With technology being the driving force behind business growth and success, LMS is the small yet crucial technological piece that gets the wheel moving. LMS-assisted training programs are more efficient and cost-effective as compared to other orthodox methods. An LMS gathers up everything in one place and provides easy avenues to manage and modify the course material. It also allows you to measure improvement and translate outcomes into readable stats.
In 2018, there are so many options on the market that it is difficult to choose the best one. However, after thorough research and comparisons, we have narrowed down to top 3 LMS software to make your Learning Management System software selection easier.
Docebo is one of the popular LMS solutions that garnered several accolades in the year 2018. With a user-friendly design and distribution toolsets, one can easily create course material and make it accessible to learners across the board. The LMS also offers a free trial and mobile-support so that your users can get on board and start learning on the go.
Further, this tool makes business presentations more presentable and takes the guesswork out of employee training programs.
- With multiple administrative access, you can delegate to different individuals or teams to get the task done.
- Once you create your course material, you can sell it online or repurpose for a different audience.
- This LMS can be scaled to meet your individual preference. This way you will only pay for the features you need.
- Integrate this LMS with your CRM to measure the overall impact and improvement.
- With ‘Coach and Share’, you can answer queries of your learners while training them. Every answer will add up over time to create a knowledge-base that will help you and your learners save time.
This cloud LMS has nearly cornered the eLearning industry by catering to businesses of all sizes and even freelancers. Talent LMS comes with custom features to suit your requirements and budget. This software mimics the classroom setting by combining traditional online learning and video-conferencing to give learners a rich experience. The purpose of investing in this tool is clearly growth-oriented, and it is important to know if you are going in the right direction. With its reporting and analytics, you can track the progress and identify learning gaps to make the process efficient.
- With a blend of instructor-led training and online learning, Talent LMS addresses problems which either of these might miss out on. It’s like giving you the best of both worlds.
- You can use your courses to train employees or sell them online for profit.
- Talent LMS can be scaled to meet enterprise standards or can be pruned to make it suitable for individuals.
- Talent LMS also helps you design a Homepage to convey a message or ease your audience into the learning process.
Litmos LMS brings classroom and e-commerce together to enable you to teach and sell for profits at the same time. This LMS is designed for small businesses, independent consultants and large enterprises alike. Litmos LMS provides a free trial so you can know the depth without dipping your toe. Choose the features you find fitting your needs and get started right away. Litmos LMS helps streamline and automate your learning program so you don’t have to handle repetitive tasks.
- Litmos LMS can be scaled to accommodate any number of users, making it an ideal fit for small businesses as well as large enterprises.
- Third-party apps can be integrated to enrich user-experience
- This LMS enables you to cater multiple courses to different audience groups and lets users choose among various plans according to their learning pace.
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Concern over rich-poor divide seen on the increase during pandemic
By Matthew Lavietes
NEW YORK (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – People have become more concerned about the gap between rich and poor during the coronavirus pandemic, especially the young, the authors of a new global study said on Tuesday, urging governments to take steps to redress the balance.
More than 8,700 people in 24 nations were surveyed at the start and end of 2020 by the Glocalities market research agency, with the findings showing an increase in the share of respondents who thought income differences should be reduced.
As the coronavirus pummeled the global economy last year, the survey also found a 10-point rise in the percentage who said decent work and economic growth were the most important means of improving quality of life.
“It has slapped people in the face and made them realize that things are not going well,” Ronald Inglehart, one of the lead authors of the study, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation, referring to the pandemic.
“We need government intervention on a larger scale. We don’t want a state-run economy, but some of the resources need to be reallocated to balance off this powerful trend.”
Policies that will create “good-paying jobs” in the fields of child care, environmental protection and infrastructure would help address mounting frustration over income inequality Inglehart added.
Young people are particularly concerned about income disparities, the study found.
A third of respondents aged between 18 and 34 said they were more concerned about income inequality than unemployment or economic growth at the end of 2020, up from 29% at the start of the year – before the coronavirus had spread around the world.
“Feelings of being upset, being afraid, feeling let down, feeling like ‘I have no prospective anymore’ are on the rise,” said Martijn Lampert, who also co-authored the study.
“So this requires very wise and just government interventions to channel this unrest in a positive way.”
Inglehart said he sees evidence of such sentiments among the students he teaches at the University of Michigan.
“The job market is dismal … My best students, the stars, they’re finding jobs at a lower level than they’re anticipating. And the ones who aren’t stars are getting nothing,” he said.
The global economy is seen shrinking 3.5% last year, according to the latest estimates by the International Monetary Fund, and numerous studies have shown how the global health crisis has exacerbated economic inequalities.
As a result of the pandemic, the number of people living in poverty has doubled to more than 500 million, according to a report issued last month by the charity Oxfam.
Meanwhile, the collective wealth of the world’s billionaires rose $3.9 trillion between March and December 2020 to reach $11.95 trillion, the report said.
