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Arria Academy: In conversation with Bryan Zwahlen, Arria’s SVP of Customer Success

By Maribel Ayala | October 15, 2021
Blog Image - 24 Arria Academy In conversation with Bryan Zwahlen, Arria’s SVP of Customer Success

I sat down recently, with Bryan Zwahlen, Arria NLG’s SVP of Customer Success, to talk about an exciting new project he’s been working on: Arria Academy.

Maribel: Bryan, tell us what are the Academy’s objectives?

Bryan: The Academy’s objective is to educate everyone in NLG (natural language generation). From our customers and prospects to partners and even employees, as part of their onboarding process, Arria Academy has the objective of educating all those interested in NLG.

Together with the Academy, Arria offers customer success plans including nine hours of training and an additional 16 hours of advisory service. However, we noticed that not everyone was able to attend the training sessions, or they preferred learning in a self-paced manner; hence, the Arria Academy was born. Our clients and partners can access and complete the training at a time and pace that suits them. So far, it has proved a successful initiative; we have now onboarded around 100 users to the Academy.

Maribel: What content does the Academy cover?

Bryan: The Academy covers a range of topics including best practices and methodologies, such as how to create NLG projects that are scalable and repeatable. We also teach you how to use tools like the Accelerator projects, which let our customers and partners create NLG projects without having to start from scratch every time.

Once you sign in to Arria Academy, you’ll see all the courses that are available, such as: Introduction to Studio, NLG Methodology, Table fundamentals, JSON fundamentals and an Overview of Arria IN Apps. The courses support both Studio and the BI tools via the Arria Apps training. We are currently looking at ways to link the course completion certificates to LinkedIn, so our customers and partners can celebrate their achievements.

Maribel: What’s your favorite video so far?

Bryan: Arria Methodology is probably my favorite course as it shares the best practices our NLG developers are using. It teaches you to be strategic in your design and requirements gathering, to enable you to produce the most effective narrative and NLG models that are easier to maintain and scale.

Maribel: When do you hope to have the project available to everyone?

Bryan: We hope to launch the Academy in November. We’ve already given our partners access to the Academy to let them complete the courses and in the future, gain accreditation. We’ve also enrolled four customers who are already looking to expand their NLG reporting footprint internationally.

The Arria Academy project, led by Bryan Zwahlen and Cathy Herbert, has been brought together by a fantastic team, including Sebastian Barbiero, and Benjamin Knight from the Pre-sales Team and Douglas Kirk from the Training and Customer Success Team. Thanks, as well, to Tucker Dunlavey and Kyra Zwahlen, of the Creative Services Team, for contributing their design expertise to the success of the project.

Watch this space for more updates on the Arria Academy!