SkillSoft’s Client Advisory Forums Highlight Trends in Enterprise Learning
NASHUA, N.H., Nov. 1 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — SkillSoft PLC (Nasdaq: SKIL), a leading provider of content resources and complementary technologies for integrated enterprise learning, just completed two customer advisory forums held in Boston and San Francisco. The forums, attended by 134 learning executives, were designed to inform SkillSoft customers about planned product and service directions for 2005, to elicit comment and suggestions on those plans, and to provide a forum for sharing best practices and successes over the past year. Among the companies represented were CIGNA, IKON Office Solutions, JB Hunt Transport Services, Inc., Robert Half International, University of Toyota, and University of Iowa. SkillSoft also held a similar forum in London in September.
Executive presentations at the annual forums focused on innovative uses of off-the-shelf content resources in strategic learning initiatives. They included:
“Managing @ Merck: A Blended Learning Approach to Management Development,” Jim Phelan, senior director of Organization Learning at Merck and Company.
“The Deloitte Learning Mall Model,” Candy Haynes, director of Consulting Learning, U.S., Deloitte.
“The Role of e-Learning at Diebold,” Marsha Friedman, HR partner, Diebold, Inc.
During each two-and-a-half-day event, commonly called CAFE, SkillSoft executives presented product and service plans for the coming year. The company’s current plans are to build 750 new courses in 2005, comparable to 2004 production targets. New courses will cover a wide range of IT, business, and compliance topics, as well as new localized courses. Development plans encompass the release of a 23-course project management curriculum aligned with the Project Management Institute’s The PMBOK(R) Guide – Third Edition; the creation of 25 courses for Six Sigma black belt certification; and virtual boot camps for A+, Cisco, Microsoft, Network+, and project management certifications.
Attendees also had the opportunity to see presentations of SkillSoft(R) Dialogue(TM), the company’s recently announced virtual classroom technology product, and to get additional information on Dialogue’s integrated tools for rapid e-learning development. CAFI attendees complete a detailed survey during the event to offer feedback on plans and identify other specific areas of interest for future development.
“It’s a rare opportunity when a service provider asks you what’s important to you and your organization,” said Carol Willett, chief learning officer of the U.S. Government Accountability Office. “Today’s learning market offers many options, so I find it incredibly instructive to hear first-hand from other executives what’s currently working for them. This event offers a unique blend of networking, practical guidance, and direct input into product direction.”
“SkillSoft has always relied on our customers to help us shape and direct our planning process. We want to make sure our research and development investments tightly align with their current and projected learning needs, and we believe it’s important to keep customers informed of progress on an ongoing basis,” said Lee Ritze, senior vice president of marketing and corporate development. “We hope our customers leave these events with as much information as we gain from them ourselves.”
SkillSoft will hold its next client advisory forums in September and October, 2005. Exact locations and dates have not yet been determined. The company will hold its annual user conference, Perspectives, in Las Vegas, from May 2-5, 2005.
SkillSoft is a leading provider of comprehensive e-learning content and technology products for business and IT professionals within the Global 2000. SkillSoft’s multi-modal learning solutions support and enhance the speed and effectiveness of both formal and informal learning processes and integrate SkillSoft’s in-depth content resources, learning management platform, virtual classroom technology and support services.
Content offerings include SkillSoft’s business and IT skills courseware collections; ITPro(TM), BusinessPro(TM), FinancePro(TM), EngineeringPro(TM), OfficeEssentials(TM), and ExecSummaries(TM) Referenceware(R) collections by Books24x7(R); and health and safety compliance courseware by GoTrain. SkillSoft’s complementary technologies include SkillPort(R), the company’s learning management platform with its powerful Search-and-Learn capabilities, and SkillSoft(R) Dialogue(TM), the company’s newly introduced virtual classroom offering with associated tools for blended learning solutions. For more information, visit http://www.skillsoft.com.
All rights reserved. SkillSoft, the SkillSoft logo, Ahead of the Learning Curve, SkillPort, Search-and-Learn, SkillChoice, Books24x7, Referenceware, ITPro, BusinessPro, OfficeEssentials, EngineeringPro, FinancePro, ExecSummaries, Express Guide and Dialogue are trademarks or registered trademarks of SkillSoft PLC in the United States and certain other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
This release includes information that constitutes forward-looking statements made pursuant to the safe harbor provision of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Any such forward-looking statements involve risk and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by such forward- looking statements. Factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include difficulties in integrating the organizations of SmartForce and SkillSoft, competitive pressures, changes in customer demands or industry standards, adverse economic conditions, loss of key personnel, litigation and other risk factors disclosed under the heading “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations – Future Operating Results” in SkillSoft’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended July 31, 2004, as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The forward-looking statements provided by the Company in this press release represent the Company’s views as of November 1, 2004. The Company anticipates that subsequent events and developments may cause the Company’s views to change. However, while the Company may elect to update these forward- looking statements at some point in the future, the Company specifically disclaims any obligation to do so. These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing the Company’s views as of any date subsequent to the date of this release.
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“Safe Harbor” Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: Statements in this press release regarding SkillSoft Corporation’s business which are not historical facts are “forward-looking statements” that involve risks and uncertainties. For a discussion of such risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements, see “Risk Factors” in the Company’s Annual Report or Form 10-K for the most recently ended fiscal year.