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The 2008 Learning In Practice Awards

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LEADERSHIP AWARD • SILVER • DIVISION 2

Phil Morel
Director, Sales Enablement, Microsoft

During his tenure as director of the Microsoft Academy — a peer-to-peer virtual learning environment that functions on a global scale independent of any formal learning organization — Phil Morel implemented a number of tactics that would result in the expansion of its scope.

Morel’s goal was to turn the Academy into a company-wide asset, but his challenge was to do so without alienating it from the more formal learning organizations within the company.

His first step was to create a business model that would bring in sufficient funds to facilitate the expansion.

A newly created sales force would sell Academy offerings to the product groups that were previously being supplied free of charge. Currently, the groups’ contract with the Academy when training needs arise and provide at least partial funding. In an attempt to increase the demand for Academy offerings, Morel created a job role that would focus on selling the services to the product groups.

As a result, the additional $2.7 million annual funding allowed the Academy to double its size and provide employees around the globe with nearly three times as many offerings.

He also developed the highly successful Academy Mobile, a Web 2.0 offering built on SharePoint Server 2007 that encourages company-wide collaboration and knowledge sharing. In essence, it is a social media platform — similar to YouTube — in which anyone can create and share online tools such as podcasts.

Furthermore, the Academy’s customer base was positioned for growth once Morel reached out to new internal and external communities. Under Morel’s leadership, the reach of the Academy greatly expanded both internally and externally while maintaining the quality of its offerings. In fact, most major job roles in the company — with the exception of the corporate staff — use at least one of the Academy’s offerings.



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