Nicolas Hernandez, President of 360Learning
bsoco: 360Learning seems to be making a name for itself very fast in the e-learning arena. Does that mean that you are an e-learning ace or just very good at marketing?
Nicolas Hernandez: The 2 go together really. One of the key challenges of E-Learning is, for sure, to motivate those who learn, but it's also just as important for those who teach. If you want to achieve your objectives you have to continually motivate and interest the guys to create interactions - in short training needs to be dynamic. In one way, learning on the Internet is similar to marketing in the sense that you need to create enthusiasm - a bit of a buzz.
So yes, we have tried to develop these two competencies in parallel. Thus we have the same people who design the training and its methods also doing the marketing - a real synergy.
Today, we find that younger people are oftentimes very disappointed by the in-company training that is offered. In-house digital training faces severe competition from the web. Companies need to take this into account - employees compare what is offered in-house with what they find on the Internet. We help companies with both training and marketing and, in this sense, marketing and teaching can meld into one.
bsoco: Your platform contains both the LCMS part for content creation and the LMS part for deployment. Do you believe that the frontier between the two has disappeared?
Nicolas Hernandez: Yes. Not just the frontier but the terminology has also become outdated.
People talk about a learning platform, but the word 'platform' is not technical - it refers to setting up, within the learning process, an interaction between those who teach and those who learn. Learning is a platform which organizes and structures such interactions.
In the same way that LinkedIn is not a 'CV Management System' but a social platform that organizes a new set of interactions between professionals.
Talking about LCMS and LMS is a legacy of a technical view of the technology. Today, we have a social and a business vision of the technology. For example, today, an objective would be training a sales force spread over a highly dispersed set of territories in just six days as opposed to six months.
bsoco: Is your offering aimed more at those training departments which structure their teaching organization or at the experts who wish to move into the digital world?
Nicolas Hernandez: Our offering is aimed at organizations that want to use the digital world for growing their business. What is being demanded of training departments today is to be able to transfer competencies and skills fast, while still controlling the cost, and to motivate those who learn during the training that is on offer.
The new ways of using today's technology enable all three objectives to be met. The previous generation of tools did not manage to do this.
We target those organizations who need to progress in their way of using digital for training in order to really accentuate the effect on their business.
bsoco: What are the teaching strategies that you would like to see your customers developing?
Nicolas Hernandez: They are many and varied: the use of universally accepted web formats rather than the type of animation provided by Flash, the use of which has largely destroyed its relevance; an interactivity between teachers and learners (just like in the classroom) which is the ideal opportunity and a powerful means of motivation; moving from 'serious games' to generalized 'social games'; the re-use of content that is freely available on the web (for example Youtube), etc.
bsoco: What differentiates you from your historical competitors in this area?
Nicolas Hernandez: To be honest we don't have competitors at the moment.
When an organization invites us in and there is an existing LMS, 360Learning is complementary and we are able to easily integrate with the existing LMS thereby preserving the existing IT architecture. In addition, very often, when there is nothing installed in the organization, we take the lead and integrate everything into the existing IT infrastructures, playing the role of the LMS. This integration work is tough and very detailed if you want to avoid doing it again - something we obviously prefer.
bsoco: Thank you for your answers.