Comments are closed. Trainingis an admin-intensive operation. How are departments exploiting IT to ease theburden? Alison Thomas talks to three organisations about the software solutionsthey have opted forAdministeringtraining and development programmes in a large organisation is a complexoperation. Engaging the right trainer, booking the appropriate room, makingsure it is appropriately equipped, checking the availability of the delegates –these are just a few of the constraints that have to be taken into account simultaneously.Ithas always been a laborious affair, but modern technology has come up withsolutions which offer huge advantages in terms of increased efficiency, greaterflexibility, better use of resources and massive savings of time.FranceTelecomADEPro Intranet“Wehave around 1,000 trainers catering for a workforce of 150,000,” says OlivierLaporte, manager of France Telecom’s Paris training centre.“Co-ordinatingactivities is no easy matter when you have almost 300 rooms, and numerousaudio/visual and computer resources at your disposal and 160 training sessionstake place each week.”Thecompany, one of the largest telecommunications companies in the world, hasrecently introduced ADE Pro Intranet – newly launched in the UK – to its 16training centres throughout France.Thistimetabling software package, developed by French start-up Adesoft, is athree-tier Java architecture client-server application, which allows schedulesto be viewed at any time from any place via the Internet using any web browser.Oncethe user has entered the needs, the system automatically calculates the bestsolution, then sends the information to the relevant individuals via the ADEWebconsultation tool or a personal information management tool such as LotusNotes, Microsoft Outlook or Palm Pilot.Overallcontrol remains in the hands of a central co-ordinator, who is responsible forauthorising training requests and making the bookings. Eachtrainer however has instant access to scheduling information. “They can seewhat is available whenever they want, day or night,” says Laporte.“Theyno longer have to phone in, only to find that the co-ordinator is not free orthat what they wanted has already been booked by someone else.”Asmanager of the project, he too benefits from the system’s state-of-the-arttechnology. He can make reservations in as little as 30 seconds and perform hisfunction from anywhere in the country. Healso appreciates the feedback it provides on the use of resources. “We have alot of sophisticated, expensive equipment,” he says. “Wecan see at a glance which facilities are being under-exploited and which oneshave proved a good investment. “Informationof this kind is invaluable when we are making strategic decisions for futuretraining.”GermainBourgeois, marketing director of Adesoft, believes that one of its key assetsis its ability to share information on a grand scale. “Large companies candeploy it right across the organisation via their intranet, offering access toeveryone who has authorisation” he explains. “Asa scaleable product it is equally suitable for smaller businesses. Our clientsrange from Retraites Unies, the largest pension organisation in France, to thesmall distance-learning company Info Convergence.”AlliedDunbarCompelTraining ManagerAlliedDunbar runs over 1,500 training activities a year, both for its own employeesand for external delegates working in the finance industry. Ithas used Compel Training Manager for Windows since 1995 and project manager DebRichings cannot imagine life without it. “Sincethe introduction of more stringent regulations governing the finance industrywe have had to be more rigorous in our tracking and recording of training andcompetency levels,” she says. “Asa result, we refresh over a quarter of a million records every month. That is atremendous amount of data, yet it only takes a couple of hours to get thesystem up to date.”Shealso appreciates its flexibility and ease of use. When the company inherited1,500 new staff following an acquisition, incorporating their records was asimple procedure as data can be readily transferred from other systems.AsAllied Dunbar has chosen to have the system customised, it is reluctant toupgrade when new versions come out, as this would necessitate going through thewhole process again. Compelhas responded to this dilemma by producing modular applications which can bebuilt into existing systems with relative ease. All Richings has to do is viewa demo of the latest product, select features that are of interest, and Compelwill write modifications to suit her requirements.Compel’smarketing manager Jo Holden says one of the main strengths of the system is itscomprehensiveness.“Itenables you to book venues and trainers, manage resources, generatecorrespondence and course documentation and cope with cancellations and otherunforeseeable circumstances. “Italso has an integral budget and cost-management facility and a powerfulreport-generating feature, which enables you to analyse post-course feedback –a valuable tool when planning future training programmes.“Butperhaps its most important function is its ability to track each employee’straining history. This not only helps you to identify future training needs,but can also be an asset when you need to redeploy staff.” Previous Article Next Article Hot dataOn 1 Jul 2000 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos.