Harvard Business Online Announces Universal Access to Award-winning Management Development Content

February 15, 2002

Harvard Business Online, a division

of Harvard Business School Publishing, today announced the creation of “Universal

Access™,” a new technology that will make the implementation of eLearning

solutions across enterprises easier than ever before. Along with the substantial

benefit provided to companies and their training organizations, Universal Access

also enables individual managers to benefit from world-class content without

the necessity of immediate Internet connectivity. The eLearning programs –

built by the best management minds in the world –haven’t changed;

the obstacles to accessing the material have simply been removed.

Universal Access dramatically simplifies the integration complexities that

companies face when implementing interactive, online learning programs with

their learning systems’ platforms and databases. Because every company

has its own unique environment for online learning, custom programming is often

required when outside content is added to the mix. This is especially true when

the content contains interactive database-driven exercises and functionality.

The new Universal Access solution performs equally well with or without a database

or Learning Management System and adapts easily to any environment. It requires

minimal customization, allowing companies to focus often-limited resources on

providing critical content to their employees instead of battling with technology

issues. Organizations of all sizes can access the same valuable

management programs as an outsourced solution on the Internet, as an installation

on their intranet, as a CD-ROM disk, or on their existing learning management


“Our mission is to make better managers of people around the world, and

to equip their companies to facilitate extraordinary growth in their management

teams,” said Jonathon Levy, vice president of eLearning Programs for Harvard

Business School Publishing. “While the Internet opens a wealth of management

learning opportunities, there have been two large barriers to widespread implementation:

lack of time for managers to sit through long online classes, and lack of a

universal deployment technology. We solved the first problem last year by distilling

top quality content to ten-minute chunks for ‘on-demand online programs’

in more than 40 areas of management proficiency. The remaining barrier, which

was technological, has now been overcome by our team of engineers.”

With the technology barriers removed, all of Harvard Business Online’s

eLearning programs now can be rapidly and easily deployed anywhere in the world.

Additionally, courses such as “Leadership Transitions” and “Coaching

for Results” can be integrated with content developed within an enterprise

to provide customized knowledge packages that support the company’s competitive

requirements.business objectives and management development programs.

According to Levy, there is no longer any reason for managers to be without

a high-quality online mentor [is “mentor” confusing here?] and their

own just-in-time knowledge provider. “Harvard Business Online’s eLearning

programs perform equally well in any environment, and their universal architecture

means they will easily migrate to additional new platform technologies in the

future,” he said.

How it works

Universal Access is able to preserve full, interactive data capture and bookmarking

functionality for users in any computing environment, even when there is no

database or Internet connection at all. The new technology uses “cookies”

– mechanisms for storing and retrieving information used commonly on the

Web – to allow integration into every environment with equal ease and flexibility.

This is done in each case without losing the interactive qualities that won

Harvard Business Online a number of coveted awards for content and design.

Harvard Business Online has filed for U.S. patent protection for Universal

Access, which is also AICC and SCORM compliant, but provides functionality well

beyond the scope of those standards. Each product comes in a single version

that can be deployed in many ways. The same package that clients use for Internet

or intranet installations can be used in a CD-ROM drive by users without database

support. In all instances, the content and the interactivity are identical.

About Harvard Business Online

Harvard Business Online is a division of Harvard Business School Publishing,

a wholly owned, not-for-profit subsidiary of Harvard University. Harvard Business

Online’s eLearning provides leadership, strategy, and general management

solutions to help global businesses improve their performance. Harvard Business

Online’s eLearning programs combine premier content with Internet technology

to bring powerful ideas and tools to the desktops of executives and managers

around the world. http://www.elearning.hbsp.org

Contact Information:

Nancy O’Leary



Gregg Hunter



Harvard Business School Publishing Sterling Hager, Inc.