How a global learning marketplace champions Cloud Content Management

The business world has changed so much that even tech startups born in the digital world are rethinking how they work internally and with partners across the extended enterprise.


Such was the case with Udemy, an organization backed by Silicon Valley’s top investors that disrupted online education in 2010. Since then, the world’s largest marketplace for online learning and teaching has helped over 20 million students. Expert instructors create Udemy’s extensive library of 65,000 courses in over 5,080 languages in on-demand topics ranging from professional to personal development. Udemy for Business offers business-relevant subscriptions, which companies can also augment by creating their own proprietary content. Udemy has offices in San Francisco; Dublin, Ireland; Sao Paulo, Brazil; and Ankara, Turkey.

Welcome to Udemy

Sean Young joined Udemy in 2014 because he believes in the company’s mission of improving lives through learning. His IT team connects Udemy’s global workforce. The IT team’s responsibilities include selecting workforce tools, resolving IT issues and onboarding and offboarding employees — all of which impact employee productivity and the organization’s rapid growth.


Udemy’s Cloud Content Management strategy supports its business model and brand promise. How the organization manages content internally and externally has top- and bottom-line implications.  


“Udemy’s business model draws on global trends: Expanding bandwidth and technology advancements, cross-border commerce  and a cultural embrace of collaboration.”

—Sean Young, IT Manager, Udemy




Lessons learned: When technology gets in the way of business

In 2016, Udemy recognized its need for a Cloud Content Management platform beyond existing IT solutions like Dropbox. Udemy’s then-300 employees needed easier access to company content — both to collaborate internally and to support customers, instructors and vendors. During employee onboarding, Sean’s team of IT managers had to manually grant permission access to team collateral.


“We often share large video files across the team and used to spend a lot of time making sure  employees had the correct permissions,” says Young.


Though the team did its best, IT tickets were increasing. New employees had experienced clunky onboarding experiences and lacked access to critical resources for getting quickly up to speed. Employee teams also reported morale- and productivity-impacting frustration. The team also wanted to ensure compliance with changing global regulations. Issues compounded as teams and file sizes grew.


Cloud Content Management powers the extended workforce


Udemy selected Box as its new Cloud Content Management partner to increase employee  productivity as the organization scales and ensure ongoing global information security. When Box Services transitioned 4TB of data to Box, the benefits were evident.


Reliable data security. Box’s cloud infrastructure and services-oriented architecture give Sean’s team flexibility to assemble applications that power workforce productivity, back up local data on user computers and servers and streamline storage. Sean says he sleeps better at night, knowing the company’s information is safe.


“Box redundancy and infrastructure gives us peace of mind.”

— Sean Young, IT Manager, Udemy


Digitized business processes. Sean’s IT team has automated repetitive tasks with Box’s native integrations with Okta for single sign-in and Slack for live, real-time conversations. The IT team no longer manually manages permissions during onboarding and offboarding. Instead, Udemy team leaders simply add or remove users to and from department groups in Okta and Slack, and Box assigns access permissions from there.


“Employee onboarding and offboarding are a lot easier. We easily add and remove users as permission needs change.”

—Sean Young,  IT Manager, Udemy


Happier, more productive teams. Udemy’s employee productivity has greatly improved. Existing employees report IT solutions are more user-friendly; they enjoy Box over shadow IT solutions. “It's important that everyone has tools to grow in their roles and be productive,” says Sean. Similarly, new employees onboard quickly, and Sean’s team receives “almost no tickets for Box access after employees are onboarded.”


Better governance. Today, the IT management team has visibility into how its data is shared with employees and external parties. Says Sean, “the choice for Box from an IT perspective is easy. We now have one less thing to worry about.”


“We better understand how we share data and information across and outside the company.”

—Sean Young, IT Manager, Udemy


In a world where user demands transform as rapidly as online learning, employee and partner experiences equally influence business outcomes. It all comes back to helping people improve their lives. Education’s power to transform transcends language and culture. Now, Udemy’s Cloud Content Management strategy does, too.