Origin stories can be a funny thing. Sometimes, origin stories pave the road for existential transformation embedded in innovation and inspiration. (For organisations, as well as individuals).
When Global Vision opened its doors in 1994, our founding members – a bunch of talented ex-ABC production executives led by the former national editor of ABC’s 7:30 report thought of the name “Global Vision Media” because we wanted to continue to tell our stories through video and multimedia. (“eLearning” was not a thing back in those days!)
As the years went on, innovation became the founding block of all of our transformations. Global Vision was the first company to introduce digital editing to Australia at a time when everybody else was still splicing tape and were commissioned by all the major networks to do all their video editing work. Our video production team won a Golden Logie award for a political documentary series we produced. By the mid-nineties, The Prime Minister’s office commissioned GVM to produce multimedia for all of our nation’s schools. Educational multimedia sparked a passion in us that we have not wanted to shake, and have combined video production and eLearning capabilities under one roof ever since.
At the turn of the noughties, when no one had even heard of Learning Management Systems, we were the company to implement the first ever Learning Management System in Australia. The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners needed us to solve a problem. They needed “a system” to maintain and track CPD credits for their GPs. And on came the first ever Learning Management System ever implemented on Australian soil.
Over the past 18 years, we have implemented, managed, supported and hosted countless LMS systems both here and abroad. The knowledge, experience, and time-tested lessons one experiences from a narrative so diverse is truly a unique thing. It allows one space to reflect. To look at a solution that has been around for decades, and find new ways to deliver it to an existing audience. New tunes to play for an orchestra that didn’t even know it was missing an oboist!
I suppose that this is what happened when we shook hands with LGPro and entered the Local Government space so many years ago. Together with LGPro (guided by the steady legal hands of HR legal and a generous host of talented SMEs from the sector itself) we created the first ever suite of Compliance courseware created only for Local Government use. And we travelled around the country to meet Councils (large and small) and listened to them. What they cited as their most pressing pain points. And what would make life easier for the HR professionals across hundreds of Councils across Australia tirelessly dedicating their days to implementing inspired learning ecosystems while ensuring Councils are meeting their training obligations in line with an ever-changing legislative landscape shaping the sector.
The more we listened, the more a simple concept came to life for us: Local Government did not simply just need sector-specific courseware – Local Government needed its own LMS.
So even though we had five other LMS systems we were providing at the time, we decided to create a brand new LMS system exclusively for Council use.
Was it a gamble? What if it didn’t work?
Sure, there were risks.
But speaking to Councils across all states and territories made a few things really clear about the sort of systems being procured by the LG sector:
- Councils were paying for features that were not relevant to the LG sector and hence were copping high costs
- Existing systems came with poor quality implementations and end user training that did not deliver the results
- Councils were forced to accept support that was not timely or helpful
- Most of the existing systems were unable to integrate to payroll systems in a fully automated way
- Councils were in desperate need of a system that would track certificates and tickets such as working with children’s checks, working at heights, etc, easily
- Councils needed a fit for purpose system that truly included their volunteers and contractors
- And much, much more…
We went to work. And after a time, Blueprint LMS was born. It was more cost effective than its competition (not because it compromised on quality, but because it was modular and did away with components Councils will never need). And it was Local Government’s own. Meaning it was Local Government and Local Government alone who had a voice in determining Blueprint’s future product roadmap. Each year, we started releasing multiple upgrades incorporating Council feedback on product roadmaps. And as the years went on, a fascinating thing happened. The system started evolving in line with one specific sector. Feature requests and nuances considered irrelevant to other sectors, but vital to LG, were incorporated into development lifecycles. Like an individual, sometimes a piece of software can evolve too (when created with care and provided with room to grow); learning from its mistakes; incorporating targeted feedback; better serving the audience segment it was created for. Even in those early days, what we could have never anticipated, is that we would end up creating the only LMS of its kind that uniquely serves Australia’s Local Government sector.
And although it had modest beginnings, it was not long before we were able to win over the hearts and minds of HR managers and ICT staff across Councils all over the Country. We were not surprised. Our focus has always been on delivering true and lasting value, not investing in sophisticated sales engines which pitches ‘the perfect product’.
As a result, tender, after tender after LMS tender saw us being shortlisted and then saw us win.
Today, over 60 Councils across VIC, NSW and QLD are long term users of Blueprint LMS . We could not be prouder!
In our hearts, we anticipate humbly, but confidently, that it will not be long before Blueprint is the only standardised Learning Management System serving every Council here in Australia.
Yes, I suppose origin stories really can be funny things. Who knew, when we started nearly three decades ago, that one day we would lead the charge at the very cutting edge of educational technology?
I suppose when the right origin stories are written (for individuals or for organisations), they have the power to define the very fabric of our foundations forever, and for the better.