Learning Foundation

Navigating Complexity and Constant Change in Globalizing Learning Technology

Alicja Zopf, Global Learning Technology LMS Lead, McDonald’s Corporation

Shelly Fera, People Systems, IT Project Manager, McDonald’s Corporation

Reed Jones, Managing Consultant & Founding Partner, Rapid Learning Deployment


With over 36,000 locations in more than 120 countries worldwide, McDonald’s is an iconic global brand. With such a large and diverse workforce, what is the approach McDonald’s is taking to increase the value of its learning and development efforts? Join McDonald’s and rapidLD as they discuss how they developed a winning strategy for deploying Saba Cloud to 14 independent global markets in 2017. You’ll discover how they have implemented a best-in-class learning technology foundation that enables employee development, improves the customer experience, ensures rapid global adoption and, most importantly, fully aligns with the company’s strategic business initiatives. In this session, you’ll gain insights into best practices and lessons learned, discovering how McDonald’s overcame a myriad of challenges to successfully globalize their learning technology and processes.

Social Learning: Information Overload or Filter Failure?

Chris Salles (Audible, Inc.)


There are over 100 million active daily users on Twitter, with 500 million tweets sent every day. Talk about drinking from the firehose! When your employees are flooded with information and conversations through social media, email, TV, and the seven work collaboration apps your organization launched last year, how are they going to filter through all of it? The new era of social learning is continuing to transform the way we learn and work. Soon traditional resumes will be deprecated, social analytics will replace demographics, and social rating systems will even become more valuable than yearly performance reviews. In this session, you’ll discover how to develop and drive adoption of an effective social learning strategy that results in increased employee engagement and performance.

Overcoming Resistance: Getting Analog Users to Adopt and Engage with Tech

Amanda Merriam, Director of Training, Curves


How do you ensure your franchisees are equipped with the training they need to drive profitability and deliver a consistent customer experience? Curves, a multi-unit franchisor, is using Saba to address the fragmentation of operational processes at the store level, engaging over 4,000 users while easing their fears and anxieties of online and social learning. In this session, you’ll discover practical tips and tactics to connect with learners that lack confidence with technology, are short on time, or don’t understand their role in the learning process. Join us to discover strategies for identifying the issues that your learners are facing, so that you can break down the barriers of online and social learning engagement!

Learning and IT: Creating a Beautiful Friendship at Fressnapf

Kathrin Sommer, Head of Continuing Professional Development (Fressnapf-Academy), Fressnapf Tiernahrungs GmbH

Marco Anderheyden, Consultant IT Application & SAP Infrastructure, Fressnapf Tiernahrungs GmbH


Two years ago, the IT and HR teams at Fressnapf joined forces to make the leap from Saba Enterprise 6.0 to Saba Cloud. In this session, you’ll gain insights into their migration strategy, discovering when and where they had to switch gears and adapt to unexpected circumstances. You’ll discover best practices and lessons learned from Fressnapf’s migration to Saba Cloud, understanding the impact it has had on their organization, how their employees have been able to build their knowledge base and increase business success on the new platform, and what the future holds for them.

Leadership Development: Cultivating a National Multimodal Leadership Development Program

Robyn McNeill (GoWireless)


With 716 locations spread over 32 states, GoWireless must continuously evolve to meet the needs of its large, dynamic and ever-changing workforce. When it came to establishing nationwide professional development opportunities, the GoWireless training team knew they needed something that would allow all employees within their organization to thrive. By leveraging multiple types of training, including face-to-face training, virtual training, online course work, and side-by-side checklists, GoWireless has developed an innovative and successful training program that was recognized with a 2016 Saba Customer Excellence Award. In this session, you’ll gain insights into how GoWireless uses Saba to enroll, engage, and empower employees to obtain new and ever-growing leadership skills. You’ll also discover how to creatively leverage various modes of training to more effectively develop and engage employees within your own organization.

