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Social Business Speeds Employee Onboarding and Training for Research & Consulting Firm

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Aite Group is a Boston-based, independent research and advisory firm that focuses on business, technology and regulatory issues; and their impact on the financial services industry. Aite Group’s analysts work remotely across the United States, Europe and Asia to deliver comprehensive, actionable advice that helps its financial services clients stay ahead of critical industry trends.

The Challenge

As the company quickly grew from its start in 2005, Aite Group realized the need for a formal onboarding process to train new employees. Many of its new hires learned on the job with the help of coaching and guidance from their managers. However, the company lacked the processes and technology needed to capture and share formal training documents, best practices and collective knowledge from other employees. Aite needed a solution that would help improve how it onboards and trains their employees with a single source of information that could be updated and shared throughout the organization, while encouraging collaboration among coworkers.

The Search

Aite Group looked at dozens of options including large enterprise solutions that covered the entire spectrum of HR processes, learning management systems (LMS) and enterprise social networks like Yammer. But according to Gwenn Bezard, partner and co-founder of Aite, the solutions were too complex and required more support than the research firm could provide.

“Enterprise systems are expensive and difficult to manage with the resources we have as a company our size,” he said. “We don’t have the luxury of having full-time people to administer the systems, and there was a learning curve that required additional training for our employees.”

LMS solutions were also ruled out because they required investments in additional tools to create content. The enterprise social networks were dismissed because they were centered around a “chatter” experience instead of focusing on creating and sharing learning materials.

“I was not looking for a way to keep people busy with internal conversations -especially since we are on Salesforce and their Chatter functionality is already available to us – but rather for a way for them to share educational materials via a vibrant user interface,” Bezard said.

The Solution

Aite Group selected Bloomfire for its ability to provide an all-in-one solution that was affordable and easy for all employees to quickly create and share content, without a lot of IT support or additional software investments.

“Bloomfire gets high marks among our users for its modern user interface and robust search capabilities. The speed with which you can create content with minimum training is great,” Bezard continued. “With Bloomfire, it’s so easy to use, a monkey could create content in minutes.”

The Results

Aite Group has created hundreds of pieces of content on Bloomfire for new and existing employees. Bezard said the company’s knowledge base is extremely popular with new employees who can learn on their own time by searching and accessing information without the assistance of their managers or HR. In many cases, Bloomfire exposes them to content they normally would not encounter for weeks or months on the job.

Existing employees use Bloomfire to keep up with best practices and changes within the company.

“When we change processes or emphasize a best practice, it’s very useful for our existing employees,” Bezard said. “For instance, when we recently upgraded the way we use Salesforce, we used Bloomfire to document all the changes and provided how-to instructions and training manuals to employees.”

Bloomfire has also changed the way Aite Group thinks about its best practices and procedures. By encouraging feedback over the knowledge base, management can gauge their effectiveness and make changes when necessary.

“It’s pushing us to have conversations about some of our critical processes and best practices,” he said. “It has forced those conversations among management and employees and it encourages us to think through everything we do and make sure we are operating in the best possible way, from our most mundane processes to the most strategic aspects of our business. Bloomfire has enabled us to make a big leap in getting the whole team to work from the same playbook.”

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