KPMG Consulting has launched a bundle of products that it says will allow companies to set up e-learning projects quickly and effectively. But its claims of a three- to six-month payback have been questioned by industry experts.
The company's interactive learning solution (ILS) includes hardware, software, content and services.
KPMG claims that pre-integration between the products means that customers can reduce implementation time and costs by 50 per cent and slash training budgets by as much as 90 per cent.
Richard Morris, e-learning practice manager at KPMG, said that the combination of best of breed products would give clients the return on investment they are looking for.
"E-learning is a complicated process in terms of the technology and the impact on business processes. This offering addresses all the needs of organisations embarking upon e-learning," he explained.
ILS is aimed at companies with 10,000 plus employees, and includes Cisco's Enterprise Content Delivery Network, storage and server technology from Compaq, WBT's content management expertise, live collaboration tools from Centra and online courses for IT, business and professional development from NetG.
UK companies that implement an integrated e-learning solution can create cost savings of £7.5m a year for the average FTSE 250 company, and improve their revenues by up to 0.5 per cent, according to research conducted by the Big Five Consultancy.
But Anthony Miller, an analyst at Ovum Holway, criticised KPMG for adding to the e-learning hype. "Where there's a specific requirement to train a large number of people in something new, it makes a lot of sense to use e-learning as part of a blended approach. But implementing this integrated solution is a major piece of work," he warned.
Morris said that e-learning now represents the biggest growth area within KPMG's business solutions consultancy, which also includes enterprise resource planning and customer relationship management. The majority of KPMG's e-learning contracts would involve the bundle.
"The real investment for companies is in tailoring the courses and rolling e-learning out. E-learning is a massive investment in terms of cost, time and people," said Miller. "Everyone wants a piece of this action but the opportunities for doing major roll outs are few and far between. All the talk about the size of the market is pipe dream stuff."
Miller also played down claims by KPMG that companies could expect a payback in three to six months thanks to reduced training and administration costs and faster product roll outs.
Cotton seedling freezes to death as Chang'e-4 shuts down for the Moon's 14-day lunar night
Fortnite easily out-earns PUBG, Assassin's Creed Odyssey and Red Dead Redemption 2 in 2018
Meteor showers as a service will be visible for about 100 kilometres in all directions
Saturn's rings only formed in the past 100 million years, suggests analysis of Cassini space probe data
New findings contradict conventional belief that Saturn's rings were formed along with the planet about 4.5 billion years ago