Two weeks ago, eLearning Brothers surprised many in the learning business by acquiring Trivantis and Edulence. I followed up by interviewing Andrew Scivally, co-founder and CEO of eLearning Brothers, about the acquisitions and the path ahead for the newly-expanded company.
Bill Brandon: I appreciate you giving me some time this afternoon to ask a few questions. How is the acquisition of Trivantis and Edulence changing your business model?
Andrew Scivally: One of the big reasons that we're doing this is to bring content and technology together. As you know, for 10 years eLearning Brothers has really been a content business. So we had the templates and assets and custom services.
However, we really wanted to marry that with technology and bring software into the business. We thought that was kind of a natural progression for us. Obviously we've known all the authoring tool companies for a long time. Trivantis has been a phenomenal partner with us and you've seen us together at conferences and sharing stages, so you know they were just a really good fit for us. We had a lot of commonality between customers and we've shared a lot of employees through the years and we've been integrating with them for a long time. For us, this is really taking it to a new level, given technology actually pulled into our business. Marrying that content plus technology allows us to expand, leverage the brand, and do more than we could have done on our own. So we're excited to have those two companies with us.
BB: I've been watching the work that you were doing together with them for quite a few years now. Did you acquire Trivantis and Edulence for their personnel or their tools, or both, or just because it made sense?
AS: We wanted to get into the authoring tool market. And so, again, Trivantis has a great product within Lectora and has been around for a long time. It was one of the, if not the first, authoring tools on the market back in the day. We think they have a fabulous tool. We also looked at them because of their CenarioVR. VR content is definitely up and coming. The idea that we could get a VR creation tool, and then try to figure out the content play with VR is exciting. And then on the knowledge management side, I don't know if you ever heard of Knowledgelink before today.
BB: I don't know that I have.
AS: They haven't really played in the corporate space. So they're a learning management system but they did a lot more in financial services and also in the space where if you were like an author and you wanted to sell content. They played in that space.
We got to know Jon Tota over there and his team, and realized they have a fabulous LMS that could easily be upgraded to a learning experience platform with some of the other technology we have. We're excited to rekindle that that relationship from years ago and bring them into this, as well. We don't plan on laying anyone off; we need all the employees. They all have a spot with us. We're excited to have them on board.
BB: Speaking of learning management systems, what happens to CourseMill?
AS: Good question. We will continue to support CourseMill and continue to support customers on that. We'll be introducing some of the new features in Knowledgelink and we'll be talking to customers individually and seeing what makes sense for them.
BB: Are there any particular changes that you see the acquisition meaning for the customers of Trivantis and Edulence?
AS: Yes, I think when we do look at organizations, it seems like they're using a lot of different vendors to take care of their learning needs. In that, we can bring customers the ability to really focus on getting those needs met from one relationship instead of having to go to four or five different ones. You will see that in the near future. Of course, we'll be looking at creative ways to bundle our products, not just for pricing and all that, but really bundling these to give more value in these offerings to the customers, looking for unique ways that we can use templates and assets in Lectora, but also in CenarioVR.
BB: Did I miss anything important that you really wanted me to ask you about?
AS: It's been awesome to be able to get these two acquisitions done. eLearning Brothers has been around just over 10 years now and the company has come a long way from just my brother and I in our basements. From our very first conferences with The Learning Guild and our T-shirts with our iron-on logos and the rest. But, you know, we're just incredibly grateful to be here. We are so blessed to have the employees that we have and a management team that supports us, and has helped us get to this point. So I'm really excited about the future. We have some great relationships and we're excited to find ways to partner with them and beyond. We'll have a lot of great, great conversations coming up with people in the industry so it's gonna be fun.