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Conversations about Content: An Interview with Jess Tan

October 27, 2011, Deirdre Yee -

As the Community Manager for the Saba Online Community, I get to participate in numerous exciting projects being led by Saba customers, partners, and employees. It’s always fun to help find ways to use Saba Social (our Social solution that powers our community) to drive various collaboration goals. My most recent project is relevant for all three audiences, linking up our customers, partners, and employees around Learning content in a whole new way. I’m proud that this program is hosted within the Saba Online Community.

Recently, I caught up with Jess Tan, VP of the Global Learning Ecosystem, to find out more details on the Content Connect program.

1.    In the length of a twitter update (140 characters) tell us about the Content Connect program.

Jess Tan (JT): The Content Connect program is an ecosystem of Saba content and training partners that aids Learning professionals’ discovery and collaboration.

2.    What led to the creation of this program?

(JT): Customers and prospects frequently ask us who our content partners are and how we work with them. Based on customers’ feedback, we decided that the best way to address their many questions was to build a whole content ecosystem. The goal is simply to connect the customers directly to the content vendors based on any business and industry needs, and to connect customers with their peers to collaborate and share best practices.

3.    Who would benefit from this?

(JT): Content Connect is useful for any customers (especially Training Directors and CLOs), who work with Learning content daily. Some are putting together training curriculum with custom and packaged content, others are looking for help in delivering training that addresses certain competencies, and still others are content developers looking for authoring tools.  Of course the content vendors will also benefit from the connections they make.  Regardless of the size of the vendors, their broad or specialized niche offerings, the program facilitates their connections to Saba customers they otherwise may not be exposed to.

4.    How does the Content Connect program add value for the community?

(JT): This will be a go-to site for all things content related.  Not only can members find out about partners and their offerings, but they will also learn from their peers through vendor reviews and shared best practices.  Customers will be able to sort our master list of content vendors by the industry or focus area that is relevant to them. They can also find vendors who have self-tested interoperability with Saba LMS and standard SCORM and ACC compliance.

5.    What are you particularly excited about?

(JT): The innovative potential of this program has got the whole team looking forward to the future.  As this ecosystem expands and becomes more vibrant, it has the capacity to become a unique asset for Learning professionals.  Think about LinkedIn’s influence on the modern hiring process.  Before LinkedIn, the hiring Company’s only options were a series of online listings not very different from a newspaper’s classified ads.  It was extremely difficult to track down and reach out to people with very specific skill sets and there was no database of recommendations for potential employees.  LinkedIn changed all of that.  Today there are over 120 million professional sharing their exact skills, recommendations, educational and professional experiences. At the same time, hiring managers can easily find a shortlist of the exact candidates that they want.

In the same way, Content Connect offers Saba Customers a new way to find and choose content vendors.  The content industry is so fragmented that a simple Google search will not bring you the best results.  And, sometimes the exact right content fit is not from the best-known content vendors.  With Content Connect, users can find out who specializes in courses on Ethical Leadership (Impact Solutions) or which vendor offers more than 50 courses in Cantonese (Skillsoft).

6.    How will this environment affect Learning professionals in the future?

(JT): Just like the hiring manager takes advantage of LinkedIn’s candidate details, so too will Learning professionals streamline their search based on vendor information and offerings on Content Connect.  You can find someone who promises to address your exact need, review the opinions and ratings from other community members, and click to connect with them directly.

Are you interested in the program? Please take a look at these informational links:


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