See all of the winners of the Top HR and Training Products of 2011 in Ahead of the Pack .
What It Is: This new application is Saba's cloud computing-based offering, designed as a social and formal learning solution to enable organizations to spur growth and reduce training costs. The application is designed to give employees access to the learning they need and want via a portal that allows them to learn at their own pace, from onboarding to ongoing training. Features include the ability to connect with mentors through the application's profile-matching and expertise-identification functions, and peer networks that allow users to exchange both questions and answers to shared challenges. A 30-day free trial is available for interested parties, and a monthly subscription rate applies thereafter for users. List price is $30 per user per year.
Why We Like It: While collaborative learning solutions are nothing new, we really like this application's ease of use. Termed "learning on steroids" when it was pitched to us, the product has many admirable web 2.0 features, but its real strength is its ability to shrink geographic distances between disparate learning communities, especially through the use of a real-time video engine, which allows for easy streaming of video content to users. This, in turn, empowers employees to edit and upload videos without using an outside application. We also like the fact that users can tag the people they find to be the most helpful or insightful, thus promoting those people as in-house experts in a given field. Also impressive is the application's "contribution" tool, which allows managers to spotlight high performers as well as compare employees to determine the best performer for job-advancement purposes.
Saba, Redwood Shores, Calif.