Published On: May 28, 2024By
LMS trends - One-on-one interview with Docebo CEO, Alessio Artuffo and Talented Learning Lead Analyst, John Leh

As an industry analyst and consultant, I need to stay in close contact with learning industry movers and shakers, including LMS company founders and executives. So, of course, people like Docebo CEO, Alessio Artuffo are always at the top of my list.

Conversations with these tech pioneers are especially useful and enlightening. That’s why I strive to share whatever I learn along the way. For example, you may have heard my Talented Learning Show podcasts with learning innovators. Or you’ve watched my LMS executive briefing videos on our YouTube channel. You may have even read some of the round-up articles I publish that compare executives’ thoughts on hot topics in the LMS industry.

Well, today I’m launching a new series of Q&A interviews with learning tech leaders — starting with Alessio.

Looking Ahead With Docebo CEO, Alessio Artuffo

Why am I kicking off these articles with Alessio? Several reasons:

First, among over 1000 learning platforms, Docebo has remained committed to serving both internal and external enterprise learning audiences since its start nearly 15 years ago. That’s a tall order.

Second, Docebo is one of only a few LMS providers that grew by consistently keeping its eye on the ball. That’s quite an achievement in today’s notoriously volatile landscape.

What’s more, Docebo has successfully led the way through multiple tech breakthroughs that have disrupted the industry, such as:

So, how do they do it? What’s the vision that keeps them moving in the right direction? Join me as I dig deeper with Docebo CEO, Artuffo Alessio…

Q&A With Docebo CEO, Alessio Artuffo

Thrilled you’re here to launch this new interview series with me, Alessio. Before we talk about your role as Docebo CEO and what’s ahead, could you set the stage with a brief company snapshot?

ALESSIO:  Sure, John. Docebo has been a pioneer in the LMS space since 2005…

Wow, it’s hard to believe nearly 20 years have gone by since you burst on the scene. At that time, I was at a competing LMS company. Seems like only yesterday Docebo was just a new kid on the block. But you matured fast, and soon began outpacing legacy LMS platforms.

ALESSIO:  That’s true. We started with an open-source software model. Then, we transitioned to a cloud-based application in 2012. This is when I came onboard as Director of International Business Operations. And several years later, we started focusing on LMS as a business, so we could serve blue-chip organizations with complex use cases involving internal and external audiences.

And coincidentally, at nearly the same time, I started offering advisory services to LMS buyers and sellers with the same needs. Cloud computing was disrupting everything we knew about learning management systems.

ALESSIO:  100%. And fortunately, our focus on the large enterprise market paid off.

In 2013 we opened our first office in North America. Now, 75% of our revenues are here. Between 2015 and 2020, we grew at a great pace, sustainably. And then, in 2019 and 2020 we went public on the TSX first, and the Nasdaq after. This positioned us as the largest publicly traded LMS in the world. Now we reach more than 3,800 active customers across more than 70 countries.

What a giant leap. So as Docebo CEO, you’ve been doubling down on that core mission?

ALESSIO:  Correct.

Our choice has always been to run a sustainable and healthy business. We have always spoken about balanced growth and “Rule of 40” business principles, even when the markets were focused on growth at any cost. And, over the past four years, we’ve completed four tuck-in acquisitions.

And now, as you say, I serve as Docebo CEO on an interim basis. We continue to evolve our LMS platform for large enterprises with complex internal and external learning needs.

Also, we continue to invest considerable resources in AI as a foundational element today and for the future. And what’s interesting: Our customers ask us to do more, to solve more learning problems for them, and we are listening actively to their feedback.

Excellent. On that note, let’s look forward. What do you see ahead for learning technology?

ALESSIO:  Fragmentation is an opportunity. There is a tremendous issue in learning experience inconsistency. Certainly, trends like AI and hyper-personalization are hot, but under the hood, customers struggle to integrate their content workflows with their LMSs. The LMS space has not evolved in many years. There is a lot of opportunity to modernize an industry that is very status-quo.

As Docebo CEO, how are you preparing to stay at the forefront of AI innovation?

ALESSIO:  Well, we’re not just jumping on the AI bandwagon. In 2017, we started our AI lab in Italy with a team of engineers fully committed to AI R&D. In June 2023, we acquired Edugo, an AI learning company, to accelerate our efforts.

Companies that care about being leaders in learning use Docebo. That’s because we’re committed to helping our customers stay ahead of emerging trends.

LMS buyers appreciate vendors who strive to see around corners on their behalf. They want clear, compelling strategic roadmaps. And that’s especially important when technology is changing so rapidly, because buyers need to place smart bets.

ALESSIO:  Buyers tell us the same thing, John. So you’ll be glad we have several other specific AI predictions.

Nice. Tell me more…

ALESSIO:  First, AI and data privacy are becoming central concerns. This is especially true for enterprise organizations, where transparency, fairness, and accountability in AI-driven decision-making processes are top priorities.

Makes sense. What other trends are on your radar as Docebo CEO?

ALESSIO:  We all crave human connection, and the rise of remote work and AI won’t dampen this. In fact, social learning and community capabilities are likely to become even more integral to learning platforms.

