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The Baker’s Dozen: Training and Development

The top 13 providers of training and development outsourcing.

by HROT Staff

For our first feature on the top players in training and development (T&D), we contacted 35 learning providers to gather some key data and facts about themselves and major competitors, which led to the determination of the final 13. They not only administer but also deliver training services to many of the largest companies. 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 track employees for data on attrition, completion, and results.

In ranking providers by objective criteria for our rankings, we have found that for each list we alter the methodology minutely. With lists including lots of publicly traded companies, information is easier to come by. But in the case of T&D companies, nearly all are private and closely held. So while 73 percent of HRO Today readers are currently outsourcing or plan to outsource training and development, nowhere near 73 percent of providers plan to share their numbers, especially with a magazine read by the largest T&D buyers on the planet. In fact, the number is close to zero.

In this case, we at HRO Today dug deep into our textbooks for a method for ranking that gives relatively correct results (meaning No. 9 is smaller relative to No. 8). We turned to the multiple-data-point inference method. Example: if this company’s revenues are larger than the other’s by 50 percent, and the other trained 100,000, then this company trained 200,000. Again, the objective is to be relatively correct, and a relatively right ranking is very good data for a company considering purchasing T&D outsourcing.

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. Because so little attention is paid to training and development, this special section introduces you to the key players and provides some much needed advice and numbers on the learning industry.

—Jay Whitehead, Publisher

Methodology: HRO Today used a combination of estimates to reach this ranking. The factors included in the estimation process were: revenues, average of competitor estimates, self-estimates, and input from industry experts. HRO Today welcomes feedback, as always at JWhitehead@OutsourcingToday.com.

1. SumTotal Systems, Inc. 17,000,000 www.sumtotalsystems.com
SumTotal is a provider of learning and business performance technologies and services. The company deploys mission-critical solutions that align learning with client’s organizational and business goals to generate significant bottom-line results. SumTotal Enterprise Suite combines leading learning management system (LMS), learning content management system (LCMS), virtual classroom service (VCS), and a unique dashboard measurement system on a single, integrated platform. SumTotal has strong partnerships with Accenture, ACS, EDS, Hewitt, GP Learning, and Raytheon.

Client(s): SumTotal serves four of America’s top five commercial banks as ranked by Fortune magazine and has helped accelerate performance and profits for more than 1,500 of the world’s best-known companies and government agencies including: Accenture, Aetna, Cendant, DaimlerChrysler, Delta Air Lines, Harley-Davidson, Microsoft, Novartis, PNC Bank, U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Bancorp, United Airlines, Vodafone, Wachovia, and Wyeth.

T&D Services: Rapid-deployment (RD) packages—comprised of professional services and training which enable rapid ramp- up skills, solution branding, and product configuration; industry-specific packages—service packages that apply the best practices to provide common changes, configurations, and reports; professional services—for implementation beyond the RD package develop a plan that leverages the available client resources and supplements those with key skills within SumTotal to minimize risk and maximize benefit; training—full range of hands-on education services, on-site and remote; hosting—comprehensive-hosting services that allow extended enterprises to successfully deploy applications with minimal IT infrastructure and resources; Support—post-implementation, platform experts are available to provide customers with technical support.

Most Common Metrics: Customer satisfaction, implementation time, on-time/on-budget, and increased sales.

2. GeoLearning, Inc. 10,000,000 www.geolearning.com
GeoLearning is a provider of managed learning services and hosted learning 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” model means there is no hardware or software for clients to install. As a result, the company’s web-based 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, Time Warner, Hudson’s Bay Company, FedEx, Sisters of Mercy Health System, Armstrong World Industries, PPG Industries, Kaiser Permanente, Social Security Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development, Wells Fargo, CCA Global Partners (Carpet One/Flooring America), International Rectifier, Pilot Travel Centers, TeleTech Holdings, SITEL Corporation, and the State of New Jersey

T&D Services: Learning management platform—technology, implementation, and related services; comprehensive training outsourcing hosting; security & maintenance vendor management services; learning content development services; learning content integration services; systems integration; instructor-led training delivery; back-office administration; training & documentation services; program support; outsourced 24×7 help desk; best practices & benchmarking; training effectiveness & ROI consulting; performance management & competency development; succession management training; commerce (e-commerce) change management

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

3. SkillSoft 6,000,000 www.skillsoft.com
The SkillSoft charter is to integrate learning into the life of the enterprise. SkillSoft provides many forms of learning assets, including web-based content, on-line referenceware, mentoring, custom content, a collaboration/rapid content design tool, a platform to manage client audience and assets, and services to implement and sustain an effective learning environment.

Client(s): Unisys, CSC, ADP, CGI, U.S. AirForce

T&D Services: Platform customization; custom content development; program management services—strategic assistance for
planning and managing learning strategy; blended learning services—targeted assistance developing and implementing effective blended learning solutions; shared services—tactical assistance managing the learning platform, editing existing SkillSoft assets, providing a “customized” helpdesk, or providing custom reports.

