August 11, 2015
With the industry rapidly evolving and changing, the education services organization of the future is likely to look different than the current model. But what will the education services organization of the future look like, and what is the best strategy for transitioning from current to future state? To help answer these questions, I’m providing a snapshot of my 2015 Education Services Strategy Block. It is divided into four critical categories that provide a framework for helping you and your organization make this transition.
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The 2015 Education Services Strategy Block.
The 2015 Education Services Strategy Block.
Most education services organizations have a delivery intensive model, meaning that most training is instructor-led. Looking to the future, this model needs to shift to a content/offer intensive model. For example, in a content intensive model, a typical four-day instructor-led course would be divided into two days of self-study, combined with two days of instructor time that focus on lab work in either a virtual or physical classroom. This blended model can be provided through a cloud-based learning-as-a-service offer, which enables learning to take place anytime and anywhere.
As more and more companies become interested in purchasing via subscription, it is important for education organizations to focus on subscription renewal. Providing users with fresh content must be top of mind, as there is little value in renewing a subscription if all the customer is offered is the same old content.
To ensure content is fresh and up-to-date, it is imperative to invest in rapid content development tools and processes. Rapid content development tools include platforms such as Ancile or Xyleme, and processes include an agile development framework or a successive approximation methodology (SAM).
On the offer side, most education organizations think primarily in terms of, “What course should I offer next?” It’s time to move away from simply developing content for content’s sake, and begin looking deeper at learning and usage data to identify what content is helping to drive product adoption. By strategically building and developing content and offers around adoption, your organization will be able to make the most out of time spent.
The most common questions I receive about sales have to do with the free-to-fee continuum: “What should be free, and what should be fee-based?” A free offer (one that has no price tag vs. something that has a price tag but is discounted 100%) is a viable way to “land” education in an account. Typically, a land offer is a rudimentary or basic version of a more detailed, in-depth offer. If the customer sees potential value through this preview, they will be enticed to buy the full offer, which could be a multi-day course, a subscription to a full e-learning library, or perhaps even an onsite class. The point is to “expand” from the free, or low-cost offer, to offers that generate more revenue for education services, so the education organization of the future will need to use a land and expand sales strategy.
With a solid strategy in hand, you’ll be able to get a top-level view of the areas of your education services organization that need improvement and plan for a successful future. For a more detailed look at the concepts covered in this post, as well as a look at some specific organizational capabilities you can invest in to further implement this strategy, be sure to listen to my on-demand webinar, “The ES Organization of the Future: Are You Prepared?” As always, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out in the comments or via email.
Organizational capabilities that technology services businesses must master
Maria Manning-Chapman, is vice president of research, Education Services, for TSIA. She has more than 25 years of education experience in the high-technology industry. Maria is well versed in the dynamics of running an education services business and has held leadership positions in operations, virtual learning, business development, curriculum development, delivery, and partner management over the course of her career.
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