Tech Headlines for April 2014

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Docebo Publishes Major Report on Global E-Learning Market 

Docebo, a global e-learning solutions provider, has published the results of its researches into the current worldwide e-learning market. E-Learning Market Trends & Forecast 2014-2016 aims to help decision makers who need facts and figures, statements, and arguments to prove to stakeholders the added value of e-learning initiatives. 

The report endorses the use of online learning technologies to: 

  • keep workforces appraised of their job functions’ developing requirements, enabling them to make a positive impact within their organization and help that organization achieve its aims and goals
  • aid succession planning, helping workers to acquire the knowledge and skills to help them progress within their organization
  • allow organizations to keep training budgets under tighter control, develop and retain existing employees and reduce the costs related to external human resources recruitment, selection and onboarding. 

Key findings 

  • Within the training industry, the e-learning sector—and all its subsectors (packaged content, platform, and authoring tools)—has grown consistently in recent years. There is universal agreement that the worldwide e-learning market will show fast and significant growth over the next three years.
  • The worldwide market for self-paced e-learning, said to be $35.6b billion in 2011, is estimated to be growing, overall, at some 7.6 percent a year.
  • According to recent regional studies, the Asian market is showing the highest annual growth rate, at 17.3 percent, followed by Eastern Europe, Africa, and Latin America at 16.9 percent, 15.2 percent, and 14.6 percent, respectively.
  • The market for learning management systems (LMS) has exceeded growth predictions in recent years, currently being worth some $2.55 billion worldwide.
  • Within the Cloud solutions universe, which is changing the way organizations, employees and partners interact and collaborate, software-as-a-service (SaaS) is playing a major role and is helping to increase the size of the e-learning market. Surveys show that SaaS brings speed of implementation, savings on capital expenditures, and savings in terms of operational expenses.
  • The corporate training market is among the most cyclical within the education industry. Since 2010, employers’ spending on training and the amount spent per employee have been declining. However, the corporate market related to outsourced services (net of all ancillary costs) has grown to reach 42 percent of total expenditure.
  • With the inflow of an estimated $6 billion of venture capital over the past five years, e-learning is being driven not only by startup entrepreneurs, but also by big corporations, for-profit spin-off ventures, as well as big and small universities. 

Docebo CEO Claudio Erba, Docebo’s said the the report shows that general budget constraints still appear to be the main driver towards using e-learning. However, e-learning is also an efficient and cost-effective solution when workers—especially those in organizations with a widely geographically distributed workforce—need to be brought up-to-speed quickly on relevant knowledge and skills, he added. 
“The current speed of change means that employees need to be trained continuously in order for companies to avoid the dangers of being out-thought and out-maneuvered by competitors,” said Erba. 

“We believe these training initiatives need to be monitored and managed via a consistent and reliable tracking system,  which can cope with all the growing number of learning delivery devices now being used, in line with today’s Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend. This system’s data can be stored, consulted and analyzed as required—being used for such things as management reports on productivity and for assessing individuals’ career advancement,” Erba added. 

To learn more, download the complete report.  

Facebook Invests in Augmented Reality 

Facebook recently announced that it has reached a definitive agreement to acquire Oculus VR, Inc., the leader in immersive virtual reality technology, for a total of approximately $2 billion. 

Oculus is the leader in immersive virtual reality technology and has already built strong interest among developers, having received more than 75,000 orders for development kits for the company’s virtual reality headset, the Oculus Rift. 

While the applications for virtual reality technology beyond gaming are in their nascent stages, several industries are already experimenting with the technology, and Facebook plans to extend Oculus’ existing advantage in gaming to new verticals, including communications, media and entertainment, education and other areas. Given these broad potential applications, virtual reality technology is a strong candidate to emerge as the next social and communications platform. 

“Facebook spending $2 billion is huge validation for the immersive-technology community," Neil Schneider, executive director of the nonprofit Immersive Technology Alliance (ITA), told NBC News. "It's affirmation that there's a committed future." 

In a press release, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg asserts that Facebook sees views the acquisition as a way to prepare for the platforms of tomorrow. “Oculus has the chance to create the most social platform ever, and change the way we work, play and communicate,” says Zuckerberg. 


"Imagine enjoying a court side seat at a game, studying in a classroom of students and teachers all over the world or consulting with a doctor face-to-face — just by putting on goggles in your home," Zuckerberg wrote in a separate post

Charterhouse Acquires Skillsoft 

Skillsoft, a pioneer in the field of technology-delivered learning with a long history of innovation and delivery of solutions for its customers worldwide, ranging from global enterprises, government, and education to mid-sized and small businesses, has announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement for the sale of its subsidiaries to funds managed by Charterhouse Capital Partners LLP (“Charterhouse”). 

“We have experienced great success during our four-year run with Berkshire Partners, Advent International, and Bain Capital, and greatly appreciate the support and guidance they have provided to our team,” said Chuck Moran, CEO of Skillsoft. “We are excited to continue the journey with Charterhouse. We believe that our commitment, ability to execute and proven track record of success, coupled with the experience, enthusiasm and resources that will be contributed by Charterhouse, will provide us with new and exciting opportunities as we continue to deliver significant value to our customers and partners.” 

“We are delighted to have the opportunity to partner with Skillsoft,” said Frank van den Bosch, a partner of Charterhouse. “We see a tremendous future for Skillsoft and look forward to working with Chuck and the Skillsoft team to achieve our goals.” 

Skillsoft will continue to be headquartered in Dublin, Ireland and led by the current management team, including  Moran as CEO. The closing of this transaction is subject to various conditions, including the expiration of the applicable waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act. 

But does this purchase signal a growing interest in the e-learning market? Mollie Lombardi, vice president and principal analyst at the Aberdeen Group in Boston, told ELearning! Magazine that it shows “continued growth and focus on the learning sector. As management shows an increasing interest in learning, and the economy improves, “the focus will be on new development.” 

Deloitte Report Finds That L&D Lags in Tech Advances 

Though traditional employee training is being revolutionized by flipped classrooms, learning-centric models, and other technological advances, most training and development organizations have not kept pace with advances in technology or the evolution toward employee-centered learning, says a recent report by Deloitte. 

According to the Deloitte report, more than two-thirds of companies in a global survey see the online learning trend as “urgent” or “important,” yet only six percent believe they have mastered the content and technology capabilities needed to make online learning an accessible tool and a compelling experience for their employees. 

The report demonstrates an overall slow adoption of leading-edge learning tools: 

  • 32 percent of respondents say their companies are weak in efficiently managing learning and development operations
  • 38 percent say they are weak in developing a culture of apprenticeship and on-the-job training
  • 63 percent say they are weak in providing social and mobile learning
  • 67 percent say they are weak in using MOOCs
  • 71 percent say they are weak in using advanced media (gaming, video, simulation). 

For more information, download the report at

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About the Author

Ryann K. Ellis is an editor for the Association of Talent Development (ATD). She has been covering workplace learning and performance for ATD (formerly the American Society for Training & Development) since 1995. She currently manages ATD's Community of Practice blogs, as well as ATD's government-focused magazine, The Public Manager. Contact her at 

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