Q&A: The answer to Learning Made Easy
Litmos has seemingly come out of nowhere to become a widely recognisable brand in the learning space. How?
While Litmos is only a five-year-old business, we are a division of CallidusCloud, a publicly traded technology company valued at $1.5 billion that has successfully developed an array of products which optimise businesses across sales, marketing, customer success and learning. Firstly, we have fantastically loyal customers and, equally importantly, I feel that I am surrounded by the most talented team in the learning industry. Unlike a lot of learning vendors that approached the space from an angle of theory, we came at it from an angle of practice, showing return on investment and technology first. Through this we became the first mobile learning management system (LMS) that is simple to use by anyone on any device and that can integrate with nearly any other solution.
A big theme for you is learner experience. Explain why?
Learning should be embedded into the business workflow and not an old-school, horrible portal that employees are summoned to use once a year. It is hard enough to get people to do training, so when they get there, you want them to enjoy it and have a good experience. This all starts with the look and feel of not just the application, but with the course itself and the accessibility from the cloud and from any device. Beyond ensuring a great experience for our customers’ learners, we also believe in providing a great experience for our customers themselves. I can tell you that we have the best support in the industry, but our customers have already spoken and we have won the highest customer satisfaction and net promoter scores in the industry for multiple years in a row. But again, our customers’ voices are much more powerful than mine on this subject.
You acquired Learning Heroes out of Warrington here in the UK. What was your thought process behind that decision?
While we had a library of more than 700 courses before the acquisition, quite frankly the Learning Heroes content is the best I have ever seen and our joint customers absolutely raved about it. We felt we had to have it as part of our business because today’s customers demand not just a powerful learning platform, but also the engaging, story-based content that helps make the learning programme successful. And who would not want to acquire the tagline Saving the World from Boring Learning?
Learning Heroes has a large following in the UK. What is its future?
It has an incredible future ahead of it and is pivotal to our strategy, although under a different name, now Litmos Heroes. We have doubled the team in the past three months and are putting our global production group into Warrington, where there is a huge amount of media and creative talent from the universities at Liverpool and Manchester. Our mission is to create the iTunes of learning with the subscription model of Netflix and continue to add value to our customers. In fact, our plan is to add another 500 courses to the current customers’ subscriptions in the next 12 months.
What is your perspective on the learning market in the US compared with the UK?
Having been a Londoner for more than seven years before moving to the States, I have a pretty good perspective on this. Interestingly, I believe the UK is further ahead in talent development than the US. There is more value applied per employee and a lot more focus on behavioural change from learning rather than ticking the “training box”. There is massive excitement in the States for our artificial intelligence technology, but I am not sure that the whole concept of AI has reached the same fever pitch quite yet. From an operational perspective, we are seeing some of the same trends as in the States of decentralised LMS and content purchases at a business-unit level versus a central learning and development department.
Would you elaborate more on purchases made at a business-unit level?
Learning and training programmes have had to become a lot more agile. For example, they’re deployed sometimes on a whim to fix a compliance gap, deployed to customers to reduce support tickets and expenses, deployed in a week to roll out to a new contracting group or deployed in a day to educate the field on a new product. In addition, fewer than 70 per cent of corporate LMS platforms have working mobile functionality.
Who are your customers and what uses does Litmos have?
We are very lucky to have such great customers using the platform across a wide variety of use-cases from employee development to IT security. We’re also seeing a big surge in customer education. To name names, our customers include HP, Skyscanner, Zoopla, UFC and Mercedes.
Your new slogan is Learning Made Easy. What does this mean for you?
Based on feedback from our customer surveys, one of the common themes was that we made it easy for them and their learners. This stuck with us. The concept of easy is not just one dimensional, meaning just that it’s an easy product to use. It’s much more than that. It means that it’s easy to deploy off-the-shelf courses in seconds; it’s easy to integrate; it’s easy for the learner; it’s easy to get support on the phone; it’s easy to do business with Litmos. This concept really encapsulates the culture of our business. Just because something is easy does not mean that it’s not exceptionally powerful. For example, it was easy for me to get an Uber to pick me up today, but the network and engineering is exceptionally powerful to deliver it. Speaking of easy, here in the UK we had a FTSE 100 company that needed to deploy compliance training rapidly to more than 11,000 sites. They called us on Monday, signed the contract on Friday and were live in every location the next Wednesday. That’s what I call Learning Made Easy.
For more information please visit www.calliduscloud.com