PROSPERO Learning Solutions

Introduction

When I started my current job as a workplace instructor with De Beers Canada, I was asked to take on the job of setting up the company’s training records using Prospero’s Learningworks Suite™. I was left to figure out how to use the program on my own, as I didn’t receive any formal training on the software. Having a background in IT was a plus, but when things got tough, I did take advantage of Prospero’s technical support department. 

Prospero

Established in 1998, Prospero developed its own unique proprietary methodology for designing, developing and delivering custom learning solutions. They claim that their technique is adaptable to all content, cultures and industries around the globe. They also claim to be able to create solutions capable of accommodating multi-lingual, multi-cultural, and multi-generational learners. 

Courtesy of PROSPERO Learning Solutions

Courtesy of PROSPERO Learning Solutions

 Market Focus

Their award winning products and services are aimed primarily at mid to large size national and multinational companies from all across Canada. Their products are designed to help track and manage a variety of learning initiatives.

Prospero has developed a variety of products and services to meet market demands. They offer several services: placement, learning strategy, Instructor-led training, custom e-learning, blended learning and evaluating and testing services. They also offer two learning management products: Learningworks LMS and Learningworks Lite. A third product, Quizworks is also available.  

 Types Of Offerings

Prospero claims to provide cost effective custom build learning solutions. They accomplish this by implementing the best educational technologies into your custom built e-learning courseware package before tailoring it into your learning management system. You tell them what you need and they will help you to build it! 

 Who Is The Buyer

Prospero is available to any business or organization requiring a custom-tailored solution. All of this from a company which claims to have mastered the art of mapping learning outcomes directly to business goals. Prospero offers quality, service and results! 

 Global Markets

Based on their list of clientele, Prospero certainly appears to have the connections to go global. I didn’t read anything specific to indicate that they were doing so. Their website, however, is viewable in three languages (English, French and Spanish) which seems to suggest that they may be doing business in the United States.  

 Development Of The Market

Prospero has taken an interesting approach to building their customer base. They offer potential clients a partnering program. Their aimed is to establish long-term mutually beneficial partnerships. To this end, they have designed three ways to partner: Gap Partner, Co-Sourcing Partner and Full Service Partner. Each one takes a slightly different approach to partnering which makes it easier for prospective clients to align themselves with a service that best fits their needs. 

 Learning Technology Competing With Other Forms Of Learning

Prospero has been in the business for ten years and they appear to be well established in the learning management market. There well may be many other companies offering similar products and services but not many can match their client base or their expertise.

The key to Prospero’s survival will lie in their ability to incorporate the latest learning technologies into their existing programs. They will also have to come up with new and more innovative product lines and services if they hope to remain competitive.

2 comments


1 davidp { 09.21.08 at 2:31 pm }

From its client list, I get the sense that Prospero has found a sweet spot in the corporate market. I’m wondering what its differentiator is, given there are others companies with a similar product profile.

d.


2 Bruce Spencer { 09.26.08 at 7:37 am }

Good question!

I suspect Prospero’s products and services are not much different that other LMS, only in how they’re developed and delivered. Perhaps it has to do with their sales pitch or maybe it’s about their customer service.

As with any software, what’s immediately available is a basic product with limited functionality. Unless you know precisely what it is that you need this software to do and have it built into the original price , you’ll probably end up having to spending huge sums of money for these ‘enhancements’ along the way.

Most developers will try to sell you an enhancement that’s inline with what has already been created. In other words, it’s more cost effective for them to ‘tweak’ an existing program that it is to develop something from scratch. The problem is that it may not be exactly what you’re looking for but it’s the best that they’re willing to offer. The bottom line is buyer beware.

To be honest, I’m not overly impressed with some of the functionality of the product I’m currently using, particularly with respect to the reporting side of the software. Having been involved in the development of software, I know enough about database development, for example, to realize there are better ways of retrieving and presenting information. I also know how easy it is to create GUI’s and user friendly reports. Unfortunately, end users are not given even limited access to these tools.

This kind of flexibility may be an area where competing companies could conceivably win over new clients or even steal away existing customers from their competitors. Marketing concepts like Build your Own ‘Whatever’ – in this case ‘Software’ where you buy the basic software package with x number of enhancements Plus be given the flexibility to make certain changes on your own, all for one price – has proven profitable for other industries so there’s no reason why the same concept couldn’t be applied here.

At least, that’s how I see it.

Cheers

B

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