Enterprise Mobility – Gearing Up for the Big Bucks

Enterprise Mobility has already cornered the mind-share of the CIO and will eventually be the central focus of any IT Department. This is great news for Mobile Learning initiatives as the drive for supporting mobile devices will allow Learning & Development teams to confidently move forward with mobile learning and performance support initiatives without doubt or worrying about the IT department clamping down on such initiatives.

Big vendors have already made their moves in solidifying their hold on key components in the Enterprise Mobility solution stack. Kinvey has put together a map of all the key vendors in this space to depict their acquisitions and investments.

Chart showing Entperprise Mobility vendors and their investments in the enterprise mobility solution stack

Srinivas Krishnaswamy

Tagged with: , , ,
Posted in Mobile Learning, Smartphones

Why do Enterprise Social Networks Fail?

Great infographics from Business Goes Social on factors that doom Enterprise Social Collaboration projects.

Srinivas Krishnaswamy

Tagged with: ,
Posted in Social Collaboration

2014 Magic Quadrant for Talent Management Suites

If you are in the market for buying Talent Management Systems, here is the latest Gartner Magic Quadrant.


This year, the magic quadrant for talent management suites includes the usual suspects – IBM, Oracle and SAP as well as niche players with strong presence in geographies outside the US.  Acquisition continues to be a key strategy for vendors that want to make a presence felt in this market. As new vendors are emerging with specialization on a subset of the talent management canvas, acquisitions will remain an ongoing strategy for all the major players.

Srinivas Krishnaswamy

Tagged with: ,
Posted in Talent Management

Talent Management Systems – Future and Reality

The Talent Management Systems market is witnessing a continued surge. Companies are either leveraging talent management functions that have remained as shelfware or implementing new SaaS solutions from vendors like Oracle, SAP (SuccessFactors), IBM (Kenexa), Cornerstone, Saba to name a few.

Here is what the Future Looks Like

According to Bersin, the Integrated talent management systems market will be a $6Billion industry in 2014 and is being driven by skill shortages, social technologies, mobile adoption, SaaS adoption, and the need for integrated talent management function.The Learning & Development function is also witnessing its own revolution with the predicted move to MOOCs within enterprises and interactive digital content. Its hardly surprising as many of these trends are reshaping entire industries and talent management function is no exception.

The Future – Reality Gap

800px-Mind_the_gap_2Not all functions have gone mobile yet: An interesting data point that I would like to highlight is from the 2014 Gartner’s Magic Quadrant report for Talent Management Systems. According to Gartner, “despite a plethora of demo scenarios showing talent review and/or succession data on tablets or smartphones, less than 5% of talent management suite customer reference survey respondents are currently using this capability; however, almost 41% either plan to deploy within the next 12 months or are considering it within 24 months.”

But according to Gartner, “Recruiting continues to lead the way in mobile usage with more than 19% of customers surveyed currently enable candidates to use mobile devices during the hiring process, and over 31% plan to deploy this capability within 24 months. More than 17% of survey participants currently allow mobile device access by recruiters and hiring managers, and another 31% are considering deploying this capability in the next 24 months. Even if all of these organizations follow through on their plans, mobile recruiting usage will be at or under 50% of companies within the next two years.”

Pockets of Cloud / SaaS Hold-outs: We see similar hold-outs in the cloud / SaaS adoption. certain geographies or industries are resistant to keeping confidential data outside the firewall.

Collaboration can Wait: The situation is more pronounced when it comes social collaboration. This is where we see a big gap between the prediction and the reality. Once again this is what Gartner had to say – “Social software has had a significant impact on recruitment (it is being used by almost 44% of respondents, with another 22% planning to deploy within 24 months), but has not yet achieved significant adoption in performance or learning. Over one-third of customer reference survey respondents report use of collaboration workgroups (34.6%), with another 16% planning or considering implementing them within 24 months. Usage of leading-edge social capabilities falls off considerably in the survey sample; as an example, only 13.6% of respondents currently use social network analysis, and almost the same number (13.7%) are considering usage in the next 24 months.

MOOCs have a long way to go: Finally, all predictions about MOOCs and highly interactive / custom Digital Content deployment (not the ones created using rapid authoring tools) is way off from the current reality. This is a fact that doesn’t need any survey or analyst research. I am not disputing the future direction, just highlighting the reality of today.

Srinivas Krishnaswamy

Tagged with: , , , ,
Posted in Mobile Learning, Talent Management

Simplifying the Bull: How Picasso Helps to Teach Apple’s Style

I am reproducing an article from New York Times. Three Apple employees spoke to The New York Times about the company’s secretive internal training program, revealing some of the lessons the tech firm tries to impart.

In a class called “What Makes Apple, Apple,” an instructor shows Apple employees a slide of a 78-button remote control for Google TV. He then shows an Apple TV remote, which has just three buttons.

