Checking Back With Manpreet Wadan of Social27
You may recall our interview with Manpreet Wadan of Social27 back in February of this year. Curious about what has transpired since then, we reached out to Manpreet and asked him about new developments and updates he could share with us. Below please find our interview in length:
ETT: How has Social27 evolved since we last spoke?
MW: At Social27 we have always had a focus on the ever-evolving needs of the end-customer, and thus we are continually innovating and evolving.
Since we last spoke in February of 2014, the Social27 Learning Solutions business continues to grow and we have signed up 20+ new customers. Additionally we are also working very closely with an exclusive group of training organizations which have global footprints, and will soon be launching our own learning academies focused on a select industry verticals.
ETT: Based on your consumer data, have you observed any new trends in edtech software development, and if so, what are they?
MW: In 2011 when we launched our digital learning solution, it was built from the ground up with social collaboration and gamification at its core. Over the years, our customers slowly warmed up to the social features and now the majority of them have embraced these tools and are experiencing great results with end user retention and engagement.
And I’m very glad that the hottest new trends we are seeing in the digital learning industry are these very things; it’s great to see the market finally catch up and validate the value of social collaboration and gamification in the digital learning space.
ETT: What are the latest developments in social learning – last we spoke, you mentioned that there were plans to expand your DIY solution globally?
MW: As we mentioned above, we’re seeing massive adoption of social learning in the edtech industry because of the value it brings to the end customer’s experience; people are using and embracing social collaboration tools.
As far as our DIY solution goes, at this stage, about half of our clients are taking advantage of the DIY platform. But somehow, we are finding more and more of our customers looking towards us to manage the platform for them, maybe it’s just the amazing account manager team we have.
ETT: What have been the recent challenges that you have encountered since we last spoke?
MW: Probably the largest challenge we have faced is not necessarily within the confines of the Edtech space, but more so in the area of digital learning content.
In today’s world, the end-customers are accustomed to great quality content and experiences on web and mobile applications. We have built an amazing user experience but are highly dependent on our customers to deliver the right mix of digital learning content, and it’s a mind shift that hasn’t happened across the industry yet. So, we are working closely with our customers to help them strategize and develop content that will land well in a digital learning environment. And to sum it up, the one recommendation for everyone: follow the TED Commandments.
ETT: How has expansion into Asia, Middle East, and South America been proceeding – is there anything interesting from the entrepreneur’s point of view that you can share with our readers?
MW: Our efforts to expand the Social27 footprint globally have been terrific. We are partnering with training organizations that have a global presence – we are very soon going to announce a partnership with an organization that has a presence in 40+ countries across the globe. Additionally, we are working very closely with nearly a dozen organizations that have a similar global footprint. These relationships and partnerships have helped tremendously and propelled our expansion into Asia, the Middle East, and South America.
ETT: Would you say that Social27 has entered a different phase in its business life as a company or is still a scrappy start-up? Why is that so?
MW: Social27 fully embraces the most important startup traits, which ensures that we are fast, dynamic, agile and innovative. I think we have certainly moved beyond the “scrappy startup” phase. Thanks to the hard work of our team, we have become a successful, respected organization with nearly 30 employees and offices in Seattle, San Francisco, London, and India.
ETT: How is your push into mobile going – how are you coping with the constant and rapid evolution of the mobile space?
MW: The Social27 learning platform has multiple templates available to our customers that are responsive to a variety of devices. Additionally we will soon launch five new templates for our mobile platform, which are also responsive design templates. We are also working on an iPhone app which will supplement the Social27 academies that are coming in the future.
ETT: Given Google’s announcements on future plans for Android, what can you comment on that from Social27 perspective and especially how would Android’s future expansion into everyday life help the social aspect of educational technology?
MW: Keeping our global footprint in mind, an Android app is coming soon as well. Google Classroom, Google Hangouts, and Google Drive are some of the things we’re looking into when it comes to our Android app. It’s exciting to see Android’s current and future growth across the world – we are excited to see what is to come.
We thank Manpreet Wadan for agreeing to share his thoughts and updates with us, and suggest you check out Social27 at:
Read our first interview with Manpreet Wadan here: http://edtechtimes.com/2014/02/03/qa-manpreet-wadan-social27/
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.