Leading providers offer a broad portfolio of learning solutions to meet every employer’s needs.
by HROT Staff
Last year when we surveyed the learning industry, integration with talent management was all the buzz among providers. Today, it’s all about cost savings. What a difference a year makes.
The great thing about outsourcing is that as the market shifts, there is a solution for every need, so if your requirements are for no-frills, low-cost service, or if you want to transform learning through a comprehensive offering, it’s out there. And you can be sure that any one of the providers listed here is capable of delivering technology, administrative support, and content creation. Their solutions are highly evolved and incoporate cutting-edge technology, industry-leading best practices, and deep domain expertise.
This is the first time in which we solicited the input of learning buyers to rank the providers in the space (see below on the methodology). We believe the best indicator of how well a provider delivers services is through the experience of customers already engaged in an outsourcing relationship.
We hope that the Baker’s Dozen in learning provides you the insight necessary to find the most appropriate vendor for your needs.
Ranking Methodology: Buyers were asked to participate in an online, anonymous survey regarding their experience with their current service provider. The survey instrument measured user satisfaction along with breadth and quality of service and deal size, as well as other issues. HRO Today ranked only providers for which we were able to compile enough statistically valid customer data. Although we could not obtain statistically sufficient data for two providers—Accenture and Element K—existing market data indicates that both are among the top providers of learning services and should be included in this listing; however, they were not ranked as a result.
1. Raytheon Professional Services (RPS)
A subsidiary of technology giant Raytheon Company, Raytheon Professional Services (RPS) has designed, implemented, and managed some of the world’s largest and longest-running training outsourcing engagements in the commercial sector. RPS is also the key training provider in a consortium that has been awarded what will become the world’s largest and longest-running training outsourcing engagement in the military sector. For more than a decade, RPS has worked with clients in Asia Pacific, Europe, and North America, with a focus in recent years on helping clients rapidly expand their training capabilities in emerging markets such as Russia, China, India, Central Europe, and Mexico. RPS provides services to learners in 78 countries and 30 languages.
Learning Services: Training capabilities including strategic planning for the training function, design, development, delivery, administration, and measurement. Designing large-scale outsourcing initiatives including transition plans, governance structures, service level agreements, and business impact measurements. Other services include ability to help clients globally integrate their training function; a patent-pending process for redesigning and maintaining clients’ training curricula; the ability to develop training programs in one language, followed by localization and deployment in more than 30 languages; the ability to help clients develop and refine their financial business case for training outsourcing; and a strong
program-management discipline influenced by Raytheon’s defense background.
Most Common Metrics: Training process metrics include cost per training event and availability of training at product launch, and business impact metrics include sales volume, customer satisfaction, and time to market for new product.
IBM is a globally integrated enterprise that helps clients achieve growth, effectiveness, and efficiency with access to the world’s leading systems, software and services capabilities. It develops and delivers training in more than 30 languages. The company employs more than 2,000 employees dedicated to providing training services, including, nearly 1,000 learning outsourcing professionals serving 74 countries; more than 600 consultants supporting learning engagements (including human capital management consultants); and more than 500 content development specialists who develop 8,800 hours of learning content annually in 75 languages. The company also has 600 delivery partners and delivers more than 18.5 million student days of learning each year through more than 8,000 classroom and e-Learning courses.
Learning Services: With a minimum client size of 20,000 employees: integration of talent management outsourcing (performance, succession, recruiting, compensation, and employee development). Select Learning is an on-demand solution that provides services to small and medium business on a price-per-learner basis.
Most Common Metrics: Effectiveness, satisfaction, accuracy, timeliness, and quality and timeliness of service.
3. General Physics Corporation
General Physics Corporation (GP) is a global performance improvement company and a provider of workforce training and development. It has experience in custom content development, program delivery, and the administration and logistics of learning across the globe. GP currently staffs more than 1,700 employees providing full-scale management of training for Fortune 500 companies.
