When Joe Cannata, Certification Director at Kinaxis, Inc. (Kinaxis), was hired to architect and launch a certification program in 2015, he knew from his impressive 15 years of experience building certification programs that he’d need the right tools to build a program that would benefit Kinaxis and its certification candidates.
Trusted by top brands, Kinaxis is a leading provider of cloud-based, software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions that give people the confidence to know they are making the best supply chain planning decisions to maximize business performance. Kinaxis is focused on training people to be skilled users of its solutions, primarily focused on its platform called Kinaxis RapidResponse®. The target population for the Kinaxis certification program is thousands of RapidResponse customer users, employees and partners.
One of the initial things Cannata began to work on was implementing a candidate management system as a vital building block in the foundation of the program’s architecture. Cannata shared, “I recommended CertMetrics, Alpine’s candidate management solution, to provide us more accurate and timely reports and metrics, and to facilitate best-in-breed candidate management. Our team is impressed at the speed, accuracy, and efficiency at which requested report data is generated and we continue to benefit from the quality service and efficiency it provides.
As the certification program grew, Kinaxis wanted to increase brand awareness, drive engagement, and find a way to more fully recognize people who become certified. “We have the most passionate community of supply chain professionals and a deep commitment to customer excellence. To augment our existing certification program, we saw the opportunity to launch our digital badge program as a way to help celebrate and easily promote the achievements of our global community,” said Cannata.
As he researched badging, Cannata considered two options: CertMetrics’ internal badging solution or leveraging Credly through the CertMetrics Credly Integration. Option 1, CertMetrics badging, includes self-contained badges that are not part of a cross-client repository, but that can still be shared outside of CertMetrics via social media. It also allows for inclusion in email signatures and can be incorporated in digital transcripts and posted as a link to online resumes and emails. This functionality is provided as part of CertMetrics Core upon request at no additional cost. For Option 2, Alpine has a trusted partnership with Credly whereby CertMetrics is integrated with Credly’s Acclaim platform to provide real-time credential data to Credly for issuing and updating badges. The Credly option allows for a plug-and-play ecosystem for digital credentials earned across different environments to publish, issue, and share badges as part of a larger cross-organization badge repository. CertMetrics maintains the rules and calculations for when a candidate earns a credential and then, through real-time integration with Credly, pushes over this information to Credly to issue and update badges within their platform.
“Initially, we incorporated the basic badging capability that comes with CertMetrics at no additional charge, and it was sufficient. But as our program grew and diversified, it made sense for us to go to the next level and implement the CertMetrics Credly Integration solution. Kinaxis and its certification candidates have seen many benefits since implementing the badging program.
“A side benefit of badging is that it is helping us think through our certification strategy and roadmap with increased planning as we roll out new exams and certifications. We must consider what to put on the badge and what will fit, what to name it, attributes, requirements, associated skills, and marketing, because it all represents our brand,” said Cannata.
Badging is extremely beneficial for candidates who are seeking career advancement, promotions, or exploring new avenues of learning and career opportunities. “Badges are immediately verifiable and users can click a digital badge to see the path required to earn the badge, including associated skills, required courses and exams as well as a complete history of the value of the credential. It’s a rich piece of information that people want to share; it is a digital representation of an earned credential and is like a badge of honor,” Cannata explained.
Social media is a key component of raising brand awareness for Kinaxis and their Certification program. Cannata added, “Badging provides great brand exposure, concrete evidence of skills mastery, and information about what was done to earn the certification. It gives Kinaxis a way to celebrate certification and congratulate candidates. It distinguishes badge earners among peers to their managers and gives them bragging rights.”
Certification badge earners cheer for one another to celebrate success. They can share directly from Credly’s Acclaim platform to social media sites and promote their badging accomplishments, most commonly on LinkedIn feeds. “This collaborative communication helps build a de facto or pop-up community of badge earners in addition to a formal community and knowledge community. It’s nice to hear from other folks in the certification space as it fosters collaboration and problem solving as a community,” said Cannata. “I regularly go out and congratulate those earning badges and find it rewarding. Each time a Kinaxis badge is shared on a LinkedIn feed, it is great for Kinaxis and our program.” Click here to view Cannata’s badge as an example of a typical share.
Jarin Schmidt, Chief Experience Officer of Credly, shared, “Our mission is to connect people to opportunity based on their talent and capabilities. To that end, Credly has helped catalyze a global movement to recognize and verify people’s skills in the form of digital credentials. Digital credentials provide individuals the ability to trade on the currency of their skills in a way that is portable, verified, and provides context of their knowledge and abilities.”
Credly’s badging solution has delivered many benefits for Kinaxis and other clients by increasing brand awareness, driving program engagement with credential earners, increasing exam volumes and completion rates, and providing certification fulfillment. This service is cost effective for credential issuers and extremely useful for their earners who want to find a new job, move up in their current position, or explore new avenues of learning and career opportunities.
“Credly’s Acclaim platform provides customers with significant actionable information through our analytics dashboard,” stated Schmidt. “Organizations are able to use that information to make more strategic decisions around their marketing efforts, such as targeting specific social media networks like LinkedIn, with which their badge earners are most engaged. Our clients use the labor market insights we provide to understand employer demand for the skills they’re building into their certification programs and adapt to emerging needs. And it’s very common for customers to begin offering digital credentials in one area of their business, then rapidly expand to include others as they see a return on that initial investment. Also, because our platform has evolved into a network for the world’s leading learning and credentialing programs, we have recently seen unique collaborations between brands to better signal professionals’ skills with joint credentials.”
Based on the success and impact Kinaxis is experiencing regarding certification badges, that energy and excitement is the catalyst for collaborative discussions and consideration for expanding badges in the human resources and professional development arenas. While Kinaxis is currently in phase 1 of their badging plan where the focus is certification, discussions for phase 2 include potential plans for the expansion of badging for earners of patents, employee recognition awards and various soft skills.
“We’ve been gathering more and more insights from the badge earners on Credly’s Acclaim platform who report measurable, and impactful, results on their careers thanks to sharing their badges with employers and with their professional networks,” said Schmidt. “Some certification candidates directly attribute getting new jobs and promotions, earning a raise, increased job security, and winning new business to their digital credentials.”
Cannata agrees: “Badging is making a huge impact globally across all industries. It’s new, exciting, and cutting edge and is fostering comradery and interest across the industry and providing new opportunities for candidates.”
The Kinaxis/Alpine/Credly partnership fully supports deserving candidates who have earned credentials and badges and seek opportunities for advancement in their learning, certification, and career paths.
For more information on badging, contact us. Please stay tuned for announcements regarding an upcoming webinar being presented this spring where Credly will join with Alpine to provide an overview of the CertMetrics Credly Integration.