Totara and partners dominated the floor of Learning Technologies 2020 this year. With 13 partners exhibiting, it was easy for visitors to discover how Totara is being used across all industry sectors as a powerful, flexible learning management platform. This year marks the arrival of new products that extend Totara’ capabilities into performance management and employee engagement in industry leading ways.
The LMS was top of mind for most visitors, as reported in the annual Now Comms exit survey (reprieved due to popular demand after a recent hiatus), which suggests many organizations remain focused on finding a robust, sustainable and extensible core platform to support their learning and development needs.
Our partners were out in force to offer support and could easily be found using the floorplan and map Totara provided to help people find their way around the busy exhibition.
The range of added value services across our partner network is extensive, as is their sector expertise and experience implementing Totara to meet both simple and sophisticated learning and development needs.
Market trends: learning system suites and integrated platforms
Many at the show commented on how confused they were about the term “LXP”. This appears to mean different things to different vendors. On the one hand, easy access to bite-sized content, on the other collaborative features that bring learning into the workflow. Interestingly, many customers were not expressly looking for these as separate solutions, more a learning platform that has these (and other) features integrated. Indeed Fosway, the industry analyst, announced a new categorisation approach that distinguishes “Learning system suites” (like Totara) and “Specialists” that focus on specific features that can form part of a wider learning ecosystem. At Totara, our core platform, extensions and partner network have always defied simple pigeonholing, but this new schema feels more representative going forward as we prepare to release Totara Perform and Totara Engage.
Encouragingly, fresh research exclusively shared with us by Dani Johnson, Redthread Research indicates that Totara is leading the pack in coming to market with an integrated platform that brings together learning management, performance management and people engagement features. Dani defines a “responsive organization” as one that:
“identifies change, determines trends, and responds in ways that turn change and disruption into a distinct organizational advantage.”
To do this requires qualities that include:
- Relationships & clarity of communication
- Technology & data
- Culture & community
This demands smarter management, smarter use of technology, and smarter, more motivated people. In a separate session in the LTUK20 conference, Dani shared a very useful framework for revealing the learning technology ecosystem that organizations actually operate. These are both formally provisioned tools, such as the LMS, but also informal tools that people adopt to learn and collaborate together. You learn more from the full report here.
In my seminar presentations, I referenced further research reinforcing how the workplace is responding to the major reskilling challenges all industry sectors face. Large numbers of current job roles are no longer valued, with others competing fiercely over a small existing talent pool who already have the skills and experience in the new in-demand roles.
Crucially, the three motivators that underpin performance in the workplace - Mastery, Autonomy and Purpose - lie at the heart of any efforts to become a highly successful organization. The Totara integrated platform is designed to offer support across all three of these motivators.
You can access the full set of slides here in the Totara Community.
Sharing Totara Customer Success
The conference sessions included Emma Matthews, Head of Learning and Development at Kent and Medway, NHS & Social Care Partnership Trust talking to a packed room about the great results they have achieved with their award-winning Totara site. This was a successful rapid implementation with Chambury Learning Solutions, so positive ROI can be achieved quickly.
Genevieve Tofield also gave an excellent session on Etex's newfound Freedom to Innovate thanks to Totara Learn and Chambury Learning Solutions. Their implementation has allowed them to move away from multiple, disparate systems to a single, cohesive platform which manages all of their training and compliance needs. Genevieve also gave a huge shout out to the Totara Community and Academy as being instrumental to the success of their deployment.
Freedom and flexibility
Learning Technologies 2020 confirmed that organizations are demanding more control over their technology investments. Easier implementation, more flexible integration and feature sets that can be drawn on when business needs evolve. The debate over what we call these systems might continue, but we're confident platforms which promote freedom to innovate, adapt and evolve will become the mainstream choice for most organizations.
Explore the Four Freedoms of Totara
Download our free guide and learn about how Totara gives you the freedom to become a more responsive organization through innovation, choice and flexibility.