Open Source Enables Businesses to Adapt Quickly During COVID-19 Pandemic

Open Source Enables Businesses to Adapt Quickly During COVID-19 Pandemic

Digital innovation through an open source framework helps to serve Sandler franchisees and their clients in extraordinary times.


Businesses able to quickly adapt to changing market demands are increasing customer loyalty and securing shares for the return of the “new” market post-COVID-19. With the uncertainty in the world today, businesses are forced to modify operations in order to comply with government regulations while meeting customer expectations. Businesses that are unable to adapt will risk losing their competitive advantage, customers and revenue. Open source flexibility helps businesses adapt to uncertainties.

"No one wants to experience another recession. But if we do, despite all of the uncertainty surrounding us today, I am optimistic that Open Source will continue to grow and expand, and that it can help many individuals and organizations along the way."
- Dries Buytaert, Founder and project lead of Drupal (Source)

Despite recession talk, organizations are seeking ways to take control of what they can. Our client, Sandler, did just that. With the help of Open Source, Sandler was able to launch their in-person course online to support their +500 franchisees and their clients.

Sandler's COVID-19 challenge

Sandler is a full-service professional training & development organization offering training solutions designed to address a wide range of business issues in sales, management and leadership.

With a network of over 250 training centers in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia, Sandler’s franchisees provide worldwide training in 12 languages, accessible via multiple delivery modalities including in-person instructor-led, virtual instructor-led, and online on-demand.

During the global COVID-19 pandemic, Sandler was faced with the challenge of supporting their franchisees in accordance with recommendations made by the CDC to implement social distancing and avoid large gatherings. To do their part in helping to “flatten the curve” of the spread of the virus while remaining open for business, Sandler’s in-person, instructor-led programs were required to move online fast.

Business continuity objectives 

What Sandler wanted to achieve from an Acro-based solution.

With an open source framework and unique business model, Sandler has always provided services online and in-person. To support a group of +500 franchisees who offer in-person courses they require a solution that automatically grants access to the online versions. Removing the manual process that would require individual access be granted and revoked upon completion.

They understood their business objectives:

  • To do their part and keep clients and franchise owners safe from COVID-19
  • Allow their in-person clients a way to continue learning from home.
  • To grant franchisees access to digital versions of in-person courses
  • Included 100 free seats as clients had already paid for the courses.
  • Ensure that those who had access to the package were inventoried and recorded.

They knew what they wanted:

  • Remove the manual process of granting access to +500 franchisees.
  • No payment required as clients had already enrolled and paid up front.
  • User friendly solution for clients and administrators.
  • Provide access to the online course within a week.
  • A simple solution to revert operations post-pandemic.

A solution that adapted to Sandler's needs 

Direct development efforts to implement automation that grants mass access to online courses.

  • Uncovered and accommodate the needs of all stakeholders (organization, franchisees, clients, and developers)
  • Automate manual process to grant access to virtual training material for all franchisees.
  • Identify what was required of the franchisee and clients
  • Pinpoint additional roadmaps and techniques to ensure a post-pandemic revert will be seamless and easy.

A successful outcome enabled through their open source framework

Franchisees across the globe were granted access to online courses that allowed them to support their clients with training during these unprecedented times in a safe environment - at home.

The Open Source framework allowed Sandler to:

  • Customize a workflow that worked for all stakeholders
  • Adapt to market demands with little downtime for clients
  • Plan for post COVID-19 operations to return as normal

“This course will be a potential lifeline for our franchises and corporate clients to support them with virtual training during these unprecedented times.”
- Sarah Skeen, Sandler VP Learning Technology & Implementation

In these unconventional times focus on what you can control, your digital business. When you stop and take inventory, dozens of platforms typically make up the toolkit of your business. How they are connected reflects your ability to adapt to demand. Our Engineered Ecommerce ebook shares our industry experts' advice and reveals techniques used to transform online retailers of today into the powerhouse of tomorrow.

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Hailey McNeil
Contributed by

Hailey McNeil

, Digital Marketing Project Manager
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