High Course Completion Rates with Paradiso Solutions

About my guest:

Mohammed Husain is the Head of Sales at Paradiso Solutions Corporation. Where he focuses on driving growth and revenue through strategic partnerships and business development initiatives. He is passionate about Customer satisfaction and enjoys staying up to date with the latest developments in the industry. Welcome, Mohammed and thanks for being here.

More about Mohammed Husain

More about Paradiso Solutions

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Transcript of the Interview

{Edited for Ease of Reading}

Petra Mayer  00:02

Hello and welcome, I’m Petra Mayer, CEO and founder of Petra Mayer and Associates consulting, and in my interview today, I’m going to introduce you to Mohammed Hussain. Mohammed is the head of sales at Paradiso Solutions Corporation. Where he focuses on driving growth and revenue through strategic partnerships and business development initiatives. He’s passionate about customer satisfaction and enjoys staying up to date with the latest developments in the industry. Well welcome, Mohammed. And thank you for being here.

Mohammed Husain  00:38

Thank you, Petra, for the kind introduction. It’s really humble, and I’m excited as you are away here. So let’s begin.

Petra Mayer  00:46

Awesome. Well, before we dive into Paradiso and learn more about the systems that you represent. In a sentence or two, how do you characterize the market of learning management systems?

Mohammed Husain  01:03

Basically, the market for learning management systems is rapidly growing. It’s a very rapidly growing and very highly competitive market. With the increasing demand of online training remote work the demand for learning management system has drastically increased in the recent two to three years. COVID also has given us a push-up over here because the entire remote work. The employees need to have face-to-face interactions and stuff like that. The in-house trainings that was supposed to happen previously, within the organization.

Now everyone has been to take those trainings over the learning management system. These kinds of market trends has recently increased the demand of learning management system within the industry. With the recent trends in the learning and trading industry. Where the use of gamification the better use of artificial intelligence. Where the focus of training is more towards the ROI of what they are exactly getting out of the training.

There’s also emphasis major corporates and training companies to focus on a solution which gives everything at one place. In a nutshell, because of the change in the trends, because of the millennials going into Generation X now. And depending more towards the on-the-go training where they want mobile-friendly things and stuff like that. The market is diversified right now of the learning management system is rapidly growing. It’s what I believe.

Petra Mayer  02:48

Yeah. And I think you’re you’re hitting a lot of the different trend points that we have right now in learning already, just by answering this very first question. What do you think is a common misconception about learning management systems?

Mohammed Husain  03:04

The most common misconception that I have majorly come across. s where people believe that learning management system is only for, you know, training students. It’s basically something where you only, you know, learn something like it’s something that only universities or schools usually takes the training upon.

That’s the biggest misconception people have. The second is that it’s a very complicated and complex process to learn or adapt to a learning management system. And third, which is the hit point for every LMS company right now. That people believe that implementing a learning management system is a very expensive business, which in reality, it is not.

Petra Mayer  03:51

It is not. Okay, you spoke in your answer to the first question about a number of trends. You mentioned a lot of keywords like gamification, mobile learning, microlearning, remote workplace, and the impact of COVID. Tell us a little bit more about what you think the recent trends are in online learning. That impact which system out of all these different systems available is the most suitable one for the organization.

Mohammed Husain  04:22

Again, a choice for a learning management system depends from organization to organization. We have worked with organizations that only use the learning management system to manage their instructor-led trainings. We have used to have clients who are using learning management systems only to conduct self-paced learning. The recent trend within the learning and training industry. Where the entire industry is adapting through more interactive and gamified content.

This is majorly because it creates interaction between the learner and the system. Which engages the learner to complete the courses that engage the learner to stick inside the LMS. And perform the activity which they are intended to do within the platform. Okay, along with that, you can also see the emphasize has gone on majorly personalized trainings. Adaptive learning was where we also come into the picture. Where now the LMS is slowly moving towards the learning experience platform. Which is more interactive, more engaging, and which is more user-centric.

When I started working in learning management, system industry, like when I entered the e-learning, industry. I believe, the entire flow was a bottom down approach, where the lnd managers, the trainers, and everything they used to create the content, they used to create the courses and give it to the learners to consume it.

Now, the trend is basically more a middle approach, or a bottom up approach, where the learner by themself are coming and asking the person that, no, I don’t want to do this, I want to do that. This is basically the training, which we want to do. This is to something this is the learning that will help us in growing within the organization, within the personal life and within the professional. That’s the biggest change that you might see, within these last three to four years where the entire learning has moved from compliances and everything that’s still there. But the entire learning that used to happen is more now user centric. It’s more adaptive to the trends, it’s more adaptive to the behavior and the pattern the learner wants the learning.

