Who is Behind Your LMS?
The learning industry is experiencing tremendous growth as lighter weight technology opens the doors to new learning theories and practices. Educational institutions and corporations both know how important a quality learning program is to their student/employee success. More than ever, it is important to pick a solution that is not only capable of helping your organization meet real, tangible goals – but also has the proper backing to provide your organization real value.
The LMS market is growing right in line with the rest of the learning industry. There are plenty of players in this space, all for a variety of reasons. Unfortunately though for the consumers, some providers have zero experience in the training industry. The usual suspects involving investment firms, internet marketers, holding companies, and the like. Doing business with these types of LMSs could mean potential problems for your organization.
First and foremost, an LMS is more than a piece of software – it is a strategic decision that has the potential to impact your bottom line. Even if you are one-person shop selling training online, you will save yourself many headaches by aligning with an offering that is backed by true professionals with formal elearning & LMS development and creation experience. No matter what your platform (WordPress, SaaS providers, Moodle, BlackBoard, eFront, etc.), you owe it to your future success to choose one that can offer you support beyond basic technical advice.
There are many offerings out there that are supported by learning industry professionals who have the experience to provide you practical advice, some of which could potentially improve your bottom line. Before purchasing any LMS, make sure you write the companies to get a feel for their response time, knowledge, and general ability to help you meet your desired goals.
One good question to ask is if they are currently involved in more elaborate consulting arrangements with customers. If yes, this means they are actively contributing in the industry at a deeper level, and they can likely provide you the benefit of their experience. Before making an LMS purchase decision, create a list of your most important LMS characteristics and features, then compare your options across each one, reaching out to your potential options with any questions you have. If you have questions about functionality, don’t just rely on email, pick up the phone and call the provider (they are available by phone, right?)
Putting in the necessary footwork up front will save you time and money in the long term. It can be a bit of a pain as you plan out your LMS implementation, but your due diligence will surely be rewarded in the end.