Communications supplier Virgin Media has revolutionised the way it trains staff through cloud-based learning supplier Cornerstone.
Virgin Media was the result of the coming together of cable suppliers NTL and Telewest, which were themselves the result of mergers between hundreds of small firms. As a result Virgin Media had two separate e-learning systems for training and educating its 23,000 staff, including 13,000 in the UK.
The Cornerstone service, known internally as Ignite at Virgin Media, blends formal e-learning with informal learning by linking staff through social networking and communities. Courses are for the whole business ranging from installation training to Prince2 project management.
Another attraction of the Cornerstone service was that the firm could run its staff personal development scheme on the same system. Virgin Media’s head of learning technologies Mike Leavy said personal development programmes (PDPs) were previously managed using Excel spreadsheets: “It is more than learning management as it integrates performance management."
When the company was selecting a supplier of training it wanted a cloud-based system. This, according to Leavy, was so more human resources could be dedicated to improving services to employees rather than supporting systems.
“The software-as-a-service solution allowed us to build a team that was just focused on improving the service for the people being trained,” he said.
Leavy said it is impossible to put a figure on the financial savings: “The service has had incalculable benefits.”
But he said the company calculated that it has 15,000 extra working hours a year as a result of the new service, which means training packages can be created and distributed quickly.
He gave an example of how it benefits the company: “For example, if we roll out a new broadband product we would need to send a team of trainers around the country to educate staff how to sell, support and install the service. But we can now create content on the system including videos to train the staff.
“In the past the roll out of a new service might have taken six months because of the need to send the trainers around the country.”
Workers can access the service through the corporate network after a single sign on.