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Gavin Russell
By Gavin Russell on March 05, 2014

Wall Street Journal: Loft Globally Scales LMS with IBM SoftLayer Cloud

Article Updated, 7 July 2017

Skillslive has been formed to execute a global commercialisation strategy for the Loft Group’s Digital Education Platform, establish in 2012. Skillslive Edu Pty Ltd was recently acquired by Loft Ventures Pty Ltd with an established portfolio of technology companies focused on global opportunities though cloud infrastructure and scalable technology

Wall Street Journal | Loft Group Globally Scales Digital Education Platform

Creative agency delivers mobile, digital learning platform LMS to new global markets with IBM Cloud, slashing a 3-5 year transformation timeline to months.

LAS VEGAS, Feb. 25, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that The Loft Group, a creative digital agency specialising in creating e-learning campaigns for global brands, has adopted IBM SoftLayer’s cloud services to transform its business. Aiming to quickly scale to several new global markets, The Loft Group will migrate its digital learning platform onto IBM’s SoftLayer cloud infrastructure to deliver custom, mobile education and training platforms to clients.

The Loft Group traditionally designed and printed training manuals, most notably for the Australian subsidiary of the world’s largest cosmetics and beauty company, L’Oreal. Identifying changing market demands and an opportunity to revolutionise its business, the company developed a software-based design and delivery platform which completely digitised all client materials. After reviewing competitive bids from other well-known cloud providers, including Amazon Web Services, The Loft Group selected SoftLayer®, an IBM company, as the cloud platform for its global, digital e-learning campaigns.

Among other reasons, The Loft Group was attracted to IBM’s SoftLayer because the technology provided the company’s customer support teams with the ability to use analytics to monitor and tune their networks, providing more consistent and effective performance.

“Moving our services to the cloud allows us to achieve global scale and consistent performance across multiple countries, helping us grow at a pace which would have otherwise taken anywhere from 3-5 years,” said Garry Russell, Loft Group product and services director. “To maintain our high standards of customer service, we wanted to be able to simultaneously monitor our global environment and load balance, as well as tune our performance to our customer’s needs in real time. Being able to precisely and quickly respond to our customers’ needs in every country is a critical pillar of our global expansion, and this level of performance tuning was one of SoftLayer’s biggest differentiators.”

The Loft Group’s cloud-based digital delivery method provides clients with an exclusive and personalised learning environment tailored to business and employee needs – engaging all learning styles with interactive modules – and encouraging participants to create their own scripts, highlight existing course content, and record memories of class activities with photos and videos. Accessible via smartphones or tablets anywhere and anytime, the mobile platform enables each employee’s education journey to evolve and remain relevant to changing business and industry needs.

“IBM’s reputation as a tier one IT provider was a focal point when we were going through the selection process,” said Gavin Russell, The Loft Group CEO and founder. “By working with a well-regarded company such as IBM, we are able to inspire confidence in our clients that our platform would be hosted in a robust and secure cloud environment. Global giants such as L’Oreal are extremely prudent when it comes to deploying new technology within their organisations, so having IBM’s brand power behind us makes it that much easier to get our business pitches across the line with clients.”

Launched earlier this month in Australia and New Zealand, The Loft Group’s new cloud-based learning platform will soon be available across Asia, Europe and North America in the coming months.


Loft Group

The Loft Group is a creative digital agency which specialises in providing business consultancy through software solutions. Established in 2007, the Australian company constructs purpose-built digital infrastructure for clients to create online communities and harness the organisation’s communications, education, and human connections into one place, accessible from any channel.

The Loft Group lives and breathes a philosophy of customer intimacy and are committed to discovery, originality and entrepreneurship. With a Melbourne-based head office, the business is rapidly moving towards becoming a trusted business consultant, software developer and IT based business with satellite offices throughout Australia.

Find out more about the Loft Group at our website:


Skillslive Digital Learning Solutions

SkillsLive is a learner-centric Learning Management System (LMS) and Learning Record Store (LRS) that is designed to help organisations increase learning engagement while enhancing an individual’s learning outcomes and improved organisational performance.

Skillslive enables on-demand education and contextual learning, collecting data and presenting analytics and insights to provide a 360° view within an organisation's learning ecosystem. Skillslive contributes to creating visibility across an organisation, its employees and contractors, plus aligning learning pathways with professional development, competencies, compliance, certification and accreditation.

Skillslive remains innovative and at the forefront of education technologies. Focusing on corporate learning ecosystems and the benefits that big data will contribute to creating visibility across an entire organisation at a local and global level. Additionally, the utilisation of cognitive systems that are able to exhibit adaptive, proactive and emotive behaviour. When implemented in support of educational activities a connection between communities and the process of learning, content delivery, assessment and collaboration can all be individualised, measured and presented in an enterprise dashboard. What drives this process is a common cognitive framework that humans use to inform their decisions: Observe, Interpret, Evaluate, and Decide.

Skillslive Pty Ltd was recently acquired by Loft Ventures Pty Ltd. Loft Ventures has a portfolio of technology companies focused on global opportunities though cloud infrastructure and scalable technology. Skillslive was formed to execute a global commercialisation strategy for the Loft Group Digital Education Platform.


Digital Education Platform (DEP)

The Digital Education Platform is an enterprise grade mobile content delivery solution for education and training. The training application enables companies such as L'Oreal to deliver sales and product training to their entire national salon network, retail stores, staff and clients. Development of the training application commenced with Kerastase in 2011 and has since been deployed within the L’Oreal Professional Product Division Australia and New Zealand across global brands such as L'Oreal, Kerastase, Matrix and Redken.

The solution identifies with the need for a software application upon which an individual can engage with content through self-organised educational models, benefit from proven social collaboration and be encouraged through the sharing of their efforts with industry professional mentors and peer groups. The purpose of this tool is to assemble the large concepts of education and make them more accessible and consumable by the individual.

Our vision for the ideal digital classroom is emerging. It meets the needs of the students and the community that surrounds them. It assists in the creation of innovative content design and supports delivery and assessment. It provides opportunity for active learning and collaboration amongst peers and mentors by putting control into the hands of the individual. In short, it's not a room at all.


IBM Cloud Computing

IBM has helped more than 30,000 clients around the world with 40,000 industry experts. Today, IBM has 100+ cloud SaaS solutions, thousands of experts with deep industry knowledge helping clients transform and a network of 40 data centers worldwide. Since 2007, IBM has invested more than $7 billion in 16 acquisitions to accelerate its cloud initiatives and build a high value cloud portfolio. IBM holds 1,560 cloud patents focused on driving innovation. In fact, IBM for the 21st consecutive year topped the annual list of US patent leaders. IBM processes more the 5.5M client transactions daily through IBM’s public cloud. For more information about cloud offerings from IBM, visit Follow us on Twitter at @IBMcloud and on our blog at Join the conversation #ibmcloud. To learn more about today’s news please read Smarter Planet blog.

Erin Lehr

IBM Media Relations – SWG





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Published by Gavin Russell March 5, 2014
Gavin Russell