Employee EngagementLearning & Development

The Baker’s Dozen: Training and Development

The top providers of training and development outsourcing.

by HROT Staff

For the second year in a row, HRO Today goes back to school with a feature on the top players in training and development (T&D). To see which vendors made the grade, we contacted more than 30 learning providers to gather some key data and facts about themselves and major competitors, which led to the determination of the final list. Respondents provided information about what services they offer, who their largest clients are, annual revenues, and most importantly how many outside employees were administered training services or products in 2006. Some of the vendors are purely learning providers, while others have business process outsourcing divisions which include learning services. They run the gamut from multi-national corporations to privately held firms.

Companies involved in outsourced T&D provide a wealth of services such as learning strategy and analysis, curriculum development, organization development, human performance, career development, content hosting, certification, and performance measurement and reporting.

The 13 vendors not only administer but also deliver training services to many of the largest companies in the country. Some vendors use their own learning courseware to train a variety of employees, some implement learning software and programs developed by other companies, and others incorporate outside services. Besides administering training, providers also track employees for data on attrition, completion, and competency.

Unlike last year, HRO Today this time around has decided to slightly change our methodology. We did not rank the providers; instead readers can make their own determinations about each company based on the information provided.

As outsourced T&D becomes more ubiquitous, hopefully this special section will familiarize you with the key players and provide some much needed advice and numbers on the learning industry.

Methodology: This list was developed by contacting 33 training and learning providers and requesting the number of employees trained in 2006. We asked how many outside employees were administered training services and products. Respondents were also asked to estimate the number of employees trained by their top 10 to 15 competitors and rank their top 10 competitors. A final list of 13 was generated, and the providers are listed in alphabetical order with a description of services they offer, and other vital information.

* Number provided by the vendor.


Accenture Learning
* Employees Trained (2006): 1 million
Accenture Ltd. is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company with net revenues of $16 billion for the 2006 fiscal year. Accenture collaborates with clients to help them work towards becoming high-performance businesses and governments. Delivering training to more than one million learners globally each year, Accenture Learning is one of the largest service providers in the world. Providing a full range of global learning services—from content development to comprehensive outsourcing of the learning function—Accenture Learning helps clients establish a clear and ongoing link between learning investments and business results.

Client(s): Avaya, Sun Microsystems, BT, Telstra, Bank of Ireland, Unilever.

T&D Services:
Comprehensive learning outsourcing: development and deployment of leading technologies and business processes; global program management of the learning function; workforce issue-driven solutions: targeted learning solutions that deliver results in support of specific strategic business initiatives, enabling accessibility to curricula designed to speed the development of competencies critical to business success.

Most Common Metrics:

Affiliated Computer Services, (ACS, Inc.)
* Employees Trained (2006): 2.2 million
ACS is a premier provider of fully diversified, end-to-end business process and information technology services to commercial and government clients worldwide. As part of this broader offering, ACS provides comprehensive, fully-integrated learning solutions to customers focused on addressing strategic business issues through enterprise and extended enterprise-wide learning initiatives. ACS offers a full suite of comprehensive, fully integrated learning solutions to customers focused on addressing strategic business issues through learning. Beyond technology or content alone, ACS offers customers proven strategies, processes, methodologies, and technologies to comprehensively address the needs of large organizations.

Client(s): Confidential

T&D Services: Learning advisory and strategy services: performs current-state learning audits and future-state assessment of the client, followed by the preparation of a detailed business plan addressing business needs and competitive differentiators; ongoing evaluation and oversight; learning content development and maintenance services: offers a learning content management system (LCMS) that includes approximately 75 proprietary development templates designed to standardize its authoring capability; learning administration services: a life-cycle approach to learning administration, managing each step of the experience through standard processes and quality reviews—from initial establishment of a course through delivery and subsequent management information systems regarding the event and its participants; full logistical support of instructor-led classroom learning events and systems, vendor management, and certification; global learning technology platform and managed services: a complex array of managed services in support of the LMS, LCMS, collaboration, entitlement, e-commerce, and other modules.

