Reston, Virginia - United States
Number of Employees
Acuity, Inc. Rapidly Scales Learning and Development with Udemy Business
Udemy driving business outcomes
Case study details
Acuity Inc., offers technical expertise to some of the United States’ top federal agencies, providing the technology guidance they need to serve the nation’s citizens. After winning a major contract in 2019, Acuity grew by 50% — which meant significantly scaling its learning and development efforts quickly. Acuity wanted to deliver high-quality, on-demand learning to all its employees, no matter their role in the organization. The learning content also needed to meet all the company’s technical certification needs, and offer content specific to its three technology partners: AWS, Microsoft, and ServiceNow.
Challenge: The need for scalable learning and development resources
When you’re responsible for delivering deep domain expertise to federal agencies who protect the nation’s citizens, your technical knowledge needs to be at the cutting edge. That’s why learning and development (L&D) has continuously been a priority at Acuity, Inc.
Previously, the consulting firm used an online learning platform across its teams, but less than half of its 200 employees had access. When the company won a big contract, it needed to double its employee headcount, and its existing platform didn’t have the resources it needed to grow its L&D initiatives.
“We wanted to find a new online learning platform that could help our company scale its L&D capabilities — and crucially, we wanted everyone in the company to have a license,” says Juliann Winn, Training and Development Manager at Acuity. “We wanted to show our employees that we’re dedicated to everyone’s learning.”
Acuity’s learning platform also had to include high-quality, regularly updated content, especially on solutions from the company’s three main technology vendors: Microsoft, AWS, and ServiceNow. “The technology market moves rapidly, so our consultants must stay up to speed,” says Juliann. “We needed on-demand access to learning 24/7, all year round.”
Solution: Convenient, on-demand L&D — for everyone
After considering multiple L&D platforms, Acuity implemented Udemy Business, providing licenses for every employee in the organization.
“Udemy Business’ content was the most comprehensive and relevant solution for our learners’ needs, particularly in our focus technology areas,” explains Juliann. “Also, the platform’s interface was simple for our users to navigate and even easier for my team to manage behind the scenes.”
The fast-moving nature of the technology industry means that Acuity’s consultants frequently need to train themselves in new certifications to help their clients, and Udemy Business supports them.
“We had a clear list of certifications we needed a platform to support, and Udemy Business checked all the boxes,” says Juliann. “The platform’s content is also frequently updated, and they remove any outdated content, so I can always feel confident I’m sending people the right resources.”
Fast, high-quality management training
Udemy Business doesn’t just help Acuity build technical skills across its teams. As Acuity grows, it needs to fill several management positions in the organization — and the platform’s courses focused on soft communication and management skills have been particularly valuable. “
In 2020, we launched an internal training program for our managers which involves multiple courses on Udemy Business, including Feedback is Fuel, Behavioral Interviewing, and Growth Mindset,” says Juliann. “It’s been invaluable having these pre-made, out-of-the-box courses — it’s freed our training team to focus on the training elements unique to our company.”
Even non-management team members benefit from soft skills courses. In fact, Udemy Business’ “Emotional Intelligence at Work” course is the sixth most popular among Acuity’s employees in 2022.
Since its move to Udemy Business, Acuity has also found new opportunities to combine instructorand self-led training.
“We found that our technology partners run a lot of instructor-led training that takes advantage of Udemy Business’ learner pathways,” says Juliann. “Our employees can attend events and then receive dedicated Udemy courses and learner pathways after each session. They’re incredibly valuable.
Training and Development Manager
$365,360 saved in enrolled courses so far
Since becoming a customer, Acuity has seen impressive results including $335,360 saved in enrolled courses had they been purchased separately online. They also achieved remarkable adoption across its employee base. 82% of employees regularly use the platform, and collectively they’ve totaled 6380 learner hours — an average of 15 hours per person.
“Many of our employees had already heard of Udemy Business before we implemented it due to its reputation, which meant it wasn’t hard to get them to adopt it,” says Juliann. Without Udemy Business, it would’ve been difficult to build a culture of learning like we have today. We’ve saved thousands of dollars by not having to pay for employees to complete training courses with external vendors.”
To help drive platform adoption, Juliann and the L&D team have worked closely with managers across the organization to showcase its value. “Our senior leadership was quick to jump on board with Udemy Business. In fact, we even have a section on our employee portal called ‘Rui’s pick’, which features our CEO’s favorite courses,” adds Juliann.
A graduate boot camp built on Udemy Business
One of Acuity’s most significant results is the creation of its new graduate training program. Using a mix of Learning Paths and instructor-led training, Acuity has created a 12-week intensive technical boot camp for college graduates that trains them across either Microsoft, ServiceNow, or AWS.
“Udemy Business was truly a lifesaver when it came to setting up our new training program — there’s no way we could’ve designed such a robust curriculum as efficiently as we did without the platform,” says Juliann. “It means we don’t need to use as many resources training new recruits, and they can learn in their own time.”
Structured and strategic L&D planning
Acuity’s Training Needs Assessment, an organization-wide study to identify the skills its employees are missing, will guide the company’s future L&D strategy.
“Udemy Business will be a big part of our future training strategy,” says Juliann. Our employees are great at choosing their own learning paths, but as part of our skills assessment, we’ll be able to promote specific courses based on the skill gaps we need to fill.
To celebrate its platform contract renewal and promote employee engagement with the learning resources, Acuity is launching its own “Udemy Business Reinvigoration Campaign”. “Our reinvigoration campaign will include competitions, daily engagement with employees, and incentives for teams to create their own learning paths,” explains Juliann. “Ultimately, we want people to be as excited about the contract renewal as we are.”
Reflecting on Acuity’s experience with Udemy Business, Juliann shared some thoughts for others in the industry considering the platform: “You can’t go wrong with Udemy Business, especially if you’re in the technology industry. Its content is relevant, up to date, and easy to digest. Its management and diversity and inclusion training content has sparked some great internal initiatives — the platform has definitely exceeded our expectations.”
Training and Development Manager