Learning Services: Learning technology management including needs assessment, evaluation, and selection; integration and customization; hosting; and help desk. Curriculum management including custom training content analysis; design and development (all media, blended learning); training content evaluation, selection and sourcing; vendor management; and course/program management. Operations services cover training administration and logistics; tuition program administration; instructor resource management; training delivery; and call center. Measurement and reporting services including learning analytics; and activity, financial, and performance reporting.
Most Common Metrics: Web-based quality system reporting; corrective action reporting; preventive action reporting; performance measures; and customer satisfaction.
4. Hewitt Associates
Hewitt Associates consults with more than 3,000 large and mid-size companies around the globe to develop and implement HR business strategies covering retirement, financial and health management; compensation and total rewards; and performance, talent and change management. It delivers health care and retirement programs to millions of participants and retirees, on behalf of more than 300 organizations worldwide. In addition, more than 30 clients rely on Hewitt to provide a broader range of human resources business process outsourcing services to nearly one million client employees. Located in 33 countries, Hewitt employs approximately 23,000 associates.
Client(s): Bank of Montreal, BP, Duke Energy, International Paper, Marriott, PepsiCo, Prudential, Sun Microsystems, Thomson, Unisys.
Learning Services: Technology services including implementation of hardware and software and ongoing system upgrades/maintenance, LMS management, and system administration. Course and student learner administration services including support for end-users for learning policies and programs; process enrollments or cancellations; provide navigational assistance; registration services; scheduling; materials fulfillment; portfolio management; and data for strategic planning. Learning content management system administration including day-to-day administration and maintenance of the client’s LMS; managing applications to facilitate and streamline the process of designing; testing; approving; and posting e-Learning content.
Most Common Metrics: Prompt delivery of posting learning activities to the LMS, responding to inquiries/request and resolving technical issues; accuracy of data entered into the LMS; and customer satisfaction.
5. ACS Learning Services
ACS Learning Services provides end-to-end learning outsourcing services to help clients increase the value of their people and their businesses through the deployment of performance-based learning services and solutions that are aligned to strategic business goals and outcomes. Its services span the learning value chain and concentrate on a comprehensive talent management strategy or learning process outsourcing (LPO) engagement with learning strategy services, curriculum design, learning administration services, and complete LPO services. Our process is based on the knowledge of the core activities of the learning value chain (business alignment through measurement), and an understanding of the operating elements and client requirements. Supporting clients in 140 countries, the company’s preferred customer base includes Global 1000 organizations with more than 10,000 employees; ACS’ largest client has 140,000 employees.
Client(s): Hertz, BP, Autodesk, Diageo, Lockheed Martin, CaLPERS, Fannie Mae.
Learning Services: Strategy and assessment services include consulting; custom content; curriculum design and development; competency alignment; training administration; vendor management; tuition management; outsourced management of LMS, LCMS, performance management and managed technology; and data management services.
Most Common Metrics: The alignment of service delivery to business impact, with metrics such as y/y improved costs, increased services, and scalable or available resources; learning delivery including performance improvement, retention, behavior change, speed to proficiency, and competency; incremental transactional improvements such as cost of infrastructure, service delivery and learning administration services, and resources.
6. Convergys Corporation
As a global provider of HR Solutions, Convergys delivers comprehensive, HR BPO services to help organizations automate processes, improve service delivery, create a more agile workforce and align HR strategies to the business. Convergys business process outsourcing solution offers administrative processes, including payroll and benefits, as well as key talent management solutions such as learning, performance management and succession management, to advance the talent management strategies of global organizations. Its learning solution services include learning strategy, content development, learning delivery, and learning administration and technology, delivered to more than 320,000 employees in 70 countries and in 35 languages.
Client(s): DuPont, Johnson & Johnson, and State of Texas.
Learning Services: Strategy services including learning and performance consulting, supplier rationalization, and learning evaluation content development services including ILT and e-Learning development and maintenance; learning delivery services including schedule management, event logistics management, and capacity management; and administration and operations services including technology hosting and operation, user support, catalog administration, assignment, enrollment, cancellation, roster management, certification and compliance management, resource data management, billing and chargeback management, materials fulfillment management, content developer support, and managed reporting.