(Reporting by Matthew Lavietes; Editing by Helen Popper; Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers the lives of people around the world who struggle to live freely or fairly. Visit http://news.trust.org)
Boon or bane? Malaysian island reclamation plan divides residents
By Rina Chandran
(Thomson Reuters Foundation) – The island of Penang on the northwest coast of Malaysia is known for its sandy beaches, the colourful wall murals of its capital Georgetown, and its fiery street food.
In time, it will also be known for three man-made islands that state authorities say are needed to provide housing and economic opportunities for an expanding population, while also generating funds for a modern transport network.
But the Penang South Reclamation (PSR) project, dubbed BiodiverCity, has pitted the government and businesses against fishermen and environmentalists who say it will wreck the lives of residents, and damage the coast.
“The area is rich in prawns and fish. If you build islands, what we will see is permanent environmental degradation,” said Mahadi Md Rodzi, chairman of the Penang Fishermen’s Association that represents about 6,000 fisherman.
“Fishermen have been told to upskill or get another job, but many of us are born fishermen and depend on the sea to live. The proposed compensation from the state is too insufficient for something that will affect our livelihoods forever,” he said.
Many fishermen have rejected the 20,000-ringitt ($4,950) compensation offered, as well as the Environmental Impact Assessment report, which conservationists say does not reflect the potential damage or propose adequate mitigation measures.
Authorities say BiodiverCity, which is a part of the Penang 2030 vision of improving liveability and sustainability, will be a “socially and economically inclusive development” with an emphasis on green spaces, clean energy and car-free transport.
The 4,500-acre (1,821 hectares) project comprising three lilypad-shaped islands will house about 15,000 people each, and use natural and recycled materials such as bamboo and timber for construction of homes and offices, according to the plan.
But the scale of the dredging and reclamation work over more than a decade will cause “massive and long-term environmental destruction”, said Evelyn Teh, an environmental researcher in Penang.
“Fifteen years of land reclamation is a long onslaught to any marine ecology and the fishery industry that depends on it. The reclaimed islands will bury existing fishing areas while deteriorating the surrounding marine water quality,” she said.
“Coastal communities who rely on the marine and coastal area for their livelihood will experience an irreversible negative impact,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
From Denmark to Singapore, planners have reclaimed land from the sea for decades for offices, apartments and tourism.
Cities and island states that are running out of space are reclaiming land, expanding vertically or going underground.
A United Nations-backed partnership is studying the prospect of floating cities that can help coastal cities at risk of flooding from worsening climate-change impacts.
In Asia, land reclamation has become a contentious issue, with Cambodia and Malaysia banning sand exports, while Jakarta has suspended its reclamation project, and a plan to build an artificial island in Hong Kong has drawn fierce criticism.
Malaysia has two other major reclamation projects underway: Melaka Gateway, a deep-sea-port and cruise terminal that is part of China’s massive Belt and Road infrastructure plan, and Forest City in Johor near Singapore, aimed at foreign investors.
Large-scale reclamation allows more flexibility in city planning, but also lets governments engage “more ambitiously and aggressively with the business of land-banking,” said Keng-Khoon Ng, a lecturer at UCSI University Kuala Lumpur.
“These island-making projects are designed to boost state coffers. They represent a colossal misappropriation of resources at a time of intensifying housing unaffordability and social injustice,” he said.
But the PSR is needed as Penang has “run out of land”, resulting in ad-hoc developments, fewer economic opportunities, and a shortage of affordable housing, said Eddie Chan, executive director of SRS Consortium, the project developer.
A quarter of residential units will be earmarked for affordable housing in the average price range of 350,000 ringgit, and a fishermen’s taskforce set up by the state government is addressing any social impacts, he said.
“With proper design and construction methods applied to dredging and reclamation, and pollution prevention and mitigation measures to minimise environmental impact, we are confident that reclamation can be done sustainably,” Chan said.
The PSR project, designed by Copenhagen-based Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), is scheduled to break ground in March after approvals.
Reclamation has hugely benefited Penang, with parts of the Bayan Lepas industrial zone, as well as heritage clan jetties built on reclaimed land, said Joshua Woo, a former local councillor.
“There are fancy land reclamation projects for the wealthy, but there are also land reclamation projects for a city’s survival. PSR belongs to the latter group,” he said.
“The project will open up new economic opportunities and social spaces for us,” he added.
In fact, PSR is a “feasible solution” to address urgent environmental issues such as climate change and sea-level rises, said Farizan Darus, chief executive of government agency Penang Infrastructure Corporation that is overseeing the project.
“More than half of Penang island is hilly terrain, therefore the next best approach is land reclamation,” he said.
“Without strategic land, Penang’s growth will be stunted. Now is the best time to implement PSR to provide a much-needed economic boost to Penang, and prepare the state for the post-pandemic economy,” he added.
Meanwhile, an online petition by a local heritage advocate against the project, has garnered more than 115,000 signatures, while a group of residents have held several protests under the Penang Tolak Tambak (Penang Rejects Reclamation) banner.
