Software Proposal for purchasing Articulate Storyline

May 04, 2012

Does anyone have an impressive Software Proposal for purchasing Articulate Storyline that they would be willing to share?

I want to "knock my bosses socks" off with all the reasons why we need to get Articulate Storyline and want to do it soon so we can take advantage of the free character bundle! 

Anything that talks about the new features and how it can streamline the workflow, etc.

Although there may not be a document in existence yet, maybe everyone can contribute some ideas here that we can all share and use.

Thanks in advance!

18 Replies
Steve Flowers

We discussed this a bit on the beta forums before release. There were two camps with some overlap. Both are important but emphasis will depend on your environment:

1) Lead with $$ outcomes

2) Imply outcomes with savings in other areas or capability enhancement that could easily be translated into real $$ outcomes

I'm in the second camp where I work. So here's what I predicted I would lead with to justify a purchase:

  1. The ability to connect multiple outputs with a single publish. With one publish output to desktop, iPad app, and HTML5. This increases reach to mobile devices from a single source and tool.
  2. Transform workflow by integrating all production and assembly into a single tool. Quizzes, interactions, and slide-based content from one environment. Rather than requiring multiple tools, each tool switch offering a real measurable time consequence, a single tool can now handle what 2 to 4 tools previously delivered. 
  3. Take advantage of a features that balance power and ease of use. The domain of complex custom interactions moves closer to the novice instructional developer while the experienced developer can push the limits of the tool and accomplish things faster.
  4. The boundless resources of the most supportive community around. The Articulate community is second to none supporting tool users with free content, guidance and responsive support.
  5. Tools in one place that provide control over video, audio, multimedia, assessments and interactions that exceed any tool on the market.

The biggest benefit to me is the speed at which you can accomplish things that were difficult or impossible to do in other toolsets. Sure, it's just a tool and there are many cases I'll choose other tools to supplement or in some cases completely displace Storyline. But even for an expert developer, there's still plenty of value there.

Here was my submission to justify the purchase of several licenses:

Storyline is an entirely new class of tool. This software walks the line between easy to use and fully capable. In addition, the tool enables simultaneous publish to Desktop (Flash), HTML5 (Phones), and an iOS player for iPad devices without multiple workflows. The tool offers accelerated workflows for building interactions that don't require coding. From drag and drop activities to complexed sequenced interactions, things that may have previously called for specialized development skills (Flash programming), significant time investment and iteration can now be accomplished through a single toolkit that plays well with other toolkits. This tool doesn't replace the need for other tools when specialized or sophisticated outputs are a best fit, but it does raise the threshold that might require those tools. Best of all, this tool removes barriers. Unlike previous tools in our arsenal, the tool won't be the barrier to shipping solutions.

Steve Flowers

Sure thing, Bruce! Here was Bruce's suggestion (Two parts - it was a long discussion -- all valuable and all valid points):

Whilst I agree with the answers above, you still need to tangibly make them real to your organisation. For any one of Steve's answers, I can see Boardroom Executives (in my minds eye...) saying "So what?"

You wanted a list of 5 things, and somewhat luckily there are only 5 reasons why corporations really, ever spend hard-earned money on anything. Explain it in terms that do one of these 5 things, (they are really the only things that matter...ever, in business).

The purchase:

a> Increases (your) profit.

b> Reduces (your) losses.

c> Reduces (your corporate) risk (can be part of b> above).

d> Increases customer loyalty (internal and external customers).

e> Is required for legislative/compliance purposes.

3/4 (above) are examples of these in play - reduction in time is a mix of a/b, 4 leads to d> (usually).

You can use the perceived and & known/accepted issues with AP'09 production to sell the benefits of Storyline.

All Steve's arguments can be fitted into this model, which is a model that the people who increasingly pay the bills will judge all/most purchasing by.

You could even just have one "slide" with these 5 points on it, and then a layer triggered for each one with example upon example of each. Stick in a video of a roulette wheel for the "Risk" layer - and talk about the fact that no other product comes close, so it will not be money that has to spent again, it will reduce "Add-On" purchases, less time trying to cludge things together. Ask them a question - "Do YOU want to bet on Captivate upgrades at this point?"

At the end, say, "By the way, this was produced in 35 minutes flat using SL, it's one slide - and it would have taken 3 hours in Flash/AP '09. Any questions?".

I do that sort of thing in pretty much each and every presentation I now do. I won a piece of business recently because of my SL website showing them what it looks like, making it REAL, and explaining the amount they would save by using SL a/b above.

