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SkillSoft Announces Comprehensive Research on E-Learning Maturity within Corporate Training Organizations

Bersin & Associates' Research Survey of 526 Training Organizations Is Industry's First Detailed Assessment of Corporate Use of Content, Technology, and Service

NASHUA, N.H., Oct. 4 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- SkillSoft PLC (Nasdaq: SKIL), a leading provider of content resources and complementary technologies for integrated enterprise learning, today announced the availability of a 56-page research report, written by Bersin & Associates, that documents the use of e-learning within 526 companies and identifies four stages of program maturity. The research project, conducted during the spring of 2005, is the first to study the evolution of e-learning within a large sample of corporations and to identify specific guidelines, based on research findings, for advancing the use of e-learning programs to more sophisticated levels. The report offers a comprehensive view of corporate training today, including the use of technology, content and services; the role of rapid e- learning; the use of catalog content with other resources, such as virtual and live classrooms; and the adoption of online reference resources.

The research report, "The Four Stages of e-Learning: A Maturity Model for Online Corporate Training," is available for free download at SkillSoft will also host a webinar featuring Josh Bersin, president of Bersin & Associates, on Tuesday, October 18, at 2:00 p.m. Eastern time. The one-hour presentation will detail research findings and include a question-and-answer session.

The research shows that the use of e-learning continues to grow within organizations of all sizes and types. From 2003 to 2004, the use of e- learning as a percentage of all training grew from 24 to 29 percent. Respondents indicate that e-learning will comprise 33 percent of all training in 2005. This growth is expected to continue into 2006; 77 percent of respondents said that use of e-learning would increase within their organizations over the next year.

The report explores several major shifts in the use of e-learning for corporate training:

  • The report identifies an explosive growth in the use of online books and other reference materials.
  • Many corporations, especially those with more than 20,000 employees, have implemented integrated solutions that encompass custom and off- the-shelf courses, online reference materials, collaboration features, search capabilities and advanced reporting.
  • The use of off-the-shelf courses has broadened widely. In addition to IT and desktop training, organizations are now relying on e-learning courses for areas such as leadership, finance, HR, project management and compliance.
  • The growing interest in true on-demand learning solutions incorporating RSS feeds, podcasts, expert directories, highly personalized learning paths, and powerful search technologies.

"We believe this research is important because it documents the actual use of e-learning within today's corporations," said Lee Ritze, senior vice president of marketing and corporate development for SkillSoft. "It's useful to us and other vendors because it helps us better understand the market. And we think our customers and learning professionals will find it very helpful in objectively assessing the maturity of their learning programs and planning for next stages."

"This is one of the most interesting research projects we've completed this year," said Josh Bersin. "For the first time, we are able to document four distinct stages of e-learning within corporations, each with very specific characteristics and business drivers. We found that these stages are common across all industries and company sizes. By understanding where your organization currently is in this maturity model, you can more effectively plan how to advance your program and anticipate the investments and organizational issues that will be involved."

About SkillSoft

SkillSoft is a leading provider of comprehensive e-learning content and technology products for business and IT professionals within global enterprises. 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 system, virtual classroom technology and support services.

Content offerings include SkillSoft's business, IT, desktop and compliance courseware collections and BusinessPro(TM), ITPro(TM), OfficeEssentials(TM), FinancePro(TM), EngineeringPro(TM), GovEssentials(TM), ExecSummaries(TM) and ExecBlueprints(TM) collections from Books24x7(R). SkillSoft's complementary technologies include SkillPort(R), the company's learning management system with its powerful Search-and-Learn(TM) technology and premium add-on modules, and SkillSoft(R) Dialogue(TM) virtual classroom, a tool that allows customers to create and deliver effective blended learning programs using custom content and off-the-shelf learning resources. For more information, visit

SkillSoft, the SkillSoft logo, Ahead of the Learning Curve, SkillPort, Search-and-Learn, SkillChoice, Books24x7, Referenceware, ITPro, BusinessPro, OfficeEssentials, GovEssentials, EngineeringPro, FinancePro, ExecSummaries, ExecBlueprints, 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.

Linda Galloway
Apollo Associates
203 790 1591