SkillBuilder® LMS Integrations
Do you want an LMS with top-of-the line, custom-built learner forums, payment processors, and analytics? Probably, but can you afford it? In that case, how about an LMS with low end or missing features? Definitely not. So how can you get an LMS that does everything you need it to at a reasonable price? integration is the answer. Find an LMS that can connect to the best-in-class systems that someone's already built, ones that you may be using now.
Let's start by looking at just what an integration is. Integration refers to the process of combining two pieces of software in order to solve the problem of isolated data.
For example, many organizations hold extensive data about their employees in a Human Resource Management System (HRMS) or Human Resource Information System (HRIS). Data often includes names, job titles, qualifications, positions within the organizational hierarchy and related information.
Now, let's say you're setting up an LMS. You'll want to create an LMS account for each person, and you'll probably want to set up groupings that reflect your organizational structure. I don't suppose anyone fancies the thought of entering that data manually and then spending months or years tracking down the typos and other errors inherent to such an operation! Of course, by the time you've corrected it it'll all be outdated anyway.
As a step up from manual updates, most systems allow you to transfer data in bulk. You export data from the HRIS in a format compatible with the LMS and then upload it to the LMS. It is an improvement, but it's one that can leave you with plenty of problems. After the upload, you'll still need to manually enter every change in both systems. In a large organization, the challenge of keeping both systems up-to-date and consistent may be overwhelming.
But what if you could get the HRIS and LMS to talk to each other? To create your accounts, you'd just tell the LMS to pull data from the HRIS. Whenever someone's employment status changed, you'd update the HRIS and it would make the necessary changes to their LMS account. And that's just the beginning. Learning progress, completions, new certifications and qualifications could all be sent from the LMS to the HRIS. Account data would update automatically, and you'd be able to generate reports with data from both systems. Sound good? This is just one example of what integrated systems can let you do.
If you're talking about integration, you're going to end up talking about APIs. An API is an Application Program Interface. It's basically a set of instructions for how to transfer data to and from an application. It means that an LMS like SkillBuilder® LMS, with its API Toolkit, can be set up to connect to any other application with a comprehensive API.
SkillBuilder® LMS's Preconfigured Integrations
While SkillBuilder® LMS's API Toolkit allows users to set up connections to virtually any other application, some popular connections are preconfigured. I'll list a few of them here to show the versatility of API integrations.
1. Offer Single Sign-On
With single sign-on (SSO), the API is used to link SkillBuilder® LMS to another system - usually an HRIS like Bamboo HR or CRM like Microsoft Dynamics 365 - so learners can use their credentials there to log into SkillBuilder®. With the identities linked, the system can also be set up to send learner progress or completions or other data back to the HRIS or CRM.
The benefits of SSO include:
- Reduction in password fatigue - with only one login and password, users have less to remember. They can set stronger passwords without using a third-party password manager and IT spends less time resetting forgotten passwords.
- Better reporting - you can track when and how users are accessing their learning.
2. Create better eLearning
As well as sharing data, integrations allow you to access best-in-class features from external applications. Do you want to encourage learner discussions and knowledge sharing, engaging your learners in a collaborative learning strategy? Access all the power of Disqus, an advanced message board system. Learners can communicate, commiserate and collaborate as part of their eLearning program without ever leaving the LMS.
3. Enable full-service eCommerce
Are you marketing your learning programs? SkillBuilder® LMS's eCommerce integrations include:
- Payment Processors like Paypal, Moneris and Bambora: Allow customers to pay for courses using their preferred credit card and a secure payment processor.
- Sales Tax Managers like TaxJar: Do you make sales in different states, provinces or countries? Can you list all the sales taxes that apply to each sale while factoring in tax holidays and other local variations? TaxJar can manage all your sales tax calculations based on the purchaser's country and region.
4. Enhance reporting
Reporting matters, whatever your perspective. These departments need to know:
- Human Resources\
- Who's completed a new qualification?\
- Is anyone missing mandatory compliance training?
- Learning and Development\
- How long does it take the average learner to complete a particular course?\
- Where are the weak points in this course where we're losing learners?\
- Does this program adequately prepare learners for the assessment?
- Marketing and Sales\
- Which courses are the most popular? The least?\
- How do potential clients find our offerings?
SkillBuilder® LMS's integrations have a lot to offer the many people interested in reports on learning and development. Some of the reporting advantages of integrating with human resources applications and CRMs were mentioned earlier. Additionally, SkillBuilder® LMS offers:
- Excel API - Would you like to access advanced reporting features, or do you just prefer to manipulate your data in Microsoft's Excel? The Excel API has you covered!
- Google Analytics - Do you need detailed tracking of your eCommerce offerings? Integrating SkillBuilder® LMS with Google Analytics will give you the data you need -- and more!
With SkillBuilder® LMS, the data in your Learning Management System doesn't have to stay there. Integrations allow you to share data between key business applications as well as harnessing best-in-class learning and eCommerce applications to work in your LMS. If you'd like to learn more about what SkillBuilder® LMS has to offer, or to discuss specific integrations, get in touch with our experts today!
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Shauna graduated from the University of Toronto in 2002 with a Master of Arts in English before moving home to Calgary to work in the fast-paced, detail-oriented oil and gas industry. Now certified as a technical writer, Shauna is comfortable writing in a variety of styles, and for a variety of audiences.