How We Learn at Hyatt Part 1: Enabling Colleagues to Chart Their Own Path

Emily Forsythe, System Analyst, Hyatt

Megan Nierman, Manager of Talent Metrics & Systems Delivery, Hyatt


Hyatt believes that learning is an ongoing series of interactions and experiences that enable its colleagues to be their best every day and prepare for future opportunities. At Hyatt, learning is not confined to the formal classroom environment and traditional teacher-student relationships. Learning is a lifelong process, not a class or series of classes to complete. In this session, you’ll gain insights into the ways Hyatt’s culture provides opportunities, both big and small, for its colleagues to learn and grow every day. You’ll learn how Hyatt is partnering with Saba to scale their approach to employee development, making their philosophy a reality for thousands of colleagues.

Note: Join the follow-up breakout session, How We Learn at Hyatt, Part 2: Making It Happen, to learn more about how Hyatt’s IT team is leveraging Saba’s data integration functionality to meet its business objectives.

Pushing the Easy Button on Global Learning

Lisa McCorkle (SAS Institute)


Founded on educational psychology research and usability guidelines, this session will propose best practices for designing and developing effective training for a global workforce. You’ll discover what type of e-learning is most effective for user engagement and experience, knowledge comprehension, and skill development. The effects of multimedia on user engagement, as well as strategies for reducing learners’ cognitive workload so they can process information more effectively, will also be discussed. Join this session to gain insights into proven strategies for enhancing usability and adoption of your Saba learning platform, ultimately enabling you to derive greater business value from your LMS.

Making the Most of Your Data with Saba Analytics

Jeff Caddick (RR Donnelley)


Reporting in a large organization can be complex. Every admin wants to break down their data by different filters. Executives want a high-level overview, but also want the details to push down to the managers for follow-up. Nobody has the time to interpret the different statuses available for the different types of courses. How do you deal with all that? In this session, you’ll discover a strategy for reducing the number of specialized reports you need to create and how to use custom dimensions to simplify the display of statuses. You’ll also gain insights into ways you can more effectively meet the needs of executives through your approach to business and compliance program reporting.

From Paper Based to Integrated HR: Integrating HR and Payroll into a Single System using Saba Cloud

Koby Long (Covenant Health)


How do you implement a modern HR and Payroll system in an organization that prefers analog to digital, tradition to transformation, and paper to computer? Covenant Health faced this challenge head-on with a freshly implemented LMS and a system administrator with limited experience.  With thousands of employees spread across 17 sites and 128,000 square miles, Covenant Health relied on Saba to provide its employees with easy access to required learning and opportunities to further develop their skillsets. In this session, you’ll gain insights into how Covenant Health deployed Saba Cloud to successfully take the organization from a completely paper- and facilitator-based system to the cloud.

Dell EMC: Tips for Successful Migration to Saba Cloud

Facilitator: Ben Hastings, Senior Director, Dell EMC


  • Alaina Miller, LMS Planner, Dell EMC
  • Tiffany Garcia, LMS Publisher, Dell EMC
  • Anna Chen, LMS Administrator, Dell EMC
  • Crawford Spooner, LMS Architect, Dell EMC

Dell has long been heralded for its operational innovation, and when it comes to learning, the huge global business is again setting the bar for strategic operational excellence. In this interactive panel discussion, you’ll have a chance to hear directly from the learning and development team at Dell EMC. You’ll discover best practices for transitioning to a new LMS, gaining deeper insights into what Dell’s learning team considers to be the four critical elements of collaboration that drive success in any LMS migration: change management, governance, infrastructure and relevance. Attend this panel discussion to hear Dell EMC’s leading technical learning professionals discuss how these four elements paved the way for a successful Saba Cloud migration.

Learning Tips and Tricks

Hear Ye Hear Ye. Make Your Notifications Work for You

Tony Caggiano (Northrop Grumman)


How do you get people’s attention in today’s fast-paced world of work where everyone is on overload, and deadlines and customers are calling? At Northrop Grumman, Saba’s notifications are used to inform users – and sometimes their managers – when training is required or they do something in the system that requires feedback, such as enrolling in an offering. With a definite look that identifies the email at a glance as coming from the LMS, deep links that direct users to exactly where they need to go, and instructions on how to contact the helpdesk with questions, these notifications enable Northrop Grumman’s learners and managers to more effectively see and respond to learning requirements in a timely manner. In this session, you’ll gain insights into best practices and lessons learned from Northrop Grumman’s use of notifications, as well as discover how you can use notifications proactively to achieve your learning goals.

