Update 2014-11-27: Screenshots reflect SAP Jam EvoUX
For many companies SAP Learning Solution is the software of choice when it comes to learning and personnel development. As powerful as the SAP Learning Solution may be, its main focus remains on the formal training process. However to leverage all possibilities and complete the learning mix, employees should be supplied with tools that support informal and social learning. From an SAP perspective the obvious tool here is SAP Jam as it imparts all of the great features to connect employees and allow them to collaborate and share their knowledge in order to do their jobs better.
So now there are two separate software products covering the learning needs from both sides, formal and informal. The good news here, is that these applications don’t work isolated – they work in an integrated way while leveraging the individual strength.
As a result of our discussion feedback from our customers we wanted to realize several integration scenarios:
- bridging the gap from formal trainings to knowledge sharing groups
- providing dedicated learning groups to enhance the experience of time dependent trainings
- help employees discover related trainings
Let’s have a look at the third scenario in this post.
Most learning management system already have a solid set of features that help employees find the right course. By accessing the Learning Portal, SAP Learning Solution allows learners to use the following mechanisms to find the appropriate training
- Browse Catalog
- Training Calendar
The different ways can be described as “pull”-mechanisms which means that the employee is proactively looking to improve his or her skills by taking a course. If the course is rather compliance-related than covering personal development other mechanisms can be used by the training department to “push” specific training offerings to the corresponding target group:
- Assignment of mandatory training
- Profile Matchup
As the learning portal is personalized to the learning activities and needs of the user, it spots a notification area where mandatory trainings, missing qualifications and expiring qualifications can be found. If a qualification is missing from the employees profile but is required based on their position, job, job family and so on the system will recommend certain course types which impart this qualification.
Solid – but not state of the art
So what’s wrong with the options that are available for SAP Learning Solution users today? Why do we need another way to find the right courses?
The issue with these options is that the employee needs to hit a dedicated website (learning portal) in the first place in order to choose one of these routes. Formal training should not be hidden from the day to day work. Instead courses should appear where employees are already digging for information on certain subjects or collaborate with their peers – enterprise social networks.
Discover formal trainings on SAP Jam
Keeping these circumstances in mind we developed a concept on how formal trainings could show up in the context of SAP Jam groups. This integration to SAP Learning Solution can be used by course administrators to promote their training offerings where employees already communicate with colleagues on a certain subject.
As one might expect the promotion makes the most sense with SAP Jam groups that already built an active community. Therefore it was critical that course types can be featured into existing groups very easily.
Let’s have a look at how this works in detail: The course administrator or any other SAP Jam user has access to the “Business Objects” browser from the homepage. Here they can find objects from integrated 3rd party systems. If SAP Learning Solution has been configured by the company administrator to be one of those sources all classroom trainings and E-Learnings can be browsed within SAP Jam except for the ones marked as “no intranet”. The search box and the drop-down filter can be used to narrow the results. All data is pulled from the SAP Learning Solution system in real-time and is therefore always up to date.
Featuring course types has been moved to the SAP Jam interface so it’s not required to access the Administrator Portal or the SAP GUI at all. A course type can be featured to a group via the hover card:
Once this step has been completed a dedicated “Learning” tab will automatically appear in the group menu which lists the course types by their delivery method group:
After accessing one of these delivery method groups all featured course types will be listed. There is also a drop-down menu which allows for further filtering.
If it’s desired to increase the visibility of the formal trainings even more, the group administrator can adjust the overview pages and implement specific external business object list widgets. Once added all group members can view and access the featured course types right from the overview page:
The user can view more details like course type ID, delivery method, provider, person responsible and fee without leaving the SAP Jam user interface. For classroom trainings even the course dates are visible including location, language and the number of available seats.
On the thing inspector view the user can choose to “like” the course or place a comment. Group members can leverage the built in functionality to further promote the course by tagging other jam users or feature the course to another group of choice. Instead of strictly controlling and maintaining the structure of your course offering, formal training can now go “viral”.
This is a break with the past in a way where the course administrator has less control on where the courses will finally show up. However this is by design and does not create a conflict with the existing system as we keep the well-organized catalog structure alive within the learning portal.
In order to book the course or consume the content of the E-Learning the employee needs to follow the deep-link “View in Learning” which points to the corresponding course type within the learning portal. This step is necessary as the prerequisite checks and approval workflows remain in the on-premise learning system and have not been replicated in SAP Jam.
Prerequisites and implementation
If customers want to leverage this integration scenario it requires the following system setup:
In case any assistance is required to implement the scenario SAP Consulting can offer the support needed.
The first two integration scenarios between SAP Jam and SAP Learning Solution have been focusing on recommending groups to employees based on their booking behavior or providing dedicated learning groups per event respectively. Instead the third integration is about to combine formal and informal learning even further. SAP Jam groups will not only connect employees and help them share information in an informal way they will be the platform to promote formal trainings as well and let them go viral throughout the entire social network.