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Siemens: Increasing Sales, Accelerating Learning with LearningCart

Siemens PLM Software (formerly CD-adapco) is a multinational corporation that develops, sells, and supports computer-aided engineering software in addition to providing engineering services. They are well known in the automotive, aerospace, and energy industries for their computational fluid dynamics products that help organizations solve complex industrial and engineering design problems.

If it sounds complicated, it is. Siemens’ software helps organizations like General Motors, Jaguar Land Rover, and Mercedes-Benz construct digital models of their designs that accurately predict how the vehicle would perform under real-life operating conditions. For example: how an engine will perform under the load of pulling a trailer uphill, how do changes to the styling of a vehicle influence its drag, or how heat will transfer from one component to another.

As a complex technical product that affects real world design decisions, training and support for their software is critical to their success.

Siemens needed a customizable solution that allowed learners to purchase both onsite and online training as well as manage learning content for the users who would benefit from such a system. The team had previously endured a frustrating, lengthy process to integrate a combination of off-the-shelf and custom e-commerce and learning management system tools. However, a solution was not possible with those. Upon realizing they needed an alternative, they started a new search and discovered LearningCart. Within an hour of the initial contact, LearningCart had uploaded test modules and answered key questions; the Siemens team knew at last this tool was capable of meeting their needs. 

Salesforce integration was one of their most important requirements. As a large distributed organization it was essential that orders, registrations, and completions from the e-commerce enabled learning management system seamlessly flowed into Salesforce. Additionally, since Siemens customers already had access to a Salesforce-based customer portal, the new learning management system had to support single sign on (SSO) in order to create a fluid user experience. With a global audience being engaged, the new system also had to automatically route users to the appropriate regional site, present the appropriate products based on the user’s region, and handle tax and currency calculations.

LearningCart was able to deliver on all fronts and the new solution was completely implemented in about a month of work time. The new system, dubbed “STAR Academy,” has been very well received by Siemens PLM Software customers and has helped accelerate learning curves.

Senior Instructional Design Manager Aaron Bird says
“Our expectations were met and continue to be… At the time we were looking, LearningCart was the ONLY tool we found among a pool of about a dozen that could handle both learning management and e-commerce as well as integrate with all of our existing systems. LearningCart is a reliable tool that works exceptionally well.”

“What’s cool about LearningCart – is that it can be “mini hacked” – what I mean by that is that you can find creative ways of doing things. A particular piece of functionality might not be originally intended to do something but you can often combine different functionality to get what you want done. There’s so much to like about LearningCart and how it integrates with what we do, but mini-hacking may really be my favorite part of the tool. As an example – we just started a certification program. What we do is we have the certification exams built into LearningCart. Rather than selling those like we do with other products, they are in a “free product” object and this allows the customer to go in and decide to attempt the exams on the spot, and if they pass they receive a certificate for a specific level of competency.

The mini-hacking is pretty cool, but LearningCart’s core functionality as an e-commerce enabled learning management system is rock solid. We use out-of-the-box tools like course products for registrations, SCORM enabled functionality to display our e-learning modules, and reports for studying the data that comes in. A day doesn’t go by, except maybe some weekends of course, when we’re not using LearningCart reports. We rely on report data. LearningCart automatically collects and retains tons of information about purchases, course completions, module usage, and a number of others. The ability to present our training products in ways that are beneficial for our customers and to understand the transactions through the LearningCart reports has enabled us to expand our entire training business. For us, the platform has both increased sales and reduced our technical support load because customers are better prepared to use our software. We have a number of examples where the customer licensed the software because of the ability to get the e-learning modules delivered through LearningCart. We’ve been able to deflect support calls because our customers are better trained. And the ability to access online training is a factor in increasing direct sales. In fact, our group’s success in selling more training and learning modules has allowed us to hire more people!

I like working with LearningCart. The people we have interacted with there are great to interact with, professional, and deliver a product and service that works. If a company is looking for a global, e-commerce enabled learning management system, I highly recommend taking a look at LearningCart.”

Read more about STAR Academy at: http://mdx2.plm.automation.siemens.com