Most Common Metrics:
Success is measured based on the outcomes defined by ACS customers, including but not limited to increased retention or performance, speed to competence, increased sales or certification of extended enterprise partners or suppliers, compliance, growth, accelerated speed to profit, improved people effectiveness, and reduced costs.

Convergys Corporation
Convergys is a global provider of customer care, billing, learning, and HR services. With clients in more than 70 countries speaking nearly 35 languages who depend on Convergys to help them gain more value from their everyday relationships with customers and employees, Convergys offers learning and outsourcing services and operational experience. Convergys provides comprehensive learning business solutions to drive measurable business value.

Client(s): Dupont, Boston Scientific, General Motors, Circuit City, Cisco, Microsoft, McKesson, Intuit, JP Morgan Chase, Glaxo Smith Kline

T&D Services:
Learning business solutions: sales force effectiveness, improved customer service, enterprise application roll-out, customer training solutions, and certification and compliance programs; enabling solutions: alignment and governance, content development and sourcing, learning delivery, administration and operations, and reporting and analytics; learning outsourcing: consolidating services, eliminating capital expenses related to learning technology, improving development processes, automating administration and delivery, and establishing deeper vendor discounts.

Most Common Metrics:
Business impact, CLO dashboard, learning analytics, managed reporting, performance analytics, performance scorecard, and self-service reporting.

Element K
3 million
Element K is a learning solutions company with a comprehensive set of learning products and services, and a presence in 32 countries.

Client(s): Confidential

T&D Services: Training products: a catalog of nearly 4,000 e-Learning courses and virtual labs, several hundred courseware books, a complete e-Reference library, and a fully hosted learning management system; learning services: consultation and advisory services, custom content development, technology management (development, integration, branding, and support), learning program administration, and training delivery.

Most Common Metrics:
Delivery (schedule, milestones), cost, revenue, program utilization, and customer satisfaction.

GeoLearning, Inc.
12 million
GeoLearning is a leading provider of managed learning services and hosted learning and performance technology. The company’s products and services are used by corporations, government agencies, and non-profit organizations to manage human capital development, accelerate critical business processes, and drive organizational performance. GeoLearning’s software-as-a-service (SaaS) model means there is no hardware or software for clients to install. As a result, the company’s web-based GeoMaestro and GeoExpress learning management platforms can be deployed quickly, allowing clients to efficiently manage enterprise-wide learning, development, and knowledge acquisition.

Client(s): Dell; U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM); Social Security Administration; states of WA, SC, ND, AZ, and NJ; Hudson’s Bay Company; Computer Associates; Pilot Travel Centers; Kaiser Permanente; Humana; Ace Hardware; Adecco; Cabela’s; Black & Decker; WebEx Communications; Federal Communications Commission; Pratt & Whitney

T&D Services:
Learning management platform—technology, implementation, and related services; learning strategy and front-end analysis consulting (environment, risk, and readiness); comprehensive training outsourcing; SaaS/hosting; security and maintenance; vendor management services; learning content development and conversion services; learning content integration services; systems integration and data migration; instructor-led training delivery; back-office administration; training and documentation services; learning program support; outsourced helpdesk; best practices, benchmarking, and business process improvement; training effectiveness and ROI consulting; performance management and competency development (modeling); succession management; training commerce (e-commerce); and change management.

Most Common Metrics: Return on investment (ROI), cost savings, revenue generation, time-to-competency, cost per employee/student, and customer satisfaction.

Global Knowledge
Global Knowledge is a provider of training, enterprise learning services, and software solutions for information technology (IT) and management professionals. Global Knowledge offers a broad array of hands-on IT, project management and professional-skills training featuring proprietary core and custom curriculum as well as content from leading companies, including Cisco, Microsoft, Nortel, Oracle, and Red Hat. Delivered in classrooms, at private facilities or over the Internet, Global Knowledge provides end-to-end learning services and solutions that create a quantifiable path to improved performance and increased knowledge for enterprise customers around the globe. Its Global Learning Platform for the management, delivery, and tracking of learning solutions supports enterprise initiatives. Through the organization’s OnDemand software division, Global Knowledge also offers comprehensive software solutions.

