E-training companies go after federal market

A recently announced partnership between Macromedia and Plateau Systems illustrates the growing demand for e-learning technologies in government agencies.

Macromedia and Plateau have teamed to provide and manage content for the Office of Personnel Management's USALearning Web portal. Under a five-year contract, worth as much as $225 million, they will serve 2.7 million federal employees.

Although OPM's effort is a major initiative, other companies have a hand in the market, too. They say USALearning involves more than the ability to provide training to employees worldwide.

Frank Russell, president and chief executive officer of GeoLearning, said the focus on training in the federal marketplace is about more effectively managing people.

"You're talking about not only how do we train but how do we ensure we have qualified people to get the job done," he said.

The federal government is aggressively pursuing e-learning, said Paul Sparta, Plateau's chairman and CEO.

"Typically there's always a tendency to say government lags the commercial sector" in adopting technologies, he said. "In this case, the federal government is becoming quite a leader among organizations for what it's doing."

Federal agencies spend about $2.5 billion a year on e-learning content and technology services, contributing to the national total of $14 billion to $16 billion, according to Bersin and Associates, a research firm based in Oakland, Calif.

Companies and analysts say the potential for growth in the government marketplace will increase as large agencies, such as the Defense and Homeland Security departments, lead the way.

"It's going to continue to grow because the government has a number of initiatives like USALearning," said Josh Bersin, president and CEO of Bersin and Associates. "The government knows [that e-learning] saves money, and they know they need to be more scalable and flexible."

He added that the government has room to grow because it lags one or two stages behind the corporate world in using e-learning products.

"Civilian agencies are still trying to figure out how to build and deploy programs to prevent people from going to classes," Bersin added. "The corporate world is well past that, and most large corporations have an infrastructure for people to take training online."

Anderson is a business writer in Arlington, Va. She can be reached at tania.anderson@verizon.net.

The Fed 100

Save the date for 28th annual Federal 100 Awards Gala.

Featured

  • computer network

    How Einstein changes the way government does business

    The Department of Commerce is revising its confidentiality agreement for statistical data survey respondents to reflect the fact that the Department of Homeland Security could see some of that data if it is captured by the Einstein system.

  • Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. Army photo by Monica King. Jan. 26, 2017.

    Mattis mulls consolidation in IT, cyber

    In a Feb. 17 memo, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told senior leadership to establish teams to look for duplication across the armed services in business operations, including in IT and cybersecurity.

  • Image from Shutterstock.com

    DHS vague on rules for election aid, say states

    State election officials had more questions than answers after a Department of Homeland Security presentation on the designation of election systems as critical U.S. infrastructure.

  • Org Chart Stock Art - Shutterstock

    How the hiring freeze targets millennials

    The government desperately needs younger talent to replace an aging workforce, and experts say that a freeze on hiring doesn't help.

  • Shutterstock image: healthcare digital interface.

    VA moves ahead with homegrown scheduling IT

    The Department of Veterans Affairs will test an internally developed scheduling module at primary care sites nationwide to see if it's ready to service the entire agency.

  • Shutterstock images (honglouwawa & 0beron): Bitcoin image overlay replaced with a dollar sign on a hardware circuit.

    MGT Act poised for a comeback

    After missing in the last Congress, drafters of a bill to encourage cloud adoption are looking for a new plan.

Reader comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group