Zoho Is Moving to Austin!

I recently attended Zoholics 2019 in Austin, Texas. It was quite an event. The conference opened with the big news that was Zoho is moving its headquarters to Austin! This made headline news on the front page of the Austin American Statesman, and Austin mayor, Steve Adler offered words of excitement and encouragement during his Keynote address.

Zoho also announced two new product offerings. Zoho Commerce Plus offers a comprehensive E-commerce platform that provides an end-to-end solution for the commerce vertical. Zoho MarketingHub allows businesses to coordinate marketing with sales by integrating with a number of Zoho apps (e.g., Zoho CRM, Zoho Campaigns, etc), as well as other customer applications such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Given my focus on talent management and learning and development, two Zoholics topics were of particular interest to me. One was an update on the success of Zoho University, and the second was the announcement that Zoho has a Learning Management System (LMS) currently in beta.

Zoho University

Rajendran Dandapani, Evangelist and Raconteur at Zoho gave an enthusiastic presentation on the success of Zoho University. Zoho University offers a “crusade against academic credentialism”. It was built on the philosophy that the majority of new Zoho employees did not find their 4-year degree useful in their job, the necessity for good employees, and the realization that Product Managers were frustrated by how little new employees appeared to learn in college. As a former University Professor, the word “ouch” comes to mind, but when I take a step back and think about it, there is merit in this crusade, especially in the software development industry.

One of the main advantages of Zoho University, is that students (and their families) do not incur debt during the education process. Instead, students are paid to attend Zoho University, not the other way around.

There are also a number of learning science—the marriage of psychology and neuroscience—advantages of the Zoho University approach to teaching software development. First, the emphasis is on “learning by doing”. Students spend the majority of their time in labs working on real-world software problems, and very little time in lectures. In the end, developing software solutions is more about trial and error and behavioral learning than it is about learning facts and figures. Learning by doing targets these behavioral learning centers in the brain directly. Second, the learning is in teams, is highly collaborative, and centers around solving specific, current, real-world problems. The software development industry is becoming more cross-functional and collaborative by the day. Given this fact, it is highly efficient to instill this way of thinking and approach to problem solving directly into the educational process from Day 1. Finally, when lectures are necessary a “flipped classroom” approach is utilized. The lecture material is provided using videotaped content and the classroom setting is reserved for discussion and hands on practice. This integration of knowledge acquisition and behavioral training is ideal for software development.

Rajendran also mentioned that Zoho University plans to expand its curriculum to include Technology, Design and Marketing. Finally, the new Austin Headquarters will double as a new Zoho University campus. As an Austin local, I believe that Zoho University will be highly coveted by students in the Austin Metro area.

Zoho LMS

In my individual meeting with Chandrashekar L S P (Zoho Evangelist) and Raja Ramasamy (Head of Product Management for Zoho People Plus) I was delighted to hear that Zoho is currently developing an LMS. This is exciting news and is one product that is currently lacking from the Zoho One suite. I hope to obtain a detailed briefing and to learn more about the LMS in the coming months. Stay tuned.

  1. Final Thoughts

I was impressed by the enthusiasm and loyalty of the Zoho users to the Zoho product line. Whether from organized customer and partner panels, or one-off happenstance conversations, the message that I heard was clear: Zoho users like the products, feel “heard” when they have a problem, and find the overall customer service experience to be outstanding.

I will continue to follow Zoho, with particular interest in Zoho University and Zoho’s upcoming LMS. It will be exciting to have Zoho’s headquarters “right down the block” so to speak.

 

Todd Maddox Explains Why Extended Reality (xR) Technologies Will Disrupt Corporate L&D

Research Fellow Todd Maddox, Ph.D. has just published a new Analyst Insight: Leveraging Learning Science: Why Extended Reality (xR) is Poised to Disrupt Corporate Learning and Development.

In this Analyst Insight, Todd Maddox, Ph.D. provides guidance on why Augmented and Virtual Reality are set to disrupt corporate learning. This report focuses on a learning science evaluation of the potential for extended reality (xR) technologies to disrupt corporate L&D and show how xR technologies have the potential to improve the quality and quantity of training, to accelerate learning and enhance retention in all aspects of corporate learning to provide the following benefits:

  • Faster learning and stronger retention
  • Reduced training time
  • Time-effective, cost-effective and scalable training across a variety of hard skills, soft skills and situational awareness
  • Ability to train expensive, dangerous and rare situations in total safety and to expertise.
  • Improved understanding of the learning process through subjective, objective, attention, and engagement metrics built from xR Big Data.
  • More effective, efficient, and valuable learning environments.

To learn more about the key aspects of augmented and virtual reality that will change coporate learning environments, download this Analyst Insight, which is available at no cost through April 10th: Leveraging Learning Science: Why Extended Reality (xR) is Poised to Disrupt Corporate Learning and Development.

