By Shwetabh Mittal, Director, Product Management and Corporate Strategy

It’s been a big year for Coursera for Business — we grew 300% since 2017, increased our portfolio to over 1,500 customers globally, and expanded Coursera for Business to small and medium-sized businesses. We made deep inroads in industries like technology, banking, and professional services and began serving more than 60 Fortune 500 companies.

Evolving technologies like machine learning and AI are forcing companies to think smarter and act faster in getting their workforce up to speed. They require new and innovative solutions that will allow them to develop and execute on a talent strategy with agility and put them one step ahead of the competition.

This emphasis has driven the majority of Cousera’s enterprise product innovations this year. These innovations empower data-driven workforce strategies, create engaging learning experiences, and build simpler renewal processes so that customers of all sizes and industries are better equipped to transform their workforce.

Data insights for strategic workforce development

Data insights transform business, including workforce development. Earlier this year, we announced Skills Benchmarking, an AI-powered tool that arms companies with actionable insights and transparency for a more strategic workforce transformation agenda.

Using advanced machine learning models built by our data science team, Skills Benchmarking enables companies to measure their talent profile against industry peers, understand where their skills gaps are, and take action to close them. It also helps them identify where their strengths lie for more strategic business decisions — knowing that a company is more skilled in machine learning allows it to confidently prioritize machine learning in its growth strategy.

Learning management system integrations for increased learner engagement

Employees today expect the same digital-friendly experiences from their employers as they do as consumers, and rightly so. Designing learning and development experiences that speak to these demands will mean increased engagement among employees, a more skilled workforce, and thereby a business better prepared for the future of work.

Coursera for Business provides a seamless learning experience by integrating with customers’ existing learning management systems (LMS) so that employees experience a single user flow and don’t have to switch between multiple different applications. This year, to make these integrations even more streamlined, we enhanced the API functionality of our enterprise offering by including improved reliability, higher performance, and new functionality such as API-based course enrollment.

Simple renewals for a seamless customer experience

Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are often strapped for organizational resources to transform talent although they too face pressure to upskill and keep up with the changing technology landscape. We are committed to addressing this challenge through simple, innovative product experiences, which is why we launched our flexible and cost-efficient self-serve solution for SMBs earlier this year. We have hundreds of SMB customers today and are thrilled to have seen our SMB offering grow by an average of more than 60 percent quarter over quarter in the last year.

To build on this demand, we introduced annual renewals for our SMBs to provide a more seamless customer experience for those interested in continuing their learning programs. Customers that opt to renew via their administrator home page will now benefit from having their licenses and enrollments renew into the next year, ensuring their employees enjoy a consistent learning experience.

The evolution of technology and, in conjunction, workforce transformation have set the product roadmap for 2018 and beyond. Looking ahead, we will continue to build product innovations that increase access to data-driven insights, enable smoother admin experiences, and boost both learner engagement and employer outcomes.

The post The Corporate Zeitgeist of 2018: Workforce Transformation appeared first on Coursera Blog.