Philips creates virtual learning ‘university’ for 100,000 staff with Cornerstone OnDemand

Electronics and manufacturing giant Philips has replaced numerous learning and talent management applications with Cornerstone’s OnDemand cloud software, helping create a ‘virtual university’ for over 100,000 staff.

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Electronics and manufacturing giant Philips has replaced numerous learning and talent management applications with Cornerstone’s OnDemand cloud software, helping create a ‘virtual university’ for over 100,000 staff.

As part of a major business transformation begun in 2011, the company consolidated nine disparate internal learning academies in order to improve access to training and reduce costs, said Andrew Lax, head of learning technologies and innovation at Philips Group.   

“With many acquisitions within Philips, learning was quite scattered across its business and we were spending multiple millions on development activities for our employees,” said Lax said at press event in London on Tuesday.

“[We launched Cornerstone] last week to over 114,000 employees globally and the feedback from the business is really positive.”

He added that the system has allowed the company to reduce the amount of content that was generated for learning purposes across its global business.

"With nine academies you can imagine the scale of the production of content – it was colossal. I was quite taken back by how much money was spent by the organisation," he said.

The software as a service tools have been integrated into a Workday cloud HR system, offering improved access to data, and allowing the company to focus on creating a user interface that was attractive to employees.

“Staff just want to get the information that is relevant to them, to learn about it, to be mentored and coached, and to access a community of practice. Then they can go back and add value to the business. So we really focused our whole UI environment around that,” he said.

Lax said that, one of the benefits of the cloud system was to be able to configure this system where relavent, rather than create a complex application through heavy customisation.

“One of the lessons learnt for any organisation by going down this route is that the word customise should be banned from thier vocabulary. A lot of organisations fall down the trap of heavily customising their solution and then they can’t update, and we have seen this many, many times. This is one of the real advantages of Saas.”

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