Tag Archive | 25 years

Unicorn wins outstanding learning company of the year!

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Unicorn Training has been named Outstanding Learning Organisation at the 2013 e-Learning Awards in its 25th anniversary year.

Making it a year for a double celebration, Unicorn was unveiled as the award winner at the annual e.learning Age gala dinner, hosted by Angela Lamont and Alan Dedicoat, at the London Marriott Hotel Grosvenor Square on 7 November.

The Outstanding Learning Organisation Award recognises organisations that have achieved considerable success, including strong, continuous results over a sustained period in the learning, development and technology industry.

This year Unicorn celebrates 25 years of continuous and profitable growth. Having started life in 1988 as a partnership comprising the company’s three founders with one computer between them, Unicorn now has over 75 full-time employees with offices in Bournemouth and London and satellite operations in the USA and India.

Yet while Unicorn is now a bigger and more complex company than when it started, it chooses to remain a small business in terms of its culture and it is proud of its history and contribution to the development of technology-assisted learning.

Peter Phillips, co-founder and CEO, said: “I’m delighted Unicorn has been honoured by our peers with this award. We have a great team, who make it a pleasure to go to work each day, and this award is recognition of their hard work, professionalism and commitment to maintaining Unicorn’s unique culture in a fast changing world.”

Meanwhile, for the second year running, Unicorn sent the awards ceremony quackers with the ‘The Great Duck Race’ – devised and designed by Unicorn as the awards’ official Game Sponsor.

Following the success of the inaugural race in 2012, The Great Duck Race returned, this year set in the in little known desert state of Qakar, with the ducks having to contend with stygian caves and vertiginous waterfalls, making for the most, exciting, challenging, bill dropping race yet.

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This year’s winning duck was Brian designed by Anthony Watkins from Jaguar Land Rover, attending as a guest of Redware. Anthony’s duck had a particularly effective design combining speed, stability and bags of luck. Anthony is donating his £500 charity prize money to Macmillan Cancer Support.

Unicorn’s guests at the ceremony included senior learning and development specialists from AIG, the Chartered Insurance Institute and Fitch Learning.

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Unicorn Senior Instructional Designer, David Gristwood, was also shortlisted in the final six for the E-learning Designer of the Year Award.

Find out more about Unicorn Training at www.unicorntraining.com while for more information about the 2013 eLearning Awards visit www.elearningage.co.uk/awards.aspx

BLOG: When You Wish Upon A Star….Predicting The Future

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For the final part of our special 25th anniversary digital publication, in conjunction with eLearning Age, we’ve taken the opportunity to star gaze.

We’ve looked back at some of the things predicted throughout the past 25 years and which came off, plus those things took off rapidly with little warning as to their impact yet revolutionised the world as we know it.

Our staff have come up with their top 25 predictions for the next 25 years across technology, celebrity, medicine, politics and a whole lot more.

Do you think 3D printers will become commonplace in every household and office? Will Boris be leading the country in 2038? Will we all be micro-chipping our kids and watching TV with plug-ins direct to our brains?

Some of our lot think so!

So find out what else they predict and whether you agree with them by checking out our fully interactive predication ‘advent calendar’ in our 25 years digital publication here – Flash-version of our 25 years digital publication – or visit the eLearning Age website here for links to iOS and Android apps.

Once you’ve read the article why not come back and comment here or let us know what you think by tweeting us @unicorntraining

BLOG: Shelf Life – Inside the World of OTS

FCA_mar13_webAs the world gets increasingly mobile, Peter Phillips asks how can Off the Shelf (OTS) suppliers keep pace with industry innovation and demand as part of our special 25th anniversary digital publication.

Here is a taste of what Peter has to say – to read the full article check out our 25 years digital publication here.

“The OTS business model is marked by substantial cost entry barriers – the up-front investment to develop products – and requires regular investment to sustain competitiveness.

“Depending on the nature of the content, there can then be significant on-going costs in keeping it up-to-date. Courses on subjects such as financial regulation, for example, might require updating several times a year as regulations and tax rates change.

“Technology trends also create costs. Generally OTS companies don’t need to be as close to the technological edge as bespoke businesses, and will often potter along at the same pace as the slowest of their major clients.

“But major step changes in technology can create substantial conversion costs. The move from CD-ROM to online was one such step and the rise of mobile learning is the latest.

“For a bespoke company, such a technological advance is an opportunity; clients will pay to have their bespoke courses updated. For OTS businesses, however, it is a major challenge…..”

Peter goes on to discuss strategies for success, stock market floatation and thoughts for the future. To keep reading click on the Flash-version of our 25 years digital publication here or visit the eLearning Age website here for links to iOS and Android apps.

Once you’ve read the article why not come back and comment here or let us know what you think by tweeting us @unicorntraining

BLOG: Who Remembers When…..

Credit Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Peter Phillips celebrates promotion as AFC Bournemouth chairman in 2003. Credit Alex Livesey/Getty Images

 

As part of our 25th anniversary digital publication, in conjunction with eLearning Age, we have put together a fun and informative timeline charting Unicorn’s history alongside some of the great, and not so great, World events of the past 25 years.

Did you know Unicorn was formed the same year that 20 million of us stopped to watch Scott and Charlene get married in Neighbours??

Yep, our arrival was only the second most important event of that year….

