Golden, Colo.-June 1, 2001-Generation21 Learning Systems, a Renaissance Learning Inc. company (Nasdaq: RLRN), today announced the release of Generation21� Enterprise version 4.0. This new version maximizes return on human capital through the intentional and structured act of collecting, classifying and codifying the right information for re-use within an organization.
By delivering complete Learning Management System (LMS) and Content Management System (CMS) functionality in one integrated software solution—Generation21� Enterprise—organizations can capture the right knowledge, make it available at the very moment when employees need it, keep it up to date, and create a business-specific model for enabling communication among project teams and professional groups (micro-communities).
The CMS is a template-driven environment that allows organizations to harness what each and every employee knows—their “tacit” knowledge. In essence, organizations can pool the experiences—the knowledge—of the experts who support the organization and preserve their interactions in an accessible way. Information can be accessed on-the-job via any desktop, laptop or wireless device. It can also be delivered during formal training events in a variety of formats—over the Web, in print (to support classroom-based training) and on CD-ROM.
Information is created as re-usable Dynamic Learning Objects that can be easily updated and linked to as many courses as necessary. Because the CMS functionality includes pre- and post test capabilities, every employee receives a tailored tutorial.
“Only the CMS functionality embedded in the Generation21� Enterprise system empowers employees to turn information into the knowledge needed to bring value to the organization,” says Dale Zwart, Generation21 CTO and co-founder. “The system’s structured repository for information and easy-to-use interface not only save time, but they also make the benefit of all employees’ knowledge available to the entire enterprise.”
This CMS functionality is supported by second-generation LMS functionality, including the ability to set up the system so that it reflects an organization’s business units, project teams, and professional groups. This ensures that every employee knows where to find just the knowledge they need, when they need it. They will no longer have to rely on an organizational chart to figure out where knowledge resides in their organization.
“The new model behind version 4.0 helps companies move beyond their organizational hierarchies by creating a structure that reflects how employees actually work together and interact to meet the objectives of the enterprise,” said Dale Zwart, Generation21 CTO and co-founder. “Our clients aren’t forced to adhere to a pre-set business model inherent in the Generation21� Enterprise system. Instead, they can set the system up to truly reflect and facilitate the flow of information throughout their enterprises.”
In addition, local control allows managers to use wizards to set up optional and mandatory courses, as well as re-certification requirements for users in their organizations and downward in the company hierarchy. They can determine courseware assignments, reducing the burden on training, human resources or information technology departments.
Access to organizational information, including training materials, performance support documents, policies, and procedures, is based on the roles set for employees. Access control protects content that should not or does not need to be shared organization-wide. Access control can be applied to all information, including training materials, performance support information, policies, procedures, and documentation. The above elements working together turn organizations into information-rich communities where employees are encouraged to communicate and share what they know. Version 4.0 integrates both the power of an LMS and CMS to embrace not only a philosophy of knowledge management, but also the technology platform to make it possible for organizations to efficiently create and transfer knowledge to solve strategic problems and improve processes.
Summary of Generation21� Enterprise Version 4.0 Enhanced Features and Benefits
Increased Access Control The LMS functionality provides several levels of controlled access for proprietary or sensitive content that is not mature enough to be shared organization-wide. Access control is provided at three different levels: global, local and inheritable or local plus.
Eliminate Search Clutter When searching for information or courses, users can reduce the amount of unrelated “hits” returned to them by limiting their searches to their business unit. If the initial results are insufficient, users can gradually expand the search up or down the organization’s hierarchy as needed, or search globally.
Guide Users Through Functionality Interactive wizards guide users through online tasks, such as allowing managers to create, move, and modify business units, project teams, communities of practice, and assign people to positions.
Create Customized or Standard Reports Flexible reporting tools allow managers to run standardized report formats, or to customize the data and the order in which it is displayed.
Gain E-Commerce Support Generation21� Enterprise integrates with VeriSign—an industry leader in the e-commerce security business—to meet any B2B or B2C need. Generation21� Enterprise can also integrate with other leading e-commerce software suppliers.
About Generation21 Learning Systems Generation21 Learning systems is a leading provider of integrated Knowledge Management software and related services. Generation21� Enterprise software is the only fully integrated solution that employs Dynamic Learning Objects™ and allows for development, multiple delivery, maintenance, and management of all forms of training and knowledge management throughout an organization. By building training from re-usable Dynamic Learning Objects, the system keeps training content consistent across all training modes: Internet-based, CD-ROM, and instructor-led. In addition, the Generation21� Enterprise system provides customization for each learner, and maintains all content in a database for immediate on-the-job reference—a key element of the Instant Knowledge™ performance support feature. Access the Generation21 Web site at www.gen21.com.