While small proof-of-concept efforts focused on mLearning have been conducted for years, mobile was not a “high priority” issue until 2013 when Loblaw’s IT department began to lift previous restrictions on personally owned mobile devices being used for company business – in short, a new BYOD policy spurred acceptance and innovation in the mobile arena and Loblaw’s Learning Team was tasked with making enterprise mLearning a reality. Just 18 months later, Loblaw now provides store associates with a fully capable Learning Portal experience via Loblaw-branded native apps and all new content developed is designed to be responsive to ensure playback on any support handset, tablet or Internet-connected computer. Shared tablets are also being introduced into store locations to push learning and performance support out to associates whenever they need it.
Customized Learning Portals & Apps
Loblaw Companies Limited, the largest food retailer in Canada spanning 1,000 corporate and franchise supermarkets operating under 22 regional and market segment banners, is one of OnPoint’s largest customers partnering together since 2008. OnPoint’s online and mobile platforms and apps support 140,000 workers and easily represents one of our most customized and highly integrated solution deployments.
Loblaw’s main Learning Portal serves as the central hub for all training programs prepared and delivered Loblaw’s training teams and other approved content providers. OnPoint’s OPLS LMS/LCMS platform supports all online and instructor-led training experiences using a specialized custom interface that provides detailed “job ladders” used to map an associate’s career path at Loblaw. More than 1,000 courses are offered in English, Canadian French and Chinese to support store associates in various locations.
Loblaw was an early adopter of the OnPoint Gamification Engine and has selectively applied game mechanics to several training programs and product launch campaigns over the past 2+ years. Basic game mechanics/game dynamics have been added across much of the platform including points awarded for completing both formal and informal learning assignments and tasks.
Loblaw’s custom UXs are highly customized and flexible operating not only online through modern (e.g., Microsoft IE9, Google Chrome, Apple Safari) and legacy (e.g., Microsoft IE8) web browsers in 3 languages but is also responsively functional on all supported mobile devices including Apple iOS, Android, Windows Phone/Windows Tablet and BlackBerry 10 smartphones and tablets. The overall UX designs are sophisticated, feature rich and dynamic supporting automatic learner-specific updates and actions.
Loblaw’s Learning Portals are tightly integrated with a variety of internal and external IT systems and applications including authentication (via federated SSO), API connectors to SAP, to third party safety and compliance credentialing services, to Cisco Webex for virtual ILT sessions and to external content repositories and aggregators. The infrastructure to support Loblaw includes five dedicated and clustered servers with hardened security services to ensure maximum uptime and system protection.