Client(s): Customers include 850 of the Global 2000, 75 percent of the Fortune 500, government, and the military. Recent customers include Shared Technologies, Inc., Sabre Airline Solutions, Coca-Cola, and 3M Corporation.

T&D Services: IT training, project management and professional development training, custom solutions and services for enterprise-wide learning initiatives, and software solutions that enable rapid adoption and increased accuracy in the use of enterprise applications.

Most Common Metrics: Customer surveys (individual), customer satisfaction, user adoption, time-to-competency, and return on investment.

IBM is the largest information technology company in the word, headquartered in Armonk, NY. Among IBM’s extensive set of business and information technology services is its business transformation outsourcing global capabilities, including end-to-end learning services for multinational corporations.

Client(s): U.S. Army, AT&T, Cadbury, Schweppes

T&D Services:
Developing learning and performance strategy, managing learning business operations, developing and managing learning and performance solution portfolio, deploying learning and performance solutions, managing applications and infrastructure, and providing analytics.

Most Common Metrics: On-time solution development, on-time solution delivery, learning solutions effectiveness (web), instructor performance, case management/closure (Tier 1), systems availability, response time, technical trouble ticket respond/resolve time, annual satisfaction survey, end-user accessible data, broadcast availability, replay availability, system availability, end-user satisfaction, and learning program sponsor satisfaction.

Intrepid Learning Solutions, Inc.
Intrepid Learning Solutions is a provider of training consulting, outsourcing, and research services to Global 2000 companies. With industry-leading expertise in training design, development, delivery, and a focus on business results aligned with strategic business objectives, Intrepid’s Measurement and Business Impact practice is solely focused on providing actionable data as quickly as possible to meet the demands of a business environment. Intrepid utilizes metrics in two categories.

The Boeing Company, Autodesk, American Society of Training and Development (ASTD), MSN Division of Microsoft Corp.

T&D Services:
Design and production services: analysis, curricula design, instructor-led training design and production, web-based training design and production, performance support tools, offshore production, high-end e-Learning; delivery services: scheduling, instruction across multiple subjects (leadership and management, sales, customer service, compliance, technical, and others), evaluation, print fulfillment; training operations: LMS administration; consulting services: learning/curriculum analysis, learning strategy, learning technology strategy, learning technology selection and implementation, measurement and business impact; client management services: account management, training program/project management, training event coordination and management.

Most Common Metrics: Service metrics provide improvement opportunities related to the design and delivery of training and are used to control costs, streamline training department processes, and benchmark against industry standards—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 is used to calibrate training to participant needs and expectations, to get immediate feedback regarding future business impact, and capture any feedback from or about training participants—instructor reaction, job relevance, and prediction of future business impact as well as follow up information collected from participants or their manager.

2.5 million
KnowledgePlanet is a provider of performance-based learning solutions and services that drive business alignment, operational efficiencies, and competitive advantage through workforce and talent development. Its on-demand learning suite automates human capital management processes, providing a single-source, scalable platform that enables improved productivity, retention, and revenue growth while significantly reducing costs. For a single, subscription-based price, the performance-based learning solution enables significant business improvements—operational efficiency, improved workforce productivity, and increased employee retention—that ensure enterprise-grade value at a fraction of industry-standard costs. KnowledgePlanet also offers multiple content and training services for developing and managing training. Capitalizing on two decades of instructional expertise and delivery processes, and our industry-respected authoring technologies, KnowledgePlanet has developed custom learning for more than 100 companies and millions of end users. KnowledgePlanet assists more than 2.5 million learners across the globe.


T&D Services:
On-demand learning suite: delivered in a software-as-a-service model combines industrial strength human capital management—learning, performance and reporting—with unprecedented collaborative simulation and content authoring, virtual classroom technologies, as well as an extensive catalog of off-the-shelf courses; custom content development: web-based training, instructor-led training, performance support, and course materials; vendor management: streamlines the time-consuming process of finding and evaluating providers for customers’ most targeted training needs; using a single point of contact, customers have access to an extensive network of certified vendors covering all areas of learning, from off-the-shelf e-Learning to instructor-led training; training administration services: technical and logistical management of learning so customer can better focus their internal resources on learning strategy and quality that addresses their unique business needs.