Using Groups & Workspaces to Facilitate Onboarding

Claire Griswold & Regina Owens (LHC Group)


With approximately 250 new hires per week, it is critical for LHC Group to provide clear pathways to onboarding for both hiring managers and new hires. Using Saba’s groups and workspaces, LHC Group guides employees through the orientation process, providing easy access to helpful tools and resources along the way. In this session, you’ll learn how you can use groups and workspaces to facilitate a smooth and successful onboarding program. You’ll also gain insights into how this approach reduces errors and frustration for the manager and new hire, while also decreasing the level of support required by other departments within your organization.

How We Learn at Hyatt, Part 2: Making It Happen

Kari Haley, Business Analyst, Hyatt

Cecil Matthew, HRIS Talent Systems Manager, Hyatt


Just as Hyatt has developed a flexible L&D strategy to drive engagement and meet the needs of its workforce, the organization’s technical approach to learning must also be flexible in order to accommodate its ever-changing and dynamic business needs. In this technical session, you’ll gain insights into how Hyatt’s IT team is creatively leveraging Saba’s data integration functionality – including the Saba Cloud API, and data import mapping tool – to meet its business objectives. Covering a range of data integration topics, you’ll discover tips and tricks for project execution, as well as ongoing adaptation strategies for utilizing Saba’s new functionality as it becomes available in subsequent releases.

Note: Though not required, attending the complementary breakout session, How We Learn at Hyatt, Part 1: Enabling Colleagues to Chart Their Own Path, is highly encouraged.

Telling the Story: Analytics and Reporting

Karen Duff-McCall (Western States Equipment)


We are living in a data-driven world, making it possible – and very tempting – to provide data-dense reports on training to demonstrate our value to the organization. So why is it that our messages of success and business impact still often fall flat? Ultimately, people don’t respond to numbers – they respond to personal stories and experiences. By becoming a storyteller, you can help move your training strategy forward and elevate the role of L&D within your organization. In this session, you’ll gain insights into how an organization of any size can leverage the powerful analytics capabilities of Saba Cloud to tell the stories related to training. You’ll discover how to move beyond simply reporting on completion counts and hours spent in training to helping shareholders see and feel the difference training is making in novel, visual formats.

Expert Panels

Implementation Best Practices - Tips and Tricks from the Experts

Are you implementing Saba? During this session, Saba Implementation Services and Saba Customers will take you through their tips for a successful implementation.

Best Practices: Migrating to the Cloud

Are you migrating to Saba Cloud? Join this panel discussion to hear from Saba, Saba partners, and Saba customers on their best practices for cloud migration.

Go Live Glory - Accelerating Adoption for the Win!

During this panel, we’ll discuss with Saba customers their keys to success in driving user adoption across the workforce.

Healthcare Panel: “Strategic Talent Management in the Era of Uncertainty”

Facilitator: Young Paik, Partner, The Educe Group


  • Jeanne Bonzon, Director of Learning and Development, BJC HealthCare
  • Hap Aziz, Director of Learning/ Learning Officer, Adventist Health System
  • Sree Cherukuri, Director of HR Applications, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
  • Melissa Holland, LMS Administrator, Banner Health

The wave of transformation in the healthcare industry is well underway and technological innovation is one of the driving forces behind this wave. In this panel discussion, you’ll have a chance to hear from talent leaders at world-renowned healthcare organizations on how – with the help of Saba – they are tackling the industry’s unique workforce challenges and strategically positioning their organizations to meet tomorrow’s talent management needs. Attend this panel discussion to gain insights into how other healthcare organizations are leveraging Saba to ensure compliance, recruit top talent, develop a more highly skilled workforce, reduce staff turnover and manage an enterprise system in a decentralized and expanding organization.

Higher Education Panel: “Why Are Leading Universities Converging on Saba Cloud?”

