Matt Adlai-Gail, Director of Education
Services at Model N, is not only a creator and innovator of new
products and learning solutions, but also a leader and problem-solver who
excels at delivering innovative solutions to accelerate a range of results, including
Customer Value, Learning and Behavior Change, Organizational Agility, Compliance
and High Operational Performance.
A holistic thinker and
collaborator, Matt combines his creativity, analytical focus and organizational
engagement to tackle the thorniest business challenges. His skills and
experience bridge the often-elusive gap between business need and technology
In this interview, Matt talks
about things close to his heart – from Customer Training to Creativity.
How critical is customer training to the success of
is truly critical to customer success, which in turn powers Model N success.
Model N software plays a central role in the enterprise software suite of our
Life Sciences and High Tech customers – it’s not something a user can just sit
down and use. The business problems our software solves are complex, and so the
software is too.
The risks of using the software incorrectly are high
too, because our software collectively manages $500 billion changing hands
every year. So, a customer would rather not touch it than make a mistake (and
use services or manual processes instead). And, so our customers not using
their Model N software is a huge risk to Model N. We see that customers who
have decided to have less training in the initial scope of their work with us
invariably come back to my education team much later and seek more training; so
there are no shortcuts to developing expertise and confidence in using our
How does an LMS enable this extended enterprise
The other challenge with how customer software
training has been done traditionally is that it has been very event-driven,
with live in-person courses being the predominant delivery model. But learning
is a process that happens regularly during a customer’s journey. They need
training and knowledge to be available on demand. And, any live session needs
to be recorded and curated, and made available later, thus extending the ROI of
the live instructor experience. So having self-paced eLearning, plus short
videos/recordings, plus reference materials, etc. is something an LMS is
well-designed to manage and deliver. So by working with UpsideLMS we have
created a subscription-based education offering with all the latest learning
content and tools available on-demand, and distinct for each customer, to
accompany them on their Model N journey.
I’ll add one more point about the role of the LMS. We
learned from discussions with customers that out-of-the-box training materials
only get you so far, because customers also have distinct configurations, use
cases and business processes. So it’s important for each customer’s LMS
instance to support the ability for customers to add their own Work
Instructions, SOPs, Job Aids, process documentation, internal training videos,
and the like. UpsideLMS’ portal structure has proven to be a perfect fit for
our needs around extended enterprise.
We provide each subscribed customer their own secure learning portal – with
their own branding, all the Model N content they require, and all their own
content, roles, role-based curricula, certifications, etc. – it’s a powerful
Where do you see learn-tech headed with respect to
learning experience and performance support?
One of the biggest trends I see in the converging of
learning and technology is the ‘journey’ approach, which manifest itself as one
or more role-based learning paths, assembled from a large number of role-based
short modules (not as small as microlearning, but close); and delivered in
well-planned schedule. It’s the way we will all be onboarded in the future, but
it can go much further than that. If you add in adaptive learning, then
the schedule and content itself becomes further tailored to each individual,
which is even more precise and efficient.
The other big trend is embedding the application
learning directly into the application, via In-App Guidance tools such as
WhatFix and WalkMe. Such tools bring learning directly to the point of need (so
it serves as support/help as well), and that learning is targeted by role,
customer, and other user attributes. These tools also engage users, solicit
feedback, and bring a wealth of analytics so that data can drive learning and
support, and product improvements, in a grand virtuous cycle.
You are known to combine creativity, analytical focus
and organizational engagement to tackle the thorniest business challenges.
What’s your recipe for solutioning?
I love that question! I think it all starts with
really good listening. I’ve been a Product Manager in the SaaS world for 13
years, and the number one rule for product managers is to
listen to customers – what are they trying to accomplish? And listening deeply
not only to words but also to tone (detecting frustration, delight,
indifference, engagement, etc.) and listening for what is not said. Once
you have a good handle on your customers’ most important goals and problems,
you are then able to focus your creativity and analysis, and collaborate across
the organization to find scalable and adaptable solutions. It also helps to
have a grounding in adult learning, because while technologies changes, human
nature stays the same!