Online training for SMEs
Frédérick Benichou and Armelle Lavergne’s interview on B SMART
Wendy: This is the continuation of SMART Campus, thank you for being faithful to this meeting of education and training stakeholders! What is the right path for your identity and what is the job behind it? We are going to be concrete and efficient with a reference in online training, Coorpacademy, represented by its co-founder Frédérick Benichou.
Wendy: And with Armelle Lavergne in charge of content and partnerships, hello!
Armelle: Hello Wendy!
Wendy: Your platform is almost 10 years old, you created it with former Google employees.
Frédérick : We are very proud of course! We created ourselves, we were three. I’m not going to say in a garage because it sounds a bit cliché, but it’s not far off! Today there are more than 55 of us, we have more than 800,000 active users, 150 major account platforms open, we are present in about thirty countries, and 40% of our users are outside Europe. So we’re actually quite proud of our little journey.
Wendy : Oh yes, indeed, it’s quite enormous. That is to say that in 8 years, an identity has been created with a clear pedagogical line, right Armelle?
Armelle : Yes, exactly! I’ve been lucky enough to work for Coorpacademy for 7 years, and we’ve set up a Content division that I manage. Today, we have more than 1800 training contents available and we are very much oriented towards soft skills – we talked a lot about this during the confinement because it is what enabled us to face the crisis. The editorial line is therefore very soft skills and it can cover 5 areas of transformation: digital, managerial, operational, cultural and sustainable.
Wendy : Right. So the relational skills are what the companies that call on your services increasingly ask you for?
Frédérick : To carry out a transformation project in a company, at least 70% of employees must understand what it is all about. Our platform, with its microlearning format, its permanent accessibility at all levels and its fun game modes, enables a large proportion of employees to be acculturated almost instantly before consulting firms or major company reforms are required. It is therefore part of our DNA to be able to deploy this acculturation very quickly to digital transformation projects, sustainable development projects, cultural transformation projects, and employee ‘upskilling’.
Wendy : That’s interesting because if we talk about content, in connection with what Frédérick was saying, are we seeing a revolution in e-learning, Armelle? Is there an evolution in mentalities, a very different demand for training?
Armelle : I think that the training market today is very competitive, there are a lot of offers. What we see is that the personal use that you can have when you train in languages for example, you want to find it in your professional life. We target employees of large groups, but also today of very small businesses and the idea is to offer them a fluid, gamified experience – that means you can learn while having fun, because you can be serious without being serious – so the idea is to be able to pass levels, unlock these levels, talk to your colleagues, create emulation, win lives, etc. This fluid, very operational mode is also a way to make the learning process more efficient. This fluid, highly operational mode, which is also linked to our personal uses, is what we are asked to do today and that is the challenge.
Wendy : Yes, and all this with a minimum of time, because the problem is that we are also compressed in space and time!
Frédérick : It is indeed very important. You were talking about the e-learning revolution, about the evolution of mentalities, when we arrived on the market and we spoke to teachers and told them “we’re going to make courses, modules that are 5 minutes long, you’ll be able to do your 20 minute course in 4 modules of 5 minutes, but you’ll have to break up your content” they looked at us with catastrophic and horrified eyes. But it turns out that in our personal lives we are all addicted to our phones and the short format, so if we don’t do it, we don’t have a completion rate. People don’t get to the end, they stop, they interrupt.
Wendy : And so the 5 minute format is the right format?
Frédérick : So it’s more complex than that because in fact, we have a KPI, a key figure that we track a lot, which is the completion rate. We have an 83% completion rate on our modules, which means that 83% of people finish the modules they start. So that’s huge in the world of e-learning. And this completion rate can be explained by the fact that it’s a game, because we win lives, because they are short formats, because we have an editorial tone – thanks to Armelle’s teams – that makes it friendly and funny, and because we make the content our own, etc. So we’re not going to learn complicated jobs – we’re not in the business of learning – on the other hand, we’re in the business of acculturation and that works very well.
Wendy : Yes, on soft skills, it’s important to distinguish. So you were talking about your clients, the CAC40 companies, the large groups, but now there is an offer, a Team offer which is much more targeted at VSE/SMEs.
Frédérick : When we created Coorpacademy, we said to ourselves that we were going to bring the quality of the tools of the personal world – the quality of the digital tools of the personal world – to the world of large companies. Today, we say to ourselves that there is no reason why only large companies should have access to these quality tools and so we are going to bring to SMEs the quality of the tools of large groups – with preferential rates, an ease of subscription, an ease of parameterisation which is more standardised but more operational – they can create platforms in less than 15 minutes, it is open and they invite their employees instantly.
Wendy : With key topics coming out of this particular year but which also speak of competitiveness: digital, teleworking, sales, languages, etc. Are we in these contents too for this particular Team offer?
Armelle : Yes, that’s right. We carried out interviews and in particular a competitive benchmark study. The first thing we noticed was that there was not much difference between the training needs of large companies and VSEs/SMEs. We were then able to ‘pick and choose’, i.e. create training courses with the objective of being very practical and with concrete and rapid results. So the main points are office automation, management, negotiation management, etc. Very specific themes for VSEs/SMEs.
Wendy : So how do we know that it went well and that there is good feedback on the experience and on the completion rate?
Frédérick : The completion rate is a great indicator. We also have the duration of the subscription, if customers stay, if people come back, if companies stay subscribed, that’s very important! We have customers who have been subscribing for more than 7 years, so a priori, since there is no commitment, they are happy!
Wendy : That’s a good estimate. Do you have anything to add?
Armelle : No, we hope it will take off and we’ll see you soon to talk about it!
Wendy : I am very pleased with this Team offer in particular and with your follow-up of the evolution of mentalities, requirements and needs!