Martech training options expand under COVID
Digital training assumes new urgency as the workforce is re-imagined under COVID.
On June 30 Microsoft unveiled a new learning platform for Microsoft Teams, adding to the expanding list of software training courses available to a public that is dealing with the worst unemployment numbers in over a generation.
Training with Salesforce’s Trailhead
Retraining employees at scale may seem daunting, but in the world of martech ample opportunities abound for those willing to turn the page to a new career.
“Virtually overnight there were over 14 million people unemployed across the country and we are taking the opportunity to use our digital platform and resources to help solve this problem,” said Sandeep Bhanot, VP of Salesforce’s Trailhead product. “Our new digital world is leading pretty much every sector and Salesforce had to fundamentally reimagine employees in the sell, market and work from anywhere environment.”
Salesforce’s Trailhead training platform includes:
- Training content broken up into ‘trails’ or guided learning paths;
- “Trails,” containing a module where you learn specific topics and business solutions via hands-on projects with step-by-step instructions;
- Einstein Artificial Intelligence that looks at each individual’s past learning preferences and badges earned to recommend new courses for further professional development;
- Badges are earned for mastering specific skills and ‘Superbadges’ are earned for learning complex skills and business scenarios
One of the new Superbadges offered by Trailhead is a ‘Selling with Sales Cloud’ Superbadge that certifies expertise in core configuration of Sales Cloud, Process Builder and Lightning reports (Lightning Experience is Salesforce’s modernized UI; Process Builder allows the automation and visualization of business processes.)
To keep up with the ever-changing job landscape, Trailhead even offers a badge in contact tracing for those who want their job skills to match the demand of the current COVID-dictated work environment.
“There are badges that teach you how to build a community cloud and even B2B marketing automation community groups,” said Becka Miller, Salesforce consultant with Slalom, a Salesforce Platinum consulting partner that offers a wide range of Salesforce consulting and implementation services. “Earning badges is the perfect way to demonstrate your value to small businesses and non-profit organizations that may need you to wear many hats when you get a new job.”
Miller runs a weekly Saturday Salesforce group in her home market of Houston on how to use Trailhead to land a new position. “You can go into coding or establish skills for a marketing career,” said Miller. “There are just so many ways to develop your career.”
Although Trailhead offers a very broad range of training experiences, they are all geared to developing expertise within the Salesforce ecosystem.
Microsoft has big ambitions for training
The June 30 launch of the new Microsoft Learn platform for Microsoft Teams drew much attention for both its capabilities and the leveraging of LinkedIn to deliver training resources. The aim is to help 25 million people worldwide get trained in the digital skills which will be vital to working under and beyond COVID.
The new app will:
- Allow employers to integrate content from LinkedIn Learning and Microsoft Learn;
- Integrate the customer’s own custom content and other content providers, from instructor-led training to shorter, micro-leaning content;
- Allow managers to assign and track learning progress and enable employees to have conversations about the content while earning certifications and recognition for their skills.
“Whether a new employee is onboarding or a manager is looking to sharpen a team’s skills, or a first-line worker is in the field needing immediate training, the new app will create a seamless experience for employees to learn in the flow of work,” said Microsoft President Brad Smith in a blog post. “People are already using Microsoft Teams for meetings, chat, calling, collaboration and business processes, and now we are planning to extend that to include learning.”
Currently the Microsoft Learn platform is available to anyone who has an interest to learn about Microsoft products. It currently offers over 200 learning paths, more than 1,000 modules and role-based learning for 17 roles in 23 different languages.
Microsoft and LinkedIn Learning will be incorporated into the new learning app in Microsoft Teams, and an official preview of the comprehensive platform will be hosted by Microsoft later in 2020.
“The new app will make learning a natural part of an employee’s job,” said Smith. “Employers can leverage the tools they already use everyday at work. Planning this initiative took on new urgency and importance once the COVID crisis struck the world. Even when COVID is eventually behind us, the need to help people get work skills will remain extremely important for Microsoft and the wider economy.”