That story, which illustrates Apple’s strive towards simplicity, is part of a rare look inside the company’s secretive training program, known as Apple University, written Monday by The New York Times. Three Apple employees who have taken classes described elements of the program to the publication, agreeing to speak about it anonymously.

Apple declined to provide the Times with details about the program or make instructors — some hailing from Harvard, Yale, and MIT — available for interview. The Times noted that no pictures of the classes have come out publicly. An Apple representative didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment from CNET.

Apple University was established in 2008 by late co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs, who hired Joel Podolny, then the dean of Yale School of Management, to head up the new program. The training program followed a similar program for animation studio Pixar, another company Jobs co-founded, called Pixar University. Both are among a handful of company training programs, such as McDonald’s Hamburger University.

Apple University could take on new significance in helping maintain Jobs’ approach to simplifying products, even as the company grows. The program could also be a useful tool in integrating the hundreds of new employees the company took on when it closed its $3 billion acquisition of headphones company Beats this month, it’s biggest deal ever.

The Times story describes one class, “Communicating at Apple,” in which the instructor shows 11 pictures from Picasso’s “The Bull.” Each progressive slide in the series strips away details of the bull until just a stick figure remains.

“You go through more iterations until you can simply deliver your message in a very concise way, and that is true to the Apple brand and everything we do,” one person who took the course recalled to the Times.

The concept of simplification is present throughout the company, from Jobs’ basic attire to its spartan retail stores to its devices — with the iPhone and iPad stripping away the keyboard and mouse for one flat touch screen and circular home button.

The classes are taught on Apple’s campus in well-lit stadium-seating rooms built in a trapezoid shape, the Times reported. Some courses teach employees about business decisions the company took, such as the choice to make the iPod and iTunes compatible on Windows. That issue was hotly debated issue among executives, with Jobs repellent to the idea of sharing Apple technology with Windows. However, the decision eventually led to the iPod’s rapid growth and paved the way for the iPhone’s success.

Apple’s philosophy of simplicity, now under CEO Tim Cook, hasn’t changed much since Jobs’ death in 2011, as evidenced by the few drastic changes in the company’s products. Apple University may have lent a steadying hand to the corporate culture.

Check out my earlier article on the topic of “cloning” Steve Jobs.

Srinivas Krishnaswamy

Tagged with: , , ,
Posted in Training

Supermen & Superwomen of the Training Department

The training department is always under siege. In good times, there is a huge workload. In bad times, there is a huge workload! The training department is also possibly the most under rated department in a typical enterprise (This is an emotional outburst and not based on data as you can see from the title of this post!). Any ways, I created a poster that shows how these supermen and superwomen of the training department are battling their foes and surviving in spite of the odds. Thank You.

Poster that depicts the challenges faced by the training department.

Supermen and Superwomen of the Training Department


Srinivas Krishnaswamy

Tagged with: ,
Posted in Leadership, Training

The Digital Workplace – Rethinking Enterprise Learning and Development

There is a transformation underway that is changing the business landscape. The concept of “Digital Enterprise” is gaining traction. Enterprises are challenging the traditional ways of doing business and interacting with customers. They have no option. If they don’t reinvent their business, a startup or a competitor will eventually eat their lunch. Take the case of RadioShack. They have threatened to change their game but have not executed on their plans. The rest (along with RadioShack) is history or will soon become history.

Digital Enterprise is not just about gaining expertise in using social media to reach customers / employees, or the ability to leverage Big Data or mobile devices for gaining efficiency and competitive advantage. In fact, Digital Enterprise is not just a CIO problem but a challenge for the entire leadership and employees to change their work culture and mindset.

Enterprise Learning & Development teams now face a new challenge. Its no longer adequate to just implement cloud based LMS or collaboration portal or build more online courses, mobile apps or deliver more classroom training. The real challenge is enabling a “Digital Workplace” for the employee. This calls for a fundamental shift in assumptions and the way Enterprise Learning & Development teams interact with the rest of the organization, including IT teams.

According to NetStrategy JMC, the “Digital Workplace” has three key components – Capabilities, Enablers and Mindset. I have modified their approach to make it relevant for Learning and Development as depicted in the images below.




In summary, Digital Workplace is all about setting the agenda to enable a Digital Enterprise. Enterprise Learning Departments can seize this opportunity to gain prominence within the enterprise by transforming themselves to be more market driven. This I believe is important to stay relevant in the Digital World.

Srinivas Krishnaswamy

Tagged with: , , , , , ,
Posted in Big Data, Cloud Computing, Crowdsourcing, Knowledge Management, Learning, LMS, Mobile Learning, Smartphones, Social Collaboration, Social Learning, Training

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 617 other followers

%d bloggers like this: