Reflections on 12 months at Epic

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Wow. This week marks 12 months back at Epic for me and what a year it has been! A slew of awesome Moodle sites, high growth in our open source services, a fantastic new open source team, getting stuck in at MoodleMoot and iMoot conferences and loads more exciting stuff. It’s been a jam packed year for sure. it was always going to be a bit weird rejoining a company I had been part of for 11 years prior to my three years at a competitor. But that three years doing a high growth startup (launching Kineo’s open source business) was a massive education, albeit one that went off in a direction that wasn’t a comfortable fit for me.

Epic Breakfast by the Management Team

I was fortunate to return to Epic in July 2011 just as it was emerging from several years of decline which had started when the company was sold to Huveaux. I had left in July 2008, a mere one month after Andrew Brodie bought the business from Huveaux and put it under the stewardship of new MD, Jonathan Satchell. It took a few years and some experimentation to stabilise the company and return it to growth, but thanks to the remarkable work of a large number of people who stuck with it and saw things through, a declining business was transformed into a strong and vibrant company.

Epic Jubilee Lunch

It’s safe to say that when I returned in July 2011, Epic was a completely unrecognisable company from the one I had left 3 years earlier. Morale was high, sales were good, the team structure worked, the management team were trusted, times were good again. By this point Epic had not just regained a market leading position but had innovated its way to the front of the pack by building a mobile learning authoring tool called GoMo Learning and stealing a major lead in the emerging mobile learning market. Put simply, it was a really attractive place to come and work again.

First Stop / Bridgestone Tyres Moodle Screenshot

I have to say that I felt like a bit of a cheat at this point. I left Epic at a low ebb and returned when it was on the up again, and did absolutely nothing to contribute towards that turnaround! However, the open source business I came here to head up is already defying expectations and I’m really proud of what everyone involved in Epic’s open source services has achieved the past year, and our open source work with Moodle, Drupal and WordPress gives us an additional and innovative platform on which Epic can grow even further.

Imperial College NHS Trust Moodle Frontpage
Put simply, I’m really, really glad to be back. I’ve worked on some awesome projects this past year. The focus has still been mostly on Moodle for me, but I’ve never done a course menu like First Stop before which still knocks my socks off, and am immensely proud of the work we have been doing in the NHS. I got to present at my first MoodleMoot UK and Ireland which was a great experience, and at the online iMoot, meeting some great people at both. I oversaw the gradual skilling up of our elearning business units so we now have 100 people able to deliver some great workplace learning initiatives using Moodle, and it’s an absolute delight to see the e-learning designers and developers exploring Moodle’s capabilities and pushing its boundaries. And I’m in a management team where there are no politics or self interest, just a desire to get down to some good, honest hard work and keep Epic in its place as a market leader. And I feel like I am among friends. What a place. Bring on year 2!

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1 thought on “Reflections on 12 months at Epic”

  1. Excellent to have you back Mark. Looking forward to more game-changing Moodling from you and the gang. As the Bridgestone Account Manager, it’s a joy presenting them with such a ground-breaking piece of work and nothing beats a happy client in this game! All the best for the next 12 months and beyond.

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