Facilitator: Charlie Kauffunger, Founder and Managing Partner, The Educe Group


  • Bill Ganzenmuller, Center for Workplace Development, Harvard University
  • Samir A. Desai, Executive Director, Learning and Organizational Development, Northwestern University
  • Brandi Strasshofer Morrell, University of Connecticut
  • Michele Harashe, LMS Administrator, Washington University

Institutions of higher learning have been faced with a wave of changing human capital challenges over the past decade, including meeting new institutional goals, improving university business processes and meeting training and research compliance requirements. For many colleges and universities, these issues have brought about an increased need for talent management technology to stay competitive. In this panel discussion, you’ll have a chance to hear from fellow talent practitioners at leading colleges and universities such as Harvard, Northwestern, and the University of Connecticut. They will share insights into their talent strategies and how they are using Saba as their enterprise talent platform to attract, nurture and retain a world-class faculty. Attend this panel discussion to discover how leading universities are leveraging Saba to ensure their institutions remain a destination of choice for today’s brightest minds.

Tailoring Your Saba Cloud Solution with Microapps

Facilitator: Kathleen Waid, Manager, The Educe Group


  • Samir A. Desai, Executive Director, Learning and Organizational Development, Northwestern University
  • Michele Harashe, LMS System Administrator.  Washington University
  • Jeanne Bonzon, Director, Learning and Development, BJC
  • Patrick Horan, Associate, The Educe Group

Saba’s developers and partners continue to develop customized integrated applications for Saba Cloud that seamlessly extend Saba’s capabilities to meet specific business requirements. In this interactive panel discussion, you’ll have a chance to explore a variety of Microapps that have been designed specifically for Saba customers to help their solutions achieve a perfect, tailored fit. Fellow talent leaders from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Northwestern University and Washington University will demonstrate the microapps they use, as well as provide insights into how these microapps are being leveraged to help meet their business objectives. Attend this panel discussion to learn how you can derive even greater value from our Saba platform through the use of microapps!

Leader’s Workshops

The Brandon Hall Group: Learning Leaders Training

Michael Rochelle (The Brandon Hall Group)

Next Practices

Reporting and the Shift to Analytics

Mark Jones (Yum!) and Dana Murphy (rapidLD)


There is a convergence of data and technology which is creating new opportunities to gain insights into all dimensions of learning. These dimensions include effectiveness of training, impact to employee development and influence on the organization’s bottom line. Over the past year, Yum! Brands – with the help of professional services firm rapidLD – has re-launched their learning platform using Saba Cloud. The analytics capabilities of Saba Cloud have enabled Yum! Brands to begin migrating reports off of expensive external reporting solutions and leverage the power of LMS reporting in Saba. In this session, you’ll gain insights into how Saba Analytics fits into the reporting and business intelligence strategy at Yum! Brands, as well as how the Yum! learning team envisions the future of learning analytics.

Secret Agent Man: Using Virtual Classrooms to Onboard and Educate a Distributed Sales Team

Tamara Saunders (Aflac), Sheena Willis (Aflac), and Chris Terry (rapidLD)


Whether serving a distributed sales team, extended enterprise, or other geographically diverse group, the ability to gather virtually is critical in today’s agile market. Saba Meeting is mature, its functionality is broad, and the integration with your LMS is already in place. So how do you leverage the power that is right at your fingertips? How do you use a virtual classroom to onboard and educate a highly distributed workforce with a consistent message, immediate feedback, collaborative activities, and blended content to meet the needs of people with different personalities, technical aptitudes, and learning styles? In this interactive session, you’ll discover practical advice and best practices from the implementation team that successfully deployed the virtual classroom at Aflac.

Using Saba as a Trojan Horse for Attracting and Retaining Millenial Talent

Yvette Birlew (Sally Beauty) and Michelle Graves (rapidLD)


With over 5,000 stores in 13 countries and annual consolidated sales of over $3.9B in 2016, Sally Beauty Holdings (SBH) is one of the largest retailers of specialty beauty products in the world. With this footprint, Sally Beauty faces many of the issues that retailers typically struggle with, including how to effectively engage, recruit and retain employees. Despite these challenges, however, SBH has a 13-year history of sales growth every year. With the help of Saba, Sally Beauty is moving the needle on employee engagement, retention and recruitment to drive year-over-year growth. In this session, you’ll gain insights into how Sally Beauty has implemented Saba’s cloud-based LMS to support the organization’s key business initiatives and drive business results.