Petra Mayer  06:55

Based on what you’ve just said, when I’m an organization, and I’m looking for a learning management system, what as an organization to have to keep in mind before I sign up for any system?

Mohammed Husain  07:08

As an organization, the first thing that you need to understand while going for signing up for any learning management system is to understand how easy it is to implement. Okay, how easy it is to shoes. So first thing is adaptability, how simplify the entire implementation process can be for you. Because changing a learning management system is not like just downloading a program, if you didn’t like it, okay, delete it, it’s basically a commitment with any organization does for minimum two to three years, that’s an effort, which includes time, effort, monetary effort, and human effort and training effort. There’s a lot of components that get aligned to that.

Before making any decision for that, the first is let understand how user friendly the entire system is. Okay, second thing is understand what is the support level you are getting? Because that’s something which you would be using for the entire duration of two years, three years commitment with any organization. That’s the major thing that you always have to test before signing up for any LMS company or any LMS.

Third is, I believe, the cost obviously, depends upon organization to organization. And more importantly when you have to sign up, at least have back of your mind. Some features, some functionalities that you basically want into a system. Because then it will help you in taking the checklist. This system has something which we can consider the top three LMS systems that we have finalized out of this tree. What is the support now?

How user-friendly is this? And lastly, okay, what is the cost difference? Now cost, the reason I’m putting costs as the last point is because it also needs to perceive that value. Okay, so that’s the reason if the system is meeting all your requirements, and is a little costlier than a system, which is not meeting the value, then it’s obviously a good decision to spend some additional $100 100 100 $1,000 on that Secretary system, because that’s where you will get the ROI of your entire training initiative.

Petra Mayer  09:30

Yeah, I think yeah, when you’re speaking to i, that’s the kind of work that I do with clients to get really clear on those features that they need versus the ones they want, the features they need, and then really looking at so now you’re making a big commitment, because as you said, moving from one learning management system to another is a big effort and should be avoided. Having said that, then who would you say is the ideal user from a person Active have Is there a specific company size or an industry or what their needs structure is, who is the ideal user for party.

Mohammed Husain  10:12

Basically, when he spoke about an ideal customer profile or an ICP for parody. We cater to all the industry across the globe. Starting from very small startup to big corporates and large enterprises. We have clients who are as low as 40 users. And we have clients as big as 80,000 100,000 user souls. Okay, now, when we come, then that is the scalability that we offer within the platform. Okay, so it doesn’t mean that the platform is only available for high corporate enterprises, or universities or colleges in that matter of per se, but it is also available for a startup company who wants to start the training initiative within the organization to create that culture of learning among the employees.

So, we really cater to two different sectors as of now, because that’s how we have categorized the entire training industry. So the first is the internal training, and second is an external trade. Now, when we talk about internal training, it is more related to compliances your onboarding, and internal your company’s product trainings. And these kinds of crimes are mostly the corporate organization or the companies who wants to train their internal employees. The second is an external training. Which is a very vast space at the moment where you will find colleges, and universities. Who are training to external students and learners, then you have professionals who are in the market selling their own courses.

So we also, along with the E commerce provide an E commerce plan along with the LMS. We also provide the E commerce platform, which is very tightly integrated with the system, which allows all the course saying the single sign on user sync and stuff like that. The third is for the extended trainings are nonprofit organizations, associations and everything, and also corporate who wants to train their customers.

So we have companies who who sell who are who’s into b2c, they have multiple distributors, resellers, and they want to train them on to their products. So that’s also a very big space where the learning management system comes into place. Because this is the place for external training, which helps the organization, corporate saves 1000s of dollars in conducting the IoT training. The transport, the commute and everything that takes place, it all gets saved over the learning management system.

Petra Mayer  12:46

And so what are the features that Paradiso has? Where do you think your platform excels over what competitive offerings are in the market?

Mohammed Husain  12:58

So as I said, in the very beginning of the conversation, that the entire LMS industry is evolving every day, with the recent trends and the changes that the industry is going through, we are also adapting to the same changes, but it’s always something new, everyday kind of stuff. But just to highlight some of the major features that we are very proud of is the very user intuitive platform.

So it’s like if even if you are a first time user of a learning management system, the entire system has been so well designed in a block way that any layman who does not have any technical background just by logging into the system can perform the basic training within the platform.

