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Dutch e-learning platform aNewSpring arrives in SA

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Dutch e-learning company aNewSpring has expanded to the South African market, opening an office in Johannesburg.

Established in 2003, aNewSpring's online learning software enables training providers and corporate clients to create and manage online courses to upskill their staff.

According to the company, the aNewSpring learning platform creates personalised adaptive learning courses customised to fit an employee's specific career development requirements, by using an algorithm that identifies their knowledge gaps.

Targeted at companies with more than 50 employees, the e-learning company offers different types of online learning approaches, such as blended e-learning, social e-learning and collaborative learning, centred on providing product-specific content as opposed to formal online courses offered by learning institutions.

Paul Hanly, newly appointed MD of aNewSpring Africa, says the learning platform is ideal for the local market where low bandwidth and high data costs are a reality.

"The African market is quite an interesting market because it has all sorts of technical challenges: in some instances Internet capacity is better than in other parts of the world and in other instances it is not. So we are setting up a channel business with other African countries to assist them in developing inspiring and effective learning journeys without having to use data-intensive solutions.

"While the Dutch market is focused on training companies on a broad scale, the South African market is focused on upskilling corporate employees, although we also provide services to other organisations," explains Hanly.

Based in Rivonia, the company has collaborated with local distributor, New Leaf Technologies, a content development firm that develops bespoke customised courses, through working with clients' subject matter experts to convert their content into an online learning experience.

"We have been working with New Leaf Technologies for over a year. The company has been instrumental in the success of aNewSpring in Africa and we thought the timing was perfect to open a local office," explains Rene Persoon, aNewSpring co-owner.

What distinguished the platform from what is available in the market, continues Hanly, is that most of the available e-learning courses create complicated content which participants don't always apply to their everyday work duties.

"We use a cloud-based solution which uses data analytics to understand how an individual thinks, identifying their weaknesses to create learning journeys which are adjusted to fit their individual needs," he explains.

The learning platform is integrated with HR management tool, Sage X3 People, an open application program interface which makes integration across HR and ERP systems practical and simple, notes the company.

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