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e-Learning in the new economy

Part 6: e-Learning in practice: Shell

As a global energy company, Shell operates in 135 countries and employees 90,000 staff worldwide. Its Exploration and Production (E&P) division alone is present in more than 30 countries and has 30,000 staff of its own. The geographically dispersed nature of the E&P workforce meant that the division had a travel bill of $100 million per annum, money that went on employees travelling more than 100 million kilometres a year for meetings.

The division wanted to cut down both on the travel bill itself, but also on the amount of time its staff spent on the move. It wanted to improve the work/non-work balance of employee's lives, while increasing the amount of knowledge sharing that happened within the workforce. Even with the amount of travel that went on, there were a finite number of experts on any subjects and they couldn't be everywhere at once.

The solution was an imitative called EP Global Connect, a Centra-based framework which was intended to improve collaboration and reduce travel. Application areas covered by the framework include online conferences, presentations, demonstrations as well as online coaching, mentoring and training.

Such has been the success of the E&P roll out that other Shell business units have begun to experiment with it. For example, Shell Chemicals uses the collaborative system for customer training, while the Central IT organisation is using it for helpdesk training. For the future, Shell sees increased usage of the system to support the company's globalisation ambitions, with the ultimate ambition being to have employees regard the system as just another part of the standard desktop.

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© 2004 Centra Software. Reproduced with permission. Any opinions or views contained in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Training Reference.

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