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Customer Education has an Insatiable Thirst for Videos

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In the past few months one thing has become very clear: customers are not going back to classroom training any time soon. Some of you will say, “what about Virtual Instructor Led classes?” They will linger around for a while longer, but the issue is not the delivery system for instructor-led training. If you are a software company, it’s now about “Education as a Service” vs. one-time training events.

According to Gartner, all new software entrants and 80% of historical vendors are offering subscription-based business models. If you manage customer education for a software company, you may still have a P&L that depends on selling seats to customers. But if your software platform is subscription-based why aren’t the education offerings as well?

Products change frequently in the SaaS world and your education offerings need to be constantly updated as well. If you pay for a subscription service and the training and support content is not up to date with the software, how do you feel?

It will be probably painful to tell your leadership that moving to Education as a Service will result in a short-term loss of profit. But the same reasons why your company moved away from selling on-premise software to selling subscriptions now apply to Customer Education.

A great case study you can reference is Adobe. Their CEO made some very tough decisions a few years ago. While the move to a subscription-based model for their products was not a Wall Street favorite in the short term, the benefits were undeniable after 18 months. It’s time for Customer Education professionals to think the same way.

Most Customer Education teams already struggle to keep their content up to date with frequent software changes. How many of you have seen the move from on-premise to cloud take you from annual to semi-annual, to quarterly, and now monthly releases? If you are a subscription service, you had better keep your content up to date or you will increase churn and lose expansion opportunities.

On top of the financial aspects, the move from training events to Education as a Service means that video must be part of your content. Whether you decide to move to a paid subscription model or include education with your products at no charge, you need a way to efficiently keep videos up to date.

One of our customers, a director of client education at a large, well-known cloud company recently told us,

Customer Education has an insatiable thirst for videos.

The challenge is how to keep videos up to date with frequent software releases. And it’s not just a few videos. It’s dozens or hundreds of tutorials, how-to's and demos that all need to be constantly kept up to date. With multiple languages, the problem becomes even more severe.

With Videate there is finally a solution. Our platform automatically creates videos on every release. The cost of video production with Videate is an order of magnitude lower than doing it manually (people recording and re-recording videos every time there is an update).

While some people worry that computer generated videos are not good enough, most people tell us the quality is already at the good enough level and the benefits of automatically produced software videos outweighs any concerns. Furthermore, text-to-speech technology is getting better and better at an unbelievable pace. Just ask Alexa or Siri. Or read the Video Turing Test.

Out of date videos? Your customers who attended a training event months or years ago won’t know what your current products are capable of doing. This equals more churn and fewer expansion opportunities. When you explain that to your boss you’ll likely be on your way to a new Education as a Service model.