dominKnow: Leading in Cloud-Based Authoring Tool

Luke Hickey | CEO | dominKnow Learning Systems

E-learning resources such as courses, images, graphics, videos, audio files and their associated data pose a problem for most organizations to store, track and update. One solution is a learning content management system (LCMS), a comprehensive and centralized web-based database where organizations can create and store e-learning projects and even collaborate on content. Such tools are ideal for large organizations, but can also help smaller content authoring teams. There are only a handful of experienced vendors in this field.

One such company, dominKnow, has been creating e-Learning authoring tools and LCMS software for large teams for more than two decades. dominKnow provides authoring software for e-learning content development that empowers instructional designers, developers, and teams to create better learning experiences efficiently, together.

In an interview with CIO LOOK, the CEO of dominKnow Luke Hickey enlightens us how easily its clients can collaborate in real-time, share and re-use content across projects, and engage subject matter experts in the review process.

Below are the highlights of the interview between CIO LOOK and Luke Hickey:

 What led to the inception of the company? 

Since 1997, dominKnow has taken leaps of growth developing our all-in-one learning creation authoring system today. Now in 2019, our content creation platform, off the shelf content, and collaborative support system are instantly accessible from anywhere – not just on that one CD we used to ship to you 20 years ago.

That’s how we got to where we are today. This wild phenomenon called “the Internet” took control of the way we learn, connect with others, proceed in business, etc. and the way we operated instantly evolved. We saw that CD jam-packed with learning that we used to ship across the world fast track its way into so much more, to so many more people. It’s truly amazing to just stop and think about how far we’ve come, and what’s even possible to achieve in the future with the technology we have right at our fingertips.

Could you throw some light on your mission and vision statement? 

Our software solutions were created to help solve the problems we as individuals faced throughout our professional careers. Creating better team collaboration and communications, more engaging training that works, while also adding value to the opportunity to grow. We wanted to empower ourselves and by doing that, also provide organizations and their employees the tools to do so as well.

Describe the company and its cutting-edge solutions which address all the needs of your customers 

Our customer base is so vast in what it needs to properly design and provide information to employees effectively and efficiently with limited resources, and our tools need to support this. We have customers in the medical, financial, technology, food industry, and more, and that makes for a lot of different specific needs and approaches for designing and delivering information. We’ve created dominKnow ONE – based around the needs of our clients – empowering more advanced users with the flexibility to create and design content to their specific needs, but also enabling less experienced designers like subject matter experts to easily contribute without being overwhelmed by the sheer power and flexibility of the full system. With dominKnow, one can help you create almost any type of content, whether you start with off the shelf editable courses or need to develop your compliance training or highly engaging and interactive content, or software simulations, or scenario-based training, or just in time infographic-style content, or searchable knowledgebases and so much more. All of these capabilities are part of a core collaborative content design approach that enables small and large organizations to achieve efficiencies by engaging nontraditional development groups, streamlining collaboration & reuse and helping the company, as a whole, raise its training output to a new level and often with the less overall effort.

How do your services differ from the other companies’ offerings? 

DominKnow is one of the longest-serving providers of authoring tools for e-learning. We first began in 1997 developing custom content and off the shelf libraries of content, and now we offer a spectrum of products including off the shelf editable content, collaborative community-based learning, and our all-in-one e- Learning authoring tool, dominKnow provides a number of unique features to the market such as multiple authoring types for traditional and responsive design, cross-platform software simulation, an adaptive authoring interface to meet the needs of different skilled team members, and so much more.

Surprisingly, another unique aspect is we use our products to create all the training content and support material for our product. You would think that would be the norm in this industry, but we are an exception. If you’re looking up information in our product guide – it was made in our tool. If you’re working through the activities in our training guides – it was made in our tool. If you’re searching for lessons on our community site – it was built upon our tool.

What marketing activities do you implement to reach out to your potential customers? 

We value getting involved within the community online and face-to-face. Attending and hosting events and industry-geared conferences has always been a great way to connect with peers, partners, and customers. The value we get from the industry events has even inspired us to create our outlet to help organizations and peers grow. We’ve recently launched a new online and face-to-face community resource called “Instructional Designers In Offices Drinking Coffee” or IDIODC started in 2018 as weekly live cast to help instructional design peers create better learning experiences, and also feel more engaged in the community! Now, IDIODC has grown into a wider scale community outlet, in-person, and online.

How do you cope with the volatile technological changes in the market to make your solutions resourceful?

Changes to the market and technology can impact the business, we know this first hand. What’s important is to utilize those changes to your advantage. For example, when we first started, it felt like the Internet had spontaneously appeared, we saw the opportunity and moved from CD-ROM to all online delivery. It was a huge change for the way we approached our business, but it made a serious impact on our ability to extend our reach well beyond our original customer base. We continued to adapt, becoming one of the first companies to drop Flash and fully support mobile-first responsive design. Then, recognizing the important advancements in inclusive design being made in other web-based media, we embraced the same revolution and aligned dominKnow | ONE with accessibility standards like WCAG. The result is an even more comprehensive tool. Being the first with these changes wasn’t easy, but they’ve proved to be the right choices. More recently, we’ve fully embraced xAPI to empower learners to fully utilize the standard with no programming required and have quickly become the leader in this area. Our whole mantra is based on learning and the opportunity to always be growing, following that with the changes in technology, and the market is fundamental.

What are the company’s future aspirations? What strategies are you undertaking to achieve those goals?

After 22 years, in the industry, dominKnow is in this space for the long run, we don’t see that changing. We’re still excited by the possibilities technology can bring to the power of learning to better people’s lives. We have continued to increase the spectrum of our content solutions, adding off the shelf fully editable content to get people started and a searchable community of knowledge, Clarofy, that enables anyone, regardless of authoring experience, to contribute, share, and help the overall knowledge of the company.

Provide a few quotes in approximately 15 to 20 words that best describe your company and its services? 

More than just an authoring tool for eLearning, dominKnow is a powerful cloud-based authoring system with integrated authoring tools and built-in simulation, working together as one. This lets you easily create, share, reuse, and collaborate on, more kinds of content faster, by managing assets centrally.

About the Leader 

Luke Hickey is the CEO and also the longest-serving employee at dominKnow. With over 20 years of experience in the field, he has lots of “war stories” to share! He was there for the first lines of the code in the original authoring solution, so he knows the products’ history intimately. Luke is passionate about the possibilities of using technology to help make a difference in how people learn, and that passion is shared with everyone at the company. Luke maintains close relationships with many in the eLearning industry, listening, and learning as well as sharing.

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