Common LMS Buying Challenges
Buying a Learning Management System can be a daunting process. There are hundreds of LMS vendors to choose from, and so little differentiation in must-have features. More importantly, with the rise of cloud-based LMS, almost all learning platform vendors claim worldwide delivery.
How can you ensure that your chosen learning platform allows you to compete in the global marketplace? This article will explore the top seven learning platform buying challenges.
Before you Buy an LMS
Before you purchase your LMS, there are some questions you should ask about your organization's goals and objectives. A training needs analysis is a key part of this process, and should help you answer questions such as:
Who are your learners? Ask yourself where in the world your learning will take place, and what languages you may need to accommodate. If your organization has geographically diverse employees, you're likely dealing with challenges specific to where you do business.
How do your learners learn? Do your learners need 24/7 access to their training program? Are they primarily using their mobile devices to access their training?
What are your plans for your training program? Will you be selling your training? What are the local and global monetary ramifications of setting up an eCommerce site? Are there privacy and security factors that you need to consider?
How will you ensure success? What are your plans to motivate your learners, and keep them motivated? If you are selling your training, have you thought about how you are going to market your product?
With any software purchase, it's important that you buy the product that best meets your organization's needs. To help you get off to a good start (i.e., to make it less painful), here are seven challenges that global learning platform buyers commonly face.
Six Common Buying Challenges
1. Maintaining Effectiveness in Different Languages
If your organization trains a geographically diverse workforce, you need to think about translations.
Use a training needs analysis to determine what languages are required by your employees, and ensure your LMS can meet those needs.
Most learning management systems do not translate content. What's generally translated is the menu bars, page labels, notifications and, sometimes, site documentation.
SkillBuilder® LMS is a multilingual application that offers interfaces in English, French and Portuguese. Once an administrator sets the language, the application is automatically translated for the user.
2. Managing Different Time Zones
Today's global marketplace demands an LMS that can keep up with users that are spread across different time zones.
It is especially important, should you be dealing with time-sensitive due dates such as for exams or certifications, that your application allows you to have complete control over the LMS clock and due dates.
SkillBuilder® LMS allows your administrators to set time zones based on the location of the learner, making sure your organization's workflow can proceed uninterrupted.
3. Maintaining a High Level of Security
A SANS Institute reports that for 95% of all attacks on enterprise networks, the problem started with a single user's login details being compromised.
Data security, especially in corporate training, is one of the must-have LMS features. User information must be kept confidential and secure, and the learning content itself may be proprietary and require protection from security breaches.
You need to choose a learning management system that can maintain the security standards your organization requires. Also, consider that privacy and data storage rules and regulations are different for each country.
SkillBuilder® LMS uses a secured back-end infrastructure, SSL protocols and single sign-on. The global learning platform runs on the Microsoft Azure cloud platform, which is responsible for providing the infrastructure security. Detailed security documentation is available upon request.
4. Supporting Different Currencies and Taxation
If you plan to sell your eLearning courses online, you need eCommerce capabilities. There are different types of eCommerce platforms for your eLearning courses. However, to sell your online courses worldwide, you need to use an LMS that supports multiple currencies and taxation.
Taxation of eCommerce is an important issue for organizations. Taxes vary by jurisdiction, by region and by country, so whether your needs are national or international, you need an LMS that includes a taxation management feature.
SkillBuilder® allows you to manage taxes, and to configure the kind of taxes included in any purchase. The end user will only see the taxes applicable to their country and region, and your organization will be able to collect and track taxes.
5. Providing Tiered Pricing
If you are selling your learning programs, you need an LMS that will allow you to create multiple pricing levels for individuals and/or organizations.
Tier pricing allows you to apply discounts based on various contexts: quantity ordered, member group, 50% off second purchase, etc. It can encourage your buyers to purchase additional learning items from your catalog.
SkillBuilder® LMS allows you to:
Configure unique price tiers
Apply discounts based on various contexts
Include cross-sell suggestions
6. Integrating with other Applications
According to the Brandon Hall Group study, 77% of companies say that integration capabilities are either essential or critical for their learning technology vendors to have. You may need to integrate with any or all of the following systems:
Human resource information system (HRIS)
Enterprise resource planning (ERP) system
Customer relationship management (CRM)
SkillBuilder® LMS, through various APIs, can integrate with your existing applications to quickly import and export data, and our team can work with you to create an API that works with your current applications.
Deciding on an LMS is one of the most important decisions you will make for your training program. With hundreds of options available to you, you want to ensure that you choose one that will help your organization effectively meet its goals and objectives. This article has explored some of the most common buying challenges you will encounter. Keep them in mind when you define your LMS requirements and you'll find the best platform for your organization.
Are you ready to see how SkillBuilder® LMS can positively affect your bottom line? Start a Trial Run today!
Sarah is an Instructional Designer at BaseCorp Learning Systems and is currently completing a PhD in Educational Technology. Her research focuses on implementing competency-based learning systems in all types of organizations. When she doesn't have her nose in a book you can find her at the gym, on the ice, on the ski hill, drinking wine or in a coffee shop … with her nose in a book.