Most Common Metrics: Improved operational efficiencies, increased workforce productivity, enhanced organizational and employee performance, improved employee satisfaction and retention, better business alignment, improved product and service delivery. KnowledgePlanet has a customer tenure of 5.75 years and a 98-percent customer retention rate.

Raytheon Professional Services
RPS manages some or all of a client’s learning processes in multi-year engagements with transition and governance activities to ensure alignment, service levels, and business results. Clients include global businesses with widely dispersed employee and retail networks that range in size from a few hundred to tens of thousands of learners. In 2006, RPS’ services extended into 53 countries and 25 languages and spanned multiple industries. Last year the company developed and localized 18,000 hours of courseware and simulations, delivered seven million hours of training, and administered three million online assessments.

Several Fortune 500 global organizations

T&D Services: Learning function assessment and strategy development; curriculum architecture, design, and development; training operations; and learning technology.

Most Common Metrics: Employee time to proficiency, productivity and retention, customer satisfaction, and certification rates. Also tracked are metrics specific to the training processes managed for the client, as well as costs per participant day; 2006 client satisfaction rate was 94 percent.

6 million
SkillSoft is a provider of enterprise e-learning, with learning resources targeted to business and IT professionals. SkillSoft’s multi-modal learning solutions support and enhance the speed and effectiveness of formal and informal learning processes and integrate SkillSoft’s in-depth courseware, referenceware, learning management technology, and support services.

Unisys, CSC, ADP, CGI, U.S. AirForce

T&D Services: Business skills content and referenceware, IT content and referenceware, desktop application content and referenceware, executive referenceware, Dialogue—rapid custom content development and live collaboration tool, SkillView—competency management application, SkillPort—learning platform with extended reporting capabilities, Custom content development services, Solution Services—offering strategic, targeted and tactical resources for client implementations.

Most Common Metrics: Usage, business impact based upon client defined success criteria (speed to market, effectiveness, increase in productivity)

SumTotal Systems, Inc.
More than 17 million
SumTotal Systems, Inc. makes software for managing talent, including learning and employee performance.

Client(s): NORAD/U.S. Northern Command, Fidelity Investments, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Harley-Davidson, Wyeth

T&D Services:
SumTotal Enterprise Suite:integrated platform offering tools for managing competencies, performance, and learning; ResultsOnDemand: ASP learning and talent management software; ToolBook: software for creating web-based training, simulations, computer-based training, and interactive e-learning content; TotalPerformance: software for managing goals, performing appraisals, offering feedback and assessing competencies, planning succession; implementation services through a professional services group, training services via SumTotal’s Total University; hosting services, which allow customers to successfully deploy SumTotal applications with minimal IT infrastructure; support services designed to help customers maintain and build on their learning and performance management system.

Most Common Metrics: Sales generated, competency levels reached, compliance levels met, fines reduced, training costs slashed.

The Training Associates Corporation
The Training Associates is a provider of contract and full-time IT and professional business skills instructors, with more than 50,000 classes delivered worldwide, more than 500,000 students taught, more than 3,000 different courses offered, more than 500 trainers currently deployed, and more than 10,000 registered trainers. The Training Associates’ leading technology partners include Microsoft, IBM, Novell, Oracle, Cisco, Citrix, Sun and HP. Training provider clients include corporations and higher-education institutions throughout the country.

New Horizons, Accenture, Thomson Learning/NetG, CompUSA, Executrain

T&D Services: Training for IT technical and business professional skills; trainers and consultants for business initiative roll-outs; trainers and consultants for proprietary and standard technology roll-outs; and trainers for small classes and low enrollment.

Most Common Metrics:
Customer satisfaction, client retention, client/channel revenue growth, trainer evaluation scores, trainer utilization, and trainer skills and certification diversity.

Tags: Engaged Workforce, HRO Today Global, Learning

Recent Articles