We've been serving the Australian market for more than four years now. It's not a large market for us but one that has been growing consistently. I just returned from a two week-long business visit to Australia this Sunday, not my first visit to the country but definitely the one where I sensed that the local eLearning industry is gaining momentum. A little googling and I discovered this report from The Canadian Trade Service, claiming the y-o-y growth rates in Australian elearning market to be around 27.3% between 2004 & 2009 and 12.8% for next 5 years. This blog claims that analysts predict Australia is likely to become the 2nd biggest market for eLearning after the USA.
During the visit I had an opportunity to discuss our solutions and services with some leading elearning companies, a few TAFE/VET institutes, and a few corporate clients there. Some thoughts I had about the Australian market:
– Over the last few years several new elearning development companies have sprung up in the region which is in line with the growth of elearning market. Sydney, Melbourne, & Brisbane happen to boast a high number of elearning and related companies. Adelaide and Perth too have a few.
– There's a noticeably growing inclination towards outsourcing especially custom elearning development services. As competition increases we should find this trend gain further momentum as bigger companies try to outsource larger portions of their projects to offshore destinations like India in order to stay competitive against the smaller players.
– On the LMS front there seems to be preference for local providers but that should change too as content outsourcing increases
– Moodle is quite popular here, after all Australia is its birthplace and one will find that developers support the product quite strongly. However not all is great with corporate implementations of Moodle – it's not free for certain and does hit sort of a ceiling when corporate wish to expand its use. A couple of providers we met are contemplating adding a commercial LMS to their offerings for those who wish to go beyond Moodle.
– Mobile learning is being talked about a lot but not delivered that much. That's quite similar to the rest of the world actually. Interesting to note however is interest in create learning solutions and custom apps for tablets – especially the iPad.