SumTotal Blog

Jim Poisson (2 Posts)

Jim Poisson

For over twenty years I have focused on delivering software solutions and enhancements. Most of that time has been in the ever-changing eLearning, talent, and human capital management arenas. A decade of experience in managing and mentoring product management teams. Comfortable in both highly projectized and matrixed environments as well as being very familiar with all phases of SDLC and several development methodologies (Waterfall, Agile/Scrum). My background in product and program management, along with my team leadership experience, creates a unique perspective and understanding that has allowed me to be successful in the roles I have held. PMP and CSPO certified.

Continuous Innovation: A Look Inside SumTotal’s 19.2 Release

Continuous Innovation: A Look Inside SumTotal’s 19.2 Release

HR Leaders know, business is changing, and the pace of that change is rapid. To remain sustainable for the long term, organizations need to be agile and adapt to the marketplace. The same principles hold for SumTotal’s solutions. We are committed to innovation and developing HR software that meets the needs of HR organizations, empowering them to build agile workforces that can compete in this fast-paced environment.

We are thrilled to announce our latest release. With our second release of 2019, 19.2, SumTotal enhances our holistic, end to end, Talent Development Solution that sees our continued focus on content integrations, providing a best-in-class mobile experience, superior career and employee development functionality, and exceptional extended enterprise capabilities.

Here is a sampling of new features and enhancements that make the SumTotal suite an even more robust solution.

Highlights from this release include:

SumTotal Intelligent Assistant (SIA):

SIA enables users to get additional information/training “where they are.” Users can search for training from anywhere on the web (such as a search engine, news article, or social media site). If a learner comes across a topic of interest, they highlight the text and search in SIA. Users can then browse the videos, books, and other activities in SumTotal Learning Management that match the highlighted text, all within their current flow of work.

Universal Content Support:

SumTotal is committed to seamlessly integrating and delivering content from all the major content providers. With this release, we now add edX to our rapidly expanding list of integration partners. We have also continued to build on our robust collection of REST API’s that will make it even easier to integrate other third party content into SumTotal’s powerful suite.

Leadership in Mobile:

Aware that mobile is in high demand, we have:

  • Made our Workforce Management solution available on our unified mobile app. Now you can perform accruals, web clock mapping, and produce even more reports on the go.
  • Enhanced the gamification capabilities on mobile for a more engaging user experience.

Powerful Talent Acquisition Solution:

Recruiter productivity is at the heart of this release as SumTotal continues to add depth and impact to our reimagined SumTotal Talent Acquisition solution. We’ve made workflows even more configurable, provided tools for personalized communication templates, and delivered easy-to-use third-party agency functionality.


Want to learn more about how SumTotal can help your organization increase productivity, engagement, and organizational success?  Download Redefining Careers: Driving a Culture of Learning and Growth, an eBook by Kurt Jones, SumTotal’s Senior Product Marketing Manager. The eBook explores the pivotal role learning places in a workplace comprised of so many generations.

Success is No Accident. How SumTotal’s Hard Work is Earning Industry Recognition

“Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do.” – Pele

For nearly 20 years I’ve worked in developing solutions for the talent management space and over these two decades I’ve seen a host of trends come and go. However, the one constant theme, the one question that never changes is how do we enable organizations to better engage with their employees?  Everyone in this industry is acutely aware of the perennial challenge of getting employees to fully utilize the company’s learning management system (LMS). Interestingly over the years, the answer has rarely changed. The key is to make users want to use it, that it becomes embedded in their daily ritual and something they interact with every day.

Achieving this objective is a goal SumTotal focused on in recent years. We aimed to give each enterprise software user the kind of learning experience and interaction that thanks to Netflix, Amazon, Google and a variety of social apps they have come to expect. I believe we accomplished this when we designed and delivered solutions that specifically address and solve these criteria. What’s even better is that we are getting industry recognition for our accomplishments.

Analyst’s reaction

2018 was a banner year for awards and accolades for SumTotal, and that momentum has continued into 2019.  Craig Weiss, in his review of learning systems for the NexGen Learning System Grid 2018-29  said I have known SumTotal for a long time, and I can say, that this latest version of the product is by far the best version”. In the process of ranking us the #5 Learning System for 2019, Craig shared, “SumTotal has done a masterful job in the overall of the whole UI and UX. In my second tier level of learning environment features, SumTotal Learning Management scored 100%.” He also recently ranked SumTotal the #1 LMS for Compliance and Regulatory and the #1 LMS for Manufacturing.

As we continue to prioritize the user experience, we shall also work to ensure that our system administrators have the functionality, configurability and efficiencies they need to accomplish their organization’s goals.  An essential part of this includes making sure administrators have a great experience with SumTotal outside of the software. Our Mobile Support app provides quick and easy access to cases and environment status, all at your fingertips. Here again, we are achieving the results and the recognition for our huge strides in the area. “In the end, if you have SumTotal Learn or any of their mods, this is an app you must download. So far the best support app I’ve seen for the learning space” – Craig Weiss

We’re very grateful to be recognized by Craig and others for our decisions and efforts.  They keep our marketing team busy writing press releases (at times I wasn’t sure we could keep up 😊).  Ah, but we are not done.  You’re never done with engagement and user experience.  It’s in a constant state of motion. As are we.  We’re always on the lookout for new trends.  Many of us use virtual assistants in the home, will we see that soon in the workplace? How will we use them to accomplish our jobs and tasks?  Whatever the next “big” is (virtual reality (VR), Internet of Things (IoT)) here at SumTotal we are always planning today for tomorrow. It is why we believe in the necessity for organization’s to foster a new approach to talent development, a subject my colleague Morne Swart explores in detail in Talent Agility in an Emerging Workforce, a new whitepaper that demonstrates the necessity for HR to extend beyond its traditional function and make people development foundational to business strategy.

SumTotal’s success is no accident.  Neither is our client’s.  To learn more about what’s new in SumTotal, including what’s in store in 2019, visit our web site, request a demo and meet with us at Perspectives.