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The personalization paradox: balancing customized learning with scalability

Corporate training must address the needs of a diverse workforce with varying learning styles, skill levels and job functions. EdTech companies walk the tightrope of providing customization that caters to individual needs but must do so in a scalable and cost-effective way. One-size-fits-all training will be less effective, and one-to-one personalization is extremely difficult to achieve with current technology and at a reasonable price point for most corporations.

The challenges include:

  • Cost: Developing highly customized content for every learner is expensive. It may involve creating multiple learning paths, variations for different job roles and building adaptive assessments.
  • Time: Designing and implementing tailored journeys is time-consuming for every training   firm. This can slow the rollout of the delivery of the committed program.
  • Data demands: True personalization often relies on sophisticated learner analytics and AI algorithms that require large amounts of user data to inform the tailored experience.
  • Maintenance: An excessively personalized program means more paths and potential variations for troubleshooting, updating and managing. Many times, it’s difficult to strike the right balance of customization while keeping delivery and execution cost manageable.
  • Query clarification: The technical queries pop-up in a manner that is relevant to a learner who’s asking, but it may disturb the flow of the program for other learners.
  • 24x7 support: Technical customer service support is necessary to answer to the questions raised by the learners.
The future of learning is personal: meet STU

The personalization challenge can be significantly addressed through the implementation of an AI agent named STU (for Scalable, Tailored, Understanding, and in honor of Stuart Russell, the computer scientist known for his contributions to the development of AI). STU, built using the IBM Watson® Discovery, IBM® watsonx Assistant and IBM watsonx.ai™ solutions on IBM Cloud®, acts as a personalized learning companion for each learner.

STU’s functionality:

  • Real-time personalized learning path: STU analyzes learner data, including pre-assessments, course progress and performance. Based on this data, STU recommends additional modules, resources or alternative learning paths that cater to individual knowledge gaps and learning styles. This dynamic adjustment creates a personalized learning journey without the need for extensive upfront development of multiple variations.
  • Intelligent doubt clarification: STU utilized Watson Discovery’s capabilities to access and process vast amount of training and reference material in real time. When a learner encounters a doubt, STU can analyze the learner’s question and contextually search the course content, relevant online resources and internal knowledge bases. It then provides tailored explanations, examples or links to approach learning materials, addressing the learner’s specific needs effectively.
  • Offline accessibility: Understanding the learning doesn’t always happen with in the confines of the training platform. STU can be accessed through a chatbot interface, where learners can pose questions to STU outside of the course environment and receive helpful responses and maintain learning momentum.
Bridging the learning gap: how STU makes learning smarter

The implementation of STU (the generative AI-powered learning companion, has yielded transformative results for both learners and for GK Cloud Solution itself.

Benefits for learners:

  • Increased learner engagement: Data from post-implementation surveys reveals a significant increase in learner engagement. STU’s personalized recommendations and clear explanations have led to a 20% rise in course completion rates. Learners report feeling more supported and motivated throughout their learning journey.
  • Improved knowledge retention: STU’s ability to address learner doubts in real time has led to a 15% improvement in knowledge retention as measured by post-training assessments. Learners are demonstrably retaining more information thanks to STU’s targeted support.
  • Enhanced learning efficiency: With STU’s guidance, learners are able to navigate the most relevant learning paths, minimizing time wasted on irrelevant material. This has resulted in an average 10% reduction in time spent completing training programs.
  • Issue resolution: Notably, the AI assistant has enhanced the efficiency of issue resolution, evidenced by a 25% decrease in repeat technical inquiries from customers. This improvement is significant, as customers can now resolve their technical issues in under two minutes—a drastic reduction from the previous average of 17 minutes.

The power of IBM Watson:

  • Watson Discovery and watsonx Assistant empower STU to act as a powerful knowledge engine. The solutions allow STU to access and process vast amounts of training materials and online resources, delivering contextually relevant explanations tailored to each learner's specific question.
  • Watsonx.ai enables STU to continuously learn and improve. By analyzing learner data and interactions, STU’s recommendations and explanations become progressively more accurate and personalized, fostering a dynamic learning experience that adapts to individual needs.

Business Impact for GK Cloud Solutions:

  • Increased client satisfaction: Improved learner engagement and outcomes translate to happier clients. The EdTech firm has seen a 12% rise in client retention due to the demonstrably positive impact of STU on corporate training effectiveness.
  • Reduced development costs: STU leverages AI to personalize learning journeys without the need for extensive upfront development of multiple variations. This translates to significant cost savings for the EdTech firm compared to traditional, highly customized training programs.
  • Scalable solution: STU’s AI-powered approach allows the EdTech firm to deliver personalized learning at scale. This enables it to onboard new clients more efficiently, maximizing the company’s reach within the corporate training market.

Overall, STU’s success demonstrates the transformative power of AI in corporate and consumer training. By applying IBM Watson Discovery, watsonx Assistant and watsonx.ai on IBM Cloud, the EdTech firm has not only enhanced the learning experience for its customers but also achieved significant business benefits. The company was able to achieve this with a very agile workflow, including a pre-deployment pilot and a proof of concept (POC) done by IBM Client Engineering teams. A seamless pilot to production deployment in collaboration with the IBM Customer Success team fuelled improved efficiency and successful business outcomes.

“GK Cloud has revolutionized the field through its transformative journey, fuelled by a passion for technology and a clear vision. A star customer leveraging watsonx, we see a strong potential in STU’s widespread presence and influence in the EdTech domain,” says Kiran Raghupathy, Director, Customer Success Leader, ISA, at IBM.

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About GK Cloud Solutions

GK Cloud Solutions (link resides outside of ibm.com) delivers technology-focused learning services and professional development solutions to businesses across the globe. Headquartered in Bangalore, India, the company offers wide range of training courses  from OEMs (Google, Microsoft and many more) to specially crafted AI courses and all the niche technologies with global certifications.

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