SumTotal Blog

Morne Swart (3 Posts)

Morne Swart

Morné is the VP, Global Product Strategy & Transformational Leader at SumTotal. He has been responsible for leading innovation and driving product strategy with more than 20 years of experience in enterprise-wide HR Technology products and services. He has a passion for building higher-performing organizations by optimizing the effectiveness of people, process, information, and technology.

The Next Generation of Learning: Bringing Together the LMS and the LXP


The Next Generation of Learning: Bringing together the LMS and the LXP

It’s no secret that a compelling and engaging user experience draws an audience and builds loyalty. Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, Disney, and Apple are all examples where content combined with leading-edge experiences irrevocably changed the business models competing for today’s viewers. Fortunately, this seismic transformation works well for the entertainment industry. While for most organizations, business sustainability is not dependent on entertainment value alone, the rise of consumer expectations does pose a challenge. Are there lessons from Netflix and the others which we can apply to today’s learning technology?

Learning Experience Platforms, or LXP’s, have received the lion’s share of coverage related to learning and development over the last 18 months, and for a good reason. Traditional learning management systems (LMS) vendors neglected to upgrade their user experience at a time when consumer experience hype was traversing the globe. Besides, conventional learning practices like searching course catalogs transitioned to a timelier delivery of learning in the flow of work. In short, traditional LMS vendors were caught asleep at the wheel – at least on the entertainment front.

The impact of the LXP on the LMS

However, if there is one thing I have learned about the talent and learning market, it is this: most vendors do not sit idly by and watch new competitors use their shiny new toy to steal clients and conquer the market. It is just the opposite. They react, although not always in the most agile manner. Such an expectation is unrealistic, given that large learning vendors are responsible for developing tens of millions of users every day. After all, their mature codebase consists of traditional compliance, auditing, versioning, and social functionality. These behemoth systems need time and resources to ensure quality and scalability to support their millions of users when they release enhancements to their products. It’s worth noting that the combined user count of all 20 LXP vendors currently deployed, does not equal the single largest LMS provider’s user count.

Nevertheless, the market demands an improved user experience, and the LMS vendors are delivering.

With our latest product innovations, SumTotal continues to answer the market call. A year ago, we were the first to combine the world’s most robust LMS capabilities with a consumer-grade LXP to address the experience needs of today’s modern workforce – all in the flow of work. In effect, we now offer a Learning Management Experience Platform (LMXP). This next-gen learning solution delivers the engagement of an LXP with the depth of functionality, administrative flexibility, and reporting capabilities of a traditional LMS. In other words, SumTotal now provides our clients with the best of both worlds.

A year ago, we were the first to combine the world’s most robust LMS capabilities with a consumer-grade LXP to address the experience needs of today’s modern workforce – all in the flow of work.


Curious? Want to see an LMXP in action?  I invite you to stop by SumTotal’s booth # 1510 at the 2019 HR Technology Conference in Las Vegas, October 1-4. We can give you a free demo and answer all your questions about this exciting new solution.


Join SumTotal at the HR Technology Conference 2019 in Las Vegas

7 Trends to Expect for Talent and Learning in 2019

7 Trends to Expect for Talent and Learning in 2019

As 2018 draws to a close, it’s time to start looking forward to the new year and decide what HR and L&D professionals need to prioritize for 2019.

  1. Business sustainability

Business sustainability is the primary driver for the prioritization of talent management. Without a clear strategy today, companies will fall behind, and many will become unsustainable in the long term. Look no further than the collapse of Sears or the Dow Jones Industrial Average where 30% of companies listed fifteen years ago are replaced by companies embracing technology and innovation to drive business sustainability and growth.

  1. It’s all about people

People development will be the single most important priority for CEOs in 2019 and beyond. Amidst rapid transformations due to the pace of technology advances, innovation and automation along with a massive generational change in the market, talent development is pivotal for long-term success and an absolute business imperative. Organizations that fail to engage, upskill and encourage innovation in their workforce will undoubtedly fall behind, losing both talent and market share.

  1. Culture will eat strategy’s lunch

Companies are learning that culture is everything. It is harder than ever to attract and hire top talent with U.S. unemployment at 3.7%, a historic low, and a rate some would consider full employment. In 2019, investing in workplace culture to address engagement and turnover will be a growing priority as companies strive to become a place people love to work.

  1. The importance of the employer brand

Ninety percent of CHROs say that the competition for critical talent will increase over the next 12 months. Companies will look to create a captivating and authentic employment brand with a strong focus on attracting top talent. Companies are going to feel more pressured by their employees to respond to political and cultural events or movements.  Leadership will have to consider how to deal with #metoo or events like the Google walk-out as employees are looking deeper into the values and purpose of here they work.  Such maneuvers will be difficult as they also must to steer clear of alienating segments of their customer base.

  1. No more annual review (phew)

Companies will ditch the yearly review and move toward continuous or monthly feedback programs that create tighter manager/employee alignment and better communication. By providing in-the-moment coaching, companies create a strengths-based culture resulting in higher quality work and employees who are more engaged and stay longer. Mentoring will continue to grow. Wellness and rewards will emerge as significant areas of focus and mentoring will increase as a way to manage people further.

  1. LMS 2.0 -Technology will support talent

Finding and matching talent to the ever-changing needs of the modern, agile business is fueling new applications of the LMS causing a resurgence of this category that will gain traction in the future. This “new” LMS must be equipped to address:

  • The steady growth of regulatory or mandatory compliance in emerging and established industries
  • An increase of services-based economies combined with changes in technology forcing organizations to build can continuously refresh talent supply chain
  • The growing demands to efficiently train a flexible workforce to reach rapid productivity
  • The competition for specialized talent requiring organizations to continually engage employees to attract, retain, and develop the best talent
  • Mobile is no longer optional. More daily interaction of talent, HR and employment functions need to be first as an option. Along with this, a rise in the move to suites of fully integrated –consumer looking technology to support not only the employee needs but provide HR actionable data not previously available.
  1. Development (L&D) is now dealing with “adulting” themes

HR is getting pulled into the arena of developing skills beyond the job. New hires (Millennials) are not coming equipped with the ability to run a meeting, have interpersonal discussions, deal with conflict or quickly adapt to changing environments.


What other topics do you see as a priority for HR and L&D professionals in 2019? Post your suggestions below and let’s get a conversation started.

How The Oracle, Workday And Cloud Partnerships Impacts HR And Learning Professionals

It’s not the size of the data; it’s what you do with it.

No term in the history of business applications has generated more fodder than the term big data. As vendors frantically push in-memory databases, data warehouses, intergalactic analytics and dashboards that make your head spin, most organizations are left wondering how any of it helps an employee, manager or executive make better decisions when and where they need it – while they are doing their jobs. But if you have experienced or similar software, you understand the power of an intelligent, contextual engine. Based on information about you, people like you, and business data around what you are trying to accomplish, the system makes specific recommendations for you to make better choices instead of forcing you to choose from a list of seemingly infinite possibilities.