Zoho has opted to create a new business division to support the launch and growth of its collaborative e-learning platform, TrainerCentral. While the announcement was India focused, the platform is now globally available according to Zoho. In fact, Suvish Viswanathan, Head of European Marketing mentioned the platform in a recent interview. TrainerCentral provides a platform for content providers and generators to host a variety of e-learning products including live sessions, on-demand course work, student evaluation and to build a student community.
Is TrainerCentral replacing another App?
TrainerCentral is available in three languages on launch: Hindi, Tamil and English. The new solution will, in time replace Zoho Showtime. Importantly, ShowTime users will not incur additional costs once they have migrated, though Zoho omits to say how long those discounts will remain in place.
TrainerCentral will replace ShowTime for existing Zoho One users. It will not be part of Zoho One for new customers and does not appear on the list of applications available within Zoho One.
Aarthi Elizabeth, Chief Brand Evangelist, TrainerCentral commented, “The rise of online learning, further fuelled by the pandemic-induced restrictions, has allowed thousands of knowledge creators like teachers, fitness instructors, and digital marketing professionals to monetize their expertise and connect digitally with millions of interested learners.
“However, most creators use disparate applications for different functions such as live online training, on-demand session hosting, ticketing, and website building, or end up using complex software like a Learning Management System (LMS) that is meant for large businesses.
“With TrainerCentral, we have addressed this digital gap in the e-learning market, by offering all essential tools on a single, easy-to-use platform so that creators can quickly establish their knowledge brand and nurture a dedicated community of learners, all while turning their passion into profit. As their learner community grows, the trainers can continue to scale their business on TrainerCentral.”
What is TrainerCentral
Created by the development team in India, TrainerCentral combines several components found within other Zoho products and brings them together into a single learning platform. The features include:
- Course Builder
- Classrooms to support pre-recorded courses, live workshops, and coaching sessions for up to 1,000 remote learners concurrently.
- Course testing and certification.
- Scheduler for microlearning and courses.
- A website builder with custom branding using a drag and drop no-code builder. This enables users to create, publish and sell online courses. Set up payment mechanisms for the courses.
- Business administration console.
- A dedicated learner portal with a discussion forum.
- Payments gateway supporting subscriptions and one-off payments in any currency with no fees.
- Outreach to potential learners with email campaigns and social media, cross-sell courses to existing students.
- Online conferencing.
- Analytics that surface revenue trends, course feedback through easy to understand dashboards.
As with other Zoho products, the applications do not support advertising and thus students and administrators are free to use the platform without annoying messages. Data will be stored on the Zoho private cloud. For example, Indian users will have their data stored in data centres located within India. TrainerCentral will run across the world to provide local data storage.
As an early customer Dr B Viduthalai Virumbi, Nodal Officer, PHR-NHM, Tamil Nadu commented, “With TrainerCentral, we can deliver both on-demand courses and live training, distribute digital content and monitor every individual’s learning progress from a single console. Learners are finding the courses built on TrainerCentral easy to access. TrainerCentral’s compatibility with mobile browsers gives them the flexibility to complete the coursework even when they are travelling”
Pricing and Availability
TrainerCentral is available globally though in a limited number of languages at the moment. It is available for a 15-day trial and then has two paid plans: Starter and Professional.
The 15-day trial gives access to an unlimited number of learners, but for three courses.
The Starter program costs ₹1167 per month billed annually (UK, EU, US £13.34, €16.57, USD 16.57). The starter option includes access for 50 live participants and many of the basic features.
The Professional option costs ₹2917 per month, billed annually (UK, EU, US £33.34, €41.67, USD 16.57). The professional option includes access for 100 live participants and several features in addition to the starter option including:
- Course compliance settings
- Invite-only courses
- Multi-language support
- Custom domain and full branding for the website builder
- Multi-ticket support
- Sales page builder
- Bulk invitation
- Business Management features include analytics
Additional live participant access is also available for an additional fee.
Enterprise Times: What does this mean?
Why has Zoho created a new brand? The press release states that according to an IBEF report, the edtech market is expected to reach US$10.4 billion by 2025 from $2.8 billion in 2020. Zoho believes that it has a platform and pricing that will attract a big share of that market away from other LMS solutions where much of it is also green-field. With a new brand, the business unit can focus specifically on that market. Zoho also sees TrainerCentral targeting the elearning community including solopreneurs, coaches and other educators.
Aarthi Elizabeth added, “While other brands of Zoho Corp. deal with a B2B model, TrainerCentral is a B2C offering, with a dedicated go-to-market strategy. It caters to the e-learning community. TrainerCentral, however, can be easily integrated with other offerings of its sister brands under Zoho Corp. and shares the company’s work ethos and culture.”
Edtech is a huge market and while TrainerCentral is currently limited to 1,000 participants it will be interesting to see whether it scales the solution up and targets universities and schools with the new platform.