Skilljar coffee chat with Adam Woodruff, Director of Education Services,

Skilljar Coffee Chats showcase different ways customers are using our platform, including demos with special guests. This month’s Customer Education Coffee Chat, hosted by Cutler Bleecker, Skilljar’s Customer Training Manager, featured a conversation with Adam Woodruff, Director of Education Services for delivers industry-leading security solutions that safeguard homes and businesses from intruders, vandalism, theft, and unexpected activity.’s security and automation services are only available through licensed security experts, who deliver professional design, installation, and 24/7 monitoring. Therefore, it’s essential that their partners are trained on all aspects of the system in order to install, troubleshoot, and support systems after installation.

“As technology has gotten more advanced, there’s so much to teach a customer. We as a company are best set up to show them how to use our systems and set them up for success.”— Adam Woodruff

So grab your coffee and read the recap of how created customer value and reduced support tickets by 17%!

The goals of partner education

Adam’s team had two objectives for training to enable their partners, especially once the pandemic hit: 1) Increase content consumption, and 2) Streamline operations so that everyone was accessing the same education content.

“You can create all the content in the world, but if people can’t find it, if they can’t use it, if they can’t find the content they need, this just creates training confusion.”— Adam Woodruff

A reduction in support calls would mean that partners were spending more time on the job and less time figuring out how to do their jobs. Better training would ensure that partners are more engaged with their system and create more valuable accounts for has several ways for partners to get the information they need to do their jobs:

  • Field training – Instructor-led training that travels to different locations
  • Academy (Academy Online) – Training platform, powered by Skilljar
  • Knowledge base – Articles that answer questions about hundreds of topics, features, and products, largely accessed on mobile apps in the field for quick answers to a problem

The evolution of partner training at online academy, powered by Skilljar Academy today has four different pathways for Partner Tools, Sales & Marketing, Security & Beyond, and Video Monitoring. first launched their Academy in 2016 with an out-of-the-box template from Skilljar. In 2022, they employed their in-house creative team to redesign and restructure all of their content.

Their users were primarily interested in instructor-led training content, certifications, and short-form video content. They wanted to make these front and center in the new design. Additional content was categorized by product format.

“Once our training grew, our out-of-the-box template didn’t really meet the demands of our learners. We’ve seen quite a bit of an increase in course completions just from making this adjustment.”— Adam Woodruff

The role of certifications platform certification for certified technicians

Prior to their redesign, had only one technician-focused certification, which has been successful at drawing over 13,000 learners to date. However, as the technology grew more extensive, they needed to do more to teach learners how to be resourceful and how their performance support tools can help them get more from the product.

They introduced a new platform certification, which is broader than the certified-tech program, as it includes “Security 101” and “Introduction to” training for those in non-technical roles. Adam’s research uncovered a huge skills gap with people new to the industry, so this certification addresses the products, manufacturers, and history of the industry.

They are seeing much success with the new platform certification — over 1,500 platform certifications in just the first six months of rollout. As a result of the success they’ve seen with certification training, they will also be rolling out another new “Commercial Offering” certification as well.

“Offering new certifications has increased completions for all of our other content because it’s driving people to take more coursework, as prompts to videos or courses are included in the certifications.”— Adam Woodruff

The benefits of short-form content

Smart Tips videos are part of's training program for short-form content

Smart Tips videos are part of’s training program as short-form content.


With the revamp of their training platform, they noticed that short-form content was taking off.

So, in addition to their certification training, created customer-focused end-user content in the form of “Smart Tips” videos. They are shifting to focus almost exclusively on micro-learning content for both partners and end users. has seen a large increase in training consumption due to short-form videos. It’s bringing people back because they’re not having to sit through hours of content to get what they need.

Meeting goals and measuring results

The product is so complex and technology has evolved so much that they wanted to measure how training impacted support calls. In addition, a goal of’s training efforts was to increase training consumption by bringing more people into training on a regular basis.

Prior to the relaunch, partners would get what they needed, then not come back for a long time. By continuously releasing new content on a regular cadence, learners come back to find new certifications and new courses, including shorter courses.”— Adam Woodruff

To increase training consumption, partners can now access the Academy Online (powered by Skilljar) through their mobile device or web browser. Their training content also lives in their Knowledge Base, as customer-facing videos on YouTube, and will soon be available through their technician-focused mobile app.

They used training data to compare partners that had taken training over a certain period of time versus partners that hadn’t. The result was a 17% decrease in support calls for trained partners overall.

