Earlier this year, the world came to a standstill. Almost overnight, life as we knew it changed due to COVID-19. Many employees moved to working permanently from home while many others were furloughed and left searching for new careers to get back to work — in-person training to assist them cancelled.

With an urgent need to facilitate online learning, openSAP was ready to meet the huge demand of the SAP ecosystem, as well as those searching for new opportunities.

For seven years, openSAP has been providing online learning and was well equipped to deal with the situation. The platform was already popular within the SAP ecosystem but saw an incredible upsurge in new learners as a result of the pandemic.

Thinking about how it could help people even more in the current situation, the team came up with the idea of opening courses from previous years to allow learners to catch up and earn certificates. This provided an opportunity for learners to explore things they might have missed now that they were forced to rethink their working lives.

Demand for this was very strong: Between March 31 and June 30, more than 25,000 records of achievement and over 35,000 confirmations of participation were awarded in self-paced courses, with the initiative receiving significant positive feedback from learners.

To provide further support to learners, openSAP also became the home for the company’s digital learning initiative, where online content from across all SAP training areas was made accessible for teachers, pupils, students, and professionals.

“Life changed so suddenly,” Michaela Laemmler, global head of openSAP, said. “We were glad to be in a position to provide additional support for those who were ready to start learning online and looked to openSAP.”

Learners from around the globe have offered feedback:

“Thank you for your free learning grants to the public across the world, with free record of confirmation and achievement. It was truly sensitive to the current socioeconomic and political disruptions caused by this global COVID-19 pandemic, as it keeps people like me able to be still productive in learning new or strengthening perspectives and skills while staying at home for more than three months already. Indeed, you are a truly responsible and respected leader not just in your industry but also in the social dimension of people’s lives. The learning opportunities you provided at in self-paced modes have keep me mentally-healthy amidst all the worries I have and; it made me even more confident to gain employment or do entrepreneurship in order to reopen or rebuilt our local economies.”

– Denver Eceja Balbuena, Philippines

“I wanted to express my biggest thanks for this great initiative. During this time, I was able to complete and get engaged with most of the content, I’m always eager to acquire new insights in order to robust my profile background as an SAP Integration consultant. This has been a very difficult time for me, since I was laid off in April 2020 due to COVID-19. Having this opportunity to increase my knowledge means a big door opened for me and encouragement to stay motivated ahead of latest technologies offered by SAP. Big thanks to the openSAP team!”

– Ingrid Díaz Riofrío, Spain

“Utilized a fair bit of time during this pandemic to earn record of achievements in right openSAP courses spread across enterprise architecture, SAP S/4HANA, data science, analytics, and digital transformation!”

– Akshay Kumar, India

With the increase in new learners during the pandemic, the openSAP team was interested in learning more about its extended audience. Learners were invited to take part in a feedback survey over a period of eight days in June. Results from more than 3,500 learners were very similar to the results received in the individual surveys that are carried out at the end of each course. Based on the survey, customer satisfaction rate is at 98 percent, while 91 percent said that the content they learn at openSAP will help them in their future work, and 99 percent planning to continue learning at openSAP in the future.

In addition to massive open online courses (MOOCs), openSAP expanded its offering in recent years to include microlearning and podcasts. While MOOCs remain the most popular offering on openSAP with 93 percent of respondents, 18.8 percent also learn with openSAP Microlearning and 7.6 percent also learn with openSAP Podcasts to complement their learning.

The consistency in responses from all learners —  veterans and new — demonstrates that openSAP was and remains a platform of choice for professionals searching for new opportunities to learn throughout the pandemic around which we must currently adapt our lives.

To find learning opportunities from openSAP during COVID-19, visit the free learning platform at open.SAP.com.