Cisco Systems Pioneers E‐Learning
Cisco Systems is one of the fastest‐growing high‐tech companies in the world, selling devices that connect computers and networks to the Internet and other networks. Cisco’s products are continuously being upgraded or replaced; so extensive training of employees and customers is needed. Cisco has recognized that its employees, business partners, and independent students seeking professional certification all require training on a continuous basis. Traditional classroom training was flawed by its inability to scale rapidly enough. Cisco offered in‐house classes for each course, 6 to 10 times a year, in many locations, but the rapid growth in the number of students, coupled with the fast pace of technological change, made the training both expensive and ineffective. The Solution
Cisco believes that e‐learning is a revolutionary way to empower its workforce and partners with the skills and knowledge needed to turn technological change to an advantage. Therefore, Cisco implemented e‐learning programs that allow students to learn new software, hardware, and procedures. Cisco believes that once people experience e‐learning, they will recognize that it is the fastest, easiest way to get the information they need to be successful. The company created the Delta Force—made up of the CEO, the IT unit, and the Internet Learning Solution Group to implement elearning. The first project was to build two learning portals, one for 40 partner companies that sell Cisco products, and one for 4,000 systems engineers who implement the products after the sale. To encourage its employees to use e‐learning, Cisco:
Makes e‐learning “nonthreatening” by using an anonymous testing and scoring process that focuses on helping people improve rather than penalizing those who fail Gives those who fail the tests precision learning targets (remedial work, modules, exercises, or written materials) to help them...