Sramana Mitra: How are you capturing this social learning, and more important, how are your customers doing it using your system?
Bobby Yazdani: There are multiple abstractions built in to the product. People can organize into groups around initiatives, ideas, products, geographies, business processes, and many other elements. We would allow for these groups to range from small to very large, where people can get organized in terms of policies and rules of collaborating in a social aspect. There are many tools available to such groups. They can meet online and record all sessions online, they can search members’ activities, they can collaborate on knowledge ideas, and they can raise and rate ideas online. There is a long list of functional capabilities we added to the notion of groups. In terms of membership in these groups and the way people interact, there is a governance model than could be implemented.
SM: I am going to try to frame what you are describing in a use case format, to make it more visceral for our readers. Let’s say you have a learning module on sales training for a certain product. There is a group of salespeople who are supposed to be learning from this module. What you are enabling is the ability for these groups to form as well as interact. Does that mean they can have some sort of live conference about that module, discuss it, ask questions and get answers to them, and then you record the session and make it available as an extension to the core module?
BY: That is correct. This is one of the scenarios you can enable with the technology. We use the technology inside our own company. For instance, our European business has 200 people. Our European team has its own sets of groups that interact. There are people in Europe whom we call our enablement team. They use this group capability to interact with all the members of the European team. They make training programs available to the group. They create forums so that people can interact in different areas of the business. It could be products, competition, pricing, governance, and so on. There is a lot of informal know-how that is captured in these interactions and all of a sudden become available to all the people in Europe.
SM: How aggressive is the behavioral adoption of these kinds of capabilities – social learning and sharing capabilities – in the enterprise?
BY: I think there are diverse opinions or levels of adoption of these technologies. In many customers I have seen early adoption of this technology in different pockets of the business. In these cases, there was very early enterprise-wide adoption because of a particular change – culturally, policy-wise, and system-wide. It is not mature yet.