RWA CEO, Tom Wood, explains how the company is using their My Development Zone edtech solution to revolutionise the business skills development space.


So why does a company with a tech solution that currently has over 11,000 subscribers, that has successfully educated students from over 25 different countries and that is now helping those in need of business skills development choose to run itself from the South Wales Valleys? RWA CEO, Tom Wood, explains how the company is using their My Development Zone edtech solution to revolutionise the business skills development space.

For over 10 years, RWA has been working in the e-Learning space, designing and building e-Learning systems that focus both on the learner and the companies that they work for. We were aiming to use technology to be different and to design a solution that was accessible to more and more people. We started My Development Zone with the ambition to help educate the world. Having seen years of bad and expensive online learning, we were determined that workplace learning should no longer be a chore and it should have meaning to those who need it most: the learners.

What we have developed is something that empowers the workforce and that has boosted skills, knowledge and employability as well as effecting positive change for businesses and employers as well.

We knew very early on that Wales was the right place for us to innovate and grow. Our Head Office is in Blaenavon in the South Wales Valleys. With a population of 6,000 people and a high street that is 1,000 feet high, we are often asked why we chose to establish our base here. For me, it was slightly selfish, I live here and I like the fact I can walk to work. We have very low overheads when compared to the city and this means we can offer competitive salaries as well as keeping our product costs very low, which benefits our customers.

Having established a Head Office in the town, we have been able to find a workforce who enjoy working in a small community and who are committed to our vision, who feel a sense of purpose when they see how many people are engaging with the solution that we have built and who are using it for good.

As a tech company, we must be able to change very fast and we constantly examine how we can utilise technology to help our clients increase productivity. We decided early on that we were not going to outsource our development and to do that meant that we had to recruit the right people: people who have different skills, ideas, backgrounds and who are naturally curious and want to solve problems. Bringing this in-house meant that we could develop the system faster and were able to respond to customers’ needs in a way which added real value to the relationship. This level of development and change is ongoing, it’s an organic growth solution that our customers really appreciate.

More and more companies need to harness digital across their businesses. With the increase in analytics, productivity and autonomy; digital is really transforming workplace culture and that value is driving how businesses interact with their customers. My Development Zone has taken these values and has transformed workplace learning and the business skills and employability agenda. Our learners benefit from ‘big data’ insights, engaging design, first class customer service and superior platform functionality.

What we have built has been described to us as the ‘Netflix of e-Learning’ and that really does sum up our learning on-demand model. Where this description falls short is that we also put the data into the hands of the learners and their employers/service providers. Using data to focus the learner on what they need to learn is a powerful tool and one which is already helping thousands of learners develop skills and change the businesses, services and charities within which they work.

We are proud that My Development Zone has been designed and built in Wales and we are proud to be showcasing it at theDigital  Festival Expo. It’s going to be a great event and a perfect opportunity for anyone attending to better understand how digital can improve their lives and some of the solutions that are available to them.

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18 - 19 Sept 2017
Tramshed Tech, Cardiff
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