What to Expect in SumTotal Learn and Perform in the Winter2016 Release

Mar 08, 2016


Many people have asked us what to expect in the SumTotal Winter 2016 release. We want to take a few minutes to provide you information on the upcoming changes.

Many of the changes that improve the user experience and make day to day administration easier will be apparent to users, but the most significant changes will be invisible to most. They are the fundamental changes to the data and reporting structure.

Unified Schema

SumTotal has unified the schema, or data structure, of all its modules into a single data model for employee, job, organization, and competency information. This unification is a significant step forward, increasing reliability and consistency in the data structure, improving reporting capabilities, and making future product developments easier to deploy.

Advanced Reporting

Building on the unified structure, SumTotal has improved reporting analytical capabilities. The upgrade to Advanced Reporting on the TIBCO® Jasper 6.1 reporting platform will make reports easier to generate and modify. See our article on SumTotal Advanced Reporting to for details.

Behind the improved reporting is the upgrade in the back-end analytics engine to IBM® Cognos® 10.2.2. It gives us three important enhancements:

  • Templates make creating new reports quick and easy.
  • Style references enable you to copy styles to new reports for a consistent visual style and branding.
  • You can now create reports with multiple tabs. (A note of caution from our experience: CXOs are human, and they will probably ask you why they didn’t get all their reports before they look for tabs. Be sure to communicate the change.)
HubSpot Video

Things to Watch for in Reporting

There are a few things you need to consider to avoid reporting issues.

  • SumTotal is now contacting customers to migrate custom reports to Advanced Reporting.
  • You can now submit a service request to have your reports migrated from production to the staging environment and from staging to production.
  • Our clients who have customized analytics dashboards will need to manage the migration to the new reports. Contact us for information.

Improvements to SumTotal Perform

There are two improvements to Perform:

  • Managers are now able to track employee development from the performance form, making assessments easier and communication more available.
  • You can now sort data when you batch print performance forms. Sorting options are on the Print Options display and easy to select.

Improvements to SumTotal Learn

in 2016, the user interface has a simpler, flatter look and feel. There are also some changes to the user experience.

  • The Learner Dashboard is simpler, with the same design as the Learner Portal. A Learning Tasks banner has replaced the to-do list. Learners can mix and match from any of the available widgets to personalize their dashboards.
  • The Catalog was renamed to Library. Categories and subcategories are now topics and subtopics. The libraries are easier to search.
  • The training schedule is simplified, with a flatter experience provided by a tabbed display instead of menus.
  • Registration is simpler with the one-click registration process, and the Register Later and Express Interest options easier to use.
  • A simpler activity summary page includes a Share button so a learner can send the activity link to other users.
  • For managers, Workgroup View and Individual View are now in the dashboard’s Exception Reports section.

Things to Watch for in Learn

Managers are no longer able to view their managed employees' Training Required, Job Training Required, Skills Analysis, Skills Required, Competency Analysis, or Learning Activity Evaluations pages. This functionality will return in a future release.

New Administrator Tasks in Learn

Some tasks in Learn have been simplified, and where options are no longer needed they have been removed. We have listed here the new tasks and changes so you can prepare for them.

  • On the Home Page, select Enable Start button within the timeline for versional activities when the active version requires registration to display the Start button in the Timeline on versional activities.
  • New widgets can display up to five Promoted Topics and five Promoted Activities on the Learner Dashboard.
  • The streamlined slide-out panel registration in registrations display requires administrators to Allow one click registrations on the Global Settings > General Settings page. You must enable one-click registration at both the administrative level and for each structured activity
  • Administrators have an enhanced Activity Summary page that summarizes activity details in different sections, such as Properties, Supplemental Information, Costs, Schedule, Prerequisites, and Comments. Access Activity Summary by clicking the name of the activity on the Activity Management page.
  • It is now possible to select up to 20 subscription links for activity at once instead of having to add them one at a time.
  • You can display both old and new versions of an activity until the effective date of the new version. This requires the administrator to run an SQL query in the back-end. See the Winter 2016 Administrator Training Guide for information on the query.
  • Administrators can prevent users from deleting messages. Learners can only see the Delete option on the Messages screen if you select the Delete option under the CanManageOwnNotificationEmails permission.

We hope this guide has helped you prepare for your migration to the Winter 2016 SumTotal release. Please don’t hesitate to call us if you have questions.

Pixentia is a full-service technology company dedicated to helping clients solve business problems, improve the capability of their people, and achieve better results.

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