Bayer UK Ltd
Bayer´s increasing investment in enterprise technologies is considered crucial to its continuing success. The Human Resources Development team liaised with the company´s business managers and identified a requirement to expand the training and support offered to users.
It was agreed that users should be equipped to gain the maximum benefit from technologies being introduced across the group. A criteria was drawn up encompassing the products and support that would be required from any successful partner. This criteria included addressing the need to increase knowledge retention and offering assistance with the cultural move to a blended learning solution. The chosen partner also had to possess the ability to provide consistent training to office and field users as well as monitor existing skills and build on them.
Having provided services to Bayer plc since 1984, Larmer Brown was well positioned to take an informed and innovative approach to Bayer´s blended learning requirements. An initial two month pilot project incorporating the products and services, with the support of Bayer´s IT division, ensured the proposed products and services were both achievable and beneficial.
The project encompassed:
- Induction workshops – small hands-on live sessions introducing Bayer´s dedicated mentor, the products and the benefits
- Knowledge Pathways – role-based learning paths with pre and post course testing, personal courses and management reports
- OnDemand (now known as Oracle UPK) for Office and Lotus Notes – providing desktop in-application support, this product offered 24/7 support to users who had undertaken training either via Knowledge Pathways or in the classroom
- Mentoring, support and one-to-one coaching – consistent, non-confrontational contact from the mentor dealt with system and user problems as they evolved
A total of 42 participants enrolled on the pilot program, with the objective of completing a defined learning path. The learning path reflected Bayer´s own benchmark for IT Skills. Norma Ward, Purchasing Administrator for Bayer Diagnostics, and Yvonne Argent, Medical Writing Co-ordinator in Chemical Research, took part in the blended learning pilot project. Both received awards acknowledging their commendable results. Afterwards Norma said, "After some initial teething problems, I got on very well. The format was useful for me because I could go back to the course any time I liked, and just do half an hour here or there." Yvonne added, "It was also very useful as a research tool. At any time you could tap in a question and it would take you through the procedures to give you the answer you want."
Karen Murphy concluded, “In addition to addressing technological and cultural concerns, as users completed the pre and post course assessments, the pilot project provided proof that it is possible to measure the success of e-learning in terms of product uptake and productivity, such that one of our business divisions invested in the project before its completion.”
Global Knowledge Software was acquired by Oracle in November 2008 and the software previously known as OnDemand Personal Navigator is now User Productivity Kit (UPK).