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Easy gets even easier.

June 15, 2013, Charles DeNault -

Ease of use is critically important. If your workforce cannot easily do what they need to with your learning or talent management system, either they’ll find a work around or just won’t do it, and that means your TMS or LMS isn’t delivering the value it should. A productive, engaging user experience is always top of mind for Saba’s designers and engineers, so we were delighted to hear that new users needed nothing more than a 5 minute video to get up and running with Saba People Cloud. Thanks to Alfredo Iglesias at Kaspersky Lab who related that to us earlier this year at our Customer Summit. (Saba customers can view Alfredo’s presentation from this  page in the Saba Customer Community.)

As we close out the spring (well, it’s spring here in the Northern Hemisphere), we’ve tidied up Saba People Cloud (SPC), simplifying a number of workflows and tasks. Arguably the easiest to use learning and talent management platform, learners, managers and administrators will appreciate our streamlined capabilities. Of course, the update includes a number of new capabilities as well. The highlights of the June 14 update:

  • Even Easier! Saba People Cloud is even easier to use – the most common functions are more prominent, and the less used are now down a level. The result is a simpler, easier to use home page.
  • Simplified course creation. Creating courses is even easier – simply give the course a name, add content, and publish to your catalog.
  • Prize inside! Assessments are now included in Saba People Cloud. Need to test for comprehension or competency? With our new assessment engine, you can do this with just a few clicks while creating a course! Simply point and click to create questions, group them into tests, and attach them to courses and curricula.
  • Expanded On the Job Training (OJT) capabilities. Saba’s OJT toolkit is the most flexible and comprehensive in the industry as it now includes not only powerful Tasks, but new Checklists as well. Checklists greatly simplify the management and evaluation of OJT tasks, and ratings and comments give the employee vital feedback.
  • Easier Administration. Most of the administrators I know are not big fans of change, but who doesn’t like quicker access to administration capabilities and vastly improved navigation?
  • Easier, Dynamic Analytics for All. Filtering and sorting data have each been simplified. Access is now much easier as managers and learners will have direct access to their reports.
  • Enhanced Mobile Learning. Content viewing, assessments, and security all are improved, as is the user experience with background downloads and synchronization.

There’s much more in this release beyond these highlights, including iCalendar support, fine tuning the performance review experience, and an updated group layout, to name a few. To find out more about this update, please read the New Feature Page in the Saba People Cloud Information Center in addition to the information below. The release goes live on June 14.

Even Easier — Refined User Experience

All SPC users will benefit from our continuing efforts to simplify the user experience. With this release, we’ve revamped the home page, adding a “canvas” that allows you to tailor the experience to your users and your world.  You can make announcements to all users, or target personalized messages to specific audiences. We introduced a new calendar icon for quick access to all of your Meetings (and prior session recordings) directly from the main navigation bar. We also reduced the number of buttons to four: the Message Center, Meetings, Bookmarks, and Help. In the main navigation bar, the powerful Browse option is no longer hidden off to the right, it’s front and center.

Canvas and New SPC UI It's even easier to get work done with the refined user interface.

Simplified course creation

Course creation is a everyday activity for many Saba customers, so we’ve revised that process to a few simple screens. Once learning administrators have their course content – which can be in many different formats including AICC, SCROM, Tincan, ZIP, Powerpoint, PDF as well as web based videos, blogs and articles, they create a new course by giving it a title, uploading or linking to the content, and then publishing to the catalog. Assign the course by indicating an audience type or adding it to a learning plan. If need be, administrators can assign instructors and resources such as classrooms, and to help with this process, SPC automatically detects conflicts.

Create Course Create a course in a few clicks with Saba.

Prize inside! Assessments within Saba People Cloud

One of the areas where learning has changed greatly in the last decade is the incorporation of content from many sources, and, as noted in the previous item, we’ve tuned SPC to allow for quick course creation around web based videos, blogs and other articles. However, by bypassing the learning content development apps, we’re missing an important pedagogical tool – the assessment. With this update, there is no need to leave SPC to create an assessment, as instructors and instructional designers can quickly build assessments on-the-fly while creating courses.  Whether you need Multiple Choice, True/False, Yes/No, or All that Apply, Assessments can be given prior, during or after the class. Prior to the class tests can be either a pre-test or to let learners test out of the course. Questions and tests are stored in the Content Library, so they can be shared and edited for easy re-use.

Assessment Creation Made Easy Create and add tests to courses within SPC

Expanded On the Job Training Capabilities

At the end of last year, we introduced tasks to help evaluate On the Job Training (OJT) and other experiential learning situations. Based on the feedback from many of our customers who rely on OJT to improve workforce skills and productivity, we’ve added the ability to group the tasks into checklists. Like the tasks, the checklists can be added to courses and certification programs. Evaluators can be managers, mentors or other designated employees, and while observing the employee, they have the option to not only sign off on completion of each task, they also can rate the learner’s proficiency and add comments.

OJT Checklist Evaluate and give learners feedback with new OJT checklists.

Easier Admin!

As an occasional administrator, I am delighted by the new embedded Admin experience. Even better is that once in the admin area, the user experience team has identified the most common tasks and made those readily available. There is also a new administration navigation bar to help move from one area to another.

New Streamlined Administrator UI Administrators are more productive with an improved user interface.

Easier, Dynamic Analytics for All

To make it easier to analyze your learning, performance, and other SPC resident data, we’ve simplified filtering and sorting. Now, when there are a discrete number of values for a certain dimension, all will be displayed. To filter on a variable, you can simply click to include or exclude a particular value. As for sorting, in the report itself, the column headers can now be dragged and dropped to indicate the sorting priority. With this update, we’ve also made access to analytics easier; SPC now allows managers and employees have direct access to the reports they need. There are a new manager dashboard and several new manager reports, covering certifications, content, and usage.

New Manager reports in Saba People Cloud Managers can now easily access and analyze their team's data.

Enhanced Mobile Learning

There are a number of updates to the Saba mobile apps for both iOS and Android phone and tablets, and they are now available in Google Play and the Apply App store.

  • Content. Mobile learners will be delighted with this update as they can now work through content from SCORM packages and view content such as Word docs, PowerPoint presentations, PDFs and videos.
  • Assessments. If a course has a pre-test, that can be completed on a phone or tablet, and must be done so before getting access to the course content. Learners can also take post-tests on their mobile device.
  • Performance. Downloads and synchronization processes will happen in the background, and that lets learners work on other things while that is happening.
  • Activity Stream. To speed viewing and optimize screen space, like items are now combined in the activity stream.
  • Security. The apps now support SAML for authentication.

As always, there is much more

These are just a few of the highlights in Saba People Cloud’s June 14, 2013 update. For more information about these and additional enhancements, please see the New Feature Page in the Saba People Cloud Information Center.


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