"Sell" - don't "tell". Remember, everyone that Board sees tries to extract money from them, and you can bet they've seen a boatload of PowerPoint slides. They will also have to justify THEIR choices to someone higher up.

Unfortunately - in many cases, if the link between all the good things Steve says and the business operations are not made, all they will hear is "I'm a tecchie and I want a brand new shiny cool set of toys please...", and you will not get what you want, or only a partial allocation, which may put a to e at risk.

The fact that SL outputs to multiple device sets is largely irrrelevant if the corporation is a PC-based entity. That argument fails to address a --> e above for your situation , so it's an irrelevance for the 3-minutes facetime that you have to sell your case.

If you can monetise your arguments at each stage, it will strengthen your case again. Many in the training industry need to talk the talk of the boardroom/Board a bit more. Sadly, however in pretty much all (corporate) business decisions, "People are our greatest asset" is very often only true when they are seen delivering  a --> e above.

Just my 2p worth, hope there's something useful there.


PT2 -

Value - that's the core Steve, however as "...people from the training department" we have to understand that the way "value" is measured in most parts of the business is completely different from the "Fluffiness factor" that many people in training use to measure their "value".

When push comes to shove, and there's a lot of shove at the moment, financial realities will always trump "Things that feel good and are a good thing to do for our folks...".

I'd never advocate lying with statistics, but if others use them to measure success and value, we ignore them at our peril.

Just as an's also worth remembering that learning "the language of finance..." helps you sell, whether you are a freelancer or not.

I had a (startup) prospect contact me recently who has a considerable number of courses to build.

We ended up having a discussion around risk-reward strategies, revenue-sharing on a percentage/ratio basis, (based on gross revenue not Net), and agreed on a strategy for a 2-year rolling plan going forward. In lay-speak - I build courses at x% billable, (a benefit to them),  and we share revenue xx:yy to their advantage for x years after each course is launched. Those conversations have very little to do with "training" - learning to re-frame a conversation in the language of your customer (often financial) can be a huge advantage.

Philippe Benezet


I have to said the workflow is an excellent one.

Also partial scoring is quite easy with the use of variables.

I am just a little bit deseapointed by the graded quizzes :

Too many graded questions have not score by answer but only by question.

I hope this will be improved soon.

In anyway a very useful  tool!

Matt Mayer

Sam Currie said:

Wow, this is very useful, I am just dipping my toe into the water with Storyline, playing around with a trial copy and putting some ideas together so I can go with my begging bowl to the powers that be - wish me luck!

Hello Sam,

when evaluating the product, be sure to test and or incorporate an engage file and or quiz into your Storyline presentation and test it using iPad. I have been having issue's with the iPad not reading and or playing any Engage and or Quizzes (Studio '9) which were incorporated into my presentation.

Note that I tried publishing both using HTML 5 and using Articulate's App - neither worked.

Not sure is this is something that I am doing wrong or the system itself.

Jeanette Brooks

Hi Matt! Imported Engage interactions aren't supported in HTML5 or iPad, since these are Flash web objects. This document lists the various Storyline features, and shows which ones are & aren't supported in each of the different output types (Flash, HTML5, and iPad).

Quizmaker quizzes are supported in HTML5 and iPad, so I'm surprised you're seeing issues with your Quizmaker '09 quizzes. The only time they're known to not be supported is if they contain any objects or content (such as Flash) that aren't supported in HTML5/iPad. Also, when you import from Quizmaker, there might be a few adjustments you need to make (such as customizing feedback layers, designing result slides, etc.) as described in this tutorial. Otherwise, Quizmaker '09 should import into Storyline fine.  If you're seeing something different, would you mind submitting a support case so that we can help you troubleshoot? Thanks!

Jeanette Brooks

Hi Dave, one big difference is that Storyline gives a ton of flexibility to create just about any type of interaction you want - your imagination's the limit, and you can build highly interactive courses (without having to know any programming). You also get powerful software simulation/screen-recording tools. Also, Storyline is a standalone tool, it's not tied to Powerpoint.

With Studio '12, you take advantage of more form-based authoring in a PowerPoint environment. You can create really beautiful content very quickly and easily. The new Studio '12 features you see in the comparison list will make course-building easier than ever.

If you like the PowerPoint environment and don't need software simulation or limitless interactivity, then sticking with Studio is probably the way to go. If you want the freedom to build virtually anything you can imagine, or if you need to create software simulations, then Storyline is probably the right choice.

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