Skillsoft Blog

Taking Learning to the Next Level, Millions of Learners at a Time

February 4, 2021 | by By Apratim Purakayastha, CTO, Skillsoft

At Skillsoft, we believe that every person has the potential to be amazing.

We don’t see this as hyperbole. Because no matter who you are or what you do, there’s a key to continual growth and advancement. It’s learning. And, for a quarter of a century, we’ve made it our business to build and deliver solutions that help every individual start and continue learning. So they can go as far as their skills, ambition, and imagination take them.

We refer to it as “democratized learning.” And it’s just one of the reasons I’m so excited about our new partnership with Microsoft.

We all know that 2020 was a tremendously challenging year for businesses and businesspeople. But one of the things that made it easier to adjust and continue to collaborate was Microsoft. Microsoft Teams quickly became a central part of working remotely for so many.

Skillsoft’s award-winning learning content, comprising 180,000+ learning assets and high quality, expertly curated learning experiences is now integrated with Microsoft Viva, Microsoft’s newly launched employee experience platform. The integration empowers users to hone their skills by searching for and consuming meaningful and relevant Skillsoft learning content when it matters most — right at the moment of need, in the flow of work.

And that’s never been more important.

One of the greatest challenges for learners is finding time. In a recent Skillsoft usage study, 76% of those who participated in a learning journey wanted more learning opportunities. But, according to industry thought leader Josh Bersin, the average employee only has 24 minutes a week to learn. We believe that learning must occur naturally as part of the workday.

And what better way than to integrate it with the productivity solution so many already depend on?

Through the partnership with Microsoft Viva, users will be able to access and share content more readily so they can adapt and evolve, developing new skills and capabilities in areas like machine learning, design thinking, blockchain, leadership and management, and business skills. Skillsoft provides a wide variety of learning avenues that enable learners to:

  • Utilize science-backed scenario-based learning content, based on research by MIT’s Office of Digital Learning and Accenture, and designed to maximize engagement and retention.
  • Leverage Aspire Journeys, prescriptive learning paths that are pre-curated, role- and skill-based to build mastery.
  • Learn in ways that make sense for individuals, whether it’s a field tech learning on a job site, a working parent upskilling while their child’s remote schooling, or a driver listening to training in between deliveries. Skillsoft offers a choice of videos, books, book summaries, and audiobooks.
  • Access 140+ practice labs so tech and dev professionals can hone their skills in low-stakes, hands-on sandboxes and lab environments before applying their new skills on the job.
  • Attend Skillsoft Leadercamps and Bootcamps right from Microsoft Viva, for timely, real-world insights from leading experts, plus live collaboration in virtual classrooms.
  • Earn portable digital badges for Skillsoft course and Aspire Journey completions. Badges are secured and verified through a blockchain, making them a portable, personal record of achievement. More than 9.3 million Skillsoft digital badges have been awarded to learners since February 2020.

And that’s just the beginning.

In our recent “Lean into Learning: 2020 Annual Learning Report,” we found that a number of ‘power skills’ are emerging: things like agility, communication, resiliency, and adaptability. These aren’t tied to specific roles but have become enormously important in every role, at every level. Decision-making is growing more complex as businesses adopt new workplace models. The ability to be agile, communicate effectively, and recognize the broader implications of decisions is critical.

Learners will now have the opportunity to pursue both role-related topics and these power skills in the flexible Microsoft Teams environment. This will ultimately drive learner engagement and result in both personal achievement and measurable business outcomes. Our goal, as always, is to help individual learners reach their potential and organizations build and grow a future-fit, resilient workforce. This partnership with Microsoft enhances Skillsoft’s industry-leading offering, extending learning beyond traditional barriers, and enabling even more ways to consume learning exactly how, when, and where users choose. Our content is designed to close the gap between knowing and doing. Integrating with Microsoft Viva will make that gap feel even more seamless.

As a technology leader, I’ve worked on countless integrations over the years. The hope, always, is that the combination of two solutions or platforms will exceed the promise of their parts — that they are better together.

With this integration Skillsoft delivers the new options of learning, bringing collaboration, community, and personal and professional development tools to the masses at a time when people really need them. Balancing work and life is trickier than it’s ever been. To help people master new skills, we need to meet them where they are, in the hard-to-predict, often limited, discretionary time of their days and nights.

Now, with Skillsoft, we hope to transform learning and realizing the promise of learning in the flow of work.

I can’t wait to see what we accomplish together.

To learn more about Skillsoft and Microsoft Viva, click here.

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