Resource type: Case study
A unique business – AvatarJo part of ActorBank and how a bespoke cloud based software improved user experience
How integrating bespoke cloud based software improved user experience and opened the door to a high speed growth.
Founded in 2013 AvatarJo provide role-play training delivered by professional actors via video and also in person. Their award winning communications training platform enables people to practice any life, family, business or workplace conversation online with professional actors. For example a new line manager conducting a grievance hearing or a prison officer rehearsing how to deal with an aggressive person. The opportunity to role-play scenarios that replicate new and challenging situations increases skill and confidence. The company also provides actors for onsite role-play training and run live events for people to get to know how their services work.
With the value of the e-learning and training market expecting to reach £350 billion by 2025, AvatarJo had already seen an increase in interest from large organisations as well as growth in their actor and small business client base.
Managing Director, Sarah Lincoln’s aim was always to capitalise on the opportunities in the large public sector and corporate markets. The process of testing and developing the service led naturally to the commissioning of building a future proof and highly scalable cloud based platform.
Sarah contacted Superfast Business Cornwall to help her implement the technology to transition her current delivery processes from a ‘glued together – off the shelf software’ set up, to a bespoke, ready for growth platform that could deal with larger clients and larger volumes of work.
How Superfast Business Cornwall supports AvatarJo with technology for growth
Superfast Business Cornwall’s adviser, Mike Robertson supported Sarah with her plan to integrate her systems to remove the need for manual intervention. It was quickly clear that Sarah had a great opportunity to develop her product and reach new markets. With help from Mike, Sarah applied to Superfast Business Cornwall for grant funding to develop a commercial standard user experience. The funding provided 50% of the costs of designing an integrated cloud-based system which featured tools for customer relationship management, marketing and rigorous security protocols. These integrated processes have streamlined and significantly enhanced the user experience.
Superfast Business Cornwall also conducted a review of the business’s website which showed Sarah how the right use of descriptions and keywords could enhance her online presence. This very popular service of Superfast Business Cornwall has already been used by more than 250 businesses.
Sarah Lincoln: “Thanks to Mike and the team we were able to adopt new software that makes us a market leader in the delivery of live, via video, scenario based, online learning.”
This project will enable them to market AvatarJo with confidence knowing that they will be able to meet client expectations. The business is currently working with or running trials in partnership with NHS, Plymouth University, Exeter University and Falmouth University, with follow on opportunities for contracts worth in excess of £1 million in the longer term.
Mike is delighted with the outcome for AvatarJo as a result of working with the programme: “The improved user experience, login-system and database management tool, will enable AvatarJo to deliver a highly professional training solution to large private and public sector organisations as well as offering a better experience to their small business and individual clients. They are in talks with more training providers giving them access to even wider markets in the future.”
Sarah went on to say: “The adaptability and potential of our set up now is hugely exciting. We can be totally customer and growth focussed with the confidence we can deliver. It has been a great process and we are very excited about the current opportunities within the UK and overseas.”
Funded by ERDF, Superfast Business Cornwall provides a fully funded programme of support to help businesses understand, adopt and exploit digital technology for growth. Delivered by a small team of experienced Digital Business Advisers, the service offers 1-2-1 impartial advice, website reviews, workshops for small groups and advice on connectivity to Superfast Broadband. Grant funding may also be available for new digital projects which help businesses grow and create jobs.
To find out more about AvatarJo, part of ActorBank go to: www.avatarjo.co.uk
To find out more about Superfast Business Cornwall and get support to exploit technology in your business go to Superfast Business Cornwall Programme