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August 5, 2015

Effectively deploying massive open online courses

While we are in the process of implementing SuccessFactors LMS for a prestigious client, there have been several requests to connect to third-party learning systems which they have subscribed to. I believe that clients would certainly love to access to freeware and subscription-based content hosted by trusted third-party vendors. Furthermore with the standardization of learning courses for various industries, there is a reduced need to have high-priced custom developed training programs. Clients are opening up to the idea of utilizing available courses which suit their needs. While SuccessFactors does not provide delivered integrations to all third-party learning systems, it does offer MOOC capabilities.

What is a MOOC?

A Massive Open Online Course is exactly what it sounds like. This is a model for delivering learning content online to any person who wants to take a course, with no limit on attendance and open access via the web. Customers can easily access latest content at a reduced cost through Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs).

SuccessFactors Integration with MOOC:

The delivered SuccessFactors functionality allows a seamless integration with the MOOC websites through the Open Content Network (OCN), a functionality which is inbuilt with SuccessFactors. The Open Content Network partners with, Coursera, Udacity, Open Sesame, and OpenHPI. The partner's catalogs comprising of varied courses can be made available within SuccessFactors, either via the catalogs, programs, and curriculum or can be assigned directly to the users by the admins or by supervisors.

MOOC Integration during a SuccessFactors Implementation:

To enable MOOC functionality, configure the selected partner in SuccessFactors LMS. As an example, here I have configured partner as "HPI Provider"

Navigation: System Admin > Configuration > System Configuration> Open Content Network


After enabling the selected partner, execute the APM (Automatic Process) "Open Content Network Content Synchronization". This pulls all the course references within Learning as external courses. The screenshots below elaborate the required steps.

Navigate as below in SuccessFactors Learning to execute the APM.

System admin > APM > Open Content Network Content Synchronization

Under Learning navigate to Search for the available courses: Learning>Content Network

You can assign the external courses to users as follows

  1. Directly assign the courses to the users
  2. Place the Courses in a catalog within Learning, so that users can self-assign them
  3. Place the Courses in a curriculum and assign to the respective users

When users launch an OCN course from their learning plan, they will be routed to the respective provider's site to take up the course, which is outside of SuccessFactors Learning.

Now that I have completed configuration of MOOC in SuccessFactors LMS, my Colleague Aylwin Jerome will be explaining in his blog, how we can assign these courses to users & they can complete it in SuccessFactors LMS.

Conclusion: Personally I have always believed in learning based on open content. Thus I believe MOOCs will bring a new perspective to traditional learning.

August 3, 2015

Improving Training Efficiency with Mobile Learning - Enable the Learning App

As a technical consultant I have been through numerous trainings both in classrooms and online. But the recent wave of online learning programs has swept the market. Even better learning programs can be accessed over smartphones thus eliminating the need for employees to be restricted to rooms or cubicles.  With newer innovations, learning management has become more reliable and the demand for mobile ready learning options has increased in the recent years. I can now access and undergo required learning programs from the comfort of my home and also while I am on the move. It's refreshing to know that I can connect from wherever I am, thanks to the constant evolution of mobile technology and the internet being made available to everyone.

Adopting newer learning practices is a better way to increase business efficiency. With mobile learning, the resources are shared in centralized place thus making the latest versions available to everyone. SuccessFactors has also enhanced their learning solution to meet the mobile learning needs of clients. Simpler methods to access the learning has translated to higher usage.

Mobile Learning:

C-level executives who are frequently on the move, complain of their inability to undergo trainings at their desk. Likewise sales and marketing folks would also love to be able to undergo newer learning programs over their mobile devices.  Mobile learning solutions can provide not only right training to right people, but also without time and place restrictions. SuccessFactors mobile app integrates with the base LMS application giving the user a snapshot of the learning plan.

Another example of how it helps managers is in case of approvals. Certain training programs which need approvals can be approved by managers/leaders even when they are on vacation or at a place where they cannot access the laptop. Using the mobile app, they can access learning from mobile provide approvals as required. Not only is it helpful for managers, even regular users can access their training from mobile devices and can complete the entire training. Mobile learning can be accessed via Android devices, iPhone, and iPad.

Enabling the SuccessFactors App on mobile devices

On the Mobile Device

  • To download the mobile app, go to Play store/App Store and search for SuccessFactors. Download and install this app.
  • Open the app and you will see a welcome screen with Activation Button. Click on Activation button and you will get a screen with continue button. Do not Click on the continue button. Here are some tips to activate the app. 
  • By default the app is mapped with real time servers/Production server. If you are going to use this app for your demo system, you have to make some changes in server point before you click on continue button.
  • To make changes, you have to tap at the following places on the screen of your mobile device in the exact same sequence- top left, top right and top center. Once you do this, you will get a new screen to change the server point to sales demo server. Select the appropriate server and go back to continue screens & click on Continue button.
  • Once you have clicked on Continue button, you will get option to select the type of account SuccessFactors or JAM. Select SuccessFactors & you will get activation code on the app screen.


On the Laptop

  • Login to BizX using laptop and navigate to Options menu from Home Page.
  • Select mobile option and add Activation code and device name & Save it.


On the Mobile Device

Now login to mobile app and click next and you will be on the Home page of SuccessFactors Mobile app.


Below are the screen shots for each steps we followed above.



Social Learning

In today's world, what quality and social accessibility is of utmost importance. Team work & collaboration are driving both the learning process as well as application of knowledge gained. Today's workforce largely relies reaching out to people for support and help. Therefore social interaction is key to success.

With SuccessFactors JAM platform and its seamless integration with LMS, you can assign tasks, training documents, materials to focus groups. This can be effectively utilized as a social collaboration portal where your employees can have regular discussions regarding trainings.


Many organizations utilize JAM to deliver compliance based training. Furthermore for new hires, specific process documentation can be uploaded on JAM for quicker onboarding and updates. This reduces time & effort to explain employee policies using a document.


Virtual Learning:

Most organizations still don't think of utilizing virtual conference software likes WebEx and Adobe Connect for training. When it is impossible to get 5 regional VPs together for training and we don't want to just send them a PDF to read, virtual mediums are just the right solution for training. Many other LMS vendors do not provide integration with virtual conferencing, however SuccessFactors LMS has introduced the virtual add-ons to integrate virtual learning conference services.

Instructors and admins can have their WebEx sessions created when they create Schedule offerings. On registering for a scheduled offering, users can access the "Join Session" link from the learning plan to launch virtual session. The advantage of virtual learning is the ability to allow recording of attendance automatically.


In our busy world of today, the convenience aspect of mobile learning encourages people to learn better and quickly whether we are on the move or stationed at our desks. The ease with which learning can be accessed over mobile devices makes it a NO-BRAINER.

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