Blog home

Saba Introduces Featured Contributors Program

April 21, 2011, Alice Harkin -

Customer Spotlight, Janice McCabe, Allina Hospitals and Clinics

When Saba introduced its Live application for internal Social business purposes, we decided to include itself as a beta customer and deployed Saba Live to all of its employees. Seeing the success of the platform internally, Saba then formally introduced Saba Live to its most valued external audiences, our customers and partners. The Saba Online Community now powers conversation and collaboration among 1,900 Saba customers, partners, and employees.

Saba recently decided to acknowledge the individuals who have dedicated their time to answering questions, sharing resources, and giving feedback through our innovation lab, making the Saba Customer Community a rich informational resource. Saba has decided to highlight these special individuals as part of our Featured Contributors program.

Featured Contributors are integral members of the Saba Customer Community. They take time to offer industry and Saba product expertise to others in the community. They leverage their years of experience by sharing best practices, tips of the trade, and even ask questions to fuel discussion within the community. They shape future Saba product releases by providing feedback and advice. All the while, these customers are posting links, presentations, webinars, video, ideas, and questions onto the community. As the market progresses in performance, Learning, collaboration, and interaction, they are at the forefront of every venture in our community.

Meet Janice
Our first Featured Contributor is Janice Watrous McCabe, an e-Learning professional at Allina Hospitals and Clinics in Minneapolis, the largest health care system in the Minnesota area. Allina uses Saba Learning and Saba Collaboration for its 27,000 employees.

Janice was intrigued with Saba’s Customer Community because of her passion for instructional design. She was interested in finding out how to keep Learning engaging to her team at Allina. McCabe also wanted to see how learners engage with the system firsthand.

“Learning experiences in my perception, need to reflect the learners job role as closely as possible and make it real to them. Adults can choose to learn or not to learn. It is a choice; they don’t have to do it,” McCabe said. “I think one of the things that we see a lot in regulatory Learning is that users go in and click the next button and they just want to get done with it. They have to do it but they don’t really care about it. So are they really Learning? Most of us would probably say no. It is an opportunity to make Learning mean something to the learner.”

From interacting on the system herself, she was able to get feedback from other industry professionals, as well as provide input on additions for upgrades on future Saba releases.

“Collaboration is really critical to long term success in the organization. Collaboration is built on trust and mutual respect, and those things aren’t done over night, they build over time. So it is a slow evolution in terms of building meaningful collaboration within the organization,” McCabe added.

 Her Thoughts on Collaboration in the Workplace
Janice sees collaboration shaping her workplace already. She knows that as Technology continues to change, her role in her industry will become more specialized.

“I think a good example is being a Saba administrator. What we need to know continues to grow as the product grows and changes. There really aren’t a lot of people within my organization who can help me. So the only way that I can continue to grow and learn in my profession is to reach out to other users who are not in my organization. So collaboration becomes a critical piece of my personal success as well as my personal growth.”

 Her Passion
In addition to participating in the community forums, Janice is also the leader (or owner as Saba labels them) of two Saba Online Community groups. McCabe heads the Healthcare SIG and co-owns the Twin Cities Consortium group. As McCabe says, the idea for the Twin Cities Consortium group just fell into place after going to local Saba User Group events.

“We would informally call people we had met and we said it would be really nice [to start a group] since we are all [local]. It would give us an opportunity for us all to sit down face to face and really talk about some of our issues.”

McCabe and other members of the community in the Twin Cities initially did a charter where each of the members took turns hosting meetings so they could see every site and examples of each distinct installation of the product. This group has been extremely beneficial to McCabe as she carries out e-Learning objectives at her site. McCabe continues to be active in the Saba Customer Community, posting helpful tips and tricks to her growing audience.

 Becoming a Featured Contributor
McCabe has taken an active role in the community because she is interested in growing in her field. She is taking full advantage of the collective knowledge available in the community.

“I really love looking at the kinds of questions other users are asking because I find that some other questions that are being addressed are things I haven’t thought about or things we aren’t using. It really triggers further exploration on our side to see how we can be taking advantage of these new capabilities in the system. I also really enjoy the fact that other collaboration members are sharing resources, that the product folks on the Saba side are in their sharing new ideas and innovations and allowing us to really have a role in how that product is going to develop and best meet our needs.”

McCabe encourages others to get involved in the community, whether that means posting more often or asking a common question. To contribute to the community discussion, she emphasizes asking for help and feedback just as much as she also promotes the willingness to offer help to others.

“My personal feeling is if you don’t contribute you aren’t going to learn. It’s like anything else, if you are involved in an organization or a community you only learn by being an active participant. If you don’t participate, if you just sit back and watch, you are not thinking about it as much and you aren’t helping others.”

If you are a current Saba customer and want to hear more about this members-only community that runs on our Saba Live application, please click here! For the complete interview - exclusively available on the Saba Online Community, click here.