Steven VanRoekel, Federal Chief Information Officer
Last month, I noticed a lot of buzz in the blogosphere and on Twitter related to policy developments in mobile government (or #mobilegov). These conversations were largely driven by Federal CIO Steven VanRoekel’s National Dialogue on the Federal Mobility Strategy.
According to FedScoop, the goal of this Dialogue was to discuss ideas for implementing mobility in government and to find ways to expedite the adoption of emerging mobile technologies. VanRoekel stated that his motivation to pursue a mobile government strategy was its potential to increase employee productivity, reduce technology costs, and streamline the acquisition process. Though a final version of the federal mobile strategy won’t be published until March 2012, I see the dialogue itself as a great step in promoting the many benefits of mobility in government.
The first step to embracing mobile is realizing that mobility is more than just a trend; it is a necessity. Going mobile presents organizations of all kinds, from corporations to federal agencies, with the opportunity to leverage new technologies for cost savings and improved efficiency, benefits that can’t be overlooked in today’s economic climate. This is especially true in government, where budget cuts and travel freezes deepen the need for mobile access to training and collaboration.
Just a few weeks ago, Jeanne Meister, Gary Woodill, and I co-hosted a webinar and Twitter chat on the role of digital tools in sales. Both events left us with some interesting takeaways about what kinds of strategies, devices, and other technologies transforming the sales landscape. During the webinar, Gary and Jeanne described how rapid increases in the volume and accessibility of information, especially through the Internet and social media, is empowering today’s consumers. Since these consumers have the ability to be well-informed about their options in almost every marketplace, selling has become a collaborative process between the sales person and the consumer.
From my perspective, the key to developing collaboration is the social enterprise, which represents the new and meaningful ways your organization can connect with both customers and employees. Building a social enterprise within your sales team serve as a key platform for interacting with and monitoring the needs of your current and prospective customers, and also allow sales reps to learn and collaborate online.
It isn’t surprising to learn that demand for online courses is rapidly increasing across institutions of higher education. From my perspective, the business case is clear: professional colleges and universities that adopt online programs have the opportunity to greatly boost reach, enrollment and revenue- all without adding a square foot of real estate. But adopting an online program doesn’t come without risk. Universities must assess whether an online program fits within their institution’s overall culture and goals.
The accreditation process can be complex and time-consuming, especially when new courses are launched solely through online programs. Professors must transition from face-to-face instruction to online teaching, which requires a different skill set. How can your professional college or university maximize the potential of online learning while minimizing these inherent risks? Our recent white paper entitled “Smart Steps to Online Learning” provides a comprehensive guide to developing a well-planned online learning strategy. Here are some top tips highlighted in the white paper:
- Get a full commitment—of both time and money—from senior administrators before delving into an online program: An online initiative is an enormous undertaking that can only be accomplished with full support from administrators. Show that online learning is viable by providing financial proof points as well as surveys that demonstrate student interest.
The following is a guest posting by Heather Bennett, Chief Learning Officer at M5 Networks, the market leader in cloud-based phone systems. Like most companies, we at M5 see sales as the heart of our corporate growth and success. So when we learned that Blackboard’s new application on the salesforce.com platform could make our sales processes even more efficient and successful, we were eager to explore it. As our implementation is underway, we’re very excited about the ways that Blackboard Learn for Sales™ is taking our employee and sales team training to the next level. Its seamless integration with Salesforce and use of social and informal learning tools will not only increase knowledge retention within our sales team, but it will also engage our staff to help them meet their personal and professional goals.
Our new partnership with Blackboard fits perfectly with the launch of People Team. This group will develop an online working environment for M5 that is fun, creative, and productive through social learning and employee collaboration. Blackboard provides an ideal tool for People Team, allowing us to shake up the entire corporate culture and bring our focus to cultivating talent within our company.
Though you may have never heard of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), they play a crucial, behind-the-scenes role in the American healthcare system. CMS’s important work includes promoting effective, up-to-date health care coverage and ensuring quality care for beneficiaries. The face of CMS is its team of 6,500 surveyors responsible for examining hospitals, nursing homes, home health agencies and ambulatory centers to make sure that they comply with Medicare and Medicaid regulations.
The task of training the CMS team is a formidable one: surveyors are spread over twelve time zones, travel up to 80% of the time, and must maintain a broad knowledge base within the ever-changing healthcare industry. When CMS needed a way to make this compliance training more manageable, they turned to Blackboard Learn for the following reasons:
- Ease of Access: Even when traveling extensively, surveyors are able to stay connected to their course material and their peers online.