Virtual learning: Companies turn to BPO to combat talent retention

Boston-based NelsonHall, an independent business process optimization (BPO) analyst firm, offers a new report containing a comprehensive assessment of learning BPO (LBPO) services. The highlight in the marketplace over the last 12 months has been stronger focus on the development of mobile learning content, and the use of virtual classroom technology.
By Manufacturing Business Technology Staff September 17, 2008

Boston-based NelsonHall , an independent business process optimization (BPO) analyst firm, offers its latest research, Targeting Learning BPO , featuring a comprehensive assessment of learning BPO (LBPO) services and recommendations for providers addressing this market.
Industry analysts expect the marketplace for global LBPO to grow at 13 percent annually to exceed $4 billion by 2012.
LBPO providers are embracing e-learning, with more than 50 percent of courses now delivered through this medium. The highlight in the marketplace over the last 12 months has been stronger focus on the development of mobile learning content, and the use of virtual classroom technology.
According to report author Helen Neale, lead HR outsourcing analyst for NelsonHall, “Providers are looking to address their client requirements for remote and just-in-time learning. Mobile devices such as iPhones are seen as tools for engaging with a mobile workforce and dispersed customer base. Virtual classroom technology provides an extension of this, with organizations able to reach out globally to train without the associated facility, logistics, and cost headaches.”
Though employee learning is still the mainstay of LBPO relationships, NelsonHall says more than a quarter of revenues generated within the sector are from extended enterprise relationships, and revenues generated from client customer and channel partner training.
Says Neale, “Training the organization’s key employees remains vital in our highly competitive environment, but impacted by the credit crunch, organizations are investing some of their training dollars in individuals that r impact the bottom line across their wider value chain. Extending the function of a learning department to encompass training for customers and partners maximizes the impact of the learning spend and makes good economic sense.”
For example, Raytheon Professional Services has been a pioneer of extended enterprise training, managing the training of a U.S.-based automotive manufacturing company’s franchises for 15 years. Other LBPO vendors are now following suit and targeting growth within this segment.