Most Common Metrics: Input measures that quantify scope, cost, volume, and impact of training include total training days/events provided, training hours per employee; cost per training day for ILT; cost per training hour for e-Learning; training cost per employee; programs completed; certifications achieved; instructor utilization; facilities utilization; and Kirkpatrick Level 1-4 evaluation results.
7. RWD Technologies, LLC
RWD delivers human and operational performance improvement solutions to help employers maximize the return on their investments in people, processes, technology, equipment, knowledge, and customers. Since 1988, RWD has offered a broad range of integrated products and services, including human capital management and IT consulting services; business transformation and lean process improvement; end-user training; change management; knowledge management; and operator effectiveness management. RWD’s solutions are used in thousands of organizations globally, in industries such as manufacturing, energy, automotive, aerospace, health care, life sciences, and the public sector. Based in Baltimore, privately held RWD serves Fortune 500 and other employers around the world through its more than 1,000 employees in offices in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, U.K., Germany, France, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and Kazakhstan.
Learning Services: Industrial technical training development and delivery for automation and controls equipment; control software; engineering techniques; equipment maintenance and troubleshooting; product operation, maintenance, and repair; safety and manufacturing electrical and electronics equipment; training management; catalog of e-Learning courses; IT procedure and process training development and delivery; SaaS learning management system; process improvements; and training development and deployment tools.
Most Common Metrics: Customer satisfaction and retention; customer cost savings/cost avoidance; cost efficieny; speed to competence; program utilization; instructor evaluation scores; instructor utilization; compliance levels met; fines reduced; safety level stabilized; and increased revenue streams through customer training.
8. Achieve Global
AchieveGlobal provides methodologies to develop and improve interpersonal business skills to give companies the workforce edge they need for successful results. It enforces the three core business disciplines—sell, service and lead—in order for an organization to excel in the digital age. Located in more than 40 countries, AchieveGlobal offers multi-language, learning based solutions—globally, regionally and locally.
Client(s): Capital Lighting & Supply, Gen-i, Gunderson Lutheran Health System, M/I Homes, QHR, Seko Worldwide.
Learning Services: Administration and operations services including leadership development, sales performance, customer service and consulting.
Most Common Metrics: Employee and customer satisfaction, length of sales cycle, revenue per sale, productivity, and profitability.
9. The Training Associates Corporation (TTA)
The Training Associates (TTA) is a certified women-owned business specializing in IT and professional business (soft) skills instructors for contract and full-time placement. For the past 15 years, TTA has delivered nearly 100,000 classes worldwide, teaching more than 550,000 students in more than 9,500 different courses from its 13,000-plus standard and custom courses. It has more than 2,000 trainers on agreement and available for immediate deployment, plus 9,000 additional trainers registered. TTA clients include leading technology partners, training organizations and centers, corporations, and higher-education institutions throughout the world.
Client(s): Microsoft, Global Knowledge, Element K, New Horizons, Novell, ExecuTrain, CompTIA, Kaplan.
Learning Services: Training and consulting solutions to all industries for a multitude of applications, including training outsourcing and vendor management; beta test and product launch activities; corporate-wide up-skilling; proprietary and standard technology roll-outs (updates and migrations); staff trainer augmentation; emergencies and gaps; small classes and low enrollment classes; courseware review, development and updating; and ILT, e-Learning and blended learning.
Most Common Metrics: Customer satisfaction surveys; Microsoft Gold Certified Partner of Learning Solutions and Metrics That Matter; client utilization, growth and retention rates; client/channel revenue growth; new trainer recruitment stats, utilization and evaluation scores; and diversity of trainer skills, certification, and learning methodology expertise.
10. GeoLearning, Inc.
GeoLearning’s products and services are used by more than 500 corporations, government agencies and non-profit organizations to manage and deliver a broad range of learning and development services. Its award-winning, web-based GeoMaestro and GeoExpress platforms have helped many enterprise and mid-market companies manage all forms of organizational learning—traditional classroom instruction, online training and self-directed study—and drive demonstrable business value. In addition, GeoLearning has established one of the broadest partnership networks in the industry, with more than 50 complementary, best-of-breed vendors, providing customers with a reliable, end-to-end learning and performance management solution.
