Examining Tech Pioneers: Lessons from Exam Master

Aug 6, 2020

The test prep industry is a prime example of the impact that digital transformation can have on  multi-billion-dollar businesses. Books, practice tests, private tutors, group, and individual instruction have long been the norm in companies that have historically focused on providing an offline experience. However, in recent years new and competitive startups are targeting this lucrative market with a value proposition of adaptive, “anywhere you are” technology to help students prep (and do so for a fraction of the price). This is something our client Exam Master has excelled at, by transforming their operations and services into a SaaS scale-up by investing intelligently in their digital business. 

The story:  How did the idea for Exam Master come about? 

Exam Master launched its service in 1994 with the idea of providing a better way for aspiring medical students and healthcare practitioners to prepare for their licensure exams. By 1996, they published their first United States Medical Licensing Examination resource, and two years later they released their preparation resources for aspiring physicians looking to become board certified. 

Today, Exam Master is a study, review, and test-taking software for medical professionals. They provide exam preparation and review material to health care practitioners, medical students (USMLE exams), residents (SMLE and Board Certification), and physicians (Board Certification and SPEX). They own and operate two platforms: Exam Master Online and Academic Manager. 

What makes the brand stand out?

Since the launch of their first online version in 2001, their Academic Manager has evolved to allow for a rich feature set and content management platform. Their Exam Master Online platform recently incorporated a fully updated flashcard system to their program. 

Exam Master is a true pioneer in the development of online testing platforms. Their idea of providing the best possible way to prepare aspiring medical students has led them to continuously change and update the platforms on which they run their services. What makes the brand stand out is precisely their ability to keep up with the changes of their industry while providing the same innovative yet consistent service. 

What are the key factors that have helped your brand be successful?

Different from out-of-the-box solutions, Exam Master leveraged their ability to create customized SaaS solutions as a means to adapt and scale their business. Their innovative mindset in providing software solutions has catapulted the company to success with medical schools, medical libraries, teaching hospitals, and individuals from all over the world. Because the company owns and operates web applications built on Ruby on Rails, they are able to seamlessly deliver services to end clients, handle work with consultants, and manage back-office operations. 

Establishing key partnerships

The company had been relying on an in-house team to fulfill their custom development needs. Over time, they faced issues of unsatisfactory speed and quality of deliverables from their team. With consistent updates being key to differentiating themselves from their competitors,  they also faced a general lack of clarity on the progress of a development roadmap for their products. It was unclear to the management team whether the speed and quality of their in-house development were ideal and consistent with industry standards.

That is when Exam Master reached out to Resolve Digital. As experts in custom development for SaaS, we were able to offer consulting and development services to quickly address their concerns. 

We engaged with Exam Master to help ramp up their existing development projects and essentially replace part of their in-house team. Resolve Digital quickly integrated the existing development efforts. For example, we migrated their software solution from a RackSpace to Heroku infrastructure. Over the past 2 years, Resolve Digital has helped Exam Master complete a number of significant projects and currently leads all major deliverables for Exam Master Applications.  

With the work done by Resolve Digital, the company has been able to acquire expert-level talent to work on their development requests without sacrificing delivery speed or quality. Together we have assured the Exam Master that their development budget is well invested, and ultimately boosted their confidence about continuing to invest in their technology. 

Exam Master is an outstanding example of how smart investments are key, especially when it comes to expert-level talent. Their trust in Resolve Digital made a big difference in how they view their success: 

“Working with Resolve Digital has given our company the ability to scale our development needs to keep pace with the rapidly evolving needs of our industry. Their team is knowledgeable, experienced and they deliver results that shine.”

— Roger Hiers,  Manager of Information Services, Exam Master Corporation

Over the past 2 years, Resolve Digital has helped Exam Master complete a number of significant projects and currently leads all major deliverables for Exam Master Applications.  

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