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Interview (e-learning): Mujibor de Graaf, Viadesk founder

bsoco: Viadesk was founded in 1999. Could you describe your path from start-up to mature company. What does distinguish you from the others on the market nowadays?

Mujibor de Graaf: When we founded Viadesk in 1999, it was the first cloud based solution for online collaboration and document sharing in the Netherlands, and it matured into a widely used social intranet. With this experience, we were able to develop Coursepath, a cloud based training platform with social and collaborative features. We are distinguished from others on the market by our technically mature hosting in Europe and this strong focus on collaboration, as we believe that learning is a social progress. Also, we take care of our solutions to always be up-to-date and intuitively used, taking away a large technical barrier for the user.      

bsoco: What kind of customers do you aim?

Mujibor de Graaf: We have a broad spectrum of customers, as our platform is very flexible to use. However, we see a special need for online training in companies with widespread plants and supply chains, many of them are transport & logistics or manufacturing firms. These companies have difficulties seeing their staff and partners often enough to give them adequate live training. With online training, content can be transferred in a more user friendly way, learning progress can be monitored and uncertainties can be clarified, which saves time and energy. 

bsoco: As an expert of e-learning, what kind of advice would you give to someone who wants to start a project like this?

Mujibor de Graaf: First of all, I would recommend anyone starting with e-learning not to be afraid of the technical aspects. It can be very easy to set up a course. If you have a PowerPoint presentation, for example, you can just upload it and let it be converted into a course structure. You can then add pictures or videos, questions and the like. My advice would be, just to try out the possibilities and see how they fit to your training goal. 

bsoco: How would you describe the European market? Is it a mature market?

Mujibor de Graaf: There are a lot of internationally operating companies in Europe who have a strong need for online training, so it is a very mature market, yes. Next to Amsterdam, we have an office in Cologne now and cover a range of languages to be in good contact with our international customers. We constantly develop further our platform and lately introduced 5 more languages – Czech, Hungarian, Polish, Russian and Slovak – to respond to our customers’ demands, who interact all over Europe and would like to train their employees and partners in their mother tongue. 

bsoco:  How do you see the present and the future of e-learning market and what is your next step in this market?

Mujibor de Graaf: Today a lot of companies discover the possibilities of e-learning but feel reluctant to „replace“ workshops and face-to-face training. The good thing is: there is no need to replace existing methods, as they can easily be blended. More and more companies now use online training side by side with personal meetings and workshops. This way they can enhance the team spirit in learning and at the same time give participants the freedom to learn in their own time. Trending are: on-demand and Microlearning. We are currently working on methods to make learning even more convenient by short learning nuggets that can be sent out in regular time intervals and give a short, memorable aspect of the learning content. In our view, this is the future of learning: continuous input, that helps you stay engaged but doesn’t take away much of your time.  

bsoco: Thank you for your answers.

Coursepath is a European online training platform that is well suited for Microlearning— flexible learning in digestible, bite-sized units. Companies create their own professional courses for employees, partners and customers. The modern and clearly structured platform enables social collaboration and makes learning progress measurable. No need for software installation or external services – with our easy-to-use Software-as-a-Service platform you access every training in your web browser. Create courses in a breeze, monitor progress, and experience a rewarding learning journey together. Your securely hosted training platform has it all. With 21 languages Coursepath is extremely adjustable to companies’ and learners’ needs. Try Coursepath in a free 30-day trial.

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> 21/03/2016 - Interview (e-learning): Mujibor de Graaf, Viadesk founder

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