Why does Salesforce, Google and HubSpot provide free online learning? And why we built a tool to do the same.
These companies have done a tremendous effort by creating sites where you can learn by watching video tutorials and certify yourselves for free - again and again - a very effective learning method for busy people who are using their products for work.
Let me start by pointing out. None of these companies would provide this for free if it doesn't generate value. No one would, and I am pretty sure that each of them have good reasons. The answer to the question is probably therefore quite simple. Because it provides value to their customers and themselves at the same time.
So, what could the value be?
Value for the provider of the free online learning
From an overall business perspective some of important values to be gained by companies when providing free online learning are:
So, for corporations, there is an opportunity of positive branding, increased or stable business, and cost savings.
Value for the customers and the individual users
I probably do not need to mention this. The customers and the individual users of the products also get a lot in return:
Can other companies do the same?
What the solutions of the 3 companies among other have in common, is that their solutions are not available as an online software tool for other organizations to use for publishing learning campaigns.
This was where we started to wonder. Wouldn't it make sense for other companies to do the same? We were certain of that. And we chose to do something about it. We recently finished developing the first version of an online software system, where companies can do the same. It is called uQualio and can be found on app.uQualio.com. It is provided as a social platform for individuals and companies, and interacts from a user perspective seamlessly with other social networks. All material and tests are offered completely for free for the individual users. The users can learn, take tests, engage in competitions, save and share their badges.
For the corporations it works as an online software tool for them to publish learning campaigns including e.g. new or current product versions, new releases, new features, support material, webinars, advanced product demos, etc. We hereby make it possible for small and medium sized companies to do the same as the larger ones. No reason to pay a fortune to develop and maintain own sites, if you can get it as SaaS, more affordable and constantly improved based on experiences from users and other customers, and always available from any device.
To make sure that the decision is very easy to make, we are offering a subscription model. Companies are only paying for the amount of active campaigns they need and at a very low price. We suggest that companies create several academies and that each campaign is developed and published with the target group in mind e.g. Sales, Customer Care, Services, Product Managers, Accounting, IT Administrators, etc. That will provide the most value to each user.
Why not just use YouTube?
We of course did some research and found that many already on YouTube had published training videos, advanced product demos, webinars, video tutorials, and so forth. That was good news for us. Confirming the companies' understanding of the value of providing free online learning. Unfortunately for the companies YouTube is not the best place for doing so.
The material is drowning
Firstly, the most of the material is “drowning” in the success of YouTube, and it can be difficult for users to find, and is hardly being watched compared to the potential. E.g. some business software vendors have millions of users and only a few thousand views.
Not a learning system
Secondly, YouTube has a great technology to show videos. But YouTube is not a learning system. Simply watching videos doesn’t motivate the watchers to learn something and to promote the company offering it. Learning demands interaction, and learners want to be rewarded, appreciated and praised for their effort. And to show that they are qualified. This is what uQualio can help the companies and individuals to do.
So instead of only using YouTube, uQualio can in combination with YouTube videos help to make the tutorials easy to find, visible, interactive and interesting for the users, even the existing videos, and create value to both the companies and the users of their products. And individuals will notice if companies publish valuable content on uQualio, making it easier for them to prove their qualifications. In some cases qualifications they already partly or completely possess, but can't document having. Now they can.
Thanks to our network
Finally I would like to use this opportunity to say: "Thank you!" to all the people in our network who recently helped us by "stress" testing our software. I wish you all a Great 2017 - Happy New Year!
If you are interested in knowing more about our company and uQualio, please contact us.