Aussie edtech vendor Classe365 hunts partners as it takes on the world

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Aussie edtech vendor Classe365 hunts partners as it takes on the world
Nandan Keerthi (Classe365)

Australian education software vendor Classe365 has set its sights on becoming a global software giant and is looking at the channel to help achieve that growth.

Classe365 developed a student and learning management platform that combines the functionalities of a CRM, student information system (SIS) and a learning management system (LMS).

Classe365 co-founder and head of customer acquisition and growth Nandan Keerthi told CRN the company does part of its go-to-market directly to customers but it would reach out to channel partners for projects that involve more than 1000 seats.

“A lot of our smaller accounts go directly to our website and are drawn by our competitive price point, but when an account goes over 1000 students, we’d normally engage with partners that have Office365 or Google Apps integration,” Keerthi said.

“Partners find our offering very attractive because not only do they get an additional source of revenue, but Classe365 is very sticky, very hard to replace and gives partners more services to offer.”

Keerthi cited its partners based in the US who have the option to integrate Microsoft Power BI with Classe365, which means extra revenue from the PowerBI licences.

Partners also get opportunities for more managed services revenue, like Dell and HP resellers installing Classe365 on Chromebooks. Some partners can also opt to choose a white-label approach for personalisation purposes.

Classe365 is also in the market for partners with existing relationships with schools, colleges and universities and the vendor will provide support in the implementation process.

Keerthi also noted the potential for Classe365 outside of conventional education customers, citing the Chinese operations of consulting giant PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), the World Bank and a Canadian certification organisation as some of its customers.

“In addition to schools and universities, we’ve also had sectional focus and interest within corporate learning as well,” Keerthi said.

“PwC had their internal auditors training - which helps associates move up to become consultants - migrated to Classe365, using the platform to go through the complete lifecycle from an associate to a consultant.”

Locally, Classe365 counts Queensland Ballet and the New South Wales Board of Jewish Education as some of its major customers.

But while the company would love to grow its customer and partner base locally, Keerthi and Classe365 has its sights on larger goals, expanding more aggressively in the United States and the rest of the world.

Earlier this month, Classe365 scored a deal with the United States Air Force to provide virtual cadet training solutions. It was done through one of the company’s US-based channel partners, UniverseIT.

Classe365's origins

The product came about following Keerthi’s career at the likes of IBM, Microsoft and a number of Australian resellers while handling implementations for educational clients.

“I saw that there was a big gap for an educational technology offering that provided a siloed approach,” Keerthi said.

“If you look at Classe365, we have a unified approach to education. Think of it as Atlassian for the education sector. That was pretty much what we wanted to do - to build an Atlassian for the education sector.”

Keerthi said that even today, organisations would get their LMS, SIS and CRM from different providers. “There hasn’t been a unified approach, it’s all a stitched-up approach that not only provided a lot of integration challenges but was also expensive as well.”

Classe365 is also sold as a modular solution, where customers can opt to just pick and choose which modules they need and only pay for what they need.

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