Client(s): U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), TransOcean, Jackson Health System, New Jersey Department of Personnel, American Express, Whirlpool, Laureate Education, Shaw Group.
Learning Services: Training administration including strategic planning; registration services; scheduling; project management; assessment and testing; vendor management; help desk (administration and learner); staff augmentation; best practices; and benchmarking. Learning content services including instructional design; content development and repurposing; graphics design; material fulfillment; portfolio management; translations and localization; content integration services; and documentation. Learning delivery covers instruction, classroom support, surveying, and feedback analysis. Technology including on-demand/SaaS LMS and LCMS; delivery platform management; e-commerce; authoring systems; technology integration; systems hosting; and security.
Most Common Metrics: Student/participant program evaluations; pre- and post-testing; transfer of acquired learning to intended behaviors in the work environment; business result metrics such as ROI, increased production, enhanced quality, reduced costs, increased sales, reduced accidents, compliance, etc.; measures of customer satisfaction (internal and third-party surveying); client retention rate and contract renewal rate.
11. Intrepid Learning Solutions
Intrepid Learning Solutions provides integrated learning and performance solutions to Global 2000 companies. Founded in 1999 and headquartered in Seattle, most Intrepid clients are major global corporations with significant operations overseas, and services are provided in the U.S., EMEA, Latin America, and Asia Pacific. In October 2008, Intrepid was named the Gold Award Winner for Excellence in Content by Chief Learning Officer magazine.
Client(s): The Boeing Company, Microsoft Corporation, Autodesk Inc.
Learning Services: Consulting; strategy, benchmarking and research; content analysis and curricula design; content evaluation and course development; training logistics, administration and delivery; technology implementation, integration, administration and support; learning program management; and account management.
Most Common Metrics: Service metrics include the ratio of production hours per course hour, instructor utilization, and proportion of e-Learning to ILT as well as per-course measures of completion on time, on budget, and to stakeholder specifications. Participant metrics capture any feedback from or about training participants, including instructor reaction, job relevance, and prediction of future business impact as well as follow up information collected from participants or their managers. Business metrics correlate the relationship between participant metrics and business process outcomes. The logical measure of business impact is the degree to which business processes react positively to training.
Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services, and outsourcing company with net revenues of $23.39 billion for the fiscal year ended in August 2008. One of the largest learning outsourcing providers in the world, Accenture delivers learning and HR outsourcing services to nearly 1.7 million people in 100 countries.
Client(s): BT, Telstra, Unilever.
Learning Services: End-to-end enterprise learning outsourcing and workforce-specific learning outsourcing solutions, including strategy and planning; content design and development; cost-effective delivery methods; administration and support services; proprietary methods and innovative technologies; and learning services aligned with business strategy and designed for measurable improvements in business
Most Common Metrics: Improved productivity; improved speed to competency; increased sales and revenues; improved customer satisfaction; improved compliance; and reduced costs.
Element K provides solutions for organizations to help develop employees, enable partners, and educate customers. Element K offers broad e-Learning, e-Reference, instructor-led, and blended content collections; custom learning program design and development; an on-demand LMS and flexible learning delivery technology; and enablement services.
Learning Services: Training products include a catalog with more than 6,000 e-Learning courses and virtual labs; 1,300 courseware books; a complete e-Reference library; and a fully hosted learning management system (KnowledgeHub) with virtual classroom capabilities. Learning services including performance consulting; custom content development; technology management (development, integration, branding, and support); learning program administration; and training delivery. In 2008, Element K upgraded KnowledgeHub with integrated web 2.0 collaboration capabilities (wikis, blogs, and discussion forums), enhanced instructor-led training event management, and advanced reporting features.
Most Common Metrics: Program delivery versus schedule and specifications, cost management, and customer satisfaction.
* Number of employees trained is provided by the provider.
** Insufficient customer feedback data to rank; however, market data indicate the company is among one of the volume leader providers in the learning space.