Fast, flexible and easy may not be words often associated with corporate training, but for CGI, a global SAP services partner with one of the largest SAP practices in the industry, they’ve emerged as the best way to describe SAP Learning Hub.

This centralized, cloud-based platform is shaking up corporate education by providing a simple Google-like training experience, meaning employees can learn when they have the time and need the knowledge most.

Brian Cann, Global Vice President for Alliances at CGI, says easier access to learning has saved his company approximately $150,000 due to fewer class cancellations alone, while speeding up access to training on the latest SAP technologies by 70 percent. This has allowed CGI to double the number of consultant trainings and certifications across the company’s 3000+ consultants.

“As a certified SAP partner, one of the expectations our clients have is that our professionals are trained on the latest technologies like SAP S/4HANA Simple Finance and the SAP HANA Cloud Platform,” he said. “We know training will be available as soon as SAP announces new solutions, giving our members immediate access to the knowledge our customers expect them to have.”

Among the largest IT training providers in the world, the SAP Learning Hub reaches up to 50 percent of SAP’s technology users. Since launching the cloud-based platform built on SAP SuccessFactors technology, SAP has increased the total number of people trained five-fold, reaching 330,000 customers, partners and others who need to understand the company’s innovations. The platform now consolidates all of SAP’s training resources including SAP PartnerEdge for partners and SAP Enterprise Support for customers. Participants can also access openSAP MOOCs (massive open online courses) from the hub. Most important, they can access anytime, on any device a wide variety of content – totaling 6,000 e-learning courses, handbooks, e-books, videos, presentations, software solution simulations and demonstrations.

Training Aligned to Digital Business

According to Josh Greenbaum, principal of Enterprise Applications Consulting, timely accessibility, peer-to-peer collaboration and live simulations distinguish digital-age training.

“Training has evolved from spending days in a classroom only to return to work having forgotten everything a week later, to real-time and just-in-time training,” he said. “The second important development in training is peer-to-peer training and influence. Whether they’re sharing new information, approaches or technology, social interaction between peers gives employees faster access to useful information or new ways of accomplishing tasks. The third major trend is live training by simulation, where you can learn by actual experience. These three capabilities are core to what SAP Learning Hub is trying to do.”

Indeed, one of the centerpieces of the revamped SAP Learning Hub is the ever-expanding interactivity between instructors and learners. Online SAP Learning rooms based on SAP Jam provide participants and SAP experts and instructors with a place to pose questions, find answers, take quizzes and share perspectives. New this year are 70 permanent learning rooms, and scheduled sessions to accommodate worldwide time zones. In addition, using gamification capabilities based on the SAP HANA Cloud Platform reward learners with points and upward movement when undertaking “missions” to find and identify valuable content.

Greenbaum sees tremendous strengths in the SAP Learning Hub’s ability to host many different kinds of content. “You may need a standard manual-driven learning experience, or want an interactive experience where you’re actually in a virtual classroom, or you may want to watch a video,” he said. “You want all those options available on a single platform, which is something the SAP Learning Hub is very good at. A big driver of this is the millennial generation. Their tolerance for old training models is famously low.”

CGI’s Brian Cann praised the flexibility of the centralized, virtual platform along with the quality of the instruction. “SAP Learning Hub is a much simpler, consistent way for consultants to obtain training needed to provide quality work that meets our high customer satisfaction standards across our multi-national client base worldwide,” he said. “All of our professionals who have taken courses have really valued the consistent quality of these courses from SAP. And, they can access it easily whether they’re onsite at CGI or client locations, at their home offices, or on the road anywhere. Project dates can change, and the hub helps ensure our experts are qualified to meet client objectives.”

As business enters the next stage of digitization, companies need to align corporate training accordingly. “There’s a mindset shift emerging to view training and education as essential as anything else you’re doing with software,” said Greenbaum.  For companies like CGI, the future of corporate training has already arrived.

Follow me @smgaler

Top image via Shutterstock