QikKids and Xplor to merge, Mark Woodland appointed to lead new group
The QikKids and Xplor child care management software (CCMS) platforms will be combined into a new education focussed business called TSG Education which will be led by Xplor’s founder and current CEO Mark Woodland.
The announcement comes two months after confirmation that New Zealand based Transaction Services Group had completed the acquisition of Xplor, its second purchase in the Australian CCMS space since its purchase of QikKids in 2017.
Although it is understood that TSG’s initial intentions were to run the two businesses side by side, the advent of COVID-19 and the economic consequences of same triggered a reassessment of the platforms’ original roadmaps, after which TSG concluded that the interests of both customers and team members would be best served by combining the two entities early.
Mr Woodland has been appointed the CEO of the newly formed combined business, which now operates within the new TSG Education Vertical, with immediate effect.
Mr Woodland said he was humbled by the appointment, adding “it is an incredible privilege to bring our passionate and dedicated teams together and to deliver on our shared visions: to empower passionate people and help make education great.”
QikKids Cloud product to be offered to all QikKids customers
Once the organisational aspects of the combination are completed TSG Education will give customers currently using the QikKids platform a choice to move to a cloud based product with enhanced functionality or remain on their existing software of choice.
The cloud based option, to be called QikKids Cloud, will initially be extended to customers who have expressed an interest in transitioning to QikKids Next and will bring forward the availability of a cloud based solution much sooner than initially planned and with many of the features customers have highlighted as valuable in product workshops and forums.
“We’re very excited about making new functionality and features available to QikKids customers well ahead of plan, especially in today’s challenging circumstances” Mr Woodland said. “We will continue to work very closely with customers on our roadmaps, to ensure we deliver the technology that allows Educators to focus on what matters most: educating.”
Innovation to be at the heart of new organisation’s culture
The company used the occasion of the combination of the businesses and Mr Woodland’s appointment to reiterate its commitment to innovation, with the confirmation of two new feature launches directly applicable to the current COVID-19 environment.
Firstly, a new distance learning function called ‘Live Learning” will be offered free as a new feature within Playground and will enable educators to more effectively offer remote learning experiences to families who have elected to keep their children at home during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Secondly, a new centralised enrolment administration hub called Space that will provide a single location where centres and families can collect, book, manage and accept enquiries and enrolments in real time.
Commenting, Mr Woodland said “We have picked a set of high-value activities as part of our Education strategy, which is focused on parent engagement, the automation of administration and occupancy management. With every service and product launch going forward we need to bring more innovation to bear around these scenarios.”
In addition, Mr Woodland confirmed that both Xplor and QikKids have completed the necessary software adjustments needed to meet the new reporting obligations introduced with the passing of the Early Childhood Education and Care Relief Package.
For more information on TSG please see here.