Shire and Baxalta Align on Training

Shire Case Study Image
Shire Case Study Image
OnboardingLife Sciences
Shire first implemented Saba Enterprise Cloud 5.5 to track and export globally-assigned training data within a validated system, and over the next few years, each of the functions consolidated and migrated their training processes and data onto Saba to form a single, centralized learning management system (LMS).

Acquisition provides opportunity to harmonize training processes and technology



Prior to 2012, Shire’s various organizational functions were operating independently when it came to addressing their training needs. Shire first implemented Saba Enterprise Cloud 5.5 to track and export globally-assigned training data within a validated system. Over the next few years, each of the functions consolidated and migrated their training processes and data onto Saba to form a single, centralized learning management system (LMS).


Shire is a global biopharmaceutical company with their US operations headquartered in Massachusetts. The organization’s stated objective is to enable better lives for patients with rare diseases. Safe and effective drugs and devices–backed by validated safety and compliance training–are critical to making that goal a reality. Shire’s training teams work within a highly regulated framework to provide training to the entire organization, ranging from technicians manufacturing products, to scientists researching and conducting clinical trials, to field sales representatives reaching new health care provider (HCP) markets and all
of the internal supporting functions.

In June 2016, Shire completed the acquisition of Baxalta, a development that would make the organization the global leader in rare diseases. The new combined company now consists of more than 23,000 employees (a considerable increase from Shire’s original ~6,000 employees), in more than 60 countries.


The overarching challenge faced by Shire’s LMS business process owner was the process of onboarding Baxalta employees and consolidating everyone into one centralized training platform. The merging process would require harmonizing two separate sets of organizational structures, training strategies, processes, and content into one clean, unified system that met the most critical business requirements of the combined organization. Once the technical hurdles were completed, there would still be the challenge of facilitating an onboarding and training process for the majority of the user base; getting incumbents and new hires to work together within identical role responsibilities but with vastly different learning system experience. A challenging undertaking even when working within the most flexible of timelines, Shire was facing a strict time crunch with the need to complete the system rollover within eight months.


Educe is not only extremely knowledgeable about Saba, but they also take the time to partner with clients to really understand the unique requirements of their business.”

Lauren Schiller, IT Business Analyst, Learning and Development Solutions




In the face of this complex project, Shire brought in Educe to serve as functional, operational and technical experts. Educe developed a comprehensive data migration plan to ensure the thorough and safe transfer of data between systems. This process included meeting with stakeholders from all major business functions, IT and HR of the combined organization inputs into the eventual training catalog. The teams sorted through the 130,000 active and retired courses in Baxalta’s legacy LMS, ultimately migrating about half of them to the new system. From a technical standpoint, Educe also provided guidance for Shire’s configuration decisions and led the migration and incorporation of Baxalta data, including approximately 11 million transcript records. The effort required the cleanup of duplicate data and content, as well as, the merging/coordination of parallel processes and naming conventions.

This process also provided Shire with an opportunity to organize and address existing infrastructure and process gaps. With the Educe team’s guidance, they established tighter system controls, process flows and ownership structures. Educe configured the system with an eye to both present requirements and potential future scenarios, positioning Shire to be in a better position to respond to future organizational changes as necessary.


The project was a fantastic experience and Educe helped make it successful. There was no distinction between Shire and Educe because we were ‘One Team with one Dream’ and that dream was the successful migration into Saba.”

Matthew Quartararo, LMS Manager




Shire’s expanded system successfully went live in June 2017, thus achieving its objective of smoothly integrating two organizations without disruption to the training regimen. In addition, the project was accomplished within the required eight month timeframe. Since go-live, the Educe team has provided ongoing training and issue resolution, gradually transferring system ownership to Shire’s internal administrators and outsourced partner.

What’s Next

As Shire has increased system ownership, Educe’s role has evolved from implementation partner, to training/support admin, to big-picture advisor on next steps. Based on Educe’s in-depth knowledge of Shire’s unique requirements, pharmaceutical industry trends, and the evolution of training and learning needs, they’ve been able to credibly and objectively guide Shire on technology options for the future.

Looking forward, Shire hopes to continue to improve the system’s value and usability through developing richer data mining and analytics processes, integrating with other Shire systems, increasing mobility, and automating training workflows.


Educe’s partnership and guidance related to system & functional knowledge were critical to the success of our project.”

Nancy Luna, IT Business Partner,

Learning & Development Solutions


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