Most Common Metrics: Blended learning services and shared services models: cost savings, level 2 and 3 evaluations, and employee satisfaction; and program management services: speed to market, trend analysis, and recommendations leading to cost
savings and efficiencies.

4. Intellinex LLC 2,500,000 www.intellinex.com
Intellinex teams with customers to design, build, and operate large-scale, technology-enabled learning solutions. With more than five decades of experience delivering business value through learning, Intellinex globally supports learners from a secure, reliable, and scalable hosted platform. By designing, developing, and deploying more than 50,000 hours of custom learning content and curriculums, Intellinex has rapidly and cost effectively optimized the performance of its customers’ employees, customers,
and partners.

Client(s): Cisco Systems, Ernst & Young, Canon USA, Turner Construction, File Net, Caterpillar, Siemens, Bank of America

T&D Services: Learning advisory and assessment services learning, content development and maintenance services, learning administration services, learning technology platform and managed services.

Most Common Metrics: Performance impact—performance affects business results; basic engagement measures—the right
deliverables at the right time; content services engagement—quality, cost/value, delivery on time, service, and teamwork; and
penetration.

5. KnowledgePlanet 1,500,000 www.knowledgeplanet.com
KnowledgePlanet is a full-service learning provider specializing in on-demand, scalable corporate learning solutions that offer ease of use and maintenance to help organizations derive direct business value from training. KnowledgePlanet solutions bundle learning management technology, with the Firefly application simulation and on-going administration and operations services, enabling customers to fully develop and manage learning using a single-source provider.

Client(s): N/A

T&D Services: Fully hosted, on-demand learning suite—learning management platform, reporting, performance management, learning content management capabilities, and administration services; Firefly simulation and courseware development tools; custom content development and vendor management services; back-office training and support services.

Most Common Metrics: Average customer tenure of 5.5 years and a 95-percent customer retention rate.

6. Accenture Learning 1,300,000 www.accenture.com/learning
Accenture Learning collaborates with its clients to help them significantly improve business and operational performance by unleashing the value of their workforces, channel partners, and customers. Delivering training to more than 1 million learners globally each year, Accenture Learning is one of the largest learning services 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, BellSouth, BP, BT, Citrix Systems, Inc., Siemens

T&D Services: Comprehensive learning outsourcing—development and deployment of leading technologies, business processes and global program management of the learning function; business issue-driven solutions—a single, web-based portal for learning, performance support, and knowledge management, these solutions enable accessibility to curricula designed to speed the development of competencies critical to business success; performance simulation—performance simulation technology enabling users to gain “job experience” that will drive improvements to business metrics through increased workforce performance.

Most Common Metrics: N/A


7. ExcellerateHRO 1,200,000 www.excelleratehro.com

ExcellerateHRO provides comprehensive transactional and administrative services that enable HR staff, employees, and managers to access, update, and use HR information more efficiently and effectively. ExcellerateHRO’s services help support and streamline many critical HR functions and processes, including compensation management, recruitment and staffing, workforce administration, workforce development, business intelligence, service center support, and HR management systems.

Client(s): Confidential

T&D Services: Workforce skills management; organizational development; performance and competency management; training and development—e-learning and organizational development; employee feedback; career, succession, workforce planning.

Most Common Metrics: ExcellerateHRO uses Saratoga metrics as determined by client’s business drivers and need for business intelligence.

8. Convergys Corporation 1,000,000 www.convergys.com
Convergys delivers 52 discreet technology, operations, development, and consulting services ranging from comprehensive outsourcing of the entire learning function, to selective outsourcing of administrative tasks and processes, to out-tasking discrete e-learning initiatives.

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

T&D Services: Alignment, governance content development, sourcing learning delivery administration, operations reporting and analytics.

Most Common Metrics: Increased employee productivity, reduced defects, decreased ramp time for new hires, decreased cost per hour of training delivered, improved employee retention, and increased revenue per employee.

9. Raytheon Professional Services 750,000 www.raytheon.com
Having initially proven itself in the aviation and military domains, Raytheon today manages the learning
operations of several global businesses with widely dispersed employee and retail networks that range in size from a few hundred to tens of thousands of learners. Many Raytheon clients are in highly technical and regulated fields. In 2005, Raytheon’s services extended into 53 countries and 28 languages and spanned multiple industries. Last year the company developed 4,000 hours of courseware and simulations, delivered 6 million hours of training, administered 3 million online assessments, and maintained learning management systems for more than 750,000 learners.

