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Seagate Security and Service Improve with Online Training Strategy

Case Study - Seagate Technologies, LLC

Seagate Technologies, LLC (Bloomington, MN) delivers advanced digital storage solutions to meet the needs of today's consumers and tomorrow's applications. Storage solutions today aren't just about keeping valuable data safe and secure but also making information and media accessible and flexible. From home entertainment consumer electronics devices to large enterprise data centers, Seagate digital storage solutions empowers its customers to make the most of their content - for business and pleasure.

With more than a quarter century of industry expertise, Seagate continues to be the driver of innovative solutions for the storage industry in the U.S., Asia and Europe. Seagate has been at the forefront of the storage industry for nearly 30 years and employs more than 55,000 people around the world - all contributing to the development of the company's next-generation storage products. Through technology leadership and innovation, Seagate continues to help individuals and businesses maximize the potential of their digital content in an ever-evolving, on-demand world.

Online Training Needs Assessment

The Seagate Minnesota facility houses manufacturing, distribution and R&D. Seagate's Security Director, Marianne Moreno, describes the security department's mission, which is to be an effective global business partner, protect employee assets, and investigate violations of company policies and breaches of criminal or civil law. She went on to state that they are responsible to provide a safe and secure workplace, ensure timely responses to safeguard confidential information, protect company assets, and establish security programs in a cost-effective and efficient manner.

Seagate's primary training objective was to create an online training program for security officers. Security services are contracted and procured through an extensive bid process to ensure they enlist the best security vendors. Typically, part of the bid process was to incorporate the existing vendor training. Time and again, these vendors produced not much more than a pamphlet of rudimentary security guidelines. This left the security personnel lacking in job-related specifics, and most often, they couldn't click on.

Another important aspect of their online training objectives was to establish learning and retention metrics.

The Search

A core team of Seagate managers and directors was assembled and tasked with finding a training medium that would offer a premium, E-Learning program that offers unlimited training courses and comprehensive program metrics, including the ability to compare results among Seagate sites throughout the country. The team constructed a model of what they desired in an E-Learning system by utilizing the 'KT Process' as their analytical tool, which included a situation appraisal, problem analysis, decision analysis and potential problem (or opportunity) analysis. The model documented their needs, wants, must haves, bells and whistles, and the process included a series of score cards, research questionnaires and product demos, all tallying points in the KT analysis. With a top score and overwhelming support, the team chose FlexTraining.

Login & Go was the online training solution of choice because it handled everything as the host and vendor. Nationwide's IS Department was happy, too, because they had no support, liability or firewall issues.

Launching FlexTraining

Seagate purchased the FlexTraining software and quickly got to work converting existing training materials into online training courses with their focus on security officers, the contracted employee base. Despite a few internal stumbling blocks, and with the help of the FlexTraining support team, the online training program was introduced to the security officers, replacing their traditional classroom setting and resulting in reduced training dollars and decreased instructor and student scheduling.

Once the core classes were created and launched, Seagate developed additional training programs. The existing OJT (on-the-job-training) was replaced with online training, resulting in new programs in Safeguarding Confidential Information, Protecting Assets, Shift-lead Management, Workplace Violence, Staff Supervision, and Process Serving, to name a few. Core teams were established to create new course content.

The Online Training Evolution

A new standard of annual testing requirements evolved from Seagate's online training curriculum. All security officers and the management team are required to successfully complete annual job-related testing. Learners have a second chance for a passing score, if necessary, but are removed from a job site if they fail after two attempts. In an industry-related scenario, security personnel must pass the 'kidnap-ransom' emergency testing conditions on the first attempt!

Seagate believes training material should be updated frequently since hardware and software technology changes are cyclical. Internal managers and outside contractors are required to stay in step with new technology, and their online training set of courses make this expedient. The FlexTraining integrated library makes it convenient to store educational clips and classes, which they apply as needed for learning and testing.

Two important components of their E-Learning strategy are consistency and training effectiveness. The Item Analysis reporting function provides detailed synopses of test questions and answers, thereby revealing the relevance and interpretation of the training material and determining the effectiveness of same material versus the testing guidelines. The focus is the learner's success, not failure, and this specific reporting function has helped Seagate to educate students so everyone can succeed.

Number of Learners

In just under three years, Seagate has trained close to 1,000 contract employees and internal senior staff.

Financial benefits/

With the introduction of FlexTraining web-based training, Seagate eliminated the traditional classroom scenario, bringing about monumental savings. Previously, their conventional training consisted of bringing security officers into the classroom for at least 8 hours of paid overtime. Now, officers dedicate a fraction of that time to the virtual classroom as part of a normal shift, saving valuable on-duty and training hours. This has resulted in better trained officers, improved job satisfaction and increased officer retention.

Overall benefits/

Seagate's total satisfaction with FlexTraining is evident in their on-going use and company-wide expansion of their online training initiatives. According to Moreno, "Once we got familiar with the product and started using it, we found additional uses for it. We now have better trained employees, greater job satisfaction, less turnover and significant savings from our traditional classroom." They plan to expand FlexTraining to their global offices.

Moreno states, "Not only are we satisfied with the ROI, we can measure our success on the caliber of our security officers. While they were once referred to as 'guns and guards at the gate', they are now considered 'security professionals.' Since the implementation of our online training programs, we have received numerous compliments on the improved levels of customer service."

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