More than two-thirds of the Fortune 1000 count on Skillsoft to train their employees. The EdTech pioneer serves content to 45 million learners around the world, in over 160 countries. User experience is key to EdTech success and with 90% of its content in video, Skillsoft depends on Fastly for delivery that’s reliable, seamless, and fast.

Industry: Education

Location: Nashua, NH

Customer since: 2017

Favorite features

  • On-the-fly-packaging (OTFP)

  • Instant Purge

  • Enterprise Support

EdTech leader Skillsoft uses Fastly to seamlessly scale video by 400%

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic started moving students online, the EdTech sector was booming, from kindergartens to C-suites. When working from home became the norm, some EdTech providers found themselves struggling to keep up with the sudden spike in demand.

4x traffic creates capacity concerns

At Skillsoft, traffic surged tremendously in a very short time. Between February and March 2020, Skillsoft traffic doubled. And from March to April, it doubled again. A jump like that can potentially lead to serious degradation in user experience.

Global expansion is another major driver of growth in EdTech. In India, the overall EdTech market is expected to quadruple over the next five years. Through partnerships and acquisitions, Skillsoft is positioned to be a big part of that market. Already 20 percent of their traffic is coming from India, and that number is growing.

“If you look at our traffic usage, you can tell the exact date when our country shut down. Before COVID-19, we were right around 100 terabytes per month. Now we’re over 400 terabytes.”

Brad MacDonald

Clouds Solutions Engineering Manager, Cloud Operations

Preserve uptime and availability, eliminate latency issues

One of the most valuable Fastly tools for Skillsoft has been the on-the-fly packaging service (OTFP). Because its streaming content is packaged dynamically by Fastly in real time, rather than pre-packaged to suit different formats, Skillsoft doesn’t need to store multiple versions of content in their cloud storage service. Using Fastly’s OTFP, Skillsoft delivers video files that are immediately viewable by the end user, and both video latency and load time are shorter, so users are happier.

As a result, Skillsoft has sustained fast, interruption-free video delivery throughout their massive increase in scale. With no latency issues and no additional support needed, Skillsoft preserved uptime and availability for their customers. Programmatic, real-time configuration changes empower Skillsoft developers to keep things moving with the control they need. That translates to a better user experience—and it means Skillsoft can consistently meet its SLAs.

“I think that’s one of the biggest differences with Fastly: with legacy CDN, you can do a few things here or there, but usually you have to use their team to make the configuration changes. With Fastly, we don’t have to open support cases and wait for someone else to do it — we do what we want, when we want.”

Brad MacDonald

Clouds Solutions Engineering Manager, Cloud Operations

Expanding into growing markets

After this period of huge growth, Skillsoft added Fastly’s Enterprise Support, which accelerates response times for urgent incidents and provides 24/7 availability whenever developers have questions. Should a high-impact problem arise, Skillsoft has the backup to ensure continuity for their users. Just as important, Skillsoft can count on Fastly as a partner in problem solving, as their reach grows. As Skillsoft continues to grow, they can take advantage of Fastly’s globally distributed POP network and origin shielding, to optimize delivery geographically, increase cache hit ratios, and minimize latency.

“Obviously we’re going to leverage Fastly’s ability to direct traffic for us, so we can reduce latency for users no matter where they are in the world.”

Brad MacDonald

Clouds Solutions Engineering Manager, Cloud Operations

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