Extended Enterprise Learning: L&D Drives Value Beyond the Workforce

The success of an organization does not always rely solely on the people who work there. Businesses have a network of customers, partners and other stakeholders who can have a tremendous impact on outcomes. However, for many of these companies, leveraging learning to enhance these relationships is a missed opportunity.

One of the main reasons this opportunity is missed is because the extended enterprise is such a disparate and varied web of audiences, each with its own needs, outcomes and relationships to the business. Take all the challenges L&D teams face with internal learners and multiply them by ten.

It is critical to get a handle on delivering effective learning experiences to these groups. For customers, it provides an opportunity to ensure they know everything they need to know to achieve success with a company’s products and services. Impactful customer training leads to higher customer satisfaction and less reliance on support desks or call centers. It’s also an opportunity to enhance the customer relationship, leading to more renewals and upselling.

On the other side of the sales coin, many organizations rely on a network of partners and resellers to market their products. When these sales professionals are better informed about a specific product, that’s the one they are more likely to sell. This is an instance where learning can, and does, have a direct impact on revenue.

In a franchise environment, it’s important to create a strong education program that delivers standardized training across all locations, regardless of ownership. Customers do not care if a store or restaurant is owned directly by the company or by a franchisee; they just want a good experience. If training is left up to the individual owners, there can be disparity which ultimately hurts the brand.

For many organizations, the learning ecosystem extends far beyond the four walls of the company. Companies continue to find it necessary and beneficial to deliver training to external audiences such as customers, channel partners, distributors, resellers and franchisees.

The challenge with training the extended enterprise is the ability to scale a strong, personalized learning experience across a wide range of audiences. When different parts of the business own different relationships within the extended enterprise, there is often a lot of duplication of effort and redundancy in the systems used for training.

Brandon Hall Group Preferred Provider LearnUpon began by solving this challenge for training companies operating solely within an extended enterprise environment. For those companies, the learner is the customer. LearnUpon has since evolved its solution to solve enterprise-level learning challenges, both internally and externally. Their clients can use one centralized solution to deliver unique, personalized learning experiences to internal learners and learners across the extended enterprise. This makes managing training programs more efficient from both an administrative and IT perspective, while still meeting the unique learning needs each external audience requires.

To take a deeper dive into just how it all works, take a look at LearnUpon’s LMS use-case for the extended enterprise here.

David Wentworth, Principal Analyst, Brandon Hall Group

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