In building PSR and using it to fund the 46-billion ringgit ($11.4 billion) transport network, the state is taking on a huge financial risk during an economic slowdown, and putting commercial interests above the environment and people, said Teh.
Particularly now, when the coronavirus pandemic has revealed deep-rooted inequalities in urbanisation, authorities should instead favour a “radical rethink on building back better”, she said, including low-carbon public transport networks.
“The government risks putting too much focus on a massively expensive and environmentally destructive project that will only benefit a small group of people at the expense of the wider population during an unprecedented economic crisis,” Teh said.
“Penang may be biting off more than it can chew.”
($1 = 4.03691 Malaysian ringgit)
(Reporting by Rina Chandran in Bangkok, with additional reporting by Beh Lih Yi in Kuala Lumpur; Editing by Astrid Zweynert. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers the lives of people around the world who struggle to live freely or fairly. Visit http://news.trust.org)
HSBC curbs profit and payout ambitions, bets on Asia wealth
By Alun John and Lawrence White
HONG KONG/LONDON (Reuters) – HSBC Holdings PLC on Tuesday abandoned its long-term profitability target, and unveiled a revised strategy focused mainly on wealth management in Asia after the COVID-19 shock saw its annual profits drop sharply.
Citing the low interest rate environment and tough market conditions, HSBC ditched its goal of achieving a return on tangible equity of 10 to 12%, and said instead it will aim for 10% over the medium term.
The moves by Europe’s biggest bank underlined the tough outlook for the banking sector as low interest rates worldwide take their toll, even as a global markets rally boosted the prospects for the wealth management business.
The margin pressure and mounting losses in Europe have forced HSBC to redouble its focus on Asia which provided a dominant share of the bank’s profits in 2020.
“The big structural shift that’s gone on since we set out the plan last February has really been the shift in interest rates down toward zero in most markets that we do business in,” Ewen Stevenson, HSBC’s group chief financial officer, told Reuters.
“If interest rates were 100 basis points higher today across the board it would improve our returns by 3 percentage points.”
The bank said it would pay a dividend of $0.15 a share in cash, the first payout announced since October 2019, after the Bank of England blocked all big lenders from paying dividends or buying back shares in 2020 to conserve capital.
However, it said it would stop the previous practice of paying a quarterly dividend, and target a payout ratio of between 40% and 55% of reported earnings per ordinary share from 2022 onwards, well below the level in recent years.
HSBC also said it will make hefty cuts to some of its back office functions such as technology and operations, without specifying the number of jobs affected. The lender cut 11,000 jobs in 2020 and had signalled it would make further reductions.
The announcement came as HSBC reported profit before tax of $8.78 billion for 2020, down 34% from a year earlier but just above the $8.33 billion average of analysts’ estimates compiled by the bank.
HSBC’s Hong Kong shares were up 0.55% by 0750 GMT, lagging the benchmark Hang Seng index as investors considered the bank’s dividend cut and modest strategic ambitions.
Investors were resigned to HSBC’s more modest ambitions and growth target.
“It’s hard to have high ambitions in this climate, or at least dangerous to declare them if they exist,” said Hugh Young, managing director at Aberdeen Standard, the bank’s 9th-largest shareholder.
ASIA FOCUS, SHRINKING ELSEWHERE
HSBC said that its growth in Asia for the next five years will be driven by around $6 billion of additional investment in its wealth management and international wholesale business.
“Everyone realises how big an economic opportunity China and India are but HSBC is starting to realise no-one has the opportunity to serve that wealth creation like they do,” said Dan Lane, a senior analyst at UK digital broker Freetrade.
“The prospect doesn’t come cheap but it looks like the company is finally ready to pump cash into getting even more East Asian customers on board.”
Profit from the bank’s wealth management and personal banking division in Asia was $5 billion in 2020, but its cash cow Hong Kong accounted for almost all of this, despite its controversial decision to assist Hong Kong police with investigations into pro-democracy activists.
Elsewhere in the world, HSBC said it is in talks with a potential buyer for its troubled France retail banking unit, which it has been trying to dispose for over a year, but no deal has been confirmed.
It said it expected to make a loss on the sale given the business’ underlying performance.
The bank also said it is “exploring organic and inorganic options” for its U.S. retail banking franchise, suggesting it is trying to sell the unit where it has already closed 80 branches in the last year.
Reuters, and others, have reported the bank is trying withdraw from U.S. retail banking.
HSBC’s Mexico operations made a loss of $187 million in 2020, as many of its branches remained closed due to the pandemic, but chief executive Noel Quinn told Reuters he is confident about the prospects for a business the bank has in the past considered selling.
“We’re confident that (HSBC’s Mexico business) will be successful again post-COVID, and it is a business at scale,” Quinn said.
(Reporting by Alun John and Lawrence White; editing by Shri Navaratnam)
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