Monday, 03 December 2018 07:10

2018 Hall of Fame Honors Two Inductees Featured

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ADOBE CONNECT AND EJ4 JOIN THE HALL OF FAME.

In this, the second year of honoring  outstanding technologists in the Hall of Fame, Elearning! magazine so honors two new inductees — Adobe Connect and ej4 — both of which have been long-time winners in our annual “Best of Elearning!” awards.

What is the secret to consistently exceeding customers’ expectations in an ever- changing industry? We asked leaders of both Adobe Connect and ej4 to share their insights….

Adobe was founded in December 1982  by John Warnock and Charles Geschke (in Warnock’s garage). They established the company after leaving Xerox PARC. Steve Jobs asked to buy the company for $5 million in 1982, but Warnock and Geschke turned him down

Adobe has historically focused on creating multimedia and creativity software products, with a significant investment in the e-learning market. In addition to Hall of Fame winner Adobe Connect, Adobe also offers Adobe Captivate Prime (LMS), Captivate and Presenter Video Express.

Adobe has about 15,000 employees worldwide, about 40 percent of whom work in the San Jose, Calif., headquarters.

Elearning! magazine talked to Adobe Connect’s Senior Enablement Manager Alistair Lee. Here are his insights on the future of learning.

Q: CONGRATULATIONS ON BEING AN ELITE BRAND EARNING 9 BEST OF ELEARNING! AWARDS. WHAT DO YOU ATTRIBUTE ADOBE’S CONNECT’S SUCCESS?

A: Adobe Connect offers several unique features including persistent rooms, collaborative apps that work inside a virtual classroom, and templates that ensure consistency. One of the biggest unique differentiators though is the ability to truly design your classroom experience. Adobe Connect gives hosts complete control over the look and feel of the virtual room by creating layouts that determine what is shown on the screen at any given time. We’ve found that this ability to craft a learning experience can lead to higher
levels of engagement and retention ensuring our customers are successful in being able to deliver exceptional experiences is our most important goal.

Q: WHAT IS YOUR PRODUCT ROADMAP? HOW HAS THE   SOLUTION EVOLVED AND HOW HAVE NEEDS OF YOUR CUSTOMERS CHANGED?

A: We’ve just launched version 10 of Adobe Connect, and it includes a brand-new HTML client for participants. Our roadmap includes continuous improvement of this HTML client to help our  customers eliminate barriers to entry for their virtual classrooms, meetings and webinars. Engagement has become ever more important with the evolution of the smartphone, social networks and other distractions, it has become critical to  enable our customers to create immersive experiences that engage participants.

Q: WHAT UNIQUE FEATURES DOES CONNECT OFFER THAT NO OTHER BRANDS OFFER IN THE E-LEARNING MARKET?

A: Adobe Connect offers several unique features including persistent rooms, collaborative apps that work inside a virtual classroom, and templates that ensure consistency. One of the biggest unique differentiators though is the ability to truly design your classroom experience. Adobe Connect gives hosts complete control over the look and feel of the virtual room by creating layouts that determine what is shown on the screen at any given time. We’ve found that this ability to craft a learning experience can lead to higher
levels of engagement and retention.

Q: WHAT NEW FEATURES DOES CONNECT PLAN TO OFFER CUSTOMERS?

A: We plan to continue to add additional capabilities to our new HTML client ensuring customers can quickly and easily attend — and even deliver — virtual classrooms using nothing more than a browser.

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Since 2004, ej4 has delivered the unexpected in the e-learning industry. Its unique style of microlearning training videos combines instructional design with adult learning theories and is delivered via contemporary video design methods. Its modern learning management system is simple, intuitive and mobile so employees have the freedom to learn anywhere, anytime.

With more than 1,500 courses, ej4’s video content library has just the right amount of important lessons that employees need to grow their skills.

Elearning! Magazine was delighted to talk with Ryan Eudy, CEO of ej4, who shared ej4’s vision of learning.

Q: WHO ARE MARQUEE CUSTOMERS CONNECT SERVES? IS THERE A UNIQUE CUSTOMER STORY TO SHARE?

A: Adobe Connect’s customer base spans multiple industries and sizes. Here are two examples of customers that have used Adobe Connect to provide great training experiences.

University of Arizona’s use of Adobe Connect enabled the development of robust online learning.

“We needed a synchronous online meeting tool to support both active learning and small-group work,” says Mark Felix, Director of Instructional Support, University of Arizona. “We also wanted a virtual classroom that could be customized. Adobe Connect offered these capabilities and more.”

In 2018, their implementation earned a 2018 Learning! 100 Award from Elearning! Magazine. Learn more about this implementation at: https://adobe.ly/2zgFtPm

Another customer, BPP wanted to transform learning delivery. They turned to Adobe Connect and saw revenues increase 5-fold with 35% of their courses offered online.

“Using Adobe Connect, the proportion of course delivery via Online Classroom Live versus in-center or other modes has grown from 0% in 2012 to up to 35% on some programs today,” says Malcolm Bell, Director, BPP Online Classroom Live.

