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IBM Digital Badge Program: Overview for external audiences

IBM launched an Open Badge program in 2015, and the results have been nothing short of spectacular. Here is an overview of the program.

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IBM Digital Badge Program: Overview for external audiences

  2. 2. World leaders are telling IBM they have major challenges in finding workers with required skills 51% Industry executives citing finding appropriately skilled workers in local labor markets as the greatest challenge related to skills 71% Corporate recruiters that indicated they cannot find applicants with sufficient practical experience Sources: Multiple. See notes.
  3. 3. Changes in the labor market required us to change and rethink how we would meet the market demand for talent Line of Business Jobs now require IT skills Gig Economy requires a skills registry Agile Development requires “liquid skills” Rise of Teams require expertise location Shadow IT decentralizes IT New collar jobs require new credentials Contract Employee MONTHS 18 WEEKS 12 2014 2016 + + + +
  5. 5. ☑ Timely ☑ Verifiable ☑ Portable ☑ Discoverable These signals required us to create a new credential structure to signal and surface capability: ☑ Differentiating
  6. 6. Digital emblem which provides timely symbol of skills and achievements SHAR E Contains metadata with skills tags and accomplishments Easy to share in social media: LinkedIn, Twitter, FB, blogs Tethered to badge issuer to validate and verify achievement Provides a progression path to advance commitment Analytics provide insight into how a program is performing Open Badges seemed to fulfill all of our requirements Portable: Standards-based on Mozilla’s Open Badges standard
  7. 7. How it works: Technology behind IBM’s Digital Badge program is based on Open Standards Badge earner candidate completes activity and qualifies to earn an IBM badge IBM badge issuer Initiates a notification to inform the badge candidate of eligibility to earn and claim an IBM badge IBM badge issuer submits badge earner name, email address, and badge credential earned to the Acclaim badge earner notification system via secure, encrypted file upload procedure or through a secure API Acclaim badge earner notification system generates and sends a badge claim notification email to the badge earner to alert them of the IBM badge earned, and to provide instructions for accepting the badge Badge earner receives badge claim notification and must initiate step 1 of a 2-step opt-in procedure to obtain their badge. Step 1 requires the badge earner to click the “Accept” button within the badge claim notification email to OPT IN Badge Earner “accepts?” YES NO Badge Earner Directed to Pearson Acclaim web site. Must create a profile on Acclaim, and accept Acclaim terms before badge can be claimed and added to the badge earner’s profile. Badge Earner Completes profile, claims badge and is presented with a range of opt-in based options for sharing the badge publically, etc. 2 1 3 4 5 6 7 8Badge earner candidate enrolls, registers, or declares their candidacy in an IBM related activity/program where a digital badge can be earned. Badge NOT accepted. Badge earner details archived within Acclaim for period of time specified by IBM, but not longer than IBM has an agreement with Acclaim. This allows the badge to be claimed in the future, and provides IBM with claimed/unclaimed badge reporting metrics. Badge earner details are not used for any further purpose by Acclaim.
  8. 8. A pilot begins (Is this going to work?)
  9. 9. Knowledge Skills Proficiency Certified General Badging is how we will measure resume-worthy IBM skills in the market We developed five unique digital badges to encompass the broad activities we host at IBM
  10. 10. We developed personas and identified high-level stakeholder needs • Broadcast achievements • Motivate participation • Develop personal Brand • Connect with jobs • Generate qualified leads • Enhance our brand • Differentiate IBM • Track and nurture talent • Candidate selection • Improved company performance • Skills maps • Team building
  11. 11. We established objectives for the entire organization Reduce customer service and support Increase client confidence Map skills at the nano level Build a loyal skill base who want more Enhance expertise analytics Promote Technical Eminence Crowd-source innovation Recognize employees for achievement Acquire verified talent Increase license sales Achieve career milestone Accelerate shifts in expertise
  12. 12. We generated use cases with expected benefits Solidify the client base Build a developer base Proliferate skills Track skills @ nano level Increase license sales Reduce customer service Objectives Build advocacy and strengthen client relationship and commitment to IBM Increase the number of developers using our offerings Build a vibrant and large pool of skilled labor to support our products Create a heat map of critical skills for achievements earned across the globe Drive potential customers to act by downloading trial versions of our offerings Motivate customers to develop skills to reduce support calls and critsits Benefits to earners Earners will be recognized as having increased eminence on IBM solutions. Earners receive a nano credential they can use to increase job and opportunity prospects, build a personal brand in social media. Earners receive a nano credential they can use to increase job and opportunity prospects, build a personal brand in social media. Provides a progression path and skills journey as we target offerings based on our analysis of their skill level and need. Easy connection between a completed badge for a "how to" course leads immediately to a free trial product download Earners receive a nano credential they can use to increase job and opportunity prospects, build a personal brand in social media. Benefits to our clients Badges count for points in a program that rewards customers with conference seats, services or marketing activities. Verified application development skills in employees and potential hires. Badges motivate internal employees to self-manage and progress their learning. Verified skills in employees and potential hires. Badges motivate internal employees to self- manage and progress their learning. Verified solution skills in employees and potential hires. Employees come to the table with a fundamental understanding of the product and the benefits, the beginning of a POC. Reduced cost, customer satisfaction and opportunity cost. Badges motivate internal employees to self-manage and progress their learning. Benefits to your organization Increased public advocacy, references, case studies, plus as a social media drip marketing campaign generated by badges Expanded developer base eager to advance with IBM. Skilled labor to support installations. Reduced risk of poor deployments. Ability to locate and progress deep technical skills for key IBM solutions Increased exposure to IBM solutions through downloads. Reduced cost, customer satisfaction issues and costs.
