This year the Litmos track at CallidusCloud Connections was bigger than ever. The product team announced new features including support for immersive 360 video, telepresence robots, and Boost which supports spaced repetition in learning. Customers also shared successes and challenges with each other, and learned more from industry experts. The overall vibe can be summed up as hyper-engagement. Everyone came inspired to interact and learn, and that always makes for a fantastic event experience.
The opening general session started with an overview of CallidusCloud announcements including exciting news from Litmos. Litmos SVP, Rory Cameron appeared onstage via Litmos Bot. Using telepresence robotics technology from Double Robotics, Litmos Bot allows students to remain at remote locations and still receive personalized instruction and instructor interaction through a student-controlled stand-in telepresence robot. After my recent experiences with robots at CES and SXSW, it's obvious how critical Bots will be in the future of learning. I think Rory explains it best:
"The experience of working with a virtual instructor through a computer monitor is limited -- it just can't provide the same immersive feel that students get through Litmos Bot and VR...It's a natural extension of the Litmos platform's approach to mobile learning, and it offers significant cost savings in travel, accommodations and scheduling."
Rory also announced Litmos Virtual Reality. This is the feature I'm most excited about. I've been a fan of VR as a powerful learning tool for a very long time. But only recently has it become commercially viable for corporate training departments. I believe 2016 will be known as the year VR became real and Litmos is the first in the industry to support it as part the Litmos LMS platform. And even more exciting is that many Litmos customers were discussing how they will incorporate VR into their training strategies.
Training Industry Analysis
This year our industry analyst presentation was given by David Wentworth, Principal Analyst with Brandon Hall Group. He gave a fantastic overview of the eLearning industry based on their research. According to their recent surveys 66% of respondents still deliver some of their training via the instructor-led classroom. And as most people see it, the classroom is here to stay. And that's okay. They also confirmed that High Performing Organizations are moving to a new model of corporate learning and development with employee performance at the center. Focusing less on measuring the learning and more measuring performance gains related to learning solutions. The Brandon Hall Group is a wealth of information, and we are grateful to David for his participation.
Facilitated Panel Discussions
I had the pleasure of facilitating a panel discussion with 4 of our fantastic clients. Talking to customers who are out in the real world, doing the work of training, is one of my favorite parts of events like C3. Our session was titled Build, Launch, and Repeat: A Recipe for Success. Each of these high performing customers have implemented a process that reflects the rapid iterative development of successful 21st century training organizations. The attendees gained a lot of insight during our short 50min session. One of the discussion points had a particular impact on me. They each discussed, in one way or another, how frequently other organizations within the business approach them with new training ideas and offers of assistance. I can assure you that during my years in corporate training this was never the case. But each of them mentioned after implementing the Litmos platform they became a much more valued partner in the business. All of their stories were enlightening and thought provoking to everyone in the packed conference room.
Introducing Litmos Commerce
And speaking of the business of training. We also announced the Litmos Commerce solution. BizOps may not be as sexy as VR and robots, but it's one of the most underserved markets within our industry. If you've never managed a training department before you may not see the value in this application. But for those of us who have, or are still in it, this is a big deal. Managing SCORM files, user profiles, and reporting is one thing, but managing your training department like a business is completely foreign skill set for many training professionals. Litmos Commerce is an extremely robust SaaS application that can turn your department from an expense to a revenue generating machine. And it does all the hard work. No MBA required. But you'll feel like you've earned it. Stay connected with us here as we'll be sharing more in the coming months.
There was so much going on at C3 this year that it was impossible to catch it all. But one Litmos employee did it better than most. Our events guru Allie Levy had everything under control. She was able to feel the overall vibe of the event and commented on it this way:
"Engagement stood out to me the most. Each session, most attendees had notebooks or their laptops out actively jotting down notes. When each session would end, at least 20 hands would fly up, not only to ask questions and learn more about capabilities, but to share their own successes, what has worked for them, and what they are looking forward to in the future."
As someone with a little event experience, it's amazing to see that type of enthusiastic participation. Not all events can draw that out of their attendees like that. It also says a lot about the base of Litmos customers. They work hard, and truly love what they do. It shows in how passionate they are about learning and supporting each other.
I'm already looking forward to next year!