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May 29, 2008

Meridian's Latest Learning Management System Eases Managers' Jobs

By Rajani Baburajan
TMCnet Contributor

Meridian Knowledge Solutions, a learning technology company, released the latest version of its flagship learning management system: Meridian Global LMS 2008.2. The new LMS enables managers to carry out employee reviews, offer compliance training, and build online communities.
Meridian Global LMS integrates learning content management, workforce analytics, knowledge management and competency modeling in one learning management system (LMS). Meridian’s clients include AutoZone, Panera Bread, Sodexho, the U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Navy, Whirlpool and more than 80 federal, state and local government agencies.
"Version 2008.2 offers a quick and easy way for managers to tackle performance evaluations," said Dave DeVaux, co-founder and chief technology executive of Meridian, in a statement. "As performance evaluation products become more and more complicated, they run the risk of becoming too hard to use. At the end of the day, we don't want the technology to become an obstacle to the very thing it's supposed to make happen: A conversation between manager and employee."
Meridian Global LMS 2008.2 performance evaluation features are easy to use. Managers begin the evaluation process by opening a simple evaluation template, from which they can set or edit work goals for each employee. Once the template is saved, the manager can invite the employees online for discussion.

The compliance training offered by Meridian’s latest LMS relieves managers from the painful task of reminding employees of their deadlines and incomplete works. Meridian Global LMS 2008.2 allows them to organize and manage regulatory training around different job titles without much exertion. The system offers compliance training for each job title or role and sends email notification to the employees on behalf of supervisors. It communicates with the employees about the type of the training and reminds them of the due dates. 
There is also provision to calibrate the LMS in advance, ideally at the beginning of the financial year, to remind workers about recurring training and licensing tests. The system notifies the manager as soon as the employees complete their training. In case the employees fail to complete the training on time, the LMS starts nagging, forcing the employees to complete it.
Like in the Meridian Global 2008.1, customers can build a “software code wall” around all of the customized codes in the newest Meridian LMS. This feature enables the customers to carry forward the edits, which they have made in the earlier version, without affecting the software base codes of the new version.
"By walling off the customized code, Meridian is directly solving a problem that causes great frustration among LMS users. The move could literally save Meridian users tens, or even hundreds, of thousands of dollars in the long run," said Bryan Chapman, chief learning strategist for Chapman Alliance, a learning technologies consultancy.

Another important feature of Meridian Global 2008.2 is its ability to quickly tap into "collaboration spaces." Meridian's collaboration spaces are online communities created for employees to carry out or augment training. This will give a chance to employees to share their views or reinforce the contents covered during the training. Apart from the collaboration space, Meridian has provided advanced tools, menus and user interface in the newest LMS.
"The talent management market is bloated with systems that have become so weighed down with arcane features that users are discouraged," added DeVaux. "With the customer's interests in mind, we've aimed to make Meridian Global Version 2008.2 both smart and simple."
Rajani Baburajan is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Rajani’s articles, please visit her columnist page.

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