Leveraging LMS Technology to Engage and Develop Your Sales Team

Kathryn Tague, AVP, Financial Representative Learning & Development, The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America

Jim Everidge, President/CEO, Rapid Learning Deployment (rapidLD)


Engaging sales professionals to invest the time and effort to develop their career skills is an age-old issue. They just want to sell! However, to make them the most effective at their job, they need training and development, especially at the beginning of their careers. To drive engagement, retention and performance, Guardian Life gives its financial representatives visibility into a three-year development plan through Saba Cloud’s workspace pages. This includes detailed curriculum plans and support resources at various stages throughout their career. In this session, you’ll gain insights into how organizations can leverage Saba’s learning platform to engage sales professionals and help them advance their careers while also driving better business performance.

Personal Development in the Workplace: Everyone's Doing It!

Helen Rossiter (West Marine)


People are happiest when they are doing what they love and are great at. However, many may not know what that is or how it connects to their job. Join us to discover a step-by-step process for launching a company-wide personal development program that is self-driven, hosted by management, and supports business performance objectives. In this session, you’ll gain insights into how West Marine launched individual development plans with Saba Cloud, shifting their culture and improving productivity.

Engaging the Modern Workforce with Campaign-based Learning

Sabine Gori (Credit Suisse)


Credit Suisse – a leading financial services company based in Zurich – has established a learning culture that has long been rooted in digital technologies, beginning in the 80’s with computer-based training (CBT) and evolving into mobile learning experiences. After successfully migrating from an on-premise version of Saba Enterprise to Saba Cloud in November 2016, Credit Suisse is now able to deliver fully responsive mobile learning experiences to all of its employees. In this session, you’ll gain insights into how Credit Suisse has maximized Saba’s technology capabilities to deliver impactful “campaign-based learning” to its employees, driving improved learning efficiencies and more effectively engaging their modern workforce.

Get Social to Improve Sales

Jodie Boeldt (RR Donnelley)


Social technology is no longer used just to share what you do personally; it is now a viable tool in business. Social communities are an incredible resource that can provide immediate access to hundreds of people who are willing and able to help at the moment of need. In this interactive session, you’ll discover the power of “getting social” as a tool to drive sales, and see how you, too, can leverage social technology to positively impact your company’s bottom line.

Best Practices for Building a High-Performance Culture

Paul van Niekerk, Junior Partner and General Manager, Technology Solutions


LRMG Performance Agency  believes that a performance culture is a foundational element that HR can leverage to impact overall organizational performance. They  have codified elements of performance culture in their Performance by Design approach. They believe in drinking their own champagne, so they not only take this methodology to market, but also apply it in-house. Join Paul van Niekerk  for the story of how LRMG  has employed key elements in its own organization, and how they  are using Saba to support and enhance their culture of performance.

#forthewin: Driving Performance with Just-in-Time Learning

Eileen Maier, SVP Go To Market Delivery and Wendy Lo, Independent Learning Consultant, Guidewire


The sales enablement team at Guidewire – a software provider serving the property and casualty insurance industry – was challenged with a growing number and complexity of products, frequent software releases, a geographically dispersed sales team, and sales people hungry for just-in-time learning. Guidewire selected Saba Cloud to help automate, scale and accelerate delivery of the right information to its sales team. In this session, you’ll discover best practices and lessons learned from Guidewire’s success, gaining insights into how they are leveraging Saba to meet their sales team’s needs and achieve their organizational growth objectives.

Help Managers be at their Best with Online Performance Support

Tom Warburton (Virgin Atlantic)


How can learning and development help managers change the way they work and do their jobs better? Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Holidays needed to upskill their hiring managers in order to make sure their recruitment processes were agile, professional and timely. The organization also had to ensure that these managers were clear about their accountability in the process. An online package of learning and support did just that, bringing consistency to an infrequent activity like recruitment. In this session, you’ll gain insights into how Virgin leveraged technology to provide their hiring managers with performance support that enabled them to be at their best and optimize recruiting performance.

