KPMG Consulting’s ‘pipe dream’

The move comes as the consultancy revealed it is to make 75 redundancies before Christmas, a clear signal of uncertainty about future business despite apparent confidence in the new products. Industry experts have also questioned claims of a three to six-month payback on the bundle.

The interactive learning solution (ILS) includes hardware, software, content and services. KPMG claims the bundle will mean customers can reduce costs and implementation time by 50% and slash training budgets by as much as 90%.

Richard Morris, e-learning practice manager at KPMG, said the combination of products would give clients the return on investment they are looking for.

‘E-learning is a complicated process in terms of the technology and impact on business processes. This offering addresses all the needs of organisations embarking upon e-learning,’ he explained.

ILS is aimed at companies with 10,000 plus employees and includes Cisco’s Enterprise content delivery network, storage and server technology from Compaq, WBT’s content management expertise, live collaboration tools from Centra and online courses from NetG.

According to the firm, UK companies implementing an integrated e-learning solution can create cost savings of £7.5m a year, and improve revenues by up to 0.5%.

But Anthony Miller, an analyst at Ovum Holway, claimed KPMG were adding to the e-learning hype. ‘Where there’s a specific requirement to train a large number of people it makes sense to use e-learning. But implementing this integrated solution is a major piece of work,’ he warned.

Morris said e-learning now represents the biggest growth area within KPMG’s business solutions consultancy, which includes enterprise resource planning and customer relationships.

‘The real investment for companies is in tailoring the courses and rolling e-learning out. E-learning is a massive investment in terms of cost, time and people,’ said Miller. ‘Everyone wants a piece of this action but the opportunities for doing major roll-outs are few and far between. All the talk about the size of the market is pipe dream stuff.’

Miller also played down claims by KPMG that companies could expect a payback in three to six months.


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