By Hillary Miller September 27, 2017
On Thursday, September 21, Dutch eLearning company aNewSpring announced the opening of a new office in Johannesburg. The announcement was made during the E-learning Insights 2017 conference, held in Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa.
Rene Persoon, co-owner of aNewSpring, revealed that the Johannesburg office would serve as a base of operations for the launch of aNewSpring Africa. The office is opening in collaboration with aNewSpring’s exclusive distributor, New Leaf Technologies.
Based in Rotterdam, aNewSpring is an eLearning platform with over 400 clients training more than a million learners. The company specializes in working with clients to create custom training programs, integrating social learning, blended learning, and adaptive learning.
The payment model for aNewSpring is a particularly strong draw for training developers. Through aNewSpring, developers can create content for free. Instead of paying upfront or for tiered access for learners, developers will pay for each learner that enrolls in their course. The pay-per-use model is a unique alternative to many other companies in the training development space.
aNewSpring also offers a catalog and webshop that enables clients to enroll learners and sell their content directly online.
Clients can use the aNewSpring online editor to develop content, or they can incorporate external content from another builder. aNewSpring training courses may feature videos, assessments, surveys, and other types of assignments. Training developers can even add webcam assignments or webinars through the aNewSpring platform.
The partnership with New Leaf Technologies paved the way for aNewSpring’s expansion into the African market. New Leaf was established in 2013 as the learning technology division of LA Intronet, a well-known human resources firm founded in 1999. The company joined forces with aNewSpring in 2016.
New Leaf specializes in the rapid deployment of low-cost, cutting-edge learning and development solutions. Specifically, New Leaf offers corporate learning courseware, adaptive training programs, and knowledge retention strategies.
“We have been working with New Leaf Technologies for over a year. The company has been instrumental in the success of aNewSpring in Africa and we thought the timing was perfect to open a local office,” Persoon said in an article from IT News Africa.
Paul Hanly, newly appointed Managing Director of aNewSpring Africa and CEO of New Leaf Technologies, expressed his optimism about the unique opportunities that the new office will open up, both for aNewSpring and for the companies in the surrounding region.
“This is really good news for the South African industry,” Hanly said. “aNewSpring is an innovative company with a really inspiring product and I am delighted that they have the confidence to invest in the African market.”
Although so much of the world’s business and commerce happens digitally these days, Hanly explained that there’s still no replacement for personal connections.
“We can now build long-lasting relationships with clients as we’re able to provide local support, local onboarding as well as localized pricing,” Hanly said. “We’re not just another faceless cloud-based software solution. We are on the ground with a really good understanding of the African market.”
Persoon, who spent two weeks in both Johannesburg and Cape Town, reflected similar excitement about the possibilities of corporate eLearning in Africa.
“Africa is such an interesting place. I have met a vast number of people and there is so much potential,” Persoon said.
But that potential doesn’t come without challenges. “Our learning platform is ideal for this market where low bandwidth and high data costs are a reality,” Persoon noted. “We deliver training providers and corporate academies in Africa the technology to build inspiring and effective learning journeys without having to use data-intensive solutions.”
“We look forward to our clients using our platform to reach more people to upskill and cross skill,” Persoon said. “There is a definite need and with cutting-edge functionality like adaptivity, personalization, collaborative and blended learning with knowledge retention, aNewSpring can really make a difference.”