We often say that Inntopia is built on success, not breakage. That we have no interest in just selling software, but solving our clients’ problems. One of the ways we achieve this is by having a team dedicated to building a library of content and training. And one of the people responsible for the success of that library is Melissa Jordan.
Gregg: Alright, Melissa, let’s start with the basics. What is your title?
Melissa: Officially, I am the eLearning Specialist here at Inntopia.
Gregg: That’s not a title you see often in travel. What does your typical day look like?
Melissa: As our eLearning Specialist, I work collaboratively with our subject matter experts to create educational content. In my world, it goes beyond the online training videos. I organize our webinars and write blogs and weekly tips about features and best practices.
I see myself as the delivery person for Inntopia knowledge. There is an amazing amount of knowledge around here. I’m trying to figure out how to share it with our clients.
Much of the content on our Partner Dashboard is the result of Melissa’s efforts.
Gregg: Which of those efforts are you most known for?
Melissa: Most people associate me with Innovative U. That is what we call our online learning platform that we’ve made available to clients, partners, and employees.
Gregg: Give me an example of some of the content that goes into that library?
Melissa: We’ve been focusing on creating content for the Commerce side of things. Full courses are published and available for most topics within the RMS and CRS. As you can imagine, the list of things to cover is quite large, and we have taken a big bite out of it. Our clients can find detailed modules on how to set up products, promotions, and bundles; configuring rates and availability; how to use Agentopia; utilizing the YieldView Calendar; different accounting models; adding photos; and much more. We still have quite a bit more content to add to our libraries.
Innovative U is used by thousands of our ecommerce suppliers and resellers.
Gregg: How big of a benefit has it been for Inntopia’s clients to have a resource like that at their disposal?
Melissa: Innovative U is a game changer for us. We have a big base of suppliers and resellers using our platform. It’s important for us to be able to share knowledge with them about how to use the system so they can sell their products. What we wanted to create was a library of short videos that clients can access whenever they need to learn or review how to use specific features.
Additionally, as our clients experience staff turnover or are onboarding seasonal employees, they can use Innovative U to assist with their training and getting new hires up-to-speed quickly.
Gregg: And this is a perk, correct? Not something our clients have to pay for?
Melissa: Absolutely, It’s available to all of our clients at no cost and they can sign up as many employees as needed. The beauty of it is that it’s available to them when they need it. It also gives our clients the opportunity to explore features they didn’t know were available to them, which could help them increase their revenue. We’ve seen tremendous growth with Innovative U as our clients have realized the benefit of it.
Gregg: Any stats you can share around that growth?
Melissa: When I started, Innovative U only had a handful of users. We’ve increased that number by over 4000% in under 2 years! Everyday, we have new people signing up and taking courses. You know that it has added value to our clients when you see that people from the same organization are signing up and accessing the training within Innovative U.
Courses cover everything from entry-level topics for new hires to deep dives for advanced users.
Gregg: Talk a little bit about your background and experience that put you in a perfect place to spearhead efforts like Innovative U?
Melissa: I previously worked at another software company within hospitality, so I understood the industry. I started by training front end users in a classroom environment and then I transitioned into developing online learning. Having worked with front end users, I understand their operational needs and can anticipate what types of questions they might have.
Building online learning has been something that I have been doing for about 10 years now. I love it since it appeals to both my creative side and attentiveness to detail!
Gregg: Any shoutouts to other team members who have helped along the way?
Melissa: I work with many different team members to get their expertise. The most important person is Patty Weber. She was spearheading this initiative before I come onboard, and she still plays a big part in it. She knows so much about the system so it’s been great to work with her to outline our courses and determine what needs to be trained.
Ashley Fay and Tyler Glenn are a couple of other subject matter experts who have been actively involved. None of this would have been possible without them. I’ve been lucky to work with such a great team.
Gregg: Couldn’t agree more, that’s such a great team. Thanks for your time, Melissa! Appreciate your insight.
Melissa: No problem!
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