Edumatic: offering self-paced online training courses and measuring their ROI
Televic has been around for many years now. The company was founded in 1946 as a manufacturer of professional radio systems. Over the following decades, the company has specialised in ground-breaking communication technologies. In trains, healthcare institutions and at conferences, wherever communication plays a crucial role, Televic provides effective solutions.
Televic Education is also a division of the Televic Group, which has been a major player in high-quality communication solutions since 1946. This division has thus been a leading company in the world of (language) training, certification, accreditation and permanent evaluation in various industries for over 70 years. The company initially focused on language labs, but the migration to the cloud came in 2001, via a merger (in 2008) with a KU Leuven spin-off with its own e-assessment application. Televic further developed this app in-house, giving rise to Edumatic as we know it today.
A comprehensive training tool
Edumatic combines self-paced online training and training evaluation, via extensive assessment. Those who e.g. provide training courses to upskill their staff obviously also want to know if the participants have actually acquired new skills, in order to measure the ROI of their efforts.
The content of the courses meets the needs of the customers. The Antwerp University Hospital e.g. uses Edumatic for in-house staff training, on issues such as safety procedures at the hospital.
As for the Jan Yperman hospital in Ypres, it started to use Edumatic in 2014 to achieve JCI (Joint Commission International) accreditation, a certification program designed to improve patient safety and the quality of health care services. Individual and flexible learning pathways, called Eduqare modules, were developed for each group of employees. The user-friendliness of these modules has definitely played a huge role in achieving the JCI accreditation.
Since Edumatic is an online application, the modules can be used anywhere, at any time – on a laptop, a smartphone or a tablet, at home, at the office or in the workplace. Thanks to the API, the application can also be integrated with other corporate tools, such as HR applications, the website or other software.
IAB, the professional organisation of accountants and tax consultants, e.g. organises different types of examinations that candidates have to pass via a reservation system and an exam portal, which are both linked with the Edumatic platform. The results of the exams are automatically sent back to the IAB CRM system.
Application hosting services provided by Combell
Televic Education started to collaborate with Combell in 2015, when the NedBox project was in its infancy. This initiative launched by the Flemish government, in partnership with the KU Leuven and the European Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund, was designed to help foreigners who just arrived in Flanders learn to speak Dutch.
Since this was a successful first experience, Combell was also picked for hosting the Edumatic application. Nicolas Staelens, Research & Development Manager at Televic Education:
“Our online platform requires high availability; it must be available at all times. And that is highly dependent on the infrastructure. Since that is actually not our core business, we went looking for a strong business partner. And Combell meets this requirement...”
Migration to Combell Managed Hosting
So, this is how it happened... Televic Education currently rents fours servers (2 application servers and 2 SQL servers) and a Drupal server from Combell. The domain names are also registered with Combell, which is also taking care of the associated security certificates. Meanwhile, the rest of Edumatic’s business infrastructure was also transferred to Combell.
In doing so, Televic went for managed hosting for various reasons, including the aforementioned high availability. There are on average 5,000 users per day, and all of them must be able to access the application at any time. This number should increase soon, because a new application has been implemented, which will probably double the number of users. For official assessments such as those of IAB, the accessibility of the app is crucial.
Smooth migration and minimal downtime
The migration process went very smoothly. Nicolas Staelens: “We had very practical questions, because the migration had to be completed with minimal downtime, and with minimal impact for the customer.”
“With this, Combell experts drew up a roadmap, which clearly outlined our responsibilities, how they can assist us in case of need, and what tasks they can handle for us.”
“Our product is used worldwide, which means it must be 100% available, 24/7. In addition, Edumatic is not for learning purposes only; it is also used for examination purposes (high stake assessments). Therefore, everything must work perfectly. Software is only as good as the platform on which it is running. And this is precisely where Combell can fully satisfy us”, adds Nicolas Staelens.
“Software is only as good as the platform on which it is running. And this is precisely where Combell can fully satisfy us.” [Nicolas Staelens, R&D Manager at Televic Education]
“The proactive monitoring of our infrastructure is key for us”, he declares. “The availability of the support team, the response time when we have a question… this very comprehensive package of services makes Combell the perfect business partner for us.”
Managed hosting vs generic hosting
According to Nicolas Staelens, managed hosting offers a number of advantages when compared to generic hosting offered by large cloud providers. “Each company that has a product that must be available online (a cloud-based product) is faced with a fundamental choice: generic hosting with large cloud providers or Managed Hosting with providers such as Combell. A purely generic environment has the advantage that the infrastructure can be adapted quite easily.”
“However, it is not our job to deal with the infrastructure”, he stresses. “Our core business is software development and making sure that our software performs well, which is a full-time job in itself. We should not concern ourselves with the management of the infrastructure on which everything is running.”
“You should be able to focus on your core activity, and find reliable business partners that are able to provide a comprehensive solution.”
“That is also what we recommended to colleagues at another company, who are in a similar position to us: get in touch with Combell to explore the possibilities!”
Price also plays a role. “A purely generic environment is based on a pay-per-use model. Even if you use calculators and simulators, it remains very difficult to calculate a reliable price.”
“Combell, on the other hand, offers you the flexibility of a generic cloud provider, but what you get is a managed cloud! And thanks to the proactive monitoring, we know exactly how much it is going to cost us every month.”
Lastly, it must be said that with a generic environment, there is not a lot of personal contact. “We can contact our account manager directly, which is necessary, because when a problem arises, we need to react very quickly. We do not want to be put on hold, or be customer number 2731. We want to be treated as a valued customer. When we have questions, the operations support team gets back to us very quickly, which is really ideal when you want to do a great job”, Nicolas Staelens concludes.
“When we have questions, Combell’s operations support team gets back to us very quickly, which is really ideal when you want to do a great job”