“We (training professionals) always pull our hair out trying to show our impact, but we were able to show that taking our online training courses has a 17% impact on support call deflection.”— Adam Woodruff

In addition, saw the following increases in YOY consumption as a result of more training and certification options:

  • 34% increase in repeat learners/month
  • 23% increase in active users/month
  • 56% increase in course completions
  • 10% increase in new users

“I love the focus on consumption. I love the redesign. And then, the ultimate number being the decrease in support calls, especially for kind of an established company – a 17% decrease is monumental.”— Cutler Bleecker

AI tools to help drive training consumption

Adam shared some of the problems his team was facing over the years that they could begin to solve through the use of AI tools:

For their partners:

  • Decrease training time, increase time spent on the job
  • Decrease time per install/sale/support call


  • Drive impact with better precision and accuracy
  • Reduce support costs
  • Increase customer value
  • Adam’s team identified two solutions to meet the above goals with the help of AI tools: “off the job” and “on the job.”

Off-the-job solutions have to do with developing new skills to make sure learners are successful in their jobs, whereas on-the-job solutions have to do with addressing an immediate need for something that’s not working and the learner needs quick assistance to figure it out.

Next level education for includes both on- and off-the-job training.

For off-the-job training, the Academy Online is a way for learners to self-serve training content, learn on their own, and prepare themselves to be better at their jobs. On-the-job solutions leverage short-form content. Nobody has time on the job to be watching an hour-long, or even 10-minute video. They just want the answer.

Here are the tools Adam has used to help create meaningful short-form content to address these immediate needs.


Descript is an all-in-one video (and podcasting) editing tool that helps you write, record, transcribe, and edit video content.
Adam has found Descript to be great for downloading a transcript (for ADA-compliance) and adding video captions. If you flub something in a video, you can use their overdubbing feature to seamlessly replace a sentence. also saved a lot of money on voiceovers, as Descript’s AI generative technology can do narration and voiceover.

Cutler added that he uses Descript for creating caption and transcript files, which can then be added to the video and lesson settings. He also uses the overdub tools and recently created an AI version of his voice so he can do text-to-speech in his own voice and make quick touch-ups!

“AI keeps pushing the boundaries. Descript now acts like a full-on video editor in addition to a caption generator.”— Cutler Bleecker

Wellsaid is another platform Adam cited for creating voiceovers from text.


Vimeo’s new AI-powered tools create content in minutes with an AI-powered script generator, teleprompter, and a new way to edit video by editing text.’s training content can live in a number of places within their training platform. They use Vimeo to upload videos and embed them in their Academy Online. They then direct users from any point in their training journey to a particular point in the video that helps them solve their problem without watching the entire video. That same piece of content could also live in a longer-form course or be chaptered within a longer video.

Adam pointed out that tools like Vimeo and YouTube also offer chaptering to divide longer videos into digestible portions. This can also be accomplished in Skilljar with a code snippet that you can program to jump to different sections of a video by setting the desired timestamp.


MindTouch is an AI-powered knowledge base software that is part of the CXone Expert solution offered by NICE. It reduces friction by projecting personalized content to customers seeking self-service while adding crucial insights throughout the customer journey. uses MindTouch as a repository for all of their knowledge base articles from which their internal federated search engine can access the right content for a user’s concern in just seconds.

Gopher (’s homegrown federated search tool)

Gopher is's homegrown federated search engine for their training platform, powered by Skilljar

Adam introduced webinar attendees to Gopher, their internal search engine model that lets learners type in a question. Gopher then summarizes all of the relevant content from various sources and delivers the answer they’re looking for in the form of an article or short burst of video content.

This is ideal for customers that are short on time for training such as healthcare workers, onsite technical service support crew, or 9-5 employees who prefer more pointed, quicker-paced content.

Personalized content to increase the learning curve

Personalizing training content for a technician audience from

All of the innovations is using for training comes down to creating personalized content for its users at every stage of their journey — from preparing for a tech call to servicing onsite to keeping skills current after the fact with refresher training. The product keeps evolving as technology changes so wants to make sure their users are continually kept up to date.

Personalized learning helps users identify their weak spots and gaps and then receive a curated content plan that’s going to make the most sense for that learner.

The vision for is to continue to refine these curated content recommendations based on their arsenal of courses, videos, knowledge center articles, and performance support tools.

“Our training efforts drive impact with better precision and efficiency. We see a reduction in support costs and these customers are more engaged with us. They should become lifelong customers.”— Adam Woodruff

See more resources from Skilljar on how to reduce support tickets by using short-form content, certifications, and more:

Clever Cuts Number of Support Tickets by 25% and Increases NPS by 15 points with Skilljar (Case Study featuring Blair Mishleau, Senior Customer Education Manager, Clever)
Train to Retain: How Jamf Leverages Short-form Content to Amplify Their GTM Strategy (Webinar Recap featuring Randon Ruggles, Director, Customer Education at Jamf)
Badges, Certificates, and Certifications (eBook for a comprehensive guide to credentialing)