Four challenges of the software industry - how to solve them with video eLearning
"Real life shows that users do what they are used to unless you help them change. Helping them can be hard if you don’t have a flexible and simple tool to deliver the information directly when they need it".
In today's digital era, companies need their employees' knowledge to be up to date. As technology in recent years has developed into being cloud-based and supportive of mobility, eLearning with videos has gained popularity in corporate setups due to its obvious business benefits. However, there is a common misconception that eLearning is only useful as tools for HR and L&D teams. This attitude results in lost opportunities to broadly implement a potent new set of tools.
As is the case in many industries, software companies face large challenges in attracting and onboard skilled tech workers. In addition to making sure that current and new employees feel valued, have up to date knowledge of the organization's procedures, and are current with the latest industry trends, it is crucial to ensure the company’s well-being and its ability to offer great customer service.
Recently, I managed to squeeze out a little time from our Chief Product Officer (CPO) Christian Nielsen, so he could tell us, from his experience, how software companies can utilize eLearning in their processes as a tool to share knowledge with employees, partners, customers, and its users.
Thanks for taking the time to talk with me Christian, I am sure your insights will be highly relevant for our readers. Before we dig into the topic, could you start by telling us about your career? You are the Chief Product Officer at uQualio® video eLearning platform. What is your background and how did you get here?
I have a background in software development where I worked with large software applications for investment management and general ERP platforms. Throughout my career, I have been focused both in technical aspects of software development – working the code – and on the business side – working with the users and explaining the benefits of the software.
In most of the positions, I have worked with learning, knowledge management, and process improvements. In this area, training is a very big part of the process, and would say that I have both extensive and practical experience working with learning systems in global and cross-cultural environments.
During the early .com period I was the CEO of one of the first Danish eLearning companies. We had a couple of solutions that included blended learning, pure eLearning and gamification. Based on today's reality, maybe we were a few years too early…
How do you think uQualio® differs from other solutions in the market?
uQualio® is special because of its simplicity and the fact that you can move the learning creation to the frontline of the organization, where the knowledge is consumed. The idea is to make it attractive to both learners and companies to use the platform. Companies can create their courses and adapt them to their needs and then share them with their partners, employees, customers, or whomever they want to communicate with. The platform is a fast, inexpensive and effective way to share knowledge.
Based on your many years of experience, what are some of the most common issues facing the software industry? How do you see companies managing those concerns?
I would say the main pains of the software industry are those related to the following areas:
Onboarding and ongoing training of customers, partners, and employees,
Managing the presentation of new versions of the software, and
Changes to tools and processes internally.
To be honest, many companies have a hard time managing these areas. There's a lack of structure and often little or no general support in corporate IT for their needs. Often, customer support is only offered during the onboarding stage, but then ongoing support is lacking as product updates and new versions are reported in release notes but not promoted directly to them.
When a new version is made available, Software companies want existing customers to move to the new version and features as quickly as possible. They shouldn't have to support more than one way of doing things. Real-life [experience] shows that customers follow old patterns, doing what they are used to do unless you help them. And helping them can be hard if you don’t have a flexible and simple tool to deliver the information directly to them. Often the mantra of the company is to use the HR owned training system, but there, resources are scarce and authoring tools take a lot of time and traditional LMS’s cost fortunes. Also, those tools are generally made for internal training only.
It is even harder for software companies to change internal tools and processes if they employ more than a few developers, and/or have employees in more than one location. In those cases, the cost of training local staff in new processes is high - namely, flight or train tickets, hotel bookings, restaurants, etc. To reduce expenses, in theory, one could prepare a PowerPoint presentation, arrange webinars and share the links on the intranet, hoping that their efforts pay-off… but this normally doesn't work in practice, since it isn’t a motivating way to learn and often results in delays in implementation of new procedures, and/or products.
Do you think software companies could benefit from using a platform like uQualio®? Could some of the pains you previously talked about be solved with video eLearning?
Of course, and the benefits are frankly obvious. At the end of the day, all businesses are built on satisfied customers. But also, on controlling costs associated with the management of the business. As software systems move into the Cloud, they become browser-based and can be used on all devices. SaaS and Subscription-based models are becoming the “normal” way for customers to buy software solutions. Some of the costs are going down but so are the prices that you can charge. This doesn’t leave a lot of resources for support or customer service. There are currently 2 primary means of keeping costs low: AI and training; efficient onboarding and ongoing training of the end-user. In the latter case, video is easy and fast to create and change, so it beats the traditional methods. And for software companies, videos based on screen casting is an extremely time and cost-efficient methodology to ensure competent end-users and happy customers. If the video eLearning platform is integrated as an embedded solution with the software system, the training can be experienced as a seamless and natural ongoing activity whenever the user needs to refresh his or her memory or in connection with new software releases and associated features.
Let’s take this scenario: Your business relies on partners to resell and implement your solutions, meaning, you are largely dependent on your partners to perform. Consequently, you rely on them to ensure customer satisfaction and to create sales. In this way, your success depends on your partners’ skills and them being up to the task. Product sales training for sales reps, which includes an understanding of your software, its value propositions, and objection handling, can ensure a high degree of mindshare of your products and encourage success for all stakeholders. Using video eLearning for this is an extremely time and cost-efficient way to ensure they have the right competencies. Add in ease-of-use, gamification with badges and competition, and you can significantly increase the intended impact. In addition to the positive impact of improved training, video eLearning extends your reach across the globe, literally putting you in touch with your partners wherever they may be, and in this way, achieve huge economic benefits in the form of getting faster to market with new products, and with ongoing training.
So... To conclude, yes! Software companies can greatly benefit from using our platform! I would have loved having uQualio® available when I was a development manager at SimCorp. We made many changes to, for example, improve code review and test coverage. Typically, the process ended up with a link on the intranet and a prayer that new employees would read it… Imagine if they would have watched it with my narration! The process would have been smoother and more consistent, that's for sure!
That's all for now! Learn more about how your software company can benefit from using uQualio® here.