Tenaris, which is a global supplier of tubes and services for the energy industry, sought to position itself as a leader in corporate education using an innovative new technology.
The initiative, MOOCs and SPOCs: Pioneering Innovation in Corporate Education, took advantage of the recent, cost-effective and global phenomenon in education, massive open online courses. The mass classes that can be accessed from around the world were especially useful to Tenaris, which has highly specialized employees across the globe. It also took advantage of small private online courses, which offer more specialized classes to Tenaris employees.
The New York Times labeled 2012 as the “Year of the MOOC,” and by 2013 the Buenos Aires, Argentina-based company had launched the MOOCs and SPOCs project at TenarisUniversity, which was created to reduce the cost of corporate education while improving quality. Creating an online university also appealed to Tenaris’ digitally fluent employees.
The 2014-15 MOOCs, which reached an audience outside of Tenaris employees, included introduction to steel and introduction to numerical control courses. The SPOCs, geared toward specialized employees, included relationship marketing, thermo-mechanical processing of metals and other specialty courses. Tenaris University plans to develop more MOOCs and SPOCs for the 2015-16 calendar year.
The formation of Tenaris University has helped the company teach on a global scale, and attract a new generation of digitally inclined employees to the oil and gas industry.
The initiative was cost-effective and provided solid results in strategic positioning. Tenaris said by using MOOCs and SPOCs it was able to spend 20 percent of the amount it would have cost using traditional methods to the tune of $800,000 in savings.
For its use of emerging MOOC and SPOC technology to improve its corporate education and reduce costs, Tenaris is the gold 2015 Optimas Award winner for Training.
Editor's note: This article was updated Nov. 23, 2015, to clarify that the MOOCs and SPOCs project began in 2013. TenarisUniversity was created in 2005.