Client(s): Confidential

T&D Services: Learning strategy development—linking learning to business strategy; learning program management—learning vendor rationalization, sourcing, and management; integrated learning solution—design job analysis curriculum and design content development, including e-learning and simulations; learning technology selection and guidance; implementation; day-to-day administration; learning technology hosting; training administration; delivery of instructor-led training and e-learning; help desk and customer support services; evaluation and measurement, including ROI analysis; learning program marketing and communications; learning governance; assessment of the learning function; learning benchmarking.

Most Common Metrics: Return on investment, customer satisfaction, the ability of employees to diagnose and service products correctly the first time, the ability of employees to sell a client’s products, and improved profitability resulting from reductions in the average cost of a participant learning day and travel cost avoidance.


10. Element K 500,000 www.elementk.com

Element K collaborates with clients to deliver tailored learning solutions that achieve business results and understand customer business objectives by leveraging 24 years of experience in training. Employing a range of products, services, and platform integration options, Element K builds and maintains extensible learning programs for various companies.

Client(s): Confidential

T&D Services: Outsourced training solutions (content, technology platform, back-office support functions), OEM “reach” initiatives (content, technology platform, back-office support functions), custom content and platform development, outsourced print and fulfillment capabilities (and channel management), and instructor and gear services management.

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

General Physics Corporation (GP) 500,000 www.gpworldwide.com
General Physics is an international performance-improvement company and a global leader in workforce training and development dedicated to maximizing the effectiveness of productivity-driven organizations. GP is a single-source provider of performance improvement services and products, dedicated to helping clients gain a competitive edge across their entire organization. GP provides strategies and solutions designed to help customers optimize technical and workforce performance. The Elkridge, MD-based company has provided services in more than 60 countries, and is well positioned to serve clients throughout the world.

Client(s): Confidential

T&D Services: Training, instructional support, training administration, business process outsourcing, custom development, management consulting, technical support services, engineering.

Most Common Metrics: Development ratio metrics and administration/call center metrics.

Hewitt Associates 500,000 www.hewitt.com
Hewitt Associates is a global outsourcing and consulting firm delivering a complete range of human capital management services including: HR and benefits outsourcing, HR strategy and technology, healthcare, organizational change, retirement and financial management, and talent and reward strategies. The firm consults with more than 2,400 companies and administers HR services on behalf of more than 350 companies to millions of employees and retirees worldwide.

Client(s): N/A

T&D Services: Learning and development, performance management, succession planning

Most Common Metrics: Accuracy, timeliness, responsiveness, performance delivery, client satisfaction. Hewitt recommends a standard set of service levels including: classroom materials fulfillment accuracy, service request responsiveness, and trainer satisfaction.

11. Hewlett-Packard 400,000 www.hp.com
HP is a technology solutions provider to consumers, businesses, and institutions globally. HP provides a wealth of training available in web-based, self-paced, and instructor-led formats for its partners, who can review sales and technical offerings by accessing the HP Partner Portal and select a training area of interest. Additional web-based technical offerings are available to everyone by accessing the HP Learning Center online.

Client(s): Numerous Fortune 500 companies on a global scale

T&D Services:Training outsourcing—content design/development, delivery (admin.), integration and implementation of learning technologies; IT training; sales training; global shared service center for classroom logistics support for external training.

Most Common Metrics: HR/sales—performance based metrics based on competencies and skills (utilization and consumption); IT—accuracy, availability; and manufacturing—quality, compliance

12. Affiliated Computer Services 300,000 ww.acs.com
ACS offers innovative and effective outsourcing solutions for clients around the world as a provider of business process outsourcing, information technology outsourcing, and systems and integration services to commercial and government clients worldwide. ACS is a Fortune 500 company comprised of more than 55,000 people in multiple locations around the world.

Client(s): Confidential

T&D Services: ACS provides the full spectrum of training services to the market—learning administration, learning technologies, and content creation and development.

Most Common Metrics: Quality, cycle times, cost reduction, responsiveness, fulfillment, accuracy, and customer satisfaction.

13. Intrepid Learning Solutions, Inc. 225,000 www.intrepidlearningsolutions.com
Intrepid Learning Solutions is a provider of training consulting, outsourcing, and research services to global companies. With industry-leading expertise in training management, business process outsourcing, learning research and consulting and a focus on business results, Intrepid delivers optimum value for its clients’ training budgets.

Client(s): The Boeing Company, Autodesk, The American Society of Training & Development (ASTD), and the MSN Division of Microsoft Corp.

T&D Services: Strategy, benchmarking & best practices, training management, job analysis, curricula design, development, delivery, evaluation and measurement, vendor management and fulfillment, technology management.

Most Common Metrics: Service metrics: capture timeliness, cost, and customer satisfaction; participant metrics: include the traditional Kirkpatrick levels I-III—participant reaction, knowledge transfer, and use of the information on the job— and participant predictions of business impact; and business metrics: evaluate the financial benefits of the training intervention compared to the
business process indicators the training was designed to support.

Tags: Engaged Workforce, Learning

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