Professional dilemmas

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Q What are the advantages of linking my Learning Management System (LMS)
into an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system? And what difficulties might
I face?

A Linking enterprise applications such as an ERP system into an LMS,
has many advantages for the organisation and its learners, the most important
being an enterprise-wide view of the organisation’s people and their skill

This kind of approach to skills management is generally referred to as
Enterprise Talent Management (ETM), and can include linking learning (via an
LMS) to other core enterprise systems, such as an ERP system, Customer
Relationship Management (CRM) system and a Supply Chain Management (SCM)
system. Each system is now becoming an essential component of a single,
integrated enterprise – the talent management system.

There are currently many good individual products in the areas of skills
assessment, content management and education delivery. However, there are few
tools that support a cohesive view of these overlapping areas.

Both HR and enterprise education managers need to see how an ETM solution
can integrate the many HR functions.

There are at least five challenges most organisations must address to adopt
effective ETM programmes. Getting to grips with these challenges and the ways
to overcome them can help HR practitioners understand how to move from a fragmented
approach to an integrated ETM system.

– Make sure the ETM solution is appropriate for your business

– Balance the relationship between the cost incurred and value generated

– Solutions fail if they are implemented inaccurately

– Avoid building islands of learning content and skills data

– The educational content must be relevant to the audience – a module
designed for use in London, for example, may be totally inappropriate for staff
in Singapore.

Response provided by Chris James, senior director of education consulting
services, Sun Microsystems


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