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Human capital management: It's not as Orwellian as it sounds

Reston, VA  June 22, 2001  I've got to be honest and say that "human capital management" (HCM) isn't a term that makes me sleep better at night. It's easy enough to feel like a number already, when you consider that knows of my predilection for Rick Bragg books and automatically suggests more atmospheric Southern writers for my perusal when I log on, but the notion of humans as capital has a Twilight Zone vibe that's more than a little unsettling. Maybe I'm just paranoid, but as Henry Kissinger said, even a paranoid can have enemies. (Kissinger also said "I want to thank you for stopping the applause. It is impossible for me to look humble for any period of time," which has nothing to do with this article but is such a good quote that it bears repeating anyway.) Maybe I wouldn't be as paranoid if Amazon would also take note that I have never clicked on one of their pop-up ads and therefore quit sending them my way.

But it turns out that HCM is more about maximizing a human's potential than managing them like so many machine tools. KnowledgePlanet, a human capital management enterprise software company, announced today that Agilent Technologies Inc. has selected and begun implementing KnowledgePlanet's Human Capital Management Solution for its global workforce development initiatives.

The hosted solution, scheduled for full deployment this August, will deliver online learning to Agilent and its extended enterprise, including 48,000 employees and 2,000 customers in more than 40 countries. Agilent is estimating that KnowledgePlanet's learning solution will provide significant cost savings compared to current legacy systems.

By shifting its focus from classroom-based training to online learning, the company expects to reduce employee travel, logistics and training administration expenses while improving time to productivity and workforce performance.

Agilent will use KnowledgePlanet Learning to deliver technical and product knowledge across all international business units, as well as track certificates of compliance. Additional learning initiatives to be launched through KnowledgePlanet Learning include the delivery of training materials related to its Oracle Enterprise Resource Planning implementation, customer education, and environmental health and safety training for ISO certification.

"As a driving force in the human capital management industry, KnowledgePlanet provides a foundation for the development and delivery of our learning strategy," said Elizabeth Ambrogi, learning technologies manager at Agilent Technologies. "We selected KnowledgePlanet not only for its robust learning and competency management functionality, and extensive business process outsourcing services, but also for its business integrity and overall commitment to providing customers with a competitive advantage through people."

Agilent's deployment of KnowledgePlanet will integrate course content from its life sciences, communications, semiconductor products and electronic products business units into a unified learning management system. Agilent will also use KnowledgePlanet's Content Developer's Kit to enable standards-based content authoring, integration and management for both custom and third-party content.

"We are proud to team up with Agilent," said Alan Todd, chairman and CEO of KnowledgePlanet. "Agilent's use of our Human Capital Management application suite to drive development of its expanded enterprise, and our business process outsourcing to handle training administration, is a testament to the completeness of our product, the breadth and quality of our services, and the scalability of our hosted solution."