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Other Features to Consider
Now that we’ve gone over the main list, here are a few other options to consider when finding the right choice. For a more comprehensive list, check out our article on LMS requirements.
- Automation: One of the biggest benefits of getting an online education platform is saving time by completing administrative tasks. It helps with auto enrollments, managing learning paths, sending notifications for upcoming due dates and events, and automatically adds or removes users.
- Integrations: When picking out a solution, it’s important to think about what it must integrate with. This could include compliance software, enterprise resource planning tools, an HRIS or other HR option, payment processors, talent management, webinars, workforce management and legacy software used by the organization.
- Interoperability: Going one step beyond integration, interoperability measures how easy it is for the software to communicate and work with other programs. By using a RESTful API or software such as Zapier, an LMS can easily enroll students with third-party data and share data with other systems.
- Video Conferencing: The ability to speak face-to-face with trainees is crucial. Consider the live video capabilities or examine any third-party apps users might need access to this feature. If this is an add-on, factor in the added cost before deciding.
What are the Benefits?
Now that we know what we’re looking for in an LMS, we can discuss the purpose of this solution in your organization. On a big picture level, it manages all skill development within the organization. It can tie in with talent management or HR platforms, so executives can facilitate career building for all workers.
There are many benefits of using an LMS such as:
- Cuts down on training costs and time
- Reduces tedious admin tasks
- Creates more efficient onboarding
- Makes it easier to keep excellent employees
- Organizes data
Sounds great, but even the highest-rated LMS won’t help unless it aligns with your company goals and requirements. Expert insights and user reviews are important, but ultimately, you need to base your selection on what’s best for your company.
How to Pick the Right Software for Your Company
Want to be competitive in the modern market? Developing a strong company culture and equipping your workforce to win big are two top ways to position an organization for success.
And one vital part of making those goals a reality is investing in an e-learning solution, but where do you start?
It’s a market poised on the edge of explosive growth, with forecasts predicting it to swell from its current size of $9.2 billion to $22.4 billion by 2023. Plus, over 750 vendors offer learning management systems. Talk about a lot of choices.
As you conduct the search, use these questions as a guide.
What Are My Company Goals?
Don’t fork over a chunk of change for new software because it’s the trendy thing to do or because something shinier comes along.
You must understand what you’re trying to achieve. For example, if a manager has uncovered a skills gap among employees and requires a way to improve the process and take the time to consider the options. Whatever goal (or goals) you identify should act as the compass for the decision.
What’s Best for My Industry?
You may wonder, “Does the industry really matter?” It does.
Corporate professionals and the academic industry are the two major categories that online education vendors serve. If your organization is a university, you’ll have different requirements for what you need from an LMS than a banking firm looking to increase the effectiveness of its onboarding process.
What Are My Must-Have Features?
Answering the previous question helps with this one. Brainstorm a list of what you need, along with the nice-to-haves. There’s a difference, so be specific.
Listing the requirements makes it easier to vet vendors. It also encourages the consideration of advanced functionalities. If a company has offices in North America, Europe and Asia, you may want multilingual support to deliver the content in multiple languages. For a guide to LMS features, download our features checklist.
What Level of Support and Training Do I Need?
A new platform won’t do anyone much good if the admins don’t know how to use it. Pay close attention to what support a vendor offers. For example, Cornerstone Learning has a Client Success Center, where you can collaborate with peers and turn to experts for help.
An LMS features tools to educate admins including webinars, courses and a knowledge base library. This can create a much smoother rollout if the team isn’t familiar with managing such software. Many e-learning solutions come with implementation support to guide users through switching and help with administrative headaches.
Outside of onboarding staff to the new solution, keep ongoing technical support in mind. Is there a ticketing system if users run into issues? How does the vendor handle data security and backup for a cloud solution? You may need software with a representative who can help you with issues that arise.
Gain a thorough understanding of the exact ways vendors deal with such situations. Otherwise, you might find yourself driving down a road full of potholes in the future.
How Should I Integrate Online and Offline Learning?
With the growing popularity of blended learning, it’s important to have a game plan for how the different educational initiatives intersect and get measured. That means you’ll need a game plan and a way to measure participation at live events, on-the-job exercises, recording projects and more.
In terms of requirements, this may translate into the ability to include xAPI, a standard that is uniquely qualified to track training that happens offline. Something as simple as watching extra YouTube videos can fit the bill. Tracking is possible through various mobile apps, by integrating with an LMS or by uploading the information into the database. Others have capabilities to track offline learning built right into their app. Consider how important this is to your strategy before buying.
Get our LMS Software Requirements Template