NetDimensions Releases Enterprise Knowledge Platform Version 4.0
NetDimensions releases version 4.0 of the Enterprise Knowledge Platform™ (EKP), a full-featured learning management system (LMS) with a highly customizable, robust architecture. Version 4.0 offers customers many new benefits, including new features, improvements and enhancements as well as accelerated performance.
We are very excited to release EKP version 4.0. This version is the product of intensive cooperation and liaison with e-learning project personnel within our customer base," explained Ray Ruff, NetDimensions' CTO and the designer of the underlying architecture that has satisfied the stringent security, performance and stability requirements of some of the world's largest financial organizations including HSBC, ING and ABN AMRO.
"We have constantly sought feedback from key customers to determine the enhancements and additional functionality they require from a learning management system," said Ruff, "For example, customers with large user populations were clearly in need of a simple-to-use, reliable and powerful custom reporting tool. This is the reason we have built the Report Wizard, which is wowing customers with its simplicity."
According to Brian Williams, System Administrator of the ING Learning Centre and responsible for ensuring that investments in e-learning pay off for the global financial services giant: "For a diversified, global organization with many different business divisions, the ability to satisfy the constant demand for data with standard or custom reports is critical to the successful adoption of e-learning throughout ING worldwide. The EKP Report Wizard allows managers and administrators to obtain key data -- in Microsoft Excel format -- without knowing anything about the underlying database design. This is great news for us!"
The Report Wizard is just one of a number of new features created to provide customers with the tools they need to maximize their investments in online learning.
EKP version 4.0 also includes two brand new modules: the Content Assembler and the Competency Center.
The Content Assembler is a high-level editor that allows customers to create SCORM compliant courseware from existing learning materials, including digital assets such as PowerPoint presentations, Word and PDF documents, diagrams, flowcharts and audio and video files.
These materials can now be combined with custom-built tests to produce courses that can be tracked using SCORM. "The ability to turn ordinary documents into online courses that we can track is wonderful," said ING's Williams.
The new Competency Center allows customers to define job profiles and competencies and map them to learning objects within EKP catalogs. This facility is a simple-to-use competency management module that complements existing EKP interfaces to dedicated competency assessment systems such as those from Exxceed and Profiling Online, both of which are available with EKP through optional upgrade interfaces.
With EKP 4.0's new advanced caching and background task management features, customers can expect to see up to a 50 percent performance gain over earlier versions of the product, making EKP, already the most scalable LMS on the market, an even more powerful value proposition for clients.
Williams noted that other, more subtle changes are expected to have a substantial impact on how users and managers perceive the ING Learning Center and could prove to be key factors in the longer term success of ING's e-learning initiatives.
"Version 4.0 includes an additional, simple way for us to obtain feedback on the extent to which our courseware is satisfying the needs of learners. We expect that having this information will prove invaluable when making decisions on the future development or purchase of learning materials," Williams said.
According to Ruff, Version 4.0 is packed with improvements, enhancements, tweaks and features that have been specifically requested by one or more clients to solve real problems and meet real needs. Virtually all of these have been implemented as options that can be turned on or off as appropriate. A good example is the new support for 'strong' passwords which may or may not be desired by organizations using EKP.
For the most part, the feedback from customers with large numbers of users, often spread across the globe, has revealed a demand for more flexibility in localizing and partitioning access to features, records and courses according to the organizational policies currently in force. Since these are subject to change as divisions grow, merge, acquire or divest of assets etc, the flexibility that EKP allows corporate administrators is proving to be a winner within the very large organizations using EKP.
Asked to sum up NetDimensions' position in a competitive marketplace, Ruff explained: "Our mission has always been to offer a product that is compliant with industry standards, scalable, portable, robust, secure, easy-to-use, multi-lingual and which takes advantage of proven, popular technology so that it may be deployed quickly and without fuss to support the entire e-learning activities of the largest organizations in the world. A glance at our customer list proves that we have succeeded. At the same time, we also have customers using EKP to serve communities of learners that number 50 or 100 for example. EKP is truly a remarkable product to be so versatile."
EKP is available on a self-installing CD complete with trial license for organizations interested in exploring the range of features and options supported by version 4.0. To obtain further information about version 4.0 of EKP, please visit the NetDimensions website at www.netdimensions.com or contact NetDimensions or one of its worldwide network of resellers.
THE ENTERPRISE KNOWLEDGE PLATFORM
A powerful, multilingual LMS, EKP manages live, online and blended training. EKP also automates and streamlines the entire learning process, from enrolling students and tracking their progress to delivering tests and reporting costs. In use at ABN AMRO, Cathay Pacific Airways, ING, HSBC, South Africa Telkom and more than 100 other leading organizations around the world, EKP combines user-friendly designs and mission-critical reliability with seamless upgrade paths
NetDimensions creates software solutions that deliver and manage corporate training, assessment and certification programs. Established in 1999, NetDimensions is represented by a rapidly growing network of sales offices, partners and resellers in the U.S.A., Canada, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific. To locate a reseller close to you, please visit www.netdimensions.com/partners.
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