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Intelladon: Tampa Bay Tech Firm Carves Out Niche in Flexible Learning

Marc Blumenthal is CEO of Intelladon. - Julie Busch Branaman
Marc Blumenthal is CEO of Intelladon. - Julie Busch Branaman
For Hollister Wound Care, getting product training into the hands of an expansive and very mobile client base of caregivers and medical personnel posed a challenge.

Much like the Libertyville, IL-based wound care supply company, Jeppesen, had similar training obstacles. A Boeing company with locations across the world, Jeppesen wanted to provide convenient access to an online training program for those pilots needing to complete a multihour certification course.

Both turned to Tampa Bay technology provider Intelladon to find adaptable learning solutions.

Employing the AttainMobile learning system, Hollister Wound Care users can access e-learning content about the company’s wound care supplies from their cell phones. For those in more remote locations, NetDimensions mEKP provides a portable version of Hollister’s learning management software (privately branded as "ConnectEd") that is stored on a USB flash drive to run without installation or Internet connectivity.

This same portable program enables Jeppesen pilots to complete their certification course via mobile training, affording them the opportunity to plug in later to any computer to synch up recorded transcripts of completed coursework.

Intelladon's deployment of customized mobile learning applications like these evolved as a direct result of client feedback, says the company’s CEO Marc Blumenthal. Clients communicated a need for adaptable training and talent management systems that users on the go could access easily.

"The vast majority of workers all over the world aren't in front of a computer all day," he says. "Our offering allows users a very rich, comprehensive and secure training from a mobile device or deployable on a thumb drive."

As companies continue moving away from traditional classroom-led training for employees or clients, technology providers like Intelladon are carving out flexible, custom learning solutions. The marketplace has spoken: cost-effective, adaptable technology is needed, now more than ever.

New Inspiration

Intelladon launched in 2001, offering clients a single, easy-to-use application for learning and talent management known as the Advanced Learning Platform. Meanwhile, entrepreneur Blumenthal contemplated his next move, having recently sold a successful value-added reseller firm of 15 years. He continued to have a passion for technology and entrepreneurship since graduating from USF with a BS in Management Information Systems. With no business to manage, he began reviewing technology companies and discovered a local e-learning provider ripe with opportunity.

"I was looking for something to re-ignite my passion," says Blumenthal, who took on the role as CEO in 2003. "Intelladon met key criteria I was looking for in a business: a technology that was positive, not disruptive to a business operation, and on the periphery yet highly beneficial."

Within two years, Blumenthal acquired majority interest in the company and soon he and his executive team began shifting away Intelladon from its software development roots to a consultant role providing clients a broad range of applications by leveraging partnerships with leading software developers including Cornerstone OnDemand, NetDimensions, Articulate, Composica and ElementK.

Today, 90 percent of Intelladon's employees interact with customers directly, serving as key contacts before, during and after integration of a new solution. This can be anything from an off-the-shelf application to a customized combination of products and services. Skip Marshall, VP of professional services, says the transition of the company to its current customer service-driven model has enabled Intelladon to fulfill a new role for customers – problem-solver.

"Clients have a variety of challenges, depending on where they are in their learning or talent management programs. Their needs can range from reducing costs and improving employee productivity and revenue, to reducing risks and growing the company," Marshall says.

Listening To Clients

Intelladon supports a diverse client base of more than 100 companies with global headquarters based in North America, including 35 clients in Florida and 21 in the Tampa Bay area, among them Lazydays, which uses the Cornerstone OnDemand platform for product training.

"We are shifting away from having our trainer tied up full-time delivering sessions by preparing content for repetitive delivery. This allows the trainers to focus on content development and improvement versus spending their time on delivering the same materials," says Joe Wiley, chief information officer for Lazydays.

Wiley also sees potential for the e-learning tool during hiring. "We think the tool can be used to provide job previews earlier in the recruiting and selection process so that candidates can better and more realistically assess the fit of their role with their objectives," he says.

Graham Cohen, manager of E-Learning for Hard Rock International in Orlando, says his company is building a full customized content library based on Intelladon's extensive array of courseware by third-party providers.

"Being a global company responsible for training staff throughout the world, we have saved an enormous amount of money in our training costs by greatly reducing our travel costs," he says. "We are also getting faster training delivered to the field."

Looking Ahead

Since its launch, Intelladon has nearly doubled its team to 40 employees. Though there are no immediate plans for additional hiring, Marshall acknowledges there may be a need for future expansion based on projected growth figures, and that priority would continue to be on customer-focused positions.

"We consistently get input from our clients that our team of experts is viewed as an extension of their internal team," he says.

Intelladon also continues to grow its role as a community partner, supporting local nonprofits, such as the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay, Best Buddies, Metropolitan Ministries and Tampa Bay Technology Forum.

Despite a downward economy, the company recorded $2.7 million and $4.5 million in revenue for 2009 and 2010 respectively, with 2011 revenue calculated at roughly $6 million. How has the technology company managed to overcome a challenging economy?

"We're fortunate in that we built the business with a fairly diversified revenue stream and that our client base includes customers in many different fields," Blumenthal says. "And we won't give into that philosophy that we can't succeed. If you look at technology companies in the [Tampa] Bay area, they're on fire, and across the country, they're doing very well, too."

Chris Kuhn is a freelance writer living in the 'burbs of Tampa with her husband and her assistant, a 13-year-old dachshund-Chihuahua. Comments? Contact 83 Degrees.
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