The most important takeaway is: do not try to reinvent the wheel.

This is how you make partner training an integral part of your business strategy

Whitepaper Skyrocket Partner Revenue Through Training

In our whitepaper Skyrocket partner revenue through training we discuss the topics you should consider when incorporating partner training in your business strategy and we share practical tips and insights about how to get started.

Customer case: The digital transformation of BASF

This is how we helped BASF in their digital transformation

Contact

As imc has over 20 years of experience working with 1,200+ organisations globally, we can confidently say we have seen and solved many business challenges just like the ones you are facing today.

 

That’s why we would love to learn more about your situation and to give you some tailored, expert advice to solve the obstacles that you are facing.

 

Feel free to connect with Ailbhe for a free consultation call.

Ailbhe O'Dwyer
Business Development Manager