An enterprise LMS isn’t just an L&D asset. We are part of a much larger category blend of employee experience and customer experience. The opportunities, as a result, are endless.

That’s a big handful of priorities. Anything else?

ALESSIO:  One more thing. People may think knowledge management’s time has passed. But now, it is more important than ever. And that is where I see AI playing the biggest role, especially applied to employee and customer experience.

Good point. Knowledge management has often been declared “dead” over the years. I think that’s because it’s incredibly complex. But AI is bringing KM back in a new way, right?

ALESSIO:  If you don’t have a strong handle on your knowledge management system, you might introduce falsehoods or outdated insights into your content. This means you won’t get the full impact of these new AI tools.

We have been working on this for a long time and have developed our own technology to address it. Our differentiated approach to knowledge management is based on technology we will be unveiling in the near future. It will separate us from the rest of the market players, and I am really excited about that.

Also, it’s not about developing another LLM. It’s about giving LLMs the ability to make inferences by providing them access to relevant material — without jeopardizing privacy and security.

As Docebo CEO, how do you see your platform addressing these needs?

ALESSIO:  We’re committed to incorporating AI into all aspects of the learning experience. Here is just one example. To power content creation, we’re building a knowledge engine that ensures AI-generated content follows pedagogical principles and facilitates desired behavior change. So, instead of just generating text or video, our platform generates content through the lens of research-backed “smart templates,” created by learning experts and built into our knowledge engine.

In other words, content creators don’t just provide a prompt and hit “generate.” Our Gen AI also interacts with the creator to develop a needs analysis, so the system understands the project scope and audience. Then using this intelligence, it creates pedagogically sound learning content.

Again, that’s just one example. Strategically, we are more than just another AI tool; we are bringing AI into every part of the learning and product experience.

Interesting. How else are you building AI into the platform?

ALESSIO:  Here are a few more examples of how we’re enhancing the end-user experience:

  • AI-powered content analysis to inform recommendations and search,
  • AI-generated translation in over 40 languages and voiceovers in over 18 languages,
  • AI-driven quiz questions that streamline administrative work while measuring learning progress and improving outcomes,
  • An AI control panel that lets users choose how AI works in their learning environment.

That last point is crucial. No LMS can work in vacuum anymore…

ALESSIO:  Yes. It’s important to remember that Docebo doesn’t operate in isolation. I spoke to an enterprise last week that has more than 29 learning systems, including more than 10 LMSs. This is inefficient and expensive and more importantly, it impacts our learners—not to mention the CFOs and CIOs! We have ways to do this better.

Absolutely. As Docebo CEO, what else would you add?

ALESSIO:  Learning is the new CRM. Skilling is the new currency to longevity. We are undergoing a historic time in which skills transfer is going to affect the success and survival of most corporations. Those who do not invest in learning technology the same way they invest in a CRM or ERP will be left behind.

This is why we focus so heavily on understanding every common use case, while also serving niche use cases with deep specialized features. We’ve built highly secure, individualized platforms for government needs, as well as open customer training portals that serve hundreds of thousands of learners.

So, it’s about breadth and depth at scale?

ALESSIO:  Totally. Scalability and personalization are our strengths. Or as we like to say, we’re the platform for growth you’ll never outgrow.

I think this is why we’ve seen two key changes in usage over the past 5 years. First, many more companies are leveraging our platform for external learning initiatives. Also, organizations in many more industries are adopting Docebo to develop and deliver their educational programs.

 


Summary: One-on-One With Docebo CEO, Alessio Artuffo

The best way to understand a technology company’s vision and mission is to talk with its leaders. As an industry analyst, I’m fortunate to speak regularly with people like Docebo CEO, Alessio Artuffo. Here are key takeaways from this conversation:

  1. To remain relevant, LMS platforms must be able to fit into complex, fluid ecosystems.
  2. In an era defined by AI, Gen AI matters. But for lasting value, LMS platforms need broader AI capabilities.
  3. Before investing in any LMS, be sure the roadmap aligns with your business strategy.

Because the industry moves quickly, I’ll be checking in with Alessio again later this year. So rest assured, if those discussions reveal more useful information, I’ll be back with updates.

In the meantime, let me hear from you on social media or by email. What do you think of Alessio’s agenda as Docebo CEO? What would you ask him that we didn’t cover today? And if you were a top LMS executive, what would your priorities be?

 


Learn More

Want to find out more about Docebo CEO, Alessio Artuffo, and Docebo LMS? Check these resources:

 


Looking for an LMS That Fits Your Business Needs?

After reading this interview with Docebo CEO, Alessio Artuffo, would you like guidance in finding a solution that will serve you well now and in the future? For a free preliminary phone consultation with me, John Leh, submit the form below:


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About the Author: John Leh

John Leh is Founder, CEO and Lead Analyst at Talented Learning and the Talented Learning Center. John is a fiercely independent consultant, blogger, podcaster, speaker and educator who helps organizations select and implement learning technology strategies, primarily for extended enterprise applications. His advice is based upon more than 25+years of learning-tech industry experience, serving as a trusted LMS selection and sales adviser to hundreds of learning organizations with a total technology spend of more than $100+ million and growing. John would love to connect with you on Twitter or on LinkedIn.

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