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How is English language learning within corporates being disrupted?

Jack Hershman

Businesses no longer exist in a vacuum. In order to stay on top, you better start keeping an eye on the competition.

More often than not, the business community has a shallow definition of what a ‘successful’ business is.

Gauged exclusively by top line sales, the ‘successful’ business is perceived to evolve rapidly and effectively.

But in an increasingly complex business ecosystem, being a successful business comes second to being an innovative one.

James Moore, in 1993 wrote an article published in the Harvard Business Review, explaining that innovative businesses don’t exist in a vacuum.

Moore explains “they must attract resources of all sorts, drawing in capital, partners, suppliers and customers to create cooperative networks.”

More applicable than ever, Hot Topics caught up with Pearson English Business Solutions CEO Karine Allouche Salanon to discuss competition. But in the James Moore sense of the word.

Pearson English provides enterprise solutions to help support employees learn and speak English effectively in the workplace.

Competition that springs to mind immediately is probably world renowned language training software Rosetta Stone, or international education provider Education First.

Salanon suggests that this isn’t necessarily the case. And takes a slightly broader view on the business ecosystem, which provides a more informed perspective on the direction to be heading.

“I think that if you are just looking at English when you are talking about a corporation- you need to look much wider to really realize your ecosystem of competition.”

It’s a smart view being taken by Salanon, and it’s a means of combatting the increasingly ubiquitous blurring of boundaries between sectors. As they disappear, new opportunities emerge.

Salanon uses LinkedIn’s recent acquisition of Lynda as an example of the current business ecosystem:

“If you see the acquisition of Lynda by LinkedIn, this is a recruitment organization getting into content, so that they can actually plug in with a learning equipment service value chain…I’m looking at the overall ecosystem and I could almost say that LinkedIn and Lynda…could be competitors, knowing that their English offering is not as strong as what we propose right now. But there could be disruption in the future.”

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