Effective Performance Management for a Multigenerational Workforce

Jacqueline Kuhn (HRchitect)


Managing employee performance is directly tied to engagement and company outcomes. The communication and acceptance of a performance management program has become more difficult, however, as there are currently five generations active in the workforce. Each of these require a different approach to performance management to assure that it is embraced throughout an organization. In this session, you will discover creative approaches and different delivery methods for engaging each generational team. You will also learn how technology is adopted by different generations and can be leveraged in support of the performance management process.

Trash or Treasure: How Does Your Content Stack Up?

Brittany McClain (OpenSesame)


How effective is your training content? Are you looking to improve engagement with and utilization of your content? Starting with a short self-assessment quiz to evaluate your current training programs, we’ll dive into some practical tips to help you improve your content and stay up-to-date on the latest industry trends. In this interactive session, you’ll discover best practices for improving the planning, utilization and engagement of your training programs. You’ll leave with actionable ideas and your own content checklist.

Using Video to Supercharge Learner Engagement

Brian Hardin (Sally Beauty)


The demand for video content is higher than ever, and fortunately, video creation tools have evolved to the point where even with limited experience, users can rapidly create high-quality, engaging video content. In this session, you’ll gain insights into how to leverage the power and popularity of video for your learner audience. You’ll discover how to create professional-looking videos quickly and inexpensively, create and load video courses into Saba, and integrate video throughout the platform. As an added bonus, attendees will also have a chance to view – and learn the techniques used to create – the internal promotional videos that were used to generate pre-launch buzz and excitement for Sally Beauty’s successful Saba implementation.

The New ROI in Learning – Measuring Learning Effectiveness and Productivity.

Craig Kelly (The Home Depot)


Having multiple ways of understanding the effectiveness of learning allows leaders substantial flexibility in defining, measuring, and determining the effectiveness of learning solutions. The Home Depot developed a learning plan management tool intended to support its learning strategy managers with defining tasks and KSAs (knowledge, skills and abilities), as well as determining which KSAs are learning needs. Using analytics, leaders are then provided with a data visualization depicting learning program effectiveness. In this session, you’ll gain insights into how The Home Depot gathers and analyzes data to prove the business impact of its learning initiatives.

Hands-On Learning
(hosted by Saba University trainers)

The ABCs of RDI (Rapid Data Import)

Does importing data to be used in Saba perplex you? Then use this session to learn what you need to know about Rapid Data Import. We will discuss import file templates, and the important steps you need to know to make RDI work for you. (Both SEC and SC)

Rules of the Road for Content Governance

Has your organization set up Content Rules of the Road? Maybe it has but you are curious to see what other organizations are doing. During this session, we will look at what it takes to set up content governance standards. We will look at planning your processes, testing strategies, content standards, and vendor policies. (Both SEC and SC)

Set Pulses Racing with Pulse 360

Saba Pulse 360 enables you to capture employee feedback in real-time, quickly identify and fix problem areas and, most importantly, prove the business impact of your talent programs and investments. During this session, you’ll receive an overview of Saba’s latest product, Saba Pulse 360, learn how easy it is to configure and see how to launch your first Pulse survey.

Putting a Portlet or Canvas to Work for You

Join us as we examine how to get the most out of portlets and canvases! Topics will include: modifying a portlet, creating & editing a canvas, recognizing the advantages and limitations, adding links, video & graphics, using portlets and canvases with domains, and restricting portlets by audience types

All Aboard for Onboarding

One of the most challenging training events is onboarding. This is the first impression for a new staff member and can often determine whether that employee truly hops on board or mentally stays at the station. Join us as we discuss different ways to leverage Saba’s tools to create the best onboarding experience possible for your new hires.

Harnessing the Power of Analytics

Saba’s in-system reporting and analytics tool can be leveraged to report on learning and performance data across your user population. We show you how to best utilize Saba Cloud to obtain meaningful information for your business. (Saba Cloud)

Making Your Organization “Certifiable”

Despite the rise of “informal learning”, compliance training and certification programs are increasingly essential parts of our learning organizations. This session uses a case study approach to look at different scenarios for defining and deploying certifications. (Both SEC and SC)