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Case Study: State of Ohio – Implementation of a Statewide Learning Management System

Training has always been a focal point for the State of Ohio and its employees, but they struggled with the limitations of their legacy Learning Management System (LMS). Ohio realized they needed a more robust LMS that could equip their workforce to understand state mandates, provide statewide and agency-specific training on various topics, and satisfy their agencies’ recent request to deliver the latest quality training to their external customers. To achieve these goals, eSkillz implemented the Oracle Taleo Learn LMS for the State of Ohio and 23 of its agencies—branded and launched as “Ohio Learn”, with 25 total unique learning portals—and worked with Ohio as they established a new IT infrastructure that integrates multiple systems to offer a cohesive training experience for their internal and external audiences.

University of Utah Case Study - eSkillz

Client Challenge

The State of Ohio was searching for a cloud-based solution that would support both statewide training and agency-specific training that would stay up to date without having to manually manage updates to the system. They needed to track training at the statewide level while allowing the agencies to autonomously manage their user base. Additionally, the solution had to support both contractors and external citizens within their training population. The legacy system they were using to deliver statewide and other agencies’ trainings did not provide that flexibility or allow for external access. Many agencies also struggled with timeout issues, incorrect tracking of course completions, and undeliverable contractor and citizen training. The Ohio Department of Administration Services (DAS) took the lead to consolidate training management across all Ohio departments within a single enterprise-wide training and development solution that met the goals and requirements of all areas of the business. DAS selected to implement the Oracle Taleo Learn platform, which the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) was already using. The ODOT implementation was managed by a different partner who struggled to move that one agency to go-live and failed to provide in-depth knowledge of the platform, and as a result, the State of Ohio was searching for another partner who could offer true system and implementation expertise and assist Ohio in scaling up the LMS to support all 23 agencies.

Enter eSkillz. This engagement began with conducting discovery deep-dives and gathering requirements from all departments then translating everything into a comprehensive strategy for enterprise LMS configurations and deployment that would meet the diverse needs of every group involved. This was no small feat, especially considering that Ohio was looking to roll out the LMS to 23 agencies within an 18-month time frame with a heavy emphasis on change management and enablement.

eSkillz Solution

eSkillz follows a proven implementation methodology and approach. With that in mind, our team recognizes that every client has its own unique scenarios and intricacies to consider and adapt to as we lead them through the implementation journey. In the case of the State of Ohio, the eSkillz implementation team started by working closely with Ohio’s system owners to conduct an extensive and in-depth requirements analysis. This process helped define the current state and desired future state and determine the scope for the migration and other technical projects. It also ensured that the immediate needs of the various stakeholders were met upon system go-live. After completion of this effort, eSkillz met with each agency to determine their specific needs, hear their main concerns with the legacy system, and provide them with high-level context for how this new system would meet their needs.

Both the eSkillz and State of Ohio teams played critical roles in engineering the successful implementation and deployment of a new enterprise-wide Learning Management System. eSkillz partnered closely with Ohio’s system owner to manage all operations and progress throughout the implementation. They also worked closely with the change management team to ensure communications were being generated appropriately to keep Ohio’s 200 administrators, high-level department heads, and end-users abreast of the changes. Ohio took full responsibility for the internal decision-making process to solicit feedback from each agency and document final decisions to present to the eSkillz team. Some decisions were driven by statewide needs, such as the overall layout and framework of the user interface design. While each agency would be uniquely branded with their own logo(s), colors, fonts, and images, the design layout would remain uniform for consistency and cohesiveness. Throughout the process, the Ohio team was open and receptive to recommendations provided by the eSkillz implementation team. The keys to the success of the engagement were clear, concise, and timely communication between Ohio and eSkillz team, as well as open and meaningful discussions to set well-defined and honest expectations. Timelines were established, and all tasks and strategic decisions were deadline-driven. The team understood that the migration of historical records would not be finished by day 1 of go-live, due to the sheer amount of data and the cross-mapping between the legacy system and the new system. eSkillz helped Ohio owners track and measure the tasks for each agency within their own project plan. This was then rolled into an overall project plan to keep agencies on task for their activities.

