Over its ten-year journey, Simplilearn has helped over 1 million learners, and we have learned many lessons ourselves along the way. We believe these lessons have a lot of value to other enterprises, regardless of what businesses they are in. We’ve offered actionable advice for your business with each of these lessons.
Here are ten lessons about enterprises and e-learning.
Lesson 1: Help Others Grow
After his start-up was acquired in 2007, Krishna Kumar started a blog, Simplilearn.com, to share his skills in business and IT management. By 2010, he realized it was time to turn his labor of love into a business that could reach and benefit many more people. Krishna turned Simplilearn into an online school for professional certifications, where learners could not only upskill their skill sets but could obtain industry certifications to prove it. Simplilearn adopted a blended-learning model that gave online learners access to live instructors in both real and virtual classrooms.
In any business, part of the secret of success is helping others grow. Whether it is your customers, your vendors, or your employees, the more you can aid in their success, the more they can help you with yours.
Lesson 2: Align with the Needs of the Moment
By 2012, there was a general understanding in the business community that IT skills had a short “shelf life.” IT professionals and their managers had to keep up with a growing stream of new programming languages, computing paradigms, and technologies.
As the pace of change accelerates, you need to be agile and adaptable so that you can keep up with it. By aiming to stay one step ahead of the change around you, you will remain in a position to meet your customers’ current needs as they change too.
Lesson 3: Create a Business worth Investing In
Simplilearn demonstrated its value proposition and its ability to deliver early on. In 2012 and 2013, Simplilearn attracted two rounds of venture funding, showing that others could see and share our vision.
Build your business on a solid foundation of people, technology, and value; deliver consistent value to your customers, and manage your finances prudently as you grow. You’ll be well-positioned to weather hard times and to take advantage of growth opportunities.
Lesson 4: Tech Skills Have an Expiration Date, but Tech Talent Does Not
Simplilearn understands that technology practitioners who demonstrate proficiency today may not be able to demonstrate it a few years down the road. That’s not because they become less capable, but because the pace of technological change makes some of their skills increasingly obsolete.
You recruited individuals to your staff because they demonstrated competence in the tasks they were hired for. Have your needs changed? Do you expect them to do different tasks now? Invest in upskilling them so their skillsets remain current and aligned to your present (and future) needs.
Lesson 5: Certifications Are Milestones, Not Destinations
Simplilearn offers training courses in many digital economy skills. Beyond individual courses. Simplilearn constructs master’s programs that combine related courses into a complete curriculum to become an expert-level professional in a given area.
When you work on keeping your workforce’s skills up to date, remember that an individual certification in a skill is not the endpoint of an employee’s learning journey. Instead, it’s a milestone on that journey that marks progress toward a bigger goal. Because skills become obsolete, your employees need continuous learning just to keep at the same level. When you look ahead to needing higher-level and more skilled employees, you can develop them from inside your firm by helping your current employees take master’s level training. Not only will you save on recruitment and onboarding costs, but you’ll also build greater employee satisfaction and loyalty, which will reduce employee turnover.
Lesson 6: Disrupt Your Business Model Before Others Do It for You
In 2015, Simplilearn took a bold step to disrupt its own business model. We realized that physical classroom instruction placed limits on what we could offer our learners. Therefore, we took our blended learning ecosystem completely online: we eliminated in-person classroom training as an option in our courses, but we preserved the person-to-person aspect of learner-instructor and group interactions in our live virtual classrooms.
In the era of digitization and digital transformation, you need to look at how your business model can be disrupted. It’s almost a sure bet that if you don’t disrupt your business model to take advantage of changing technologies and changing customer wants, one of your competitors will. Whether you find ways to use digital technology to make your operations more efficient or invent an entirely new business model based on digital technology, be sure that you keep your workforce’s skills up to date to take you where you need to go.
Lesson 7: Make Sure You Make Your New Capabilities Known
Since its start, Simplilearn has been active in its industry associations. We’ve made sure to have a visible public profile and have participated in public-sector programs in EdTech. Our view is that the more people who know what we do and how we can serve them, the more people we can help.
When you apply digital technology to transform your business or make your business more efficient, be sure to tell everyone. Current and prospective customers need to know the new products and services you offer to make their lives better, and the other firms and people in your business’s ecosystem need to know what new opportunities you have created for them. You may need new digital marketing skills to help get your word out.
Lesson 8: Keep Expanding to Keep Moving Forward
Simplilearn evolved a business model that is completely scalable. This allowed us to expand our business to support learners and enterprises worldwide. We’ve been able to leverage our growth in scale to enable growth in the scope of our offerings.
Businesses that grow create their own futures. They have a greater ability to take advantage of opportunities that present themselves and more options to weather downturns when times become difficult. Digitization and digital transformation can help businesses become scalable, and having staff with the right digital economy skills (such as cloud computing) is a crucial part of that.
Lesson 9: When Offered Laurels, Accept - But Don’t Rest on Them
Simplilearn has won many awards over the years, including multiple Stevie awards for customer service excellence and the AEGIS Graham Bell Award for Innovation Excellence. We continue to strive to win more awards, not because we need more trophies and plaques, but because we need to prove continually - to ourselves as well as others - that we remain at the forefront of technological competence and value delivery.
If your industry and community offer awards that recognize excellence, by all means seek to be recognized. But as with certifications, don’t look at rewards as the end of a journey. Keep striving to prove your business’s worth, because the effort will make your business better.
Lesson 10: Pick Partners Who Need You like You Need Them
Simplilearn has formed many partnerships with technology companies, educational institutions, thought leaders and others. We also treat our relationships with our learners as partnerships. We know that when we provide a benefit to our partners, we will earn benefits in return. We also know that as our partnerships continue over time, each side will be better able to anticipate the other’s needs and be less likely to end the partnership.
When you enter into a business relationship at any level, remember that how long that partnership lasts and how much it benefits your business will depend in large part on the benefit you offer your partner. You should seek partners who recognize that you are working together for mutual benefit and then treat them so they always feel they made the right decision in working with you.
Learning from Our Lessons
In our ten years, Simplilearn has learned a lot about upskilling, e-learning and blended learning. We’ve applied these lessons to how we structure and deliver our courses, to make them the most effective for helping enterprises with digital transformation through upskilling, workforce development, employee satisfaction, and employee retention.
We hope that you can take your own lessons from what we have learned and apply them to your business. Simplilearn stands ready to assist you with upskilling and workforce development through our blended learning programs.