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Personalizing Workplace Learning with SAP and EMOTIV

written by: Vanessa Micelli-Schmidt and Dr. Philip Miseldine, Directors UX Innovation, SAP Design

The new collaboration between SAP Design and SAP Knowledge and Education and EMOTIV, the leading personalized neuroinformatics company.  

Let’s be honest, if your company sends out an invite to all its employees to participate in the exact same mandatory safety training, chances are, despite acknowledging how important safety is, you’re going to be quite reluctant to take this training. 

Whether we like it or not, learning plays an important part in our lives at any stage of our professional career. Some trainings – like mandatory safety ones – are there to protect us, our colleagues, and our organization. Others support our daily work: whether we use them to get familiar with new tools, company culture, evolving working environments, and new processes differing from some that we previously executed automatically. Yet the biggest problem with learning is that trainings are usually “onesizefitsall”, while our differences as individuals such as our prior knowledge, cognitive abilities, our attention span, and even our personal preferences – vary widely. And then there is the often-static nature of trainings themselves; these trainings are delivered as they are – unchanging and unresponsive to our immediate needs.  

Sparking a revolution in workplace learning 

What if we could reinvent the learning experience to make it more personal, fun, and above all, individually adapted to the learner’s current mindset and preferred learning style? What if we could ensure that employees not only took the training, but also enjoyed the experience, while better understanding and memorizing its content and the value it conveys 

Dynamic and personalized learning. This is the vision behind the new collaboration between SAP and EMOTIV. We’re exploring how to provide a real-time adaptive learning experience that is engaging, insightful, and, at the same time, personalized and optimized to the learner’s needs, preferences, and personality,” explains Eva Zauke, Chief Knowledge Officer at SAP SE and SVP of SAP Knowledge and Education. “We have been looking for solutions that allow to understand your feelings and cognitive states while you are learning.” The vision now brings together three key components: SAP’s best-in-breed learning platform, the latest version of SAP’s award-winning user experience: SAP Fiori 3, and cutting-edge brain sensing hardware and machine learning algorithms from EMOTIV.  

EMOTIV recently released MN8, wireless brain monitoring earbuds that are discreet and frictionless. They provide easy-to-understand and actionable real-time feedback on an individual’s level of stress and attention. Using machine learning algorithms, the data collected from the MN8 EEG buds is then used “to create a new breed of brain-powered software solutions that are not only responsive to context but truly adaptive in real time to how the users feel,” explains Prof. Olivier Oullier, President of EMOTIV. Imagine software that can precisely detect the moment a user loses focus or interest; that knows when and where the user is stuck in a workflow; and that can suggest what type of learning support and help the user would benefit from the most in a specific moment.  

For SAP, realizing this vision also means combining the power of personalized learning with a user experience that is integrated, consistent, and intelligent across all SAP products. “This is truly a unique vision to enhance the work experience,” claims Alexander Lingg, Head of SAP User Experience. “By monitoring factors such as stress levels and attention span in real-time, we can imagine a future where each worker benefits from both a personalized user interface and a tailored learning experience. We are talking not only about personalized learning in the deepest sense, but also a seamlessly integrated work environment. This is the future of learning. 


The vision: Integrated, consistent, intelligent software. Software that precisely detects the moment that you lose focus or attention; that knows when and where you are stuck in your workflow; and that can suggest what type of learning support you’d benefit from the most in a specific moment.  

Get involved! 

Welcome to the era of personalized learning in the workplace! Together with EMOTIV, we are looking for more SAP customers that would like to join this exciting innovation project. For more information and to get involved, please contact us. 

If you are planning to attend SAP TechEd this year and would like to learn more about our vision, we also welcome you to attend our SAP TechEd sessions in Las Vegas and Barcelona. 

Authors: Vanessa Micelli-Schmidt and Dr. Philip Miseldine, Directors UX Innovation, SAP SE. The UX Innovation team focuses on exploring new interaction paradigms that advance the user experience strategy – adhering to SAP’s corporate design guidelines and priorities, while staying up-to-date with the latest technology advancements. 

The article originally appeared on SAP News Center.

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