Dell cuts training costs with new online system

Computer firm Dell has slashed its training costs by 50 per cent and
increased the proportion of staff on courses by using a web-based conferencing
system to deliver learning.

The company claims the scheme has maintained the level of training quality,
while improving productivity among its 8,000 UK staff by reducing the amount of
time spent away from work.

Simon Palmer, learning and development director at Dell, said the system has
become so successful it is now used for almost half of all training and is also
replacing some meetings.

"It has saved us a lot of money. We can now provide more training for
staff because the budget stretches further," he said.

Unlike video conferencing, the system is accessible at almost any
workstation, uses technology familiar to most people and has no cost per use
like traditional courses.

The PlaceWare system operates through Microsoft Outlook and staff phone in
via a central telephone number to start the meeting or training course.

Initially, it was piloted for technical training but its use has now been
extended to customer briefings, meetings, company policy communications and
troubleshooting analysis.

"It has been really successful and its use has grown across the
company. It has also helped staff understand how to use the HR systems more
productively," added Palmer.

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