The goal is to get 100% of the faculty online this year and to increase the number of online live courses.

“Adobe Connect helps remove their ‘triangle of pain’ of commuting from home to work to school and back,” says Bell. “It gives them the flexibility to log on wherever they are and till get the benefits of live learning.”

Learn more about this application at: https://adobe.ly/2zlfBlh

Q: WHAT TRENDS DO YOU SEE IN THE FUTURE? HOW IS CONNECT EVOLVING TO MEET THESE NEEDS?

A: The ability to collaborate online —sharing your video, voice and screen — has gone from being a distinct use case to a commodity that’s built into several applications today. Adobe Connect has evolved to go beyond simple screen sharing to ensure customers can meet the needs of more complex use cases such as immersive virtual classrooms. We’ll continue to focus on these use cases and the needs of our customers going forward.

 Q: EJ4 IS AN UNUSUAL BRAND NAME.HOW DID IT COME ABOUT?

A: The “e” stands for “electronic, as in e-learning.” And the 4j’s describe the services we provide: (1) Just as needed; (2) Just enough; (3) Just in time; and (4) Just right.

Q: CONGRATULATIONS ON BEING AN ELITE BRAND THAT HAS  BEEN NAMED BEST OF ELEARNING! 24 TIMES SINCE 2014. TO WHAT DO YOU ATTRIBUTE EJ4’S SUCCESS?

A: We’ve been providing quality products and services since 2004, and to be chosen as a 2018 Elearning! Magazine Hall of Fame recipient proves that we are continuing to meet the needs of our customers. It starts at the top with our founder and leadership team giving our employees the trust and flexibility to do their jobs. We always look for new ways to add value to our client offering with innovative video content, and upgrades and enhancements to our platform and technology. We focus on consistent growth and foster a culture that allows us to achieve it. Our employees are dedicated, passionate about their work, and the most creative individuals I’ve had the pleasure of working with. We wouldn’t be where we are today without them.

Q: WHAT IS YOUR PRODUCT ROADMAP? HOW HAS THE SOLUTION EVOLVED AND HOW HAVE NEEDS OF YOUR CUSTOMERS CHANGED?

A: As we prepare new video content for the year, we review what our  customers and prospects have requested through our Learning Consultants. This process allows us to stay on top of current trends in the workplace all while providing our customers with a comprehensive and up-to-date library of videos.

Each year we also evaluate our current courses to make sure they are updated with information that is relevant to the current workforce of our customers. Through frequent updates to existing content and new content rollouts, our library provides a consistent learning experience to all users. 

This year, we updated our Thinkzoom LMS to include a new user interface with a customizable dashboard, increased our search functionality, and gave our clients a
way to manage classroom training.

Q: WHAT UNIQUE FEATURES DOES EJ4 OFFER TO THE E-LEARNING  MARKET?

A: ej4 is a source for fresh, regularly updated, mobile-ready video content,  delivered in a single consistent format. ej4’s expertise in creating microlearning videos
gives us the ability to offer both off-the-shelf and custom video content in a way that keeps the learner engaged. 

It’s not over after you’ve taken our off-the-shelf courses though. “4tify your Learning,” available exclusively on Thinkzoom, continues the training conversation long after a training session is over. For several weeks after learners complete a course, they will be prompted to answer a series of exam questions and watch a video recap to help them retain the information they’ve learned.

And if you have your own LMS, ej4 can integrate with any other LMS system.

Q: WHAT NEW SOLUTIONS DOES EJ4 PLAN TO OFFER CUSTOMERS?

A: We just launched enhancements to Thinkzoom, and last year, we mapped our content — through our Learning Tracks feature — to 36 Lominger competencies, and we will continue to make finding relevant content easier for the learner. This includes a more robust content suggestion engine that takes the learning habits of the learner into consideration when recommending new content.

Our product development team meets frequently to review trends in the learning landscape and to find new and innovative
ways to keep ej4 at the forefront of videobased content. We look at many different ways to evolve as the marketplace continues to expand its acceptance of video.

Q: WHICH MARQUEE CUSTOMERS DO YOU SERVE? IS THERE A UNIQUE  CUSTOMER STORY TO SHARE?

A: What’s great about the ej4 solution is that we fit into any organization.  We have proven success in many different industries from A to Y (agriculture to yard services). Clients range from Pepsi, Culligan and Dr. Pepper Snapple, to midsize organizations like The Corridor Group and Hillyard. I invite you to viewtheir stories online: https://www.ej4.com/ ej4-client-testimonials

Q: WHAT TRENDS DO YOU SEE IN THE FUTURE? HOW IS EJ4‘S SOLUTION  EVOLVING TO MEET THESE NEEDS?

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A: We released online microlearning videos before there was even a  market or widely accepted term for it. There’s a difference between a learning trend and a learning solution. We focus on providing solutions that change the behaviors of the learner. People grow business. We grow people. Our customers give us access to their most important resource, their employees. We take that very seriously, which is why we don’t use a “flavor of the month” approach to our content creation.

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