Learning Light Creates U.K.’s Learning Solutions

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Learning Light, a nonprofit organization that focuses on integrating systems and aligning learning and people development programs to meet strategic business goals, has created the U.K.&rsquo;s first Virtual Enterprise Network (VEN)&mdash; a consortium of companies to sell learning-related products and services.<br /><br />The Learning Light (LL)-led Virtual Enterprise Network (VEN) comprises a consortium of companies and tenders for large private and public sector contracts.<br /><br />Learning Light CEO Mark Pittaway explained: &ldquo;The VEN brings together businesses to meet customer requirements. It allows innovative and creative companies which are unlikely to have the resources to win &mdash; and supply &mdash; large contracts on their own to combine, within a proper legal and project management framework, to win and deliver these contracts. This has benefits for both the customers and suppliers.<br /><br />&ldquo;For example, through the VEN, public sector organizations can establish a framework agreement which provides them with one point of access to a wide range of innovative small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that can be called upon as required to meet their changing learning solution needs and at the same time hit Government targets for procuring from SMEs &mdash; but it all happens within a less risky environment,&rdquo; Pittaway continued. &ldquo;This is because each member of the VEN is &lsquo;vetted&rsquo; before joining, and once a contract is awarded, the VEN members collectively guarantee to complete the contract and agree to work to a common project management methodology to ensure customers receive a consistent approach. <br /><br />&ldquo;Not least, it also saves procurement departments a lot of work in negotiating separate agreements with each SME when an overarching agreement can be used to access a wider range of innovative learning products and solutions than would normally be feasible.&rdquo; <br /><br />In forming and leading the consortium, LL is working with VEN Operations Ltd. &mdash; a Yorkshire Forward project. The only other example of a VEN is operating in the U.S.<br /><br />LL&rsquo;s VEN member organizations offer a range of complementary capabilities which are continually being grown with the addition of new members. The current organizations include Andymayer.net, BiBC, Futurate, Hocapito, Pixelearning, TechnoPhobia and Soundhouse. <br /><br />&ldquo;Each of these companies bringing a unique skill set to offer leading edge solutions, innovation and agile thinking so characteristic to small companies,&rdquo; said David Patterson, LL&rsquo;s head of partnership.    <br /><br />&ldquo;An ongoing frustration to many small and medium enterprises is the cost and complexity of public sector procurement, but with companies working together in this manner using the VEN model of ready made contractual agreements, governance and collaboration toolsets, LL and its group of enterprising companies have demonstrated that large contracts are not beyond small and medium enterprises,&rdquo; he added. <br />

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