IFS - Implementing a Partner Learning Programme
IFS AB is a multinational software company headquartered in Linköping, Sweden, developing and delivering enterprise software for customers around the world who manufacture and distribute goods, maintain assets, and manage service-focused operations. The industry expertise of their people and solutions, together with their commitment to their customers, has made IFS a recognised leader and the most recommended supplier in their sector. Their team of 3,500 employees supports more than ten thousand customers worldwide from a network of local offices and through a growing ecosystem of partners.
IFS identified a requirement to deliver Partner Learning to support their Partners and, ultimately, end users in the best practices, navigation and potential power of their products. There were two key drivers for this Project. Firstly, IFS needed to provide their expanding Partner community with a more streamlined approach to training. Having previously delivered regular classroom courses at multiple locations, their expanding partner and client base meant this was no longer sustainable. The second driver was the need to provide consistent training and support that led to recognised certification.
Having researched the market to identify a suitable content development and deployment tool, IFS chose Oracle’s User Productivity Kit (UPK) and entered into an OEM agreement with Oracle in 2014. The OEM arrangement provided IFS with a solution for the development of learning content that could be replicated and deployed throughout their Partner channel, and potentially provide an additional revenue stream for the company.
IFS’ own resources were focussed on an imminent product upgrade and they therefore sought out a Partner with experience of UPK and OEM enablement to manage the Project on their behalf.
Larmer Brown had been working with the UPK technology for over 20 years and in 2014 were recommended to IFS by Oracle, as a partner that not only had the required UPK experience but who also specialised in enabling software organisations to deploy UPK throughout their partner channel.
During an initial Project Scoping and Discovery Workshop, Larmer Brown introduced the concept of an online Partner Learning Academy. This would offer IFS a managed and hosted Portal of learning content that they could deploy internally and throughout their partner channel. IFS agreed that this would meet their requirements.
Larmer Brown provided a Managed Hosting environment for the IFS learning portal. Having access to a SaaS environment enabled IFS to deploy the solution in a much shorter timeframe. Larmer Brown’s hosted solution incorporated branding, upgrades, patches and support.
Larmer Brown’s Development Team created the first phase of learning content on behalf of IFS, including courses for IFS Financials, Business Analytics, Projects, Supply Chain, Maintenance, Sales & Service, and Manufacturing. Key IFS personnel were also trained as project management and subject matter experts, to assist in the initial phases of mobilisation and development.
By the end of 2014 the first phase of the Partner Learning programme was completed and the IFS Academy Learning Center was launched. Initially offered to a limited number of Partners, IFS then deployed internally to consultants and architects and then finally to all other Partners.
Larmer Brown managed administration of the Academy portal on behalf of IFS, including enrolment of all new users and setting access rights. It was possible to set restrictions for user access to content as well as specify the period of time they are granted access to the portal.
When the IFS Team were ready to begin developing their own content, Larmer Brown provided comprehensive face-to-face training on the UPK tool. As the IFS Content Authors commenced work, Larmer Brown provided a comprehensive mentoring, support and quality control service to ensure that it met the required standards and the content remained consistent.
The IFS Team can access a range of reports directly from the hosted environment, which provide user statistics in relation to the content accessed, user activity and progress. These were developed by Larmer Brown to meet specific requirements of IFS.
It has been more than four years since IFS and Larmer Brown began working together on the Partner Learning programme. Having been trained and mentored by Larmer Brown, the IFS Team are now successfully developing and deploying learning content using a variety of tools. The IFS Academy Portal is still hosted and managed by Larmer Brown and currently has 860 active users.
About Our Learning Enablement Programme
Larmer Brown has more than 20 years’ experience supporting both large and small software organisations with the implementation and management of their education programmes. Our ISV Partner Learning Enablement Programme offers software organisations the opportunity to develop and deliver a comprehensive Learning Academy which they can resell as a valuable addition to the product sale, without requiring experience, a sizeable investment or risk.
Our Learning Enablement Programme provides a modular choice of services which are designed to deliver a return on investment within months rather than years. Focused on knowledge transfer across all lines of your business, our programme encompasses marketing, sales, technical support, development services, training and consultancy.