Why Extended Reality (xR) is Poised to Disrupt Corporate Learning and Development – Part IV: xR Behavioral Skills Applications, and Recommendations

Note: If you missed Parts I, II, and III of this blog series, catch up and read

This is part of a four-blog series exploring the psychology and brain science behind the potential for extended reality tools to disrupt corporate Learning & Development.

xR and Behavioral Skills Learning: Whereas hard skills learning involves knowing what to do, behavioral skills learning involve knowing how to do it. People (aka soft) skills, such as the ability to communicate, collaborate, and lead effectively, or to show empathy and to embrace diversity, are behavioral skills. Similarly, technical skills, such as the ability to learning how to use new software, to upskill to a new software release, or to use and maintain a piece of hardware or equipment, are behavioral skills.

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Why Extended Reality (xR) is Poised to Disrupt Corporate Learning and Development – Part III: xR Hard Skills Applications

Note: If you missed Parts I and II of this blog series, catch up and read Part I: The Problem, and Part II: The Brain Science. This is part of a four-blog series exploring the psychology and brain science behind the potential for extended reality tools to disrupt corporate Learning & Development.

xR Applications in Corporate L&D

The key ingredient of xR technology in corporate L&D is the experiential and immersive nature of the technology that provides rich, coordinated contextual cues that lead to a sense of “presence”. You are either in a real-world experience augmented with information (Augmented Reality or AR), or you are transported into a new virtual world (Virtual Reality or VR). In both cases, experiential learning systems are engaged in synchrony with cognitive, behavioral, and emotional learning systems in the brain. I elaborate below.

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Todd Maddox Reveals How Collaborative Video-Based Practice Effectively Trains People Skills: A Brain Science Analysis

Amalgam Insights Brain Science Research Fellow Todd Maddox has released new research on the Rehearsal website focused on the role of collaborative video-based practice and its role in teaching people skills (also known as soft skills). Continue reading “Todd Maddox Reveals How Collaborative Video-Based Practice Effectively Trains People Skills: A Brain Science Analysis”

Why Extended Reality (xR) is Poised to Disrupt Corporate Learning and Development – Part II: The Brain Science

Note: If you missed Part I of this blog series, catch up and read Part I: The Problem. This is part of a four-blog series exploring the psychology and brain science behind the potential for extended reality tools to disrupt corporate Learning & Development.

Four Dissociable Learning Systems in the Brain

The human brain is comprised of at least four distinct learning systems. A schematic of the learning systems is provided in the figure below.

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Why Extended Reality (xR) is Poised to Disrupt Corporate Learning and Development – Part I: The Problem

(Note: This is the first of a four-party series on the Learning Science of xR in Corporate Learning.) Executive Summary Key Stakeholders: Chief Learning Officers, Chief Human Resource Officers, Chief People Officer, Chief Talent Officer, Learning & Development Directors and Managers, Corporate Trainers, Content and Learning Product Managers, Hiring Directors, Hiring Managers, Human Resource Directors,…

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Todd Maddox Publishes Brain Science Analysis of Augmented Reality for Product Lifecycle Management

Today, Todd Maddox published the report “Why Augmented Reality is Effective in Product Lifecycle Management: A Brain Science Analysis.” This report provides best practices for implementing augmented reality across product development, supply chain management, equipment operation, troubleshooting, and field service.

Recommendations are based on Maddox’ research, which has been cited over 10,000 by his academic peers.

This report is available at no cost through the end of February based on the generosity of our clients. To download this report at no cost for the rest of February, please go to https://amalgaminsights.com/product/analyst-insight-why-augmented-reality-is-effective-in-product-lifecycle-management.

Webinar: Leveraging Psychology And Brain Science To Optimize Retention And Behavior Change

Recommended for: Chief Learning Officers, Chief Human Resource Officers, Chief People Officer, Chief Talent Officer, Learning & Development Directors and Managers, Corporate Trainers, Content and Learning Product Managers, Hiring Directors, Hiring Managers, Human Resource Directors, Human Resource Managers.

On Tuesday, February 5, 2019 2:00pm EST, join the most cited  and referenced learning scientist in corporate learning, Todd Maddox, Ph.D.  as he presents on the psychology of corporate training with Dr. B. Price Kerfoot, Co-Founder of Qstream. 

Together, they will show why corporate learning and development professionals need to learn how to leverage the brain science and technology that change behavior.

In this webcast, you will learn:

  • the psychology of continuous learning for hard and soft skills development
  • the proof behind best practices in microlearning
  • the impact of spaced learning on knowledge retention and behavior change
  • the application of microlearning in corporate enterprise.

And by attending this webcast, you will:

  • Be armed with evaluation criteria for identifying best-of-breed microlearning solutions.
  • Become expert in how to affect behavior change at scale in the corporate learning environment.
  • Provoke thinking that applies proven spaced education research your own workplace L&D programs.

To attend this webinar, sign up on the ATD website and learn more about how to influence behavior, knowledge retention, and skills development based on the science of the brain. And Amalgam Insights thanks QStream for underwriting this opportunity for W. Todd Maddox Ph.D. to share his 25+ years of brain science knowledge with the corporate learning community.

Understanding the Brain Science on How the US Government Shutdown Reduces the Effectiveness of Diligent Decision-Making

  On December 22, 2018, the longest government shutdown in American history began. Approximately 800,000 employees have been affected with roughly 380,000 workers being furloughed and another 420,000 working without pay. Many of the 420,000 employees being required to work without pay make important, and often split-second, life or death decisions. This includes the Coast…

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