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Content Controller v2.0 updated UI

We’ve gotten a lot of feedback about Content Controller since we started working on it back in 2015: feature requests, bug reports, criticisms and praise. We also have conversations with customers and potential customers about what problems Content Controller solves for them and where it falls short. This feedback is valuable because it tells us where we should focus our efforts to improve our software. There is one criticism that we’ve heard very frequently: performing routine tasks in the UI requires too much clicking. So with Content Controller v2.0, we’ve tried to do something about it.

Consider a common scenario: You’ve just signed on a new client who needs access to your entire course library under your popular “10,000 learners per course, per year” plan, and now you need to add all of those courses to the new client’s Content Controller account. This is a daunting endeavor with Content Controller v1.2, because you’d need to add each course individually, clicking through the same dialog and selecting the same options for each. With two license limits (a learner limit of 10,000 and an expiration date one year in the future), that works out to about 13 clicks per course. With library of hundreds of courses, you’d be in for a long, boring day of clicking. Content Controller has long had an API that can be used to automate this sort of task, but clearly some improvements were needed for our UI users.

So what’s changed in Content Controller v2.0? For one, we’ve added license templates so you can define a set of limits with a descriptive name, and then quickly apply the template when adding courses to an account. We’ve also added autocompletions and tag support to Content Controller’s search bars, so you can more easily find the courses you’re looking for.

But most importantly, we’ve replaced the UI for adding courses to an account with an entirely new UI that allows you select your entire course library, or just a subset, and add all of the selected courses at once while applying the same license limits to each. Populating an account with your entire course library, no matter how large, takes as few as nine clicks with the new UI in Content Controller v2.0. If you have 100 courses in your library, that’s a 99% reduction compared to Content Controller v1.2.

This isn’t the only improvement we’ve made in Content Controller v2.0 (see the release notes for a full list), but if I had to guess, I’d say it’s the one that will have the biggest impact for day-to-day use. But we can’t know that for sure until we start getting feedback from users. If you’ve tried out Content Controller v2.0, and think of ways we could make it better, let us know! We want to hear from you.

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Most eLearning content providers send their courses off into the world with no ability to manage them once released. Content Controller lets you centrally host your content so you can automatically make updates, gain insight into usage and enforce licenses. And in Content Controller v2.0, we’ve updated the user interface so that managing your licenses, courses and accounts is even easier.

Latest features like tagging and search help you efficiently organize content and manage your growing course catalog. Our updates to licenses let you seamlessly assign license types, view history and renew licenses to reflect your growing client list.

So, without any further ado, here are the highlights.

New Features in Content Controller v2.0

 

Licenses

Course Bundles

Combine courses into a bundle that is licensed as a single unit in order to save time setting up licenses. For example, create a “Gold” bundle that includes every course in your catalog. Or create a “Golf” bundle that includes golf-related courses. Then, associate bundles with licenses to quickly apply license terms and easily deliver the bundle to customers in a single file.

License Templates

Use license templates to create and save licenses you enforce across multiple accounts and content. If you consistently sell a “One Year or 10,000 Learners” license, you can create a license type that allows access for up to one year or 10,000 learners. Create the license type once and assign it to multiple accounts, saving you the trouble of having to create those same limits every time you set up an account. Any licenses you created in v1.0 will still apply.

License Renewals

Use renewals to ensure your client always maintains access and never experiences down time. Set accounts and content to automatically or manually renew into existing license terms or into new license terms. Easily view license history to see how a client’s usage has evolved over time.

License Extensions

Access license settings in order to edit individual license limits within an account or content. Support client extensions by simply increasing access granted within an existing license.

Alert Emails

Set up your internal team with alert emails that notify you of accounts that are approaching or have exceeded license limits. Use alerts to inspire client conversations supporting renewals or up-sells.

Tagging and Search

Manage your content library quickly and efficiently. Tag courses to reflect your internal organizational structure. Then, search content by user-applied tags or course name. Content search makes search simple by including auto-completions for tags and course names.

Bulk Operations

Select tens or hundreds of courses, equivalents and licensing bundles at once using Content Controller’s improved UI flow along with tagging and search. Then, assign selections to an account with just one click.

cmi5

Support cmi5, using Content Controller’s latest cmi5 import feature. Then, make it available to LMSs that support SCORM or AICC.

Learn More

Interested in learning more about the benefits of Content Controller or upgrading your version to 2.0? Get in touch! We’d love to talk about how you can more effectively manage your content.

Want to learn more about how each feature works? Check out our Knowledge Base. While you’re there, you can also check out a full list of what is included in Content Controller v2.0.

 

 

 

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Rustici Software awarded CLO Award

We are thrilled to share that Chief Learning Officer (CLO) magazine announced the winners of the 2017 Learning in Practice Awards and Rustici Software won a Bronze Award for Excellence in Technology Innovation! Our submission recognized the work the SANS Institute has done using Content Controller to update their content distribution strategy. We are very thankful they allowed us to highlight their story and thrilled to consider these industry leaders our clients.

