This week, the Bowery Capital team hosted Dean Onishi, Director of Documentation and Certification at Procore, to discuss “SaaS Certification Programs.” Procore is a cloud-based construction management software application built for the construction industry professional, striving to make project management effortless, one task at a time. With Procore’s easy-to-use and collaborative software, users can manage their projects at anytime, from anywhere, with any Internet-connected device.
Dean is the Director of Documentation and Certification at Procore. He has been in this role for over a year and was previously a Technical Publication Manager at Procore for several years. In Dean’s current role, he is responsible for driving successful user adoption of the Procore platform by providing users with helpful support documentation and training materials to “self-serve” all of their educational and training needs. Dean manages the Documentation team that runs Procore’s Support site and Procore’s Certification program.
During this week’s episode, Dean walks through the concept of SaaS certification programs and how they can be influential in complementing a business’s existing value proposition. Dean is keen to share anecdotes and best practices from his time at Procore. While a lot of companies attempt, in earnest, to create these programs, they fail to implement effective programs. Dean illuminates on the major hurdles in rallying a company and users, alike, around embracing SaaS certification programs, and he shares with us a few companies that he believes are doing this well.
Certifications are a proven incentive scheme to increase engagement across an industry, particularly in a historically offline ecosystem like construction. Further, Dean talks to us about how the integration of a SaaS certification program can cultivate a vibrant community of users with powerful network effects. Dean takes us through the obvious, direct benefits of such programs, as well as some of the less obvious ones, like driving SEO traffic to your site. SaaS certification programs are most appropriately a part of the later-stage product roadmap, once certain customer milestones have been met. Therefore, Dean offers ways to assess appetite for adding a certifications program with existing customers. Conversely, Dean talks about organizational approaches to installing and maintaining such a program. In addition, Dean suggests relevant mediums for delivering the curriculum behind certification programs. Lastly, Dean defines a metrics-driven framework to evaluate success in a certification program. In lieu of building your own program, Dean recommends a few alternative, third-party resources to pursue to launch your own certifications capabilities.
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