May 17, 2020

Is Google Grasshopper the key to retraining the global workforce?

Digital Transformation
Industry 4.0
Harry Menear
3 min
Google brings its free coding education app Grasshopper to desktop. Is it the key to a mass retraining of the global workforce and the end of the IT skills shortage? Short answer: It's a start.
Thanks to the continuing disruption of Industry 4.0, companies’ ability to attract and retain top level tech talent is already the difference between...

Thanks to the continuing disruption of Industry 4.0, companies’ ability to attract and retain top level tech talent is already the difference between those that sink and those that swim. But, despite high demand, an expanding market, and the fact that computer programmers (in the US at least) make an average of $22,000 more a year than people who don’t have coding in their job requirements. 

You’d expect computer programmers in 2019 to be as ubiquitous as AI-powered startups or bartenders with journalism degrees. But you’d be wrong. 

According to the European Commission, there could be a shortage of around 756,000 ICT professionals by 2020, with a lack of synergy between educational systems and the requirements of the labour market. The report goes on to note the paradoxical nature of an increasingly economically unsure Europe and a tech space with jobs to spare. So what’s the problem? 

Well, for starters there aren’t enough people who know how to code. Or, to be more specific, there aren’t enough people who know how to code, do data science, program AIs and so on, that have a knowledge base that is sufficiently up to date. In the 1900s, knowledge of a field obtained via a degree could grant you a 30 year career that might see you need to be retrained and update your knowledge a handful of times. Today, the speed of technological innovation and digital transformation is such that our education systems and professional training programs just can’t keep up. This example is, of course, a sweeping generalisation but the exceptions don’t change the fact that the European Commission estimates more than 53% of workers in the EU “will require significant retraining by 2022.” 


As part of its ongoing attempt to infuse the global economy with digitally capable workers, Google launched its own educational resource, Grow with Google. Users can learn how to optimise their business’ presence online, earn certifications for the G suite, explore careers in IT support and more. 

Today, Google announced the next step in its project to advance the programming ability of the global workforce. A larger version of its Grasshopper mobile app is now available on desktop. 

The original app launched on mobile in April of last year and offers users access Grasshopper's coding lessons catered to beginners. The desktop release adds two new classes specifically designed for laptops and desktops: Using a Code Editor and Intro to Webpages. 

“Our Intro to Webpages course includes a new project-based curriculum focused on building and designing a website from the ground up. We teach beginner coders the Javascript fundamentals necessary to build a website, as well as new HTML and CSS-based coursework. After just four courses, beginner coders will understand how to build a simple webpage,” claims the Google Blog. 

Google claims that over 2mn people have downloaded the mobile app, including stay-at-home parents, construction workers and factory machinists – “people who don’t necessarily have programming experience, but who are interested in exploring coding as a career option.” 

As traditional job sectors begin to shrink in the face of increased digitalisation and automation, a freely available education in coding could be the start of a monumental reskilling of the global workforce. 

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Jul 26, 2021

Five9: the cloud software industry leaders acquired by Zoom

contact centre
Catherine Gray
2 min
Following the announcement of Zoom buying cloud company Five9 for almost $15billion, we take a deeper look into the company’s history and success

Five9 is the leading provider of cloud contact centre software. Driven by a passion for transforming contact centres into customer engagement centres of excellence, Five9 have a deep understanding of the cost and complexity of running a contact centre.

Founded in 2001, Five9 help contact centres of every size create powerful connections. 

The company has over 20 years of cloud contact centre experience, reaches over 2,000 customers worldwide, and annually reaches over 7 billion customer interactions. 

Built on a highly reliable, secure and scalable cloud platform, Five9 makes it easy to rapidly trial and deploy new services. Its software also future proofs businesses by supporting AI and other emerging technologies.

Utilising cloud capabilities for improved customer experience

Offering software that creates more successful customer interactions, Five9’s cloud contact centre software increases contact centre productivity. This is without the capital expense and maintenance costs of premise-based systems.

Built on flexible architecture that adapts to a company’s changing needs, Five9 customers benefit from a secure, reliable and scalable contact centre.

Five9’s cloud contact centre platform also gives customers access to an extensive ecosystem of partners. Its platform can be enhanced with leading customer relationship management, analytics, workforce management, performance management solutions and telephony providers.

By utilising cloud technology, Five9 customers have access to the latest capabilities through no-touch, non-disruptive real-time upgrades.

Five9’s recognition for industry-leading software

As a leading cloud contact centre software provider, Five9 has been recognised by leading industry publications and organisations for its success and innovative solutions.

For the fourth consecutive year, Five9 has ranked as a global leader for The Aragon Research Globe for Intelligent Contact Centres 2021. 

Five9 was also one of only three providers to earn the MetriStar Top Provider award when evaluated as part of Metrigy’s global 2021-2022 Workforce Optimisation and Engagement research study.

Five9: Zoom’s first major acquisition

Zoom Video Communications has agreed to buy Five9 for about $14.7bn, marking the company’s first major acquisition.

This deal with Five9 will help expand the company’s Zoom Phone offering.

“I believe the combination of Zoom and Five9 will be a game-changer. Joining forces will create a transformative opportunity for two strong companies with complementary capabilities and shared values,” said Five9’s CEO, Rowan Trollope.

With Zoom’s reach and brand, the acquisition will help Five9 propel forward and help the company deliver on its goal of significant international expansion

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