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Vistaprint creates culture of learning for 3,000 global specialists with Totara

Vistaprint is a global eCommerce brand empowering more than 17 million small business owners to professionally promote their business with quality printed and digital marketing products at an affordable price. Vistaprint’s world-class online design studio is supported by 22 localised websites serving various global markets; 13 world-class manufacturing facilities around the globe, including North America, Western Europe and Australia; and over 7,000 employees in offices worldwide.

The Challenge

Vistaprint previously used the Totara Learning Management System (LMS) to manage the training of their CARE Leadership Teams and more than 3,000 customer care specialists worldwide. They hosted their Totara Learn installation in-house and worked with a local vendor to support their site.

Vistaprint originally decided to host their Totara instance on their own server because they were not yet using cloud services, and they had team members with the expertise to support the platform internally. The Vistaprint team received the LMS code updates and support from their vendor; however, they eventually reached a point where they required a higher level of Totara support.

“Hosting the server ourselves eventually became troublesome. We were facing issues with installation of updates, maintenance, and the huge impact on time and workload this caused. Additionally, we felt unsupported by our vendor, which caused us to decide to look for a new partner.” – Oliver Sendatzki, Manager of CARE Learning at Vistaprint

Vistaprint was originally drawn to the Totara LMS due to the open-source community, intuitive design, and corporate-oriented features such as Hierarchies, Team Overview reports, and Job Assignments. When they began evaluating other options, the team at Vistaprint knew that they wanted to continue using the open technology provided by Totara but needed a Totara Partner that would be able to more thoroughly cover the maintenance and administration of the platform.

“After using Totara at Vistaprint for a few years already, there wasn’t really a question to look for a different platform,” said Sendatzki. “Totara is incredibly intuitive and includes all the corporate-focused features we need. Furthermore, our customer care team is comfortable using it. With some of our employees coming from schools and universities where they worked with the Moodle LMS, the transition to Totara in the workplace – which is based off of the same open source code base – was very easy and familiar.”

“Totara is incredibly intuitive and includes all the corporate-focused features we need.”

The Solution

In 2018, Vistaprint chose to partner with eThink Education, a Platinum Totara Partner, in order to take advantage of eThink’s fully-managed LMS solutions and superior support. eThink specialises in creating a custom eLearning platform to help organisations of all shapes and sizes meet their unique training needs.

During the implementation stage, eThink updated the theme of Vistaprint’s site to provide a new modern design, implemented a Single Sign-On integration, and made other small changes to quickly and efficiently get their new Totara site up and running.

“The eThink team was very helpful and tried to make the implementation as fast as possible since we had a strict timeline,” said Sendatzki. “Whenever we had questions or concerns, eThink helped us understand and solve any challenges with suggestions and workarounds.”

Since their Totara by eThink installation, Vistaprint has taken advantage of many of the corporate-specific functionalities, such as Hierarchies and Appraisals, and plans to continue exploring the platform’s customization possibilities.


Vistaprint’s “Road to Platinum” Learning Plan

At Vistaprint, each employee has a Job Assignment, which then drives enrollment into role-based training. Every customer care specialist has a dedicated learning plan that they need to follow called “The Road to Platinum.” A learning task program is developed by the Learning Managers. Furthermore, all individual learning plans are owned by individual managers, allowing an employee’s direct manager to add individual learning plans based on the employee’s specific needs.

Learning managers are then able to monitor the specialists’ progress through their courses and track learning outcomes via the Team Overview report. Managers can also approve training bookings to ensure employees are following their plan and are taking courses at the right time.

“Our customer care specialists spend a lot of time on the phone or emailing with our clients. To make sure our specialists find time for their training, our workforce management team encourages eLearning during specific times and days, which is managed by the Seminar Activity feature in Totara,” said Sendatzki. “When a training is booked, managers are notified and can approve or deny the training depending on where the employee is within their learning plan.”

Once training is complete, both the employee and manager complete the Appraisal process to provide an overview of their performance during the onboarding.

Employees are able to self-evaluate their performance, and additionally receive feedback from their manager.

“One of the things we wanted to achieve was to use Totara to encourage a learning culture within the company,” said Sendatzki. Request a demo and learn more about at

“We wanted to provide employees with an easy-to-use and engaging way to access training and educational resources, while also providing transparency for managers regarding employee learning progress. With Totara, we’ve been able to do just that and we’re looking forward to continuing to enhance the learning experience for our users.”

The Results

Freedom of Time

Moving over to Totara by eThink has eased Vistaprint’s administrative burden, allowing them to focus less on the management and upkeep of the system and more on improving workflows and the overall educational experience for their employees.

“Managing Totara internally – hosting, implementing, upgrading, finding workarounds, etc. – took so much time. Since moving over to eThink, the whole experience has changed.”

“We are no longer wasting time struggling with technical challenges and issues. My team received so much of our time back that we can now focus on our main projects, including the administration, creation, and maintenance of content. We are happy to have a strong partner who can assist us when it comes to the implementation of new ideas and visions,” said Sendatzki.

With more time to dedicate to improving the educational experience for learners, the Vistaprint team has been able to begin working on projects in Totara including creating and deploying course competencies and expanding the course catalog to offer a video library, course suggestions, employee-created microlearning, and course ratings.

Continuous Innovation 

In the two years since Vistaprint has launched their platform with eThink, Vistaprint has added more than 2,000 courses to their learning platform in three different languages (German, English, and French). Vistaprint is seeing an average of 7,500 visits to their LMS per month from their Customer CARE team across the world.

“With the transition to a self-directed learning approach, the platform is our number one resource for all learning related content,” said Sendatzki. “The platform with eThink offers our employees a variety of different learning formats such as the ability to book themselves into classroom training sessions and access eLearning courses and microlearning. For most of our courses, the learner can choose the format based on their individual learning style to make sure that the course fits their needs.”

Vistaprint has worked with eThink to create different localised dashboards that customise the learning experience for each learner. A new and improved visual catalogue was also launched on their site in order to give the audience an opportunity to seamlessly filter through the available courses based on location, language, and other tags.

eThink also helped Vistaprint streamline their reporting system so they have been able to continuously adjust and improve their learning content as needed. Additionally, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the platform provided Vistaprint with a flexible platform to keep their team adaptable. “Our learning platform provided a great opportunity to stay in contact with the teams all over the world and to invest much more time and effort into providing great eLearning to keep our team fast and nimble,” said Sendatzki.

The Vistaprint team is continuously looking at new ways they can utilise the platform, including expanding the use of the platform to provide training and resources for other departments within the company.

“Initially, the training in Totara was built primarily for our customer care specialists. However, we now have leadership and managers that are taking some training within the system and our Human Resources team has begun to use the platform… We hope to increase our audience from baseline to leadership and HR,” stated Sendatzki.

As Vistaprint continues to scale and enhance their Totara environment, eThink will be on hand to help them meet the eLearning needs of today and the future.

“Throughout the entire process of getting our site created and adapting it to our changing needs, eThink has been a great partner and supported us with all our different questions and requirements. The team does a brilliant job and is always able to provide us with ideas and advice whenever a new challenge arises.”  – Oliver Sendatzki, Manager of CARE Learning at Vistaprint

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