Education provider Pearson is aiming to become the 'Netflix of education', according to Albert Hitchcock (pictured), the firm's chief technology and chief operating officer.
Hitchcock told V3 recently that his vision is to stitch together the group's existing education services under one platform using APIs.
The company currently operates a diverse set of education services via a large number of different platforms, most of which require separate access credentials.
This is a result of the firm's long-term growth via acquisition, and is something Hitchcock is working hard to change.
"In the past we created separate digital products that have been very successful in their own right, but they're unique instances of products. Now the approach is to create effectively a single platform," he said.
As part of this single-platform approach, Pearson has standardised its ERP estate on Oracle, having previously operated 63 separate systems.
"The analogy I use is to be the Netflix for education. We want to create a single platform to deliver all educational content and services, irrespective of the age and stage of the pupil," said Hitchcock.
"The other aspect is to make that platform very future-proof, to create a micro-services, API-based architecture that enables us to deliver all of our customer experiences through that single mechanism.
"Much as you would consume movies through Netflix, or buy services through Amazon, we want education to be delivered through this single, quality user experience, but available to all ages and stages of learners."
Hitchcock explained that this vision requires a new way of thinking at the company.
"That's quite an all-encompassing vision and it gets us to think through the whole way we run and structure the business," he said.
"The strategy is to put the platform at the centre of our business, and have all the operational processes run around the platform. So it's a radically different approach from the way the company worked in the past."
The new platform will also use machine learning to recommend relevant services.
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