Modernizing Power Utility Training

Learning Management System (LMS)

Northwest Power Pool (NWPP) partnered with us to design and implement a learning platform that modernized the delivery of electric utility training. The new platform is so much easier to maintain. More importantly, it allows NWPP to use modern learning tools which drastically improved trainee engagement and compliance with federally regulated training requirements.

Company logo for Northwest Power Pool
“Partnering with OMBU on this evolution of our platform was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.”
David P.
Project Lead, NWPP
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User Experience Design
Custom Application Development
AWS Infrastructure

The Visionary

Northwest Power Pool (NWPP) brings together 32 power utilities in eight US states and two Canadian provinces. One of its missions is to deliver training to electric power operators to increase power grid safety, help with new technology adoption, and meet federally regulated training requirements.

For years, NWPP suffered with an off-the-shelf LMS solution to deliver training that could not keep up with NWPP’s pace of innovation. The platform was slow and tedious for learners and administrators, and could not support the modern training methods that NWPP is pioneering.

NWPP knew that if they could could control the experience and functionality of a new platform, they would drastically improve the quality of training, drive engagement and help member utilities achieve compliance. So NWPP came to OMBU with a simple vision: help us design, implement and roll out a learning management system that will transform how we work.

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The Solution

OMBU built a modern and engaging training platform targeted specifically for training electric utility workers. The easy-to-use Learning Management System (LMS) allows content creators to quickly put together new courses and activities with video, interactive quizzes, scoring, reporting and more.

This platform integrates with modern providers of digital media, like YouTube, Vimeo, Soundcloud and Sketchfab, with a Department of Energy system for reporting, and with a Learning Record Store (LRS) through the Experience API (xAPI).

Ultimately, the key feature of OMBU’s solution is the powerful and pleasant user experience that makes content creation and management tasks fun and easy, and stays out of the way during training, shifting all focus to the learning experience, driving high engagement in an industry where knowledge and safety are critical.

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Technology Innovations

Drag & Drop Course Builder
Content creators can create courses easily using a drag-and-drop user interface to organize activity order, upload videos and setup quizzes.
Digital Asset Management
Media assets like videos, documents and images are organized in a central asset library, so that content creators can easily find assets to use in their activities, and LMS administrators can track what is being used where.
Self-Service Teams
Member organizations are teams inside the LMS with self-management functions. This allows NWPP to securely delegate tasks like user invitations, status updates, role assignment, license management and more.
High-Availability <abbr title="Amazon Web Services">AWS</abbr> infrastructure
The LMS is a business-critical application used around the clock, so OMBU implemented a multi-data-center hosting solution that is cost effective and scales during high usage periods.
Experience API (xAPI) / Tin Can
We built one of the first learning management systems with native, real-time integration with a learning record store (LRS) that supports xAPI (also called Tin Can), so thatNWPP can follow members’ engagement and progress, and access live analytics that help them improve and evolve training.