We have heard from both Digs Val and Paul McCoy, the co-founders and Directors of JZero Solutions. Today we are speaking with Matt Eggby who, as Technical Ops Director, is very much the driving force behind a lot of the exciting new development within the company. Also, as our customers will confirm, Matt is always on hand to provide advice and support stemming from his extensive eLearning experience. Let’s hear what Matt had to say…
Q: How long have you worked at JZero Solutions?
A: I have been with JZero Solutions for just over 7 years now. I joined in September 2007.
Q: Can you please tell us a little about your background?
A: I have always been in a role where delivery of service is at the core, whether that was as a sales assistant in a record store, being on the end of a phone in a customer service call centre or creating solutions for clients in my current role. Prior to joining JZero Solutions, I worked at Thomson NETg which at the time was one of the leading providers of elearning solutions. I was there for 7 years, starting out as a 1st line support agent and working my way up to Technology Services Manager, responsible for support and technical consultancy. I have also had experience in Account Management and was even a Stock Controller for a while!
Q: What was it that drew you to the industry and then to JZero?
A: When I joined Thomson NETg back in 2001, I knew nothing about the industry but I was intrigued as to how technology could play a role in how people learn. As mentioned, I started out as a 1st line support agent, dealing directly with end users and resolving their queries and issues. That gave me a good grounding as I was able to find out exactly what mattered to the people using the LMS and elearning content.
Unfortunately, my role at Thomson NETg was made redundant in 2007 but I had been working alongside the JZero team for a few years as they were a supplier to NETg. So both Digs Val and I saw it as a natural step for me to join JZero and continue doing what I had previously been doing at NETg. I was able to bring some key clients with me whom we still work with today. I had built great relationships with those clients and that helped in retaining them as users of our JLMS platform.
Q: As the Technical Ops Director, what would you consider to be the company’s greatest strength?
A: I would have to say it is our ability to rapidly accommodate any requests we get from our clients. We have never been shy about building bespoke functionality that is unique to an individual client, and this is something that helps us to build strong partnerships with our clients. They trust us to be able to work with them to deliver functionality that meets their needs, rather than them having to adapt the way they work to how our platform operates.
Equally, I would say that our support for our clients is up there in terms of greatest strengths. We set ourselves some fairly strong SLA levels and we operate consistently at 100% within those SLA targets. Ensuring our clients and their users are happy is paramount. That is how we can create wealth through learning!
Q: You have a loyal customer base, what do you think it is that you and the company do to encourage it?
A: It is simple really. Build a strong relationship with the client that breeds trust by treating them as a partner, delivering what you say you will deliver and providing amazing support. If you can achieve all of those things then your clients have no reason to not be loyal.
Q: What do you find to be the biggest challenge that customers face and how have you helped them to overcome this challenge?
A: The biggest challenge for a customer, when implementing an elearning strategy, is coping with the amount of change. It is a big shift in culture to move from 100% traditional classroom training to a blend of classroom, elearning and informal training methods.
I have a formula for implementation success, which looks at all of the elements that need to be considered when implementing and LMS and elearning. This process looks at everything from how users will access the platform, to whether every user has headphones so that they can listen to audio when learning at their desk! So we essentially look to hold the client’s hand through this process. Again, it is about working as a trusted partner.
Q: What advice would you give to a company that was considering implementing a Learning Management System for the first time?
A: Plan! Never underestimate the value of a well thought through plan. A shift in culture is a massive undertaking so you need to make sure you have considered every aspect of your transition to the online learning world. Your users will thank you for it in the long run!
Q: Do you have any predictions for the coming years in the eLearning industry?
A: There are lots of trends that come up each year which are touted as being the “next big thing”. Tin Can, Mobile Learning, Talent Management integration and loads more have all been recent trends.
However, adoption of these trends within the industry varies. Many LMS vendors have been slow to adopt Tin Can (or XAPI as it is now being referred to) as it is still very much in its infancy. The Talent Management integrated solutions were really only picked up by the big players where they had scope to buy a TM company and merge their platforms. You won’t find many smaller LMS vendors out there who have a full LMS/TM integrated system.
All that being said, I do predict that XAPI will become much more prevalent, as it matures and gets adopted. The scope of what you can do with it is massive.
Couple that with a bigger shift towards learning on mobile devices. You can already see the shift in authoring tools to being able to create responsive elearning content as an absolute must have, so a move to smaller, just in time elearning content that can be accessed at any time from any device will become the norm. With the advent of 4G network speeds and this becoming available for more and more people, it simply won’t be an issue to launch media rich learning at any time.
I also see fully integrated, cloud based authoring tools within an LMS coming to the fore. And why not! Being able to be in your LMS and also be able to create your content from the same interface makes sense.
Lastly, gamification within LMS’s is grabbing a lot of attention where we are looking for new ways to engage learners. You can see it already in some systems where badges and points are being introduced. We have all of this stuff coming into JLMS very soon!
Our sincere thanks to Matt for providing a comprehensive peek into the future of eLearning.
Next in our series of ‘Conversation’ blog posts will be a sneak peak into the coming new JZero LMS release. Excited? Me too….
Until then, Happy Learning 🙂