E-learning market still learning

Humansoft today announced the launch of ‘Training in progress-get trained, anytime anywhere’ initiative and tied up several large retailers in a bid to increase its market share in the nascent e-learning market in the Middle East.

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By  Maddy Reddy Published  April 19, 2004

Humansoft today announced the launch of ‘Training in progress- get trained, anytime anywhere’ initiative and tied up several large UAE retailers in a bid to increase its market share in the nascent Arab e-learning market. The courseware provider said it’s new partnerships with ENOC/EPPCO, Plug-ins, Book Mall, Jareer book store, Al Mutanbee Book stores and Kinkos will broaden Humansoft’s distribution channels besides expand the availability of its CD-based e-learning offerings through the new retail outlets across the UAE. “I would like to thank our partners in contributing to the development of a knowledge-based community, which will pave the for future generations. This initiative will allow training delivery to the door steps of the public in general,” says Fahed Al Othman, chairman and managing director, Humansoft. While Humansoft claims to have invested US$20 million including US$5 million into research & development (R&D) in the past five years of operations in developing the content and distribution channels, the vendor admits the market is still evolving. To increase market share, the company has branched into IT, english and HR-related training centres. With broadband penetration yet to reach critical mass and language barriers i.e. developing specialised Arabic content, Humansoft believes the financial returns will only be in the long term. Madar Research, a Dubai-based firm recently pegged the UAE e-learning market at US$6 million, which is expected to touch US$24 million by the end of 2008, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 32%, with a boost from e-government initiatives. According to the UAE-based e-learning company, currently more than 4,000 courses are available in its online library of which 36 programs have been selected in the first phase of implementation. The four core areas include business and professional development; information technology; desktop and office productivity which were developed with IT vendors such as Microsoft, Netscape, Oracle, Novell and Cisco. To broaden its content portfolio, Humansoft recently tied up with Thomson NetG, a global e-learning vendor and launched an internet portal www.ilearn.ae, to supplement it’s offline CD-based educational content.

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