Can you believe that we started creating eLearning before anyone had even dreamt of DVDs, before the first text message was sent and the internet, well, you know the rest.

In this time Bill Clinton and his happenings happened, Nelson Mandela was released from prison and changed the world and our founder Peter Phillips even had a stint as a football club chairman, and enjoyed a memorable day out at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff as his beloved Cherries were promoted!

To take a full look at some of the global and industry highs and lows of the past 25 years check out the Flash-version of our 25 years digital publication or visit the eLearning Age website here for links to iOS and Android apps.

Once you’ve read the article why not come back and comment here or let us know what you think by tweeting us @unicorntraining

BLOG: From Clunky to Funky – How Technology Shaped eLearning

Helen (l) gets into the spirit of The Great Duck Race at the 2012 eLearning Awards

Helen (l) gets into the spirit of The Great Duck Race at the 2012 eLearning Awards

Here is a taste of what Helen has to say – to read the full article check out the Flash-version of our 25 years digital publication. It is also available for iOS and Android apps via the eLearning Age website here.

“The first desktop computer I ever used was a first-generation Amstrad PC. It was 1989 and I was working as a Computer-Based Training (CBT) developer at the Chartered Insurance Institute in Sevenoaks.

“Although my primary role was writer, back then one person created a CBT course in its entirety. I was responsible for the instructional design, scriptwriting, programming and ‘graphics’ creation. Incredibly that PC had no hard drive; all programs and data were stored and accessed from a 5.25in floppy disk with a 360k capacity.

“Today I write this article on a laptop with a fairly modest 500GB of hard-disk space, equivalent to about 1.5m of those floppies!

“This is mirrored by an equally stunning growth in processing power. That old PC had 64K of RAM, my laptop has 4GB of RAM and a 2.5GHz processor. Apparently a singing birthday card has more processing power than that Amstrad.

“But what has been the impact for e-learning?”

Helen goes on to discuss designing early CBT courses, the arrival of Windows, the internet revolution and going mobile. There is also an awesome video from 1988 where some of Apple’s greatest minds discuss how they see technology being used in education in the future. They don’t get much wrong……!

To keep reading click on the Flash-version of our 25 years digital publication here or visit the eLearning Age website here for links to iOS and Android apps.

Once you’ve read the article why not come back and comment here or let us know what you think by tweeting us @unicorntraining

BLOG: ‘The Business of Bespoke’

peterscreengrabThe growth of commercial eLearning from a small fragmented cottage industry into today’s much larger fragmented cottage industry has evolved around two models – Bespoke and Off The Shelf.

Today marks the launch of our new 25th anniversary special digital publication, produced in conjunction with eLearning Age, Peter Phillips, Unicorn CEO, examines ‘The Business of Bespoke.’

Here is a taste of what Peter has to say – to read the full article check out our 25 years digital publication here.

“Why are there so few global players in the eLearning development field?

“One key factor is the low entry barriers. These have made for plenty of competition, but also driven down margins and, in the longer term, that constrains growth.

“Another is the low switching costs for customers. Bespoke companies need a constant stream of new business and when switching costs are low and price competition fierce, this is not a recipe for stable growth.

“Over the past decade better communications have exposed providers to global competition, most notably from India, resulting in further downward pressure on prices.

“Unfortunately potential cost savings from offshore and crowd based sourcing are rarely fully realised as the reduced direct costs can be outweighed by additional management costs in ensuring that quality, creativity and cultural relevance are not compromised.”

Peter goes on to discuss the rise of rapid development, merger mania, mould breakers and thoughts for the future. To keep reading click here….

Once you’ve read the article why not come back and comment here or let us know what you think by tweeting us @unicorntraining

NEWS – Reflections Of A Glorious Age? Putting 25 Years of eLearning Under The Microscope.

timeline-picEver thought about what eLearning might look like in 25 years’ time or what significant historical events and innovations have provided a backdrop for learning technologies development over the past quarter of a century?

Can you remember what learning looked like all that time ago or, if you were still a twinkle in your parents’ eye back then, why and how things have evolved in the way they have done?

To celebrate Unicorn’s silver anniversary this year we have joined up with e-Learning Age magazine to produce a special digital publication – Reflections on 25 years in eLearning and the next 25 years!

The publication includes insightful, interactive features on the changing economics of the industry, technological advances and the evolution of the eLearning community, from contributors Peter Phillips (Unicorn CEO), Helen Watts (Unicorn Director) and Bob Little (eLearning chronicler), alongside a fun 25 year timeline and our predictions, some serious some not so, as to what the next 25 years could hold.

Videos and blast-from-the-past demos and graphics provide a window to what the eLearning world looked like then and now in what we hope will provide a comprehensive document to put a pivotal 25 years for the industry into context.

Peter Phillips said: “It is a special year for Unicorn and as one of the earliest, and still thriving, eLearning companies we thought such a digital publication would provide an entertaining and valuable record of just how our industry has developed, what have been the main challenges, solutions and drivers and what is on the horizon for us all.

“It was an enjoyable, nostalgic and often funny experience trawling back through our old courseware and chatting to people from the period remembering pioneering individuals, companies and innovations that were going to be ‘The Next Big Thing’ but were never heard of again. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as we have putting it together.”

You can access the 25 years digital supplement now. We look forward to hearing your thoughts!