Today, NetDimensions announced the release of the Enterprise Knowledge Platform (EKP) 4.6. The new NetDimensions learning management system (LMS) is now available to a select list of clients and partners under the NetDimensions controlled release program with global release scheduled to coincide with the NetDimensions EKP Users Conference September 12 in Bermuda.
Featuring the latest in virtual learning technology, EKP 4.6 is NetDimensions' most feature-rich learning management system. EKP is also the first learning and performance management system to be integrated with SkillSoft's Open Learning Services Architecture (OLSA).
Hailed as "groundbreaking" by SkillSoft Executive Vice President of Technology Mark Townsend, NetDimensions' efforts mark the first successful implementation of the OLSA initiative, originally announced in 2005 at the SkillSoft Perspectives conference. OLSA is based on Web services technology and provides SkillSoft learning services to Learning Management Systems for easier integration and richer e-learning experiences.
"Existing learning architectures have focused on integrating small learning objects when creating learning content within a single LMS," said Townsend. "EKP's successful integration of OLSA is the first example of the opportunities that exist to create effective, value-added learning solutions together with our partners that make it easier for end users to integrate their learning assets faster and more efficiently."
EKP 4.6 includes out-of-the-box support for OLSA and automatically checks for new and updated SkillSoft courses and assets the client is entitled to, and then immediately updates EKP's course catalogs. This Course Management Learning Service, according to Robert Lowe, NetDimensions' chief technology officer and head of the EKP-OLSA integration project, eliminates the manual work involved in keeping EKP course catalogs up to date.
"This means customers using EKP will have the newest courses as soon as they log on," said Lowe. "It's brilliant, and saves trainers a lot of time, especially if they have a large course library to maintain."
There's OLSA and there's also ...
Aside from OLSA, EKP 4.6 promises to deliver improved usability with a number of high-level enhancements. A recent presentation on EKP 4.6 by NetDimensions Chief Information Officer Ray Ruff highlighted the new PENS (Package Exchange Notification Service) implementation that allows content authoring systems to interface directly with EKP, allowing the publishing of authored material directly to the LMS with the push of a button.
Ruff touched on a number of enhancements, including ...
- A new, Lucene Open Source-based search engine embedded within EKP to allow for fast and more precise searching.
- A new report scheduler that gives administrators the option of setting up reports which EKP automatically generates and emails to recipient lists according to set schedules.
- New payment processing options that give administrators the ability to assign token-based costs to courses and track token balances at the user or organization level.
"The theme for EKP 4.6 was really to enhance user functionality and usability while, at the same time, to improve the technology within EKP," said Ruff. "This lays the groundwork for EKP 5.0, with which we'll release a number of even more ground-breaking innovations."
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Established in 1999, NetDimensions provides learning management systems for global enterprises. The company's web-based learning and knowledge management software solutions deliver and manage corporate training, assessment and certification programs, as well as help clients around the world address growing regulatory compliance needs. NetDimensions' client roster includes multinational companies such as Cathay Pacific, HSBC, ING and South Africa Telkom.