Ed Cohen

As the CEO of Actionable Guru, LLC, Ed Cohen brings his career full circle. A pioneer and innovator in the education technology space, Ed Cohen was one of the first developers of computer-assisted learning software, helping companies to replace classroom training with highly effective, e-learning programs that shortened training cycles, enabled employees to be more productive, provided career development opportunities, and made team members safer on the job.

Today, Ed is working with executive leadership teams to define strategies and objectives for improving Human Capital Management, Learning & Performance Management, and Enterprise Software Development. In addition, he works with investors looking to capitalize on emerging technologies in the Talent Management and E-learning space to identify forward-thinking companies and evaluate product portfolios for investment potential.

In the early 1990s, Ed launched Sensory Computing, a developer of E-learning products that grew from zero to more than $1.5 million in annual revenue by its second year. Ed and his team developed a suite of tools used by companies to develop, track, and manage training courses and E-learning content online. Those tools became the foundation for Sensory Computing's merger with Plateau Systems in 1998, where Ed became Chief Technology Officer. Plateau Systems was a leading Learning & Performance Management system used by large, global enterprises. The tools developed by Sensory Computing enabled Plateau to launch its product portfolio on the Web, giving companies the opportunity to deliver employee training in a variety of ways, from lectures to self-paced instruction.

Ed was a key player in Plateau's growth to more than $70 million in annual revenue, positioning the company for acquisition by SuccessFactors in a deal valued at $290 million, the highest valuation ever paid in the Human Capital Management Space. Just five months later, SAP bought SuccessFactors for $3.6 billion or $40 per share, a 60% premium over the previous day's trading and 11X the prior year's revenue valuation. Ed remained with SAP as their Vice President of Product Management. In that role, he guided product development and continued to shape the industry as a recognized thought leader and keynote speaker at international conferences, seminars, panel discussions, and other symposia worldwide. Ed also served as the Chair of the Aviation Industry CBT Committee's (AICC) Training Infrastructure Subcommittee and was the only software executive from outside the aviation industry to serve on that standards body.

Early in his career, Ed was Vice President of Content Development for IMSATT and before that worked as a Senior Programmer and Programmer for General Physics Corporation, ITC Learning, and Intercom Training.

Ed's passion for programming and E-learning began in high school where, while too young to work for a paycheck, he programmed in exchange for hot dogs and milkshakes. He quickly became a sought-after "hired gun", developing E-learning applications using technologies that evolved from a system called PLATO during the late 70's to PC developed Computer Based Training (CBT). During the mid 80’s he worked on content using Interactive Video that allowed computer graphics to be overlaid on top of video. In the 90s, Ed's development work migrated from DOS to Windows system tools. In the late 90’s the industry switched from desktop to client server technology and then to the web. The most recent transition has been to SaaS web-based architecture, today's standard for enterprise software.

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