MongoDB Empowers 1 Million+ Learners Across Complex Ecosystem with Thought Industries

MongoDB had an ambitious vision to serve multiple external and internal audiences with MongoDB University and needed a robust, extensible learning platform to do it.

MongoDB University provides free online training on MongoDB’s products worldwide. The training programs are designed to provide a high-value learning experience, incorporating various interactive methods such as videos and labs, to a wide range of external use cases including customers, individual developers, partners, educators, as well as internal organizations including Support, Consulting, Engineering and other teams. All of these learners have unique training needs.

MongoDB was looking to replace its existing system and decided to switch to Thought Industries using many of the platform’s out-of-the-box, native features, such as a robust multi-tenant solution, while also leveraging its component based architecture, Helium, to create a custom dashboard for learners to track their progress.

We want to provide a holistic learning experience for our learners which includes content, certification, knowledge checks and hands-on labs. Helium allows us to bring in learner progress data into the Ti Dashboard from other technologies that are integrated with Thought Industries. The Dashboard is key to keeping learners informed and to continue learning with us.”

Raghu Viswanathan, Vice President of Education, Academia and Documentation


MongoDB had a business-critical need to move beyond a limited homegrown solution to scale the delivery of world-class content to reach millions of learners externally and thousands of learners internally.


MongoDB sought best-in-class tools to create a personalized journey for MongoDB University learners. After choosing Thought Industries to be its learning platform, they focused on creating a scalable learning experience using powerful core Thought Industries functionalities, including its multi-tenant solution, Panorama, to serve multiple external and internal use cases. They also used a wide range of native and custom integrations to tackle targeted use cases, as well as custom learner dashboards using Thought Industries’ component-based architecture, Helium, to fulfill their charter: world-class training on MongoDB’s products and technologies.


The Challenge

MongoDB was looking to modernize its online education business around 4 key principles:

  1. Provide an ungated learning experience that is frictionless, i.e., providing access to without the learner having to provide an email.
  2. Build a robust learning experience to include content, hand-on labs, knowledge checks, certifications and foreign language support through subtitles.
  3. Allow for multiple learning experiences based on audience type launching Learning Microsites using Thought Industries’  Panorama capabilities.
  4. Use an enterprise-class learning platform that allows for integrations with other systems and has an open architecture to add on future innovations. 

This drove the decision to move from a custom system to Thought Industries which provides these capabilities in their core product. 

The vision for MongoDB  University is based on creating unique learning experiences for each of their distinct learner audiences: 

  • All learners looking for access to free,  ungated content.
  • Strategic customer accounts with private access to targeted content
  • Partners including System Integrators, ISVs and Cloud Providers looking to build their technical expertise 
  • Reaching Universities and colleges worldwide to enable educators to teach MongoDB and students to learn it.
  • Internal teams looking to technically enable their organizations. 

The complexity of being able to scale frictionless learning to the volume of current learners, while building for growth, means that there is more to it than just loading content for a catalog. Scaling a world-class program means identifying all of the tools required to:

  • Present content in the language of the learner
  • Deliver virtual live sessions
  • Deliver live lab environments
  • Create, maintain and offer certifications
  • Share information for support purposes
  • Create seamless log-ins across instances using Single Sign-On (SSO)
  • Deliver reporting and insights across all tools in the ecosystem
Our goal is to have multiple Panoramas to provide a variety of customer experiences, all leveraging a single underlying infrastructure. With Panoramas, we have the ability to have a centralized catalog to provide technical training across both external and internal audiences.”

Elizabeth Bonnell, Director, Enablement & Academia

The comment I always like to make is, the LMS is wonderful, but it’s the LMS plus the integrations that really enhance the learner experience.”

Raghu Viswanathan, Vice President of Education, Academia and Documentation

The Solution

MongoDB built a modular learning environment that allows learners to consume video, code and/or text-based learning content on their own terms. Leveraging the flexibility of Thought Industries, MongoDB was able to create a tiered modular design for content that gives their designers the ability to mix and match components to fit their various use cases. 

This content is made available via multi-tenant sites, or Panoramas. MongoDB uses Panoramas to segment learning by the various audience groups. Panoramas provide the ability to leverage content in different combinations for the developer learners, partner learners, academic learners, and internal teams. They allow for various methodologies required to access the content including ungated, gated with login, and single sign-on (for internal teams). Items that are fee-based can be managed alongside items that are not. The power of Panorama allows MongoDB to combine different options for each scenario.

Partnering with Thought Industries, MongoDB leverages 16 out-of-the-box and custom integrations to provide labs, certification, badging, and more to enhance the learning experience. They’ve built  strong certification programs with Examity, Caveon, Credly, and Instruqt for proctoring, exam results management, awarding digital badges and certificates, hands on labs, and a payment tool (Stripe) to manage e-commerce for those certifications. They’ve built strong connections to other teams within MongoDB using Salesforce, Zendesk, and Okta. They manage educator verifications with SheerID. And they make extensive use of the BI Connector to produce robust reporting that allows MongoDB to analyze the details around student satisfaction, aggregate information to present to leadership, and build for the future. Learners move seamlessly between these multiple vendors for certification that utilizes integrations to make registering/paying for the exam, testing, and badging a seamless experience for the learner.

MongoDB is also leveraging Thought Industries’ Helium tools to create a custom learner dashboard for each of their distinct use cases. This dashboard personalizes the learner experience for each of their use cases, displaying progress against certifications, exam results, digital badges and more. With Thought Industries, MongoDB now has one place where learners can find all the information that they need.

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“Our users can easily navigate through the platform, and that’s been a huge benefit for us. It’s part planning and part platform that has allowed our learners to be able to easily navigate, find what they want, find what they need, and do the learning that they need to do and get back to their day-to-day activities.”

Grace Filkins, Learning Operations Manager

Looking Ahead

The optimal word for the future is growth:

  • Grow the catalog of content to serve all audiences.
  • Grow the microsite (Panorama) model to allow for separate learning experiences.
  • Grow the capabilities of the Education as a shared platform for both external and internal audiences.