As their own year in review admits, 2018 was a pretty tough year to beat for the people at Baltimore borne eThink Education, the top Moodle and Totara partner on earth. A sprawling series of partnerships, pioneering international incursions, and the highest honor Totara has ever awarded to a Partner made for a challenging milestone to beat in 2019.
As the year wrapped up and with it a decade of growth, insight and genuine concern for the customer —of whom in 11 years eThink has lost an exact total of zero—, we recap on their 2019.
2019—one for the eThinkers
One of our most popular profiles of the year was that of one Brian Carlson, eThink CEO and Co-Founder, and as revealed on the Talented Learning Show, a former volunteer in Vanuatu and Ellucian alumn. Despite Moodle and its partners being inconspicuous companies, the reality of the dynamic U.S. EdTech markets drew Carlson and Co. into the spotlight. Canvas LMS continued to gain ground —albeit less than before— and while it seemed to harm the prospects of Blackboard and self-managed Moodle sites the most, eThink’s Moodle division came out ahead, as all 7 Moodle Partners in North America did.
«Moodle needs to get out there and tell its story,” Carlson reckons. But perhaps the onus is on the Partners to make a name for themselves.» (February 10)
Shortly after, the first announcement on Moodle Workplace was made. A special difference versus “vanilla Moodle” —if a bit controversial among Open Source advocates— is the fact that Workplace was build as a proprietary technology in collaboration with the partners, many of whom are directly involved in the development of its components. Few have been fortunate enough to test drive Moodle Workplace, and among them was eThink’s Kate Dwyer. She would share the privilege with our audience. Multitenancy, an intuitive Report Builder and powerful Automation features make of the upcoming corporate LMS a must watch, and as one of the first ones to be able to service the new platform, eThink will be interesting to keep an eye on as well.
On the geographic domination front, eThink would also secure one of the Queen’s jewels. In February we reported on the company gaining Certified Moodle Partner status in the UK, the sixth one, tying the U.S. on the number of friendly competitors. For the company, it continues 2018’s track which included Canada, the Caribbean and Africa.
As we revealed the results of our Best in Customer Service guide, it becomes clear how eThink’s service and support strategy (“High-touch,” as they like to refer) is simple, brilliant and highly defiant. While most vendors see support as an afterthought, it often seems eThink is more a customer care company than an EdTech operation. Something that can only be construed as a compliment. Open Source itself, by making companies unable to tether customers through license fees or data hijacking, already raises the bar of what organizations should do to keep them around and happy. On eThink’s case, a disregard for tiers or time limits not only keeps their “unlimited and uncapped” plea true, it also makes for a lean and neat value proposition.
While Moodle HQ was revamping its Education & Training offering with the creation of the Moodle Education team, eThink was brewing something of its own. eThink Academy launches, a fully online offering for existing and new customers, backed by the decade of experience an leadership, and with the official Moodle Educator Certification (MEC) as flagship. Among the things that sets eThink Academy apart its its focus on a “communal” experience, despite virtuality; and the ability to rely on an unmatched repository of customer success stories and case studies to guide its learners.
eThink’s new partners in 2019—and more Stories to come
Partners are eThink’s bread and butter. Here are some of the more noticeable ones in the past year.
- HT2Labs (developers of LearningLocker LRS)
- Michaels and Associates Docntrain
- GRC Solutions
You can check out some of these in our ongoing “eThink Stories” series.
eThink himself was welcome as a partner in 2019, both by the UK government’s G-Cloud 11 Digital Marketplace initiative, and in the official selection of Amazon Web Services (AWS) Advanced Tier Technology Partner.
See the whole breakdown, and the too many awards to list here, at ethinkeducation.com or on the infographic below.
eThink Education is a sponsor of LMSPulse.