Peoplefluent Invests in Social Software Provider Provider  

Peoplefluent announced it has made an investment in Socialtext, an enterprise social software provider. The combined technologies of Peoplefluent and Socialtext aim to deliver powerful enterprise collaboration capabilities and a broad new spectrum of employee engagement initiatives to customers.

“Together, Peoplefluent and Socialtext bring an organization’s best minds and solutions to the forefront with digitized social environments and, for the first time, enable clients to share experiences, knowledge and innovations among themselves,” said Charles S. Jones, Peoplefluent’s chairman and CEO.

Through social communities of aligned interests and goals, Peoplefluent will now help corporations share knowledge, experiences and ideas to inform thinking inside their organizations and, as important, across the ecosystems in which individual businesses operate.

Socialtext will continue to serve and expand its customer base under the current company brand. Peoplefluent, which has already deployed Socialtext technology within its own organization, will provide its customers with a standalone social platform and will also deliver every product within its existing suite optimized with embedded and integrated social capabilities.

To expedite integration and knowledge transfer and to expand customer service, support and implementation efforts, key Peoplefluent technology and customer-facing employees will transfer immediately to the Socialtext’s California location.

Survey Reveals Global Employees Not Prepared for Virtual Teamwork

According to a study conducted by RW3 CultureWizard, an intercultural communication training organization, 87 percent of white collar employees of multinational companies conduct at least part of their work virtually. The study went on to find that while the vast majority of these employees encountered challenges in virtual work, only 16 percent had any training to prepare them.

The study had a stunning response rate: 3,300 business people from 103 countries. ”It is clear that the survey struck a nerve,” says Charlene Solomon, president of RW3. “In fact, the huge response itself is one of the key findings. There is a pent-up demand for expressing the difficulty of working virtually across time zones, languages and cultures.”

The 2012 Virtual Teams Survey Report – Challenges of Working in Virtual Teams found that in the virtual workplace decisions take longer and are harder to make, the absence of visual cues makes it more difficult to collaborate and building team trust is difficult. The survey also found that working across time zones rivaled communication and other culturally based challenges as the biggest hurdle facing corporate employees.

“It appears that while nearly everyone in today’s workplace recognizes the need—and appreciates the value—of virtual work, it is not easy, especially when cultural differences, time zone challenges, accents and communication styles enter the equation,” says Solomon.

The survey unearthed some surprises:

  • 41 percent of virtual team members never met their colleagues in a face-to-face setting
  • 87 percent of respondents indicated at least 25 percent of their productivity depended upon working virtually
  • 33 percent said at least half of their virtual teams were outside the home country
  • virtual teams were most different from face-to-face teams in managing conflict (70 percent), expressing opinions (55 percent), and making decisions (55 percent)
  • top five challenges during team meetings were: insufficient time to build relationships (79 percent), speed of decision making (73 percent), lack of participation (71 percent), different leadership styles (69 percent), and the method of decision making (55 percent)

“The rapid pace of globalization and the growing number of collaborative software solutions have enabled virtual work, and the demand for skills from around the world have made it a necessity, but virtual team work is not intuitive,” says Michael Schell, RW3’s CEO. “It’s about time we recognize the human side of the equation.”

Thirty-One Schools Pilot Wiley and Blackboard Digital Learning Integration

Thirty-one institutions are evaluating a new integration for using digital learning content from John Wiley & Sons, Inc. with Blackboard Inc.'s learning management system (LMS). The field trial gives students and faculty access to Wiley's rich collection of learning content and tools directly within their online course environment.

The field trial involves students, faculty and campus administrators across 42 courses at two and four-year higher education institutions in the U.S. and Canada. More than 50 instructors and 2,900 students have been providing ongoing feedback on their experience with the integration that significantly enhances the use of Wiley's content within the Blackboard Learn™ platform.

Instructors have expressed great satisfaction with the integration, which lets them easily add digital content to their courses in Blackboard Learn and synchronize grades and other data from Wiley's research-based, online teaching-and-learning-environment, WileyPLUS.

"I can set up my Blackboard class and integrate WileyPLUS assignment links with Blackboard tools, like discussion boards," said Julie Porterfield, an Anatomy and Physiology instructor at Tulsa Community College. "Students can easily tell in what order they need to complete certain tasks and assignments. I have been using WileyPLUS for four years and so far, this semester is even more successful in terms of student use and tracking data."

Students using the solution have indicated they can now spend their time more effectively by having one place to do their studying and testing. "Blackboard Learn is a hub for coursework, and if you're taking a lot of different classes, it's nice to sign in to Blackboard Learn and be able to access everything you need," said John Andren, a student at George Mason University.

"We're excited to hear the positive reactions among users to this combined and integrated solution we've worked with Wiley to build," said Ray Henderson, chief technology officer and president of Academic Platforms at Blackboard. "With this partnership we are delivering the most elegant form of integration between the LMS and digital learning content in the industry."

For more information about Blackboard Learn, please visit www.blackboard.com/learn. For more information about WileyPLUS, please visit www.wileyplus.com.

IDC Releases 2012 Integrated Talent Management MarketScape Report

This IDC study represents a vendor assessment of the integrated talent management market through the IDC MarketScape model. IDC MarketScape vendor analysis model is designed to provide an overview of the competitive fitness of ICT (information and communications technology) suppliers in a given market. The research methodology utilizes a rigorous scoring methodology based on both qualitative and quantitative criteria that results in a single graphical illustration of each vendor’s position within a given market.

This assessment discusses both quantitative and qualitative characteristics that explain success in this market. This MarketScape covers a variety of vendors participating in the integrated talent management market. The evaluation is based on a comprehensive and rigorous framework that assesses vendors relative to the criteria and one another and highlights the factors expected to be the most influential for success in the market, in both the short term and the long term.

"The vendors serving the market for integrated talent management have advanced their offerings in features and functions through both organic development and acquisition," says Lisa Rowan, program director, HR, Talent, and Learning Strategies for IDC. "Through buyer research, IDC sees that buyers are generally pleased with the depth of their vendor offerings; however, they are seeking better integration among the functions and with core HR."

The framework also provides technology buyers with a 360-degree assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of current and prospective vendors.  Companies covered include Bedford Funding, Cornerstone OnDemand, Inc., Enwisen, Inc., ExecuTRACK Software Inc., Halogen Software Inc., Infor Global Solutions, Inc., Kenexa Corporation, Lawson Software, Inc., Lumesse Limited, Oracle Corporation, Peoplefluent,  Peoplesoft Inc, Saba Software, Inc., Salary.com, Inc., SAP AG, SilkRoad Technology Inc, Strategia, SuccessFactors, Inc., SumTotal Systems, Inc., Taleo Corporation, VirtualEdge Corporation, Workday, Inc., Workscape Incorporated, Workstream Inc., and Worldwide Compensation Inc.

Upside Learning Releases Free eBook On Mobile Learning

Upside Learning has released an eBook on mLearning titled Mobile Learning: A Quick Start Guide. Targeted at training departments, this eBook will help L&D and training professionals understand when to use, how to design, develop, and implement mLearning in a way that works for their organizations.

This release is in line with the company’s developments in the mLearning domain.  Some topics that the readers can look forward to reading about in the eBook are:

  • understanding m-learning
  • key considerations in mobile learning
  • the basics of m-learning strategy
  • determining m-learning strategy
  • the technical approach.

The eBook has been co-authored by Amit Garg , director of custom learning solutions,  and Abhijit Kadle, senior manager of instructional design at Upside Learning. Download the book at www.upsidelearning.com/ebook-mlearning-quick-start-guide.asp.