Okay, so that’s the most important thing, which we are very proud in selling, because that’s how we want to reduce on your learning time, because we don’t want you to struggle between the LMS just to understand how complex the system is. Second is the support mechanism. We have a very detailed support mechanism. Where starting from the time the client signs a contract till the time the client is on with us within that entire contract duration. We initiate with the kickoff call. Then we have a project managers we have support mechanism. We have an internal ticketing system for any issues or any bugs they have within the platform. They want to report or anything which they are not understanding we have that.

Along with that within the system. We have the complete helpdesk built in which we call as a Google. Within the LMS which gives you detailed step by step mechanism on how to perform the steps. Third is the ease of creating the courses within the system. So the LMS the Paradiso LMS is proud to say that we have an inbuilt course authoring tool which helps you create interactive content, where you can add AI voices you You can add images on top of your videos on top of your PDF. And download that as a SCORM 1.2 version. That also helps you increase curating the courses and stuff.

And then we also have our own video capturing tools. For example, having a meeting or discussion with your team, you want to record that session. We have our own video-capturing tool embedded inside the LMS, which helps you in recording the entire session without going on to a different call and doing stuff like that. use of creation courses, then gamification, then we also have our own learning experience platform.

Which helps you in curating these courses, we are integrated and partnered with almost around the tooth for different off the shelf content provider, where we provide you almost 100,000 Plus courses inside the LMS pre built in. These are major features which distinguish us among our competitors, and that’s where we proudly stand and keep our heads up within the competition.

Petra Mayer  16:08

So now, Paradiso really prides itself that you have a very high completion rate, or your customers achieve very high completion rates amongst their courses. Now, firstly, why is that important? Let’s start with that.

Mohammed Husain  16:26

The, for any l&d manager, or for any training individual when they create a course, the whole intention, and the effort is put up that that learner actually learn something out of the end goal of creating any courses for the user to go through that course and complete the entire training so that they learn what it’s intended for them to learn out of it. But if you see most of the people, just because the course has been created, as has been assigned to them, they just, you know, just go to the Learning Management System, they will watch a video they will play it off, they will roam around, nobody cares what is happening.

And you know, they will in between, they will just leave just because they want to show that yeah, they have been to the LMS, they have done something, they will do that. But this is not basically what we intend the entire system to do. that is a reason, say for example, it’s a video. we have lot of restrictions, and, you know, engagement that we create within the course, which keeps the user engaged into that particular syllabus or for that particular chapter. So let’s say for example, if it’s a four, it’s a video. So we with the help of our course composer, we allows the course creator to add interactions in between the courses, these interactions plays a very vital role in keeping the learner engaged into that particular content.

Now, say for example, if you’re watching, like, you know, a particular video, after five to seven minutes, the video will automatically get paused. And there will be a question popping up. Now, that question is basically related to that five to seven minutes, which the learner is actually watched. And over there, you can have a mandatory restriction created that you know, unless and until a user does not give the right hand so the video will not move forward.

So just like that,

some kind these kinds of interactions can be there, then we also have different like eight to 10, different types of gamified course templates created. Okay, so this basically looks like like, you know, you’re playing some treasure hunt kind of a game or a pirate game. So, you know, out of that monotonous learning culture, where you have to just click next, next, next, next, next here to an AI voice, and you know, that monotonous learning, this gives you the engagement. So, we have believed and we have seen this thing that do these types of interactions and engagement increases the completion rate.

Now, second, most important pi 4.4 any learning is for the learner is what I am getting out of, it’s always about the personal benefit, right? Unless and until you are not gaining something out of it, you will not be investing your time and effort into it. So, the second point where Paradiso comes into the place is by giving them badges by giving them certification and on top of that, by rewarding them with the points and those points can be further redeemed into coupons or any gift card or something like that, the for doing something they are gaining something in learning also and in something as a you know, gift or something like that.

So that is also one thing which we have seen which increases the completion rate. To summarize, you know, just by adding by creating highly interactive and engaging content, and then rewarding the learners with something which of their liking increases your competition and That is where the parent is so plays a very vital role in providing both the ways to meet the training needs of the organization. And the learner needs to gain something out of that. And that’s how we claim that, you know, we have a very high completion rate with that.

Petra Mayer  20:16

Yeah, yeah. And I think completion rate is, I mean, as you said earlier, people start a training and then they drop out. And, you know, then all the investment in creating the training and putting it out there is really lost on those. Okay, let’s talk about then specifically parody. hat does it you mentioned earlier about the implementation efforts that organizations have in implementing a system. What does a typical implementation of party so look like?

