Imagine this: Your sales rep is about to make a call to your largest customer. Just before the meeting, your rep receives an automatically generated text message informing her of a huge announcement just made in the market. Her ability to speak intelligently about this demonstrates your organization’s knowledge. You win new business.

What made that possible was a learning portal utilizing widgets to pull, configure and redistribute relevant market intelligence just when it happens, and then automatically send it to your workforce as fast as possible. Thanks to the emergence of Managed Learning Portals, we’re on the verge of a major shift in how companies provide content to employees and customers.

Learning portals, of course, have been around for some time. Early entrants to the market licensed an LMS, configured the front end, assisted with migrating courseware, and left the rest to the client.

The Managed Learning Portal is more about how proprietary and non-proprietary business intelligence, including courses, is accessed, displayed and mined. Our ability to aggregate information from the cloud, I believe, will revolutionize our industry in the coming decade.

The technology that allows the Managed Learning Portal to pull content from the cloud is critically important, and now available to everyone. That’s why the differentiator in this space will be how services and processes are configured to assist the client in making it efficient and effective.

From where I sit, this shift positions training to move into a much more strategic place, but we must seize the opportunity. We must prove that we are not just about providing courses, but about providing intelligence.

As always, I welcome your comments. Or you can send me a note at

Originally published in the Summer Edition of TrainingIndustry Quarterly. To see the ezine version of this post, go to TrainingIndustry Quarterly .