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Using SaaS Technology to Transform Your Online Learning Business

Barry Kelly
Mar 27, 2017 9:45:00 AM

With the rise of Software as a Service (SaaS) providers and the wave of innovative technologies businesses have at their fingertips, there are countless benefits available across every aspect of every business—content creation, marketing, scalability, profitability and more.

You're probably already familiar with the most obvious advantages of using SaaS technologies, but what additional benefits are available for businesses creating and delivering online learning?

To start, lets look at the basic benefits SaaS provides:

  • Adopting SaaS offerings give you a lower cost of entry and a reduced time to benefit.
  • The SaaS model allows you to pay as you go (and grow), which reduces risk and maximizes value.
  • Scaling up or scaling back can happen rapidly depending on performance or strategy.
  • Because a SaaS technology is browser-based, work can be done wherever there's an internet connection.
  • Cutting edge innovation and feature updates are constantly being rolled out.

How Areas of Your Business Benefit

The right SaaS platform for learning can accelerate the growth and profitability of your business across the board, so here are examples of how each area of your business can benefit from choosing the right technology.

  • Content creation and delivery: Perhaps your learning content exists in multiple formats—existing whitepapers and video lectures, webinars and PowerPoint presentations, books and social media articles. Newer learning technology allows you to repurpose that content quickly into digital learning objects by dragging and dropping those assets into numerous sequences to create courses. From there, engaging features can be added, such as on-the-fly assessments and social interaction with other learners and experts. As with any contemporary content system, when updates need to happen, those can be done in one place and propagated everywhere.

  • Marketing and optimization: The most innovative marketing is happening in the digital realm now. As a product type, online learning courses provide ample openings to experiment with messaging, offers and packaging. The right SaaS platform enables bundling of new combinations of content, A-B price testing and detailed reporting for analysis and program tuning. Marketers should be in a constant state of optimization, continuously making tweaks and adjustments to bridge the gaps on missed conversion opportunities.

  • Cloud-based scalability: For businesses creating, monetizing and delivering online learning, using SaaS technology provides the most direct route to scalability. Just as important, choosing a SaaS solution lightens the load on the technology or IT team. When you need to scale operations, IT doesn't have to start setting up new servers. Instead, the new service capacity can be ordered with a mouse click or two or even automatically. When new features surface, they can be rolled out seamlessly without stopping work. Also, responsibility for upgrades, fixes and patches stays in the vendor's hands. By significantly reducing risk and spend on IT infrastructure, this opens up the ability to allocate those funds—and time—to other areas of the business.

  • Bottom-line profitability: In an era where revenue can be generated in so many different ways, using SaaS technology can enable businesses to monetize learning content in unique and innovative ways. Instead of looking at revenue generation from a purely transactional standpoint, businesses can take advantage of new monetization options such as subscription packaging, content licensing, and physical product upsells. Aside from the benefits of direct selling, for organizations providing product training to customers, partners, and employees, the indirect benefits of having a better educated and informed sales force can improve profits and accelerate growth.

At the end of the day, there has been a significant shift in the way companies leverage technology in order to maximize the value of their business. Instead of focusing on tasks which hinder growth such as fixing bugs and patching together tools and software, a well-designed SaaS platform allows businesses delivering online learning to spend time working on the things that truly matter. This is the first step in transforming a business.

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