While adhering to our standardized service delivery process, the eSkillz team had to be flexible and adjust our traditional approach to ensure that we fully understood, addressed, and satisfied challenges and requirements that were specific to the State of Ohio, as well as the various audiences within each agency. As eSkillz conducted configuration activities, we made sure to highlight areas where all groups had come to a consensus for global level settings within the system, especially those settings where each department had the option to modify the configurations and workflows to meet their specific needs. Some examples of this are statewide vs. agency user interface design, user data fields, security roles and permissions, etc. The team maintained detailed documentation of all decisions that were made at all levels.

In addition to a compressed timeline and managing input from numerous stakeholders to balance individual, department, and enterprise-wide needs, there was another major obstacle to overcome: the large data migration effort from the legacy system into the new LMS. This involved extraction, transformation, loading, and configuration of over 100,000 learning objects and 55,000+ user accounts. The way Ohio classified employee, contractor, and external users posed another challenge. Oracle Taleo Learn offered the agencies the opportunity for a “citizen portal” where each agency could provide training to their external population, such as EAP training. eSkillz also worked with internal IT to create separate integration resources from the State of Ohio, bring contractors into each agency, and provide them access to critical compliance training on an automated basis. Other technical integrations that eSkillz deployed for Ohio included Single Sign-On (SSO) and a modified user import to support employee load.

Each stage of the process was documented thoroughly with review by DAS, the change management team, and executive teams to guarantee that the State of Ohio had a clear record of the workflow and the entire process. This gave their organization the ability to effectively manage the system now while planning for future expansion as they decide to bring on additional agencies.

Training the end-users and administrators was a huge part of the change management process. eSkillz created a “Getting Started” course for end-users that provides an overview of Ohio Learn as well as awareness of new terminology within the platform. This was extremely well-received, and each agency ensured 100% participation from their user base as this was critical to their understanding of the system and user adoption. eSkillz also built over 100 administrative courses for Ohio to deliver training to the over 200 administrators that perform various functions within the system. These were interactive, functional-specific courses with knowledge checks to certify that each administrator understood how to execute their tasks. Several instructor-led trainings were also conducted by eSkillz, which gave the administrators an opportunity to ask questions in a real-time setting. For example, the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (ODRC), one of Ohio’s largest agencies, had well over 116 training officers that required in-person training for tasks and system reporting, and eSkillz was able to train and empower their LMS owners and managers to be self-sufficient.

The State of Ohio executive management team believe that they selected the most knowledgeable partner to support them in successfully achieving their project goals. They reflected on the partnership in a recent testimonial:

“eSkillz was able to drive timelines, and all project deliverables were met. They continue to provide technical support and training to over 200 administrators at 20 state agencies, as well as the core team at the Department of Administrative Services (DAS).”


The State of Ohio welcomed 55,000 employees from 23 agencies to the Oracle Taleo Learn LMS, which will be maintained by over 200 administrators. Enterprise-wide training can now be launched and managed consistently while allowing the agencies to focus on their specific training initiatives. Upon go-live, the eSkillz-produced “Getting Started” course was proven effective, with Ohio experiencing only ~1% activity within the user base population reporting the need for assistance. The user interface design was highly praised and provided Ohio with a more modern and intuitive user experience, uniquely branded for the state and each agency. As the State of Ohio DAS team continues to maintain the statewide site and manage overall governance of the individual agency sites, system adoption has been a success and better autotomy has been achieved across each agency. The administrator knowledge check trainings that eSkillz developed allow agencies to bring on additional sub-administrators to support them in further adoption of the system. Ohio is thrilled to be able to deliver training to their external user base via the Oracle Taleo Learn LMS. eSkillz provided the oversight team with a process to manage the Ohio citizen population within the platform to ensure access was secure.

eSkillz’s expertise with complex system deployments and large government clients, their in-depth platform knowledge, and their creative solutions for leveraging the power of Oracle Taleo Learn—combined with strong leadership on the client side—led the State of Ohio to realize the full potential of an enterprise-wide learning and development solution configured to meet the needs of its various stakeholders within a very tight timeline.

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