In January 2008 the Hungarian Central Statistical Office purchased the NEXONtd training and development application, in order to support their "KSH Iskola"(Hungarian Central Statistical Office School) programme.

We asked Mrs Katalin Keszthelyi Kobzos, senior manager within the Training Department of the Hungarian Central Statistical Office, about the processes they went through both prior to the decision-making and then during the implementation.

 

What is it that we need to know about the training system at the Hungarian Central Statistical Office? Does it have any peculiarities?
It all dates back to 2005 when we deliberately started to build up the internal training system within the Hungarian Central Statistical Office, which we called “KSH School”. Since 2006 we have published an annual Training Calendar of courses, to which heads of department can send their subordinates.

How many employees are involved in the programme?
The total workforce of the Hungarian Central Statistical Office, amounting to 1200 employees which includes both the central and regional offices. We consider it of great importance that our employees spend at least two or three days each year in training.

How could you possibly keep track of training courses with regard to such a large workforce?
MThe Training Calendar itself was made in a word doc format and the attendees were recorded in excel spreadsheets. We were fully aware from the very start that these Microsoft applications would not provide an appropriate solution to provide full IT support for the training organization. However, the need for a comprehensive solution occurred when we gave the green light to implementing an e-learning framework.

What sort of an information technology solution were you seeking?
We wanted an IT system that was capable of supporting the expanding organizational and HR-developmental tasks which the Training Department was facing. Our key requirement of the intended system was that it should reach across the organizational processes, ranging from planning, through participation and on to reporting. In order to achieve this, free access across the fields of personnel and training administration as well as to the e-learning framework would be essential. We also required other functions, such as managing our records within the same system, automated emailing, importing our own templates and producing complex reports.

NEXON’s employees helped us to achieve excellent results.

You have had a business relationship with NEXON since 1993: before it became mandatory to use the public sectors’ specific payroll management software you had used NEXONbér. Moreover, KSH uses the company’s other software solutions to manage the benefits scheme (NEXONcafé) and to keep personnel records (NEXONhr). Was it therefore straightforward to turn to NEXON to provide the optimal solution for training and development?

We considered several options. However, it was obvious that what we needed was reliable IT support, which could only be provided by a capable company. And, as I have mentioned, we also required several custom developments. Offerings from other suppliers did not convince us about their final price. In contrast, NEXON’s product essentially met our basic needs, in addition to which they were credible regarding the promise of further customized developments.

Another feature that tipped the scales in favor of NEXON was its high degree of integration, offering the possibility of interaction between individual modules and of connection between the interrelated HR functions and tasks. Such free movement was not apparent in the other applications.

Talking of integration, could you exemplify in what sort of tasks it is of great help?
We need the HR data for the reports concerning the training courses and the participants. If we have to manually enter the data already recorded in the HR system, it may cause trouble in addition to the loss of time. However, due to the integration between NEXON’s software applications we can see all the personnel data in the training module. The program covers the entire organizational process. We can keep track of the delegation procedure, we can create assessment questionnaires, we can store the results, or we can make summaries and reports.

Could you describe the implementation to us?
We signed the purchase agreement for NEXONtd as well as for the e-learning framework provided by Eduweb Multimedia in January 2008. The project itself started after that moment. Let me underline the importance of the state assessment prepared at the very beginning, which I found extremely useful. It offered us the possibility to see as external observers the structure of our training system, with detailed documentation. Following the aforementioned stage came the installation of NEXONtd and the e-learning framework, the parameter setting and the instruction of the employees on the use of the system.

I am positive that the system’s greatest advantage lies in its integrity. Personnel records, training organization and e-learning are all managed within the same system, which eliminates potential data transfer problems.

 

Whatever new system is introduced, the employees often develop an aversion to it …
We also had to face this problem because of the system’s size and complexity. Nonetheless, the instruction courses convinced the employees of the wide range of facilities the software could offer. As a matter of fact, the program includes everything that employees might want to know or to use later on.

Talking of the size of the software application, does it have a function that you did not regard as important but turns out to be really useful?
Resource management was not of particular interest to us earlier, as we could not match them to the selected training programs. We have had partial information, though: we have known the trainers’ fees or the rental costs of external venues. Having said that, we have not had a clear idea of the total costs of the training courses. The data regarding resource expenses can now be recorded and kept track of. As a result, the costs can be planned, which will undoubtedly be a useful tool for us as well and for management. Or, for instance, prior to introducing the system, we had made no considerations about the “period concerned”. Now we are aware of the usefulness of recording period of validity start and end dates.

How smoothly did the implementation go?
In addition to the “in-house aversion” we pointed out before, there were a few start-up problems that NEXON and Eduweb employees tackled jointly on our site.

The module supports managing the e-learning framework. How does it work?
Blended training programs are the future, so it is highly important that the system can handle the e-learning framework. NEXONtd connects to the iTutor e-learning platform at the data level. As a result, the application process is managed by NEXON’s system, and we can do the documentation and assessment through it as well.

As far as I know, the project has already been officially completed. There are a few more things to do, though.
Yes, indeed. The web-based application –which connects to the e-learning framework – is being trialled only within our department, and is planned to come into overall use in September. It will support the functions of application and management approval. The system will automatically notify those concerned about registrations with an e-mail. We are already using NEXONtd. A few more developments remain ahead of us to make our work more comfortable.

How satisfied are you with the attitude of NEXON’s employees?
An implementation on such a scale can only be managed successfully by means of project methodology. I am lucky to have been working with highly proficient project managers. We worked under considerable time pressure, yet managed to do this in a pleasant and cooperative atmosphere. NEXON was open to our remarks and ideas, they investigated to find optimal solutions to our problems and made suggestions and even custom developments for us. In my view, NEXON’s employees helped us to achieve excellent results , and in our opinion have made developments that will also be useful for other clients.

What sort of advice would you give to other clients in terms of implementation?
I would recommend also involving training and IT professionals in the implementation project. I believe that some IT background is also essential, as the training organizer’s knowledge, in order to successfully and satisfactorily customize the software application.

How could you summarize the advantages NEXONtd has?
I am positive that the system’s greatest advantage lies in its integrity. Personnel records, training organization and e-learning are all managed within the same system, which eliminates potential data transfer problems.