This post was originally published on February 26, 2018 and updated September 18, 2019.
SaaS applications are prized for their convenience and efficiency. However, one of their key benefits – the immediate availability of new features without needing to wait for each customer’s IT to install an upgrade – increases the challenge of making sure that your users are enjoying the full value of your application. And with a subscription model and lack of a significant upfront investment to help encourage stickiness, training is needed more than ever to make sure your partners know what to sell and users have reason to renew.
Effective training has multiple benefits. It speeds up employee onboarding and reduces strain on your support resources. It increases customer satisfaction and empowers your partners, expanding revenue streams and ensuring renewed business.
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Training is most beneficial when students learn in a real-world environment where they can ask questions, and get immediate feedback and assistance. While you can record or broadcast training, nothing compares to the hands-on interactive experience of instructor-led training (virtual or on-site) for maximum knowledge transfer and retention.
So, why are many SaaS providers making the one mistake of not delivering the same feature-rich virtual instructor-led training for their SaaS applications that they do for their on-premise ones?
Why you need a specialized training platform
Sure, if you provide a SaaS application you already have the cloud infrastructure, but to drive successful training you also need the functionality to easily set up classes, follow attendance, monitor progress, interact with students in real-time, and manage and evaluate your training processes to ensure that you are proving the best possible service.
While your own SaaS infrastructure can offer the real-world environment, without a specialized training solution, you are missing out on the key features needed to bring your users up to speed as quickly as possible as well as the tools for effective management.
Where common eLearning modes fall short
Most people today are incredibly receptive to learning information from online sources. We are, after all, in the era of Udemy, Coursera and YouTube. But, while the “watch and learn” format might work well for teaching you how to create a formula in MS Excel, it is sorely inadequate for training your customers or partners in the use of your complex cybersecurity (or other) software solution.
Cloud-based conferencing services may enable you to broadcast your training material to multiple students simultaneously. But is it ideally suited to learning? Does it enable you to provide students with hands-on environments? Does it allow instructors to see what the students are doing and assist them in real time? How easily can instructors track progress, monitor engagement and analyze performance?
Studies show that when students learn in a static environment where they simply receive information without interacting, they absorb less information and are more likely to switch off.
High-value training maximizes customer satisfaction and your revenue streams
Although cloud-based conferencing solutions and other eLearning solutions can be an important part of your training portfolio, they don’t provide the value you need to maximize training revenues (monetization). The virtual training lab is a popular and cost-effective platform for global training delivery.
Now, with CloudShare’s training solution for SaaS applications, you can also deliver an interactive, hands-on learning experience for your SaaS applications. Your instructors can see what students are doing and interact with them in real time. They can enjoy over-the-shoulder monitoring and support students while they work in their labs. Students can watch instructors attend to problems as soon as they occur, making learning and absorbing information easier.
This level of functionality is simply not available on any generic cloud-hosting platform.
By leveraging our powerful and easy-to-use training console, customers enjoy all of the great features that have made CloudShare the #1 virtual training lab solution for leading software and cybersecurity organizations.
CloudShare makes it incredibly easy for instructors to set up, manage, deliver and track their online courses from any computer. CloudShare’s SaaS training solution can be launched from any modern browser and requires no plugin and no modification of computer settings.
With the CloudShare SaaS training solution it is simple to:
- Create a new online classroom
- Invite students to join classes by clicking on a single URL
- Test connectivity and speed prior to the start of class
- Supervise an entire class from a single screen
- Track attendance and see who is logged on at any time
- Assist students in real-time on their environments
In addition to instructor and student features, to deliver the best and most effective training you need to be able to track performance and monitor ROI. CloudShare’s solution takes the complexity out of tracking and analyzing performance data. Pre-built dashboards let you see the important information you need immediately, while rich analytics capabilities let you delve into data on length of the class, number of students, instructor hours, class engagement, and more. Giving you all the information you need to refine and improve your training offerings as you go along.
Don’t compromise, give the training you offer on SaaS applications the treatment it deserves
While many companies recognize the importance of training and the obvious benefits of online training labs, many deliver training options that are simply not as effective as they could be.
So, what happens if you have already made this mistake? Take some advice attributed to the great Irish playwright and Nobel prize winner, George Bernard Shaw:
“Success does not consist in never making mistakes but in never making the same one a second time.”
So, stop treating your SaaS application as a second-class citizen when it comes to your training offering. Now that you recognize the importance and ease of providing interactive hands-on training, for your Saas application, you should make sure that you add it to your training portfolio.
CloudShare’s tailored training solution for SaaS incorporates rich training features that have already proven successful for complex on-premise applications. You can now leverage the same features for your SaaS applications by using our training console with your own cloud infrastructure. This provides you with a cost-effective solution to deliver high-value training, while also letting you use the same training platform for hands-on training for both your on-premise and SaaS versions. With CloudShare’s ease of use and cost effectiveness, you have no reason not to provide your employees, partners and customers with the best training capabilities.