Fujitsu Siemens Computers was formed in 1999 through a joint venture of Fujitsu Limited and Siemens AG. It is Europe’s leading computer company, offering a range of computer technology and IT infrastructure solutions. But with thousands of employees speaking multiple languages, Fujitsu Siemens Computers needed a learning solution that could unify its workforce and connect training to corporate strategy.
“The overall goal for learning in the company is, of course, to meet our business needs,” said Daniela Krahmer, director of corporate learning for Fujitsu Siemens Computers. “That’s the reason why we need to develop people and keep them in the status of employability and the status of growing to support our business, to fulfill our strategy and to fulfill our company goals.”
To meet the business needs, Fujitsu Siemens Computers must train roughly 7,000 workers in 22 countries all across Europe, according to Anja Zentgraf, project manager for ERM at Fujitsu Siemens Computers. Prior to implementing a learning management solution, training was done when and where it was needed within the company, with no strategic approach. “There were some solutions in place and some tools in place that were meeting the concrete needs of certain departments, but that were not available for others,” said Krahmer. “And we had duplicated content.”
Because the company was formed from two pre-existing companies, different corporate cultures had to merge, and Krahmer said that to harmonize and consolidate learning within the company, Fujitsu Siemens Computers turned to Siebel Systems’ Employee Relationship Management (ERM), a complex suite of offerings that includes a learning management system. Because many employees do not speak German, the platform is a multi-language solution, available in English as well as German.
Getting the workforce—managers and employees alike—to use the system is a new challenge for Fujitsu Siemens Computers. “We have different behaviors, different ways things are done, and the real challenge is to bring people to use the new system—it’s a change process,” Krahmer said. She added that it is important to use a single point of learning to be able to track employees’ progress. “Some parts of the company have no training history recorded; others have each and every course in their history in Excel. This is harmonized right now,” she said.
Zentgraf added, “The focus at the moment is really communicating that there is a platform. Use this platform as a chance; don’t see it as an enemy.” She said that Fujitsi Siemens Computers also had to work through the existing training portfolio to determine what to offer employees and ensure that all training that is offered throughout the company is available using the platform.
By unifying training efforts into a single platform, Fujitsu Siemens Computers is able to reduce duplication of effort and save training dollars. The greatest benefit, Krahmer said, is having a single platform for learning. She added, “The other benefit is that we also do the sourcing from a central site, so we often get much better prices than to do the bookings through other partners.”
Moving forward, Zentgraf said Fujitsu Siemens Computers will upgrade to the latest version of Siebel ERM, which offers new functionalities for managing learner information. She added, “From the learning perspective, we have to extend our training offerings for more Web-based and virtual classroom, and blended learning solutions, for which we also need the platform. In the long run, we are thinking about combining functionalities from HR, like performance management, and to use one data resource. For example, if you think about performance, if you decide that somebody should have a training, you can book it right away while the manager and his employee are sitting together doing a performance review.”
From the content perspective, Krahmer said that Fujitsu Siemens Computers is looking to create more role-based curricula and build curricula to meet strategic needs. “We also want to integrate much more and modularize and bring training into a library that’s not only training material that can be taken as a whole course, but more the direction of learning on demand, such as picking up the topics that you need,” she said.
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