Case Study: Heineken Global Commerce University

Heineken has created a social e-learning hub for 2,000 of its marketing professionals worldwide.

Read on to take a little look under the hood.

Heineken's Global Commerce University Homepage

Heineken's Global Commerce University Homepage

Heineken's social learning platform

Heineken was already using our SandBox™ content management system for its multi award-winning BrandPortal – a central repository of assets and guidelines, supported with lots of social features to promote the Heineken brand.

When Heineken's global marketing team set out to build a central learning hub, they wanted to provide their staff with a learning experience that included the 'social' aspects available on the BrandPortal. So they tested the water by creating a GCU minisite within the existing BrandPortal structure.

Within two weeks we had the GCU minisite online – with separate sections for individual learning topics, where course leaders and employees could upload, manage, access, rate and share content around a particular theme.

But as the popularity of the minisite grew (and armed with their successful experiences on the BrandPortal), the Heineken team realised they wanted their own, dedicated GCU site.

"SmallWorlders are very easy and pleasant to work with. It always feels like a collaborative partnership rather than a supplier-client relationship."

Francesca Castagnetti, Digital Manager, Global Commerce, Heineken

Heineken's Global Commerce University

Heineken's Global Commerce University

A collaborative learning hub for the 21st century

Creating a new site for GCU took a matter of weeks.

Then quickly after launch, Heineken moved into phase two of their vision - the search for a Learning Management System to use alongside the GCU content.

They struggled to find an LMS up to the job. The existing LMS software options were simply too rigid to allow for what the Heineken team required.

So instead of buying off-the-shelf LMS software, Heineken asked SmallWorlders if we would build them a customised LMS. The result is an integrated social hub and SCORM-compliant e-learning portal, meeting the following objectives:

  • Bring Heineken employees together

    to ensure support and development for marketers everywhere in the world
  • Maintain brand standards

    by sharing and integrating organisational planning and individual development into an overall learning experience.
  • Share content in different formats:

    from interactive videos and animations to blogs, articles and slide presentations
  • Enable people to upload their own content:

    creating a collaborative learning environment
  • Allow people to rate, recommend and comment

    on content: making learning a social experience

Today the GCU site is a flagship talent management tool where all employees can exercise their personal development plan.

And of course the system allows Heineken to do everything you'd expect from a good LMS:

  • Deliver

    SCORM-compliant e-learning courses
  • Track

    e-learning results and progress
  • Administer

    and manage calendars for classroom events
  • Manage

    classroom event attendance with state-of-the-art event management tools: reminders, attendance lists, and course material management.

The Heineken Global Commerce University delivers a raft of benefits to all its users:

  • Speed and Flexibility

    – Users can easily upload content in flexible formats with limited technical requirements or go through any kind of change request process.
  • Improved Knowledge

    – It’s easy to access and share knowledge around a certain topic, with the option to upload and recommend external content as well as the core masterclass training materials.
  • Collaboration

    – A file-sharing feature lets users exchange files and information privately, as well as uploading it to the portal.
  • Social Learning

    – Users can rate, recommend and comment on content, as well as view the profiles of other users, create their own personal network of contacts, and view their activity feed.
  • Added Value

    – Course leaders (aka digital rock stars) supplement the core sessions with a blog series that beefs up key elements that need extra focus and understanding.

"SandBox is a highly customisable solution for e-learning that can be implemented in the same timescale as a less flexible off-the-shelf package. Throughout, SmallWorlders have been extremely client-oriented and solution-oriented, and those are qualities I really value in a partner."

Francesca Castagnetti, Digital Manager, Global Commerce, Heineken

Heineken's Global Commerce University

Heineken's Global Commerce University

Measurable results

Everyone from junior co-ordinators right up to senior management access the GCU site, with every piece of content receiving a 4 or 5 out of 5 rating for usefulness and relevance.

In addition over 1000 users have logged 224 hours (and counting) in active e-learning.

And over 800 classroom course attendees have been sent invitations, had the completion of their pre-course work tracked and their attendance recorded using the Event Managment System.