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E-learning in the Telecommunications Industry

Telecommunications is one of the largest and most fast-growing industries worldwide. Strongly driven by technology, the industry is evolving at a rapid rate and is forever in a state of flux. Not long ago, telecommunications was largely about fixed lines and telephone calls were the largest revenue generators for telecom companies. This scenario has changed drastically over the years. Great advances in network technologies now allow the industry to deliver so much more than just the means to talk to each other. High-speed internet is now reaching our homes and offices through digital subscriber line. The soaring popularity of mobile phones and the plethora of services delivered through the mobile platform has been the greatest game-changer in the industry.

With such phenomenal advances, the industry also witnesses a large influx of personnel, the largest numbers being the ‘feet-on-street’ category – the sales personnel. Continuous employee training is crucial in this industry, to make sure that the staff is apprised of changing product offerings, service parameters and technological advances.

Why does eLearning make sense for the industry?

  • Telecom companies have a large number of learners, spread out across vast geographies. With eLearning, it is possible to reach out to all of them in a uniform manner while achieving the desired economies of scale.
  • The industry also witnesses large attrition of personnel. eLearning delivers training in a seamless manner and is learner-driven. New employees can be quickly brought up to speed with e-courses that they can go through as per their schedules.
  • The training material needs to be frequently updated and upgraded to suit the changing market conditions and technologies. With eLearning, the course material can be changed as per requirement, without making drastic changes in the delivery mechanism. This saves a lot of time and training can be churned out within challenging timelines.

How does eLearning impact the industry?

There is always a stark disparity in the learner profile across a telecom company. Varying educational and socio-economic backgrounds of the learners means there is a need to reach out to them in a way that suits them the best. With the mix of pedagogy and technology-driven interactive tools like multimedia, innovative eLearning solutions are being developed to cater to the varied needs of the industry. The solutions are custom-built, giving prime importance to varying learner profiles and training requirements.

  • Technology and concept-based courses form the bulk of eLearning in the industry. By tweaking the content according to the learning needs of different learner groups, it is possible to impart information that will empower them to excel in their area of work.
    • For instance, for the sales personnel, it is important to grasp a crisp understanding of various telecom technologies in order to sell better to the customer. For the call-center personnel, it is important to understand the same concepts in a more detailed manner, with special focus on problem solving. For a manager handling corporate sales, it is crucial to understand the concepts in detail in order to make a successful sale at a big corporate. Modules within the same course can be built for different learners, enabling the learners to choose the modules as per their requirement. Similarly, different assessments can be built, one set for each module. This type of targeted learning not only helps in reaching out to the learners better, but empowers them to perform better and achieve their key result areas.
  • We learn best by doing, and eLearning can provide ample opportunities to practise and gain practical knowledge in addition to theoretical concepts. For instance, employees have to deal with a lot of documentation from the customer-end that needs to be filled quickly and with the right information. The information then needs to be converted into e-format and, finally, verified for authenticity. Using software simulations, sales staff can be trained on the ways of filling up the forms in an efficient manner. The simulations can provide multiple opportunities to master the basics, like using capitals in certain fields, filling out required data like pincodes, and so on. They can also be utilized to provide an avenue for data-entry practice, with the least amount of errors and high productivity. Scenario-based trainings can also be developed to train employees on faster and error-proof verifications that provide different scenarios to the learners – prompting them to think and make quick decisions.
  • With a large sales staff, just-in-time learning is a growing area of interest for the telecom industry. Most of the sales personnel are out in the field for the better part of the day and have limited computer access. With the advent and increasing affordability of mobile devices, many telecom companies are considering the use of mobile devices to deliver training to their sales staff in a continuous and seamless manner. Interactive mediums like audio and video can be utilized to deliver bite-sized learning that takes very little time and helps the learner to better apply the knowledge gathered, as and when needed. In addition to training, these devices could store various product brochures and lists of services that the sales staff can carry at all times and use efficiently to make customer sales. At G-Cube, we have developed a mobile-based solution targeted for sales staff ( that can be efficiently utilized in this industry.

With more and more players in the market, the competition in the industry is fierce. In addition to infrastructure and superior technological offerings, a well-trained staff is the final clincher which contributes to the success of a telecomm company. eLearning can provide training for the diverse needs of the industry and present them in a manner that suits the tech-savvy learner of today. To know more about our experiences in the telecom industry, write to in**@gc**********.net.

5 thoughts on “E-learning in the Telecommunications Industry”

  1. I agree with you that e-learning can have a big impact on the telecom industry, but I would submit that it needs to be incorporated into a blended learning approach. We've worked a lot with the automotive OEMs and have found the blended approach works best in highly technical, ever-changing knowledge domains.

    1. Thanks for writing in Jeff. Our experiences are also more or less similar. For highly technical topics, first time learning best happens in an instructor assisted environment, whereas for rest of the learning events, such as for refreshing knowledge, or for assistance at point of application of knowledge - eLearning works best. However, for some other course types, such as software application trainings, or process trainings, eLearning works best all the way through.

  2. Sudeshna Chatterjee

    This article caught my eye after it was posted to the L&D forum on FB. Just one observation from my experience with telecom companies: most of the employees in telecom are field personnel, often without a desk, let alone a desktop/laptop. They are usually provided a company phone (Android) with some custom apps (related to work). Some expensive projects I have worked on have failed simply because of the challenges related to access and space. Add to that connectivity challenges in smaller towns. What's the magic formula here?

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