The SANS story

SANS’s use of Content Controller is an interesting story in and of its own, which we have explored in the SANS Content Controller case study. But to submit the award we also dug into the overall landscape. The difference between what SANS is doing to distribute content and what the industry has historically done is pretty staggering.

The Learning Management System (LMS) marketplace is expected to be valued at $7B/year by 2018 and is primarily split into two deployment models: on-premise and SaaS. LMSs have been supporting off-the-shelf eLearning content via third-party content providers since 1997. The model may appear simple: content providers license (for a certain number of users usually) courses to client who then access content via their own LMS. But this twenty-year old model has inherent flaws: content creators have found a lack of license control, a risk of inaccurate content, multi-language pain and a lack of data regarding course engagement.

The SANS Institute has solved these traditional challenges by shifting their distribution model. Using Content Controller, SANS centrally hosts their content to easily deliver the latest, most accurate content to learners and streamline their license admin. They’ve seen a 90% reduction in time spent updating existing content, saving $100K in employee costs per year. If you want to learn more about their story, check out the SANS case study.

Celebrating other clients who won CLO awards

In addition to our win, we were pleased to see that a number of other Rustici clients were also CLO award winners. The Learning in Practice Awards celebrate those who have crafted new and innovative education initiatives. Booz Allen Hamilton won A Silver Business Partnership Award and their Director, David Sylvester, won a Gold Trailblazer Award. Our client Grovo won a Bronze Excellence in eLearning award. Hats off to them!

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How can I automatically update my eLearning training content in my customer’s LMS or learning platform?

We hear this question a lot. Whether your training is your primary business offering (say you create and sell web based training courses) or you provide training as part of a larger product offering, you likely spend a good deal of time and energy distributing your training content and making sure each customer has the most up to date version.

We hate to say it, but we’re not surprised. SCORM compliancy is nearly always required for you to share content with any third party system. And while the standard helps ensure compatibility and increase your market, it also makes it incredibly hard to ensure content quality and release updates. Distributing online training content looks like this:

  1. You create training, likely in a few different standards to account for your different customers’ needs.
  2. You hand over your course to your customer, which they play and track in their own learning platform (whether a Learning Management System or Learning Experience Solution).
  3. You make an update to your course and have to ask your customer to update their version.
  4. Your customer manually updates their version and distributes it to their learners.

Well, we like to be the bearer of good news!

Using an eLearning content distribution solution–which allows you to centrally host your content so it can be more easily released, managed and understood–your process could look like this:

  1. You create your training in the eLearning specification that best suits your content.
  2. You release updated versions of your content to one central location, which automatically serves that content to other learning platforms of various customers or brands.
  3. Your customer does not upload any new files into their learning platform/LMS.
  4. Your customers and learners can immediately play the latest version of your training.

The SANS Institute has found success implementing a content distribution solution. Keeping training content up to date was of great importance but very time-consuming. Using Content Controller, they’ve ensured the most current version of content is always served to learners.

The good news is that there are a few ways you can implement eLearning content distribution solutions to best suit your needs. We’re happy to help you figure out how.

 

 

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Last week we were incredibly excited to share a brand new, Content Controller case study for The SANS Institute. The case study describes the success they have using Rustici Software’s eLearning content distribution solution Content Controller to help them distribute and manage training content. When we were publishing the case study, we couldn’t help but reflect upon how wonderful they are as a client. SANS has continuously inspired us, encouraged us and collaborated with us. We’ve created a better product, and are a better company, because of them.

We started talking to SANS about their eLearning content distribution challenges two years ago during ATD ICE 2015 (Side Note: Tim will be speaking at this year’s ATD conference!). At the time, Content Controller was a glimmer in our eye. We had begun thinking about what it would mean to help companies better manage and control their content through eLearning content distribution solutions, but we hadn’t worked out what a product entailed.

We were therefore lucky to start chatting with SANS, who shared that same glimmer in their eye. At the time, SANS was struggling to effectively release version updates for their customers and they felt like there had to be a better way to manage content.

Worlds collided; the timing was perfect. Content Controller was born.

Since those first conversations, SANS has been a collaborative partner involved in the development, launch and evolution of Content Controller. We have had meetings in person to discuss product mock ups. We have picked their brains about how they use the product. We have supported feature requests inspired by their challenges.

Point of fact, SANS was the inspiration for one of our most popular features, Equivalents. SANS customers were finding it cumbersome and time-consuming to manage multiple languages of the same course. As a solution, SANS wanted to enable their customers to present a single course to a learner and let the user select their language. Equivalents solves this problem precisely and our product is better for it.

Last year, Content Controller was awarded a Brandon Hall Group’s Excellence in Technology Award for Best Advance in Content Management Technology. This award granted to Content Controller for revolutionizing content management and delivery could not have been possible without fantastic customers like the SANS Institute.

We are unbelievably thankful to SANS for inspiring us to create a better product and making our days more enjoyable through collaboration. And we can’t thank them enough for being champions of our company.

So, two years later, we’d like to say, “Cheers!” to SANS. We’re glad to know you and incredibly happy to work with you. Here’s to many years to come.

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