Education is one thing everyone is interested in. For one reason, most of us reading this article have gone through at least basic education and always rant about how it could be better. We are always searching for ways to make the lives of the present and future generations better. E-learning has been around for a while now, and as with any other industry – we have lot of players do things their way. Over time, people have realized for standardization and created SCORM. The next wave was that of e-learning platforms which would enable all the e-learning courses that adhered to SCROM.
We bring to you one of the excellent e-learning platforms – OpenSesame. OpenSesame connects learners and content providers directly in a marketplace where elearning courses are easy to publish and connect to any LMS. Here’s a glimse:
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We caught up with Josh, the co-founder for OpenSesame to discuss more. Here is the excerpt:
Q. Tell us about OpenSesame marketplace. How does it bridge the gap between learners and content publishers?
OpenSesame is a worldwide, crowd-sourced marketplace where any person or company can buy or sell off-the-shelf elearning courses. OpenSesame’s patent-pending technology platform serves any e-learning course to any Learning Management System (LMS). OpenSesame unlocks e-learning, just as Apple unlocked digital music, by making the selection, purchase, and deployment of e-learning content as easy as buying a song from iTunes.
Q. How does OpenSesame achieve its integration with existing LMS? If a content provider wants to sell their course, can they link to your platform, or you begin with uploading all their videos to your platform?
To become sellers on OpenSesame, course developers upload their SCORM, AICC or video content to the OpenSesame platform with the relevant course metadata, including title, description, pricing and intended audience. OpenSesame attracts customers, hosts the content, handles transactions and supports customers in using courses purchased from OpenSesame. Some sellers view OpenSesame as one of several channels through which they sell content, while others rely on OpenSesame exclusively as their distribution platform.
Q. Can the seller access purchased courses via mobile and tablet devices?
The OpenSesame catalog currently features more than 21,000 courses from 270 different seller partners. OpenSesame currently offers approximately 6,000 courses for iOS mobile devices.
Q. Tell us about OpenSesame for enterprise. Also, how has been the response to CourseCloud platform?
OpenSesame supports enterprise customers with the broadest and freshest selection of elearning courses worldwide and flexible licensing that enables customers to pay for just the courses they use. Customers can download a SCORM file to use courses from OpenSesame in their learning management system or they can use OpenSesame’s CourseCloud™ feature to send email invitations to their employees.
With CourseCloud™, customers can you purchase, take and distribute courses with just a web browser. Customers use CourseCloud™ to invite employees to take courses with a simple email and then monitor their employees’ progress in the course through their dashboard on OpenSesame.com.
Q. What is the the USP of OpenSesame, when compared with the e-learning enablers out in the market now?
Today, purchasing content is similar to Comcast cable requiring customers to subscribe to hundreds of channels although they watch only a few. OpenSesame offers a wider range of courses with flexible licensing terms and no time commitments or minimum purchase requirements. Specifically, OpenSesame offers:
• Breadth, depth, and freshness of selection. With more than 21,000 courses from 270+ different sellers, the breadth of courses in the OpenSesame marketplace makes it easier for HR and training managers to find and compare e-learning content in a single location.
• Simple pricing and terms. Leading content companies in the industry require minimum purchases, annual commitments, and long-term contracts for large catalog purchases. OpenSesame offers flexible license options to enable buyers to purchase just what they need, in the quantity they need.
• eCommerce – no salesperson required. The OpenSesame ecommerce platform has strong search, research, and preview features, enabling customers to evaluate, purchase and deploy content instantly (typically, it takes weeks with other vendors).
• Ease of content distribution. OpenSesame’s patent-pending technology ensures that courses will play on any standards-compliant LMS, resolving interoperability challenges that delay deployment today.
Q. What’s the business model for Open Sesame?
OpenSesame is an online marketplace that operates on a revenue sharing model. When a customer purchases a course, OpenSesame keeps 40% of the revenue and passes 60% of the revenue to the course seller.
Q. What are the future plans for Open Sesame?
In the next year, OpenSesame will partner with additional elearning content developers in order to continue adding more courses to the marketplace. Furthermore, the OpenSesame team will focus on attracting new customers, developing channel partnerships and adding new features to the website, including enhanced browsing and searching interfaces, “wish lists” for courses and more flexible ways for sellers to create courses.
About Team Open Sesame
The OpenSesame Management Team includes a team of experienced entrepreneurs with a successful track record of founding and growing companies. Don Spear, President & CEO, served at PetSmart in senior officer and director positions from its founding through IPO, and later as President of Banfield, the Pet Hospital. Josh Blank, Senior Vice President & General Manager, co-founded PopArt, an Internet services agency, and Eleven Wireless, a broadband network management system. In 2004, Josh and Don co-founded BlueVolt, a successful elearning company focused on the manufacturing and distribution markets.
Tom Turnbull (Vice President, Business and Community Development) has worked in business development, product, and legal roles at several Internet companies, including Internet Brands (NASDAQ: INET), SplashCast Media, and the Los Angeles Times. Aaron Bridges, OpenSesame’s Lead Software Engineer, has ten years of experience in software engineering and design, including rising to Product Development Manager at BlueVolt.