Will New Social Collaboration Tools Support Embedded Learning?

Nov 04, 2016

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The rise of social media brought us the social media customer experience. Marketers seek to engage customers before, during, and after the sale to make them repeat customers and brand advocates.

It’s working. “Engaged” customers are loyal to brands, and a repeat customer spends 67% more than a new one. Now it seems every CRM platform has a social tool.

LMS vendors followed with proprietary social learning tools to give L&D leaders a platform to encourage knowledge sharing. If there are any raving fans, it appears they are invisible.

Talent management vendors have their own proprietary social platforms: SAP/SuccessFactors launched Jam, Oracle has its Social Network Cloud, and Workday integrated Salesforce Chatter. Now almost every HCM vendor has a social platform.

Many businesses are transforming into flatter, team-based organizational structures and launching social collaboration tools like Socialcast, Jabber and Slack. Just recently, Facebook announced a social platform for business collaboration, and we just learned that Microsoft is entering the arena with  Teams, now available in preview in 181 countries and 18 languages.

The question in our minds is whether we will have open collaboration across the enterprise or a new set of silo walls. L&D wants to embed learning in work to create seamless performance improvement. To do that, we need social tools that span all the software platforms people use to learn, work, and manage talent, as well as every other business function.

Educators have begun to use Slack in place of their LMS. Zach Whalen of the University of Mary Washington is moving his classes from Canva to Slack, explaining that he never liked the idea of learning management. He says  you can manage content and you can put it front of people, but you won’t manage their learning. But Whalen admits there are many LMS functions Slack can’t do.

Where is all this going? We don’t have a crystal ball, but we do believe that companies and their users will demand collaboration platforms that work with all the tools they use every day. It should be easy to share curated learning content with your work team without having to leave your collaboration tool to do it. The knowledge you need to accomplish a task should be available inside the tool you use to complete that task.

It remains to be seen who will rise to the challenge.

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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