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Over the past several years, organizations optimized their entire value and supply chains with the customer (who constantly expects better service) as the focus. Many companies have also strengthened their relationships within their stakeholder network — suppliers, contractors, partners or dealers — and ultimately, with their customers. This has also been reflected in feedback SAP received from their customers in the past.

SAP supports this need in the area of learning management for the extended enterprise with an extension of its SAP Enterprise Learning/ Learning Solution environment. Managing learning in the extended enterprise is not only a growing trend in the learning business — it also creates tangible value in different scenarios, including: selling know-how to increase revenue and profitability, maintaining a consistent qualification of supply chain members to minimize risks, ensuring legal compliance with training requirements, or enabling the best possible service or product maintenance. Also, organizations can accelerate the rollout of new or changed products and services to their channel partners and/or end-customers, e.g., using e-learning in after-sales situations to improve customer retention.

SAP customers can benefit two-fold from SAPs e-commerce experience. First, they can leverage the incorporated/ built-in SAP e-commerce Solution (SAP Webchannel Experience Management) and use the state-of-the art frontend technology and robust e-commerce functionality. On the other hand, customers can benefit from best practice processes in the field of learning-commerce — as SAP Education, the world largest commercial IT Training provider, has incorporated its best practices into the solution, like management of access code, vouchers, bundles, discounts or subscription libraries.
SAP Enterprise Learning/ Learning Solution customers can leverage the same Learning Management infrastructure for the external learning solution as for the internal solution — ultimately reducing the TCO of the solution and building on top of their existing investments. Another benefit is that SAP customers can leverage the value of seamless integration into the SAP ERP Sales and Financial processes to reduce support efforts and to ensure consistent data quality and in-depth process integration. The solution and underlying processes can be adapted to customers’ individual needs. In addition, the “option for the extended learning community” is interesting for customers who favor an on-premise strategy for their external learning business.

With the “option for the extended Learning Community 1.0” release, SAP is currently working closely with selected customers, across various industries and regions, to implement the solution in a managed way as part of SAPs Ramp-up program. The solution is slated to become generally available in September 2012. Overall, the option for the extended learning community is one important part of the SAP Enterprise Learning Solution roadmap. Other significant areas of planned innovations are the usability of the learner portal, improved analytics and a planned native mobile learning app for the iPad.

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