  13. 13. The results exceeded our expectations
  14. 14. Our online courses saw triple digit grow in every metric
  15. 15. The benefits of our program went way beyond training program participation 87% say they are now more engaged with IBM 57% increase in certification pass rates 64% increase in product trial downloads 92% say badges are valuable to verify job skills Engagement Certifications Product Trials Employability NOTE: LinkedIn profiles with IBM badges receive 6x profile views.
  16. 16. We receive 2.5 million views for every 10,000 badges we issue resulting in $ millions in marketing benefit Social media impressions generate significant branding and demonstrate vitality for our programs
  17. 17. IBM Digital Badges are transforming every area of our business
  18. 18. We have seen significant adoption in every internal and external group in our ecosystem 183 Countries 1,084 Badged activities 258K Badge earners 495K Badges issued 84% Claim rate 112M Social media impressions
  19. 19. Retire the LMS! Every badged activity flows into a single skill registry, so we can now see all disparate activities
  20. 20. Our Digital Badge Program has build a heat map of skills at the “micro” level in more than 178 countries We can now see and map “nano” skills around the globe to create teams and match business needs
  21. 21. Digital Badges have added value and transformed our traditional certifications from transactions to relationships Badges add value to certifications: 1. Create progression activities 2. Issue continuing education credits 3. Create specialized credentials Legally defensible / psychometrically sound Shelf life of 24 months or more Required by an industry governing body Required for safety or security Is required by state law or license Liquid skills that change quickly Continuing education credits Passions and interests Demonstrated capabilities Inventions and innovations CERTIFICATIONS BADGES
  22. 22. By creating a registry of nano skills, IBM Digital Badges help solve the world’s skills gaps by teaming the best talent based on verified micro skills Analytics Machine Learning Statistics Calculus & Algebra Data Munging Visualization Communication Programming Analytics Machine Learning Statistics Calculus & Algebra Data Munging Visualization Communication Programming Data Scientist (aka “Unicorn”) Data Science Team(Collaboration across the globe) ? Help!
  23. 23. Every IBM Digital Badge is embedded with links to real- time dynamic labor market data – and actual job postings
  24. 24. IBM’s digital credential strategy is influencing public policy US Department of Labor, US Department of Education, US Chamber of Commerce have incorporated IBM’s strategy into their policy discussions.
  25. 25. The IT industry is looking to IBM to provide leadership as they develop digital credential programs Microsoft, Cisco and Project Management Institute and others consulted with IBM and have now launched digital badge programs
  26. 26. IBM’s digital badge program is winning the industry’s highest honors and shaping the future of credentials The IBM Open Badge Program has been awarded highest honors from IMS Global Consortium and the IT Certification Council, representing a dramatic transformation in the IT credential space.
  27. 27. The IBM Digital Badge Program is creating a bridge between colleges and corporations College Credit IBM Digital Badges now qualify for prior learning credit in select programs at Northeastern University Alternative Credentials Colleges around the world are now issuing IBM Digital Badges as a signal of “New Collar” employability For more:
  28. 28. Digital Certificate Programs that aligns (better) with the modern economy Prior learning credit for badges: Why should your learning not count? Employers search & verify the skills registry to find ideal matches Embedding into applicant tracking systems and talent agencies College credit for badges Alternative to college diplomas Integration with job placement Talent search and match The IBM Digital Badge Program is creating unintended benefits: A significant opportunity to solve the world’s talent gap
  29. 29. IBM Digital Badges are generating testimonials showing how they build trust and lead to employment “My IBM Open Badge allows me to effectively identify client business needs within a defined solution area and position the appropriate IBM hybrid cloud solutions to meet those needs. The credential I received, which is only available to IBM Business Partner employees, provides an easy way for my clients to authenticate my skills and capabilities.” ~ S. Sendhil Kumar Director, Global Knowledge India
  30. 30. IBM Open Badges are changing lives: Creating employment I was having a tough time finding a job because my computer skills were considered 'out of date' and the IBM badges were the perfect way to show employers that I could easily get back up to speed and learn new skills. After sharing her badge to LinkedIn, Twitter and to her online portfolio, Coletta received a job offer after an employer verified her badge. Click the graphic to hear Coletta’s story or visit
  31. 31. Lessons learned
  32. 32. Through trial and error, we learned what works and what does not. Here are important takeaways: 1. Develop a solid communication plan with persuasive language. 2. Badge issuer must own the relationship with the badge earner. 3. Build consent (privacy, info sharing) into the activity. 4. Provide strong benefits statements (marketing) into the intro letter to badge earner. 5. Follow a template for badge landing pages. 6. Add certification / skills paths into the metadata for all badges. 7. Retro badges are less successful; limit time period to 90 days. 8. Names are important: Nobody wants a “newbie” badge.
  33. 33. • Website: • Twitter: @david_leaser • LinkedIn: • IBM: Thank you!
  34. 34. @david_leaser