Mohammed Husain  20:52

As I said, like, you know, for a, for every organization, for selecting a plan or to, you know, go with any LMS system, it’s very important, how they have been catered throughout the entire sales process. Once the client agrees that Paradiso is the right solution for the organization, we do not leave the client over there, once the contract is signed. From that stage till that client is not on live, we have a specific kickoff for a project management team, which handholds the client. Okay, so we initiate that entire thing from need assessment.

We understand what exactly is the end goal of the client from the LMS, what type of trainings they want to conduct is there any workflow that they want to customize. Other than that, we are very proud to say that we are very well versed with different types of integrations, we have done like 100 plus different integrations with majority of topknots systems available in the market like Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics and stuff and something more like that. So HRMS single sign on user saying two way integration between Salesforce and LMS we have already done that. So understanding the requirement there to see you know, what is the basic needs.

To sum up, if like persons need assessment and initiate the kickoff call, then it comes understanding the custom requirements and work on the custom development, then we do the quality assurance and quality check over there, then we have everything get tested on a development server.

Before we you know, push everything on a live production server, we do everything on our controlled environment, and give me access to the client to do a complete acceptance training on that, like Nick complete UHD testing on that, once we have confirmation from the client, okay, everything is good on the spot, then we move everything that we have done for the client onto their production and now, we do not use any local hosting platform, we only do the hosting over the Microsoft Zune and AWS.

We are very much control over the security we are SOC two compliant sock two type two compliant, we are already in process for GDPR we are already in process for HIPAA, we are ISO 27,001 compliance, we take utmost care within the security of the data and stuff like that, we do not use multi tenancy model on our servers. Each client have their own individual instances which has their own database. The entire security is intact over there. And once everything is checked, once everything has been tested, then we move everything on to the production server and we make the client go live.

Depending upon the complexity depending upon the need assessment and the requirements of the trial and regular a normal implementation process for a vanilla LMS without any custom work and anything can be done within three to four business days and can also last three to four months depending upon the workflow and the customization needed.

Petra Mayer  24:19

Okay. And you mentioned earlier that Paradiso has clients that are small startup organizations and then you have clients with 80,000 100,000 learners, what is the pricing model and how do you adapt your pricing model depending on the size of the organization.

Mohammed Husain  24:38

There are two different implementation models that we have. The first is an on a cloud model second is an on premise model. When we talk about the on cloud model, it is on the active user model. All the we do not do on a registered user. You may have 10,000 users, but out of those 10,000 Only hundreds are active when will only be charging you for those 100 activities.

Petra Mayer  25:03

Okay, and is the user on an annual basis or on a monthly basis? How do you

Mohammed Husain  25:07

monthly basis, monthly, monthly basis, so any user who logs into a platform once in a month is considered as an active user for that particular month. Okay. And the second is the on premise model where we do the entire implementation and hosting on client provided service. So usually, our big clients like you who are above 50,000 70,000 users, they prefer going on an on premise model, because of the cost savings, they get over there. We also have unlimited user model for, for big universities, who does not know the user base, what they would be having. These are the two different pricing models on which we work.

Petra Mayer  25:46

Now, let me just ask something, I’m curious when you go on an active user model. And as an organization, you want to kind of avoid big, big flows in your from a budgeting perspective, especially if you’re, if you put something out into the universe there. And suddenly you get more, you’re more learners that you want it. How do organizations manage that so that they can have a more stable budgeted amount for the LMS.

Mohammed Husain  26:21

So basically, see, as I said, the active user model is there, okay? So we, we even if the user base increases, we do not restrict those users to come into the platform. That’s one of the beauty that we have. So from the learners point of view, they will never come to know that you know, the company has only taken 100 license, I am the 101 user and I cannot access the platform. Okay, so we will never restrict any user on that. And secondly, on the active model, also, we charge on pro rata basis.

So say, for example, if a client has sign up for 100 users, and they have paid annually for the 100 users to us, now say for after three months, four months or six months, they suddenly got a hike into the employee strength and they want additional 50 users or they have got 500 users that that be coming to the platform that they do not have to pay for the 500 users for the entire year, they will only be paying for the 500 users for the remaining contract here. On a pro-rata basis. Now, there are certain cases where, you know, we have this kind of instances where the client is taken, we have a client who is using like 800 user licenses for a year.

