Customer Story: Maguire Training
One of UK’s leading training providers Maguire Training has been working with Decode Studios for 8 years now. The bespoke data-driven software solutions that Maguire is investing in have been enhancing the company’s success and have allowed it to turn into one of UK’s market leaders in the e-learning industry. Maguire’s customers now enjoy an effortless and cost-effective access to online courses from the comfort of their living rooms.
Why did Maguire Training choose Decode Studios as their main innovation partner and what have they achieved for the last 8 years, this is the topic of our conversation with David Rickersey, Managing Partner and Owner of the company.
Decode Studios: David, can you please tell me more about Maguire and the kind of business you run?
David: Since 1999 Maguire Training has grown to become one of the UKs leading training companies specialising in the design and delivery of world-class sales training, management training, leadership training and personal development training.
DS: What are your short-term and long-term goals? What is your vision about the future of Maguire?
David: As an established Learning & Development solutions provider, our intention is to continually improve the services we offer. By putting the clients first, we aim to embrace technology to provide learning experiences that improve performance of all learners.
DS: What were the challenges you were facing before contacting Decode Studios and how have things changed after deploying the new software solution for e-learning?
David: Maguire Training have been working with Decode Studios for 8 years to develop and enhance the company’s online offering. The creation of the initial e-learning platform that put the Training Manager in control of the resource has been enhanced by the recent overhaul of the platforms to embrace the technology of xAPI. During this time, Maguire Training and Decode have worked together to identify challenges for L&D managers and how technology can be used to provide solutions. We now have the ability to offer clients their own online Learning Management System (LMS) and to adapt this to address their specific requirements.
DS: What were the main reasons why you chose to work with Decode Studios?
David: Having met with Dan Brennan and his team initially, we were impressed with the scope to create something new with Decode that allowed us to put the learners at the heart of the solution but kept the control with the L&D Manager. During our relationship we have continually looked at ways of improving the online service we offer clients with updates that make the platform fully mobile responsive, allow for more interactive modules, provides clients with their own branded platform and supports the hosting of a range of e-learning formats. We have been able to scope out these developments and work with Decode Studios to put them into place.
DS: What criteria did you have in mind for a software solution?
David: The update of the platform that was carried out during the past 12 months was primarily to establish Maguire Training as pioneers in the delivery of xAPI e-learning content and support the philosophy of having a Learning Record Store. We had to ensure that everyone involved in the project were well versed in the concept of xAPI and had the technical ability to put a solution in place.
DS: What were the reasons why you decided to look for a software solution for your business? What is the added value in using a software solution for learning and development training companies?
David: The initial creation of the e-learning platform for Maguire Training was primarily to provide clients with a way of accessing learning in a convenient and cost-effective manner and to provide a blended solution that enhanced our face-to-face delivery. With the growing catalogue of modules available (we now have over 100 different titles available), we were soon getting requests from clients to use e-learning as a stand-alone tool and the feedback from this has always been very good.
DS: What made you choose a bespoke software solution rather than choosing an off-the-shelf one?
David: We looked at Learning Management Systems (LMS) when we first started this project but couldn’t find a solution that entirely matched our requirements. Working with Decode Studios has allowed us to create a solution that work for our clients and is adaptable so that we can add features to meet the demands of those using our solutions. The flexibility exists to utilise our knowledge and experience of providing learning solutions and working with a technology partner like Decode Studios and not be constrained by the development agendas of LMS providers.
DS: How do you use our software solution? How does it integrate with your entire business?
David: In addition to our e-learning platform, we have worked with Decode Studios to develop our own company website and these two key tools integrate well.
DS: What are the benefits for Maguire of using Decode’s software solution?
David: The main advantage of working with Decode Studios is the flexibility they provide and the ability to scope out and provide solutions that really address client needs. They also provide support that allows us to work with our clients and to ensure that the solutions we provide together are implemented successfully.
DS: How has the solution improved your daily operations? What business processes does our solution enhance? Does it save you time or money?
David: Having an e-learning tool that is fit for purpose opens up new opportunities for the company and this has always been a key driver. We use digital learning wherever it is appropriate and clients like the flexibility it provides. This service is as much about providing this convenience to our customers as it does to Maguire.
DS: What are the most important things you have learned from working with Decode Studios?
David: The importance of project scoping and working out realistic timescales for delivering projects. Decode bring some great technical skills to the table and the key is tapping into those and understanding the best way to implement a project. Spending that time at the planning stage allows everyone to have a clear vision of what the end solution should look like. Dan and his team are always good at suggesting improvements when new projects are discussed and utilising this brings obvious benefits. Having the time in the project to test, review and change is also key, especially when there are several stakeholders in place.
DS: What would you say to other businesses that are wondering whether to implement a bespoke software solution?
David: Bespoke software solutions provide the opportunity to develop services exactly to your needs and when we were first looking to implement the project we looked at off-the-shelf solutions, but none gave us the features we required. Creating something that’s customised to our needs is great, but it needs a lot of planning initially and time needs to be set aside for the development work to take place and testing before eventual launch. The benefits of a successful implementation are clear – something that is fit for purpose and can be continually enhanced as feedback is provided by end users.
DS: What would have happened if you had decided not to adopt a bespoke software solution (or to postpone the adoption with a few years) for your business?
David: Maguire Training’s e-learning offering has gone from strength to strength during the time we have worked with Decode Studios. We have developed our module content significantly and the new platform allows us to provide flexible solutions for a range of clients with different digital learning needs. Without the platform we would have one less string to our bow and it gives us a blended solution that makes us stand out from the competition in the L&D market.
DS: Any final thoughts or takeaways?
David: Decode Studios have provided us with a convenient and cost-effective way of delivering a range of online learning tools. Our relationship, like our solutions, have developed over this period. We hope that the team at Decode Studios will allow us to continue to offer great solutions for our clients.