An Open Letter to Learning Leaders

The organizational learning industry has seen a great ownership shake up in the last 18 months, as well as the human capital management industry, as a whole. It seems each month we hear of another merger or acquisition of a SaaS product in this field. While this pattern of consumption in the corporate food chain is not unique to the learning management ecosystem, it is potentially troubling to the people that really matter in the exchange: the customers.

When I came to Brainier some 20 years ago, (the name-change to “Brainier” came later, but that’s a different story), it was during a time of great technological advancement, not unlike today. Brainier was one of the first companies to experiment with putting training content online. It was a brave new world of learning and development. The software development team at Brainier has spent years working on the product, now on its 4th generation, to solve the real- world training issues for organizations.

While the news of these acquisitions offers a lot of promise for investors, it also poses a bit of risk for the customer. The reality is often the separation of people from their jobs due to redundancies, a softening of innovation from less competition, and a weakening of true customer support from a person and not a call center. Brainier is proud to offer a customer support model that puts any user of the LMS in direct contact with a dedicated support rep. This type of connection with the customer and the software is important to us, and our customers seem to like it, too.

Finally, the idea of stable ownership is something we rely upon. When I approached the board of directors at BI-WORLDWIDE with plans to develop this new learning product they believed in the promise. Over twenty years later, Brainier is still owned by BI-WORLDWIDE despite the multitude of offers to buy out the company and the technology behind it. We believe that customers ought to feel confident that the learning software they invest in will be there in the future and the provider will act as a partner in the process. While we wish our competitors a lot of success navigating this brave new world of eLearning, at Brainier, we believe that we are that partner to best accomplish an organization’s learning goals.

Jerry Cox,
President, Brainier Solutions