And every quarter, they have this customer training happening within like they have this quarterly meeting where they’re all the partners and everyone is coming to the conference. And that time they need the LMS to hike for an additional 300 users. So it’s like around 1100 users, they want the licensing. So for those additional 300 users, they only want it for three weeks, the time that, you know, partner training happens, so they only pay for that one month for the 300 additional, it’s not like they have to pay for the entire year for that.

We are very flexible in that understanding these kinds of things happen. There are certain clients who have the annual general meeting happening, you know, on 21st or 22nd of December or in the month of January, where they have all the partners customer coming in. hey want to conduct a live webinar and stuff like that. And only for that one day, they want to increase from 100 users to 500 users. That is something we understand and we are flexible enough and we go ahead and do that. That’s something you know, we won’t be charging too.

Petra Mayer  28:37

Good to know. Now, in closing, what is one thing that you wish all clients knew before they come to you?

Mohammed Husain  28:47

That’s tricky, because every client have a very unique requirements right now, every client, it just like, you know, putting yourself in the client’s shoe, when you are out in the market, what you are buying is very important to you. But for the person on the other side of the table, it’s his daily job. So if I’m on the other side of the table, and if somebody is coming and you know, they want to have an element, the first thing which I ask is, is your training aligned to your business initiative. Now, having said that, I’ll give you a very good example for that.

Now, an automobile industry which has a business initiative to move to now to electric cars. But the training within the organization is still happening on the petrol or on the CNG which is not aligned to the business initiative. Or to give more specific thing like you know, you you are training something which is already obsolete. You’re still on the onboarding. You’re still on the come client says, which is already done over there. So, first we need to understand is your training and learning aligned to your business initiative till the time that concept is not clear, it becomes very difficult for us as an LMS provider to, you know, present the actual value that will be perceived out of the entire solution.

Because, unless and until that is not aligned, you will not be able to get the ROI out of the system. Because this is one question that, you know, I’ve been asked, How do you calculate the ROI of analysis? Like, you know, if I’m investing $25,000 in a system for a year, what value I’m perceiving out of it? How do I calculate that? So it’s basically to understand how you are making your current workforce ready for the future, how your current workforce gets transformed into your future exports. So that’s the ROI that you are building over.

Petra Mayer  31:04

And so in your platform, then we didn’t talk about reporting and tracking, etc. But how does your platform help them to track and report on those advances towards those business initiatives and overall business goals?

Mohammed Husain  31:23

Exactly. So every business initiative and training then needs to be aligned with the type of training you’re conducting. And based on that training, your completion rate, your interaction rate, and you know, how you’re performing within that how actively you’re taking part into the forums, discussion forums, the q&a is the polls and everything, everything the system gives you an analytics of the system also gives you a you know, a customized certificates and everything, the system also gives you the credit points over there, the CEU credits, etc.

If you align everything, compile everything, this gives you a complete analytics of the technology of the entire industry organization. How they are moving towards Generation X, how they are, upscaling the entire workforce. For example, if every business initiative of the organization if they want to upscale everyone within the organization from this particular technology to say, for example, and next technology, this analytics and reports gives them the data that helps them understand I have 100 employees out of which 70 have already completed this course. e are already 70%, to reach near to our business initiative.

Petra Mayer  32:48

And your system allows these reports to be, I think, scheduled, running and being although the system

Mohammed Husain  32:55

It is built in a way, which allows you to give some very detailed reporting, and infrastructure. Any small activity a learner doing within the LMS can be tracked and can be stored within the report. Secondly, allows the admins and the course creators, you know, personally, the people who have the access to the reporting system. To create their own report. It’s an ala carte, you select your values on which you want to generate the reports, and you create those reports. Plus, you can schedule that reports to be generated automatically on specific date time of the month of the week of the year.

And we also allow sending these reports out of the system to specific email  who you have mentioned into the platform. Today, it does not have to be a member of the system, they can be someone external and the LMS will send out the report.

Petra Mayer  33:52

Awesome. Well, I really appreciate you bringing that conversation to the whole thing about business objectives. And getting really clear about your business initiatives prior to selecting the system or waiting. Prior to setting the system up so that it supports that business initiative and the transformation of the organizations and your team members along with it. I really appreciate that. Thank you so much for your time. This has been very enlightening and interesting. And I really appreciate your time today and sharing with us about party systems.

Mohammed Husain  34:32

Absolutely. It was nice talking to you, Petra, looking forward to talking to you soon. Thank you for having me.

About the author 

Petra Mayer