Q&A with Manpreet Wadan of Social27
Mr. Manpreet Wadan, VP of Business Development at Social27, shared with us his time and insight on his company and the Ed Tech industry in general. Social27 is a new entrant on social learning market, with focus on making social learning as natural and friction-free as possible.
Company at Glance:
Founders: Ike Singh & Bally Singh
Category: eLearning, LMS, Social Learning
Product stage: (early stage, beta, market) Market
LinkedIn company page: http://www.linkedin.com/company/social27
Company twitter: @social27hub
Founder twitter: @ikesingh @manpreetwadan @ballysocial27
Other social media: http://instagram.com/social27
Check out Social27 demo video here:
ETT: How would you define the space your company works in?
MW: Social27 is focused on the Social eLearning space. We are all about taking elearning from “Isolation to Collaboration”. Currently, our primary customers are: Enterprises and Training organizations. Enterprises of all sizes use our LMS to deliver a training experience that is more natural, social, effective and easy to manage. And on the other side we help Training organizations scale their reach and add additional revenue options by launching an online academy (similar to Lynda.com, PluralSight etc) with our turn key social eLearning LMS.
ETT: Why did you start a company, or build a product, in this space? What need or gap do you aim to address?
MW: Our founder, Ike Singh worked at Microsoft in various channel readiness and training related roles. This solution was envisioned as a direct result of the challenges he faced in his day to day work of training thousands of technology companies worldwide. The in-person training options were effective but very expensive and the online training options were a better value for budget but the “Isolated” experience they created was never effective enough.
Social27 first launched a digital events solution in 2010 which has been used by its customers to launch new products and initiatives. The On Demand phase of these digital events is utilized for training at scale over 6-9 months post event.
The social LMS solution, launched in 2013 was built on top of the digital events solution. Our customers had requested additional features which were focused on class collaboration, testing, trainee analytics and course creation tools… and that’s what we delivered.
ETT: Who is on your advisory board?
MW: We will be announcing our new board in February 2014.
ETT: Why will your product/service work? What makes your approach to this issue different from what others are doing?
MW: We have served and engaged nearly 3 million trainees with our solution till date (and counting). The latest version of the solution includes all the learnings and feedback that we have gathered from our customers and end users.
To start with, we are making eLearning more natural. For centuries, people have learnt in groups when they were collaborating with the instructor and their fellow students. It doesn’t make any sense why the majority eLearning solutions providing an experience where everyone is in this isolated virtual environment with minimal or no collaborative tools.
The Social27 learning solution was built from the ground up with two-way and multi-way communication tools, feedback loops, activity feeds, games, badges, points, and rich profiles that integrates with social graph information from Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Yammer etc. This encourages collaboration, participation and just a more natural learning environment.
On the other side, we are offering our customers a LMS that is very powerful but super easy to deploy, configure and manage and all of this at a very competitive and value based pricing.
ETT: Who are your core customers, and who are your users?
MW: Our primary customers are: Enterprises and Training organizations. We work with Fortune 500 enterprises like Microsoft and Amazon all the way to small training business like Joes2Pros (SQL Server training experts).
The end users are employees in the Enterprises and on the other side the paying trainee customers of the training organizations who have built training academies on the Social27 platform.
ETT: Could you tell us about other startups or product builds that you have been a part of and what your role was?
MW: The core team at Social27 (Ike Singh, Bally Singh and Manpreet Wadan) has been involved with all the solutions that have been launched since the company was founded in 2007. I have been responsible for business development and sales for all the verticals: eLearning, events, recruitment solutions, content production and social media marketing.
ETT: Please tell us more about your product stage and what we should expect to see from your company in the next 12 months – i.e. describe your next milestones.
In February 2014, we are launching our DIY academy solution globally. This will empower any organization to upload their learning content, launch an academy within days and start selling courses. They will be able to do this with self-help tools and resources and without the need of any account management, thus enjoying the low cost pricing options and keeping more revenue for their own business.
Over the next six months we are making a big push towards mobile platforms and mobile delivery of content. Our partners and customers in Asia, Middle East and South America are very enthusiastic about the huge opportunity it will present for their business locally.
ETT: Where do you see the education technology market going in the next few years?
MW: We feel that the education technology market is still very much in its infancy, and there are some very exciting times ahead. The trends for 2014 are certainly Social, Mobile and Local(ization).
These three trends will make learning more natural (social), available anytime on any device (mobile) and personalized to the language of choice (local).
ETT: What keeps you up at night?
MW: So much to do, so little time. And then being in Seattle, the roar of the Seahawks and future Macklemore’s practicing their talent. We love it here. Come visit.
We at EdTech Times wish Social27 much success in their launch, and encourage you to visit their website at:
Yevgeny Ioffe, or as people call him, Yev, has been working in both the startup world and established companies. His career spans from joining Xplana Learning as it launched to Cengage Learning to MBS Direct when it acquired Xplana in 2009. Yevgeny brings to EdTech Times his passion for start-ups and technology, along with his interest in the ever evolving world of edtech. Yevgeny obtained his BSc and MA from Brandeis University and MBA from Boston College.