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Working With E-Learning Vendors: Evaluating Responses to Your RFP

E-learning Uncovered

Now, let’s look at some tips on how to sift through all of the information you will get back from the vendors. The best time to think about how you want to evaluate vendors is when you are creating the RFP, so you don’t forget to ask the vendors for something you need. Depending on what you asked for, the review process may consist of reading proposals, reviewing demos, listening to presentations, calling references, or even evaluating prototypes created just for you.

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Working with E-Learning Vendors: Creating a Request for Information (RFI)

E-learning Uncovered

The selection of an e-learning vendor can seem challenging. Maybe you don’t know what vendors can provide the exact product or service you need, or it might be that you aren’t even sure WHAT you need. My next few blog posts will give some tips I have found for selecting and working with vendors. First, let’s focus on how to get the information you need from a vendor using a Request for Information (RFI).

A Look Back at E-Learning in 2012

eLearning 24-7

The year kicked off with lots of potential, lots of excitement in the air and lots of customers gearing up to purchase new systems, despite global economic woes. Mobile Learning. LMSs – Finally vendors took notice. eLogic Learning. exact learning.

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New E-Learning Rankings: Authoring Tools

eLearning 24-7

best products that work under water (summer time) and from the e-learning prospective – the best authoring tools. Vendors can move up, down or out of the rankings – after all it is on-going. The app store is awesome and I wish more vendors would follow suit.

LMS Customization

eLearning 24-7

Ask and see what can be done by the vendorCustomize it! Customization can be a big deal when it comes to your LMS/LCMS for a simple fact, many of times what you are purchasing is “off the shelf&# and comes with standard features, capabilities. Plus many vendors will include special “customized&# options for you – and then tell you what they are – during your discussions or upon your final negotiations. Hello, customization!

Video Learning Platforms

eLearning 24-7

People who bought HD-DVD players – learn that they make great flying objects out of five story buildings. 2013 - LMSs are not the only learning system in town. The new kids of the block (please no jokes here) are Video Learning Platforms. E-commerce. Custom domain.

Best of the Best – Extended Enterprise or multi-tenant LMSs

eLearning 24-7

Just because a system lists itself as an extended enterprise does not mean it comes with multiple domains (which with some vendors includes customized) nor with multiple portals or my preferable term – “multi-tenant” You may see an “extended enterprise” which not only refers to the company’s employees, but also their customers and channel partners. B2C – Business to Customer. E-commerce included. E-Learning 24/7.

State of the LMS 2012

eLearning 24-7

For the past month, I have been conducting a survey on learning platforms and specifically learning management systems. . The data shows that what many vendors assume end users want is far from accurate. Do you have a LMS/LCMS/Learning Platform. E-commerce – 14.2%.

LMS Ecosystems – The next big thing

eLearning 24-7

When you think of a learning management system you immediately focus on the features, ease of use (ideally) and more importantly how it ties directly to what you want to do in the short and long term as related to learning or learning/performance management. Maybe you see it as a component within a blended learning environment. Offers a multitude of services to customers. They also may have offered the ability to create courses for you, at a fee.

E-Learning: Did you know.

eLearning 24-7

I love going to LMS sites and seeing a list of clients that the vendor lists. Especially the LMS vendors who also create custom content/development. It adds an additional nuance to their services. That some vendors who provide a list of clients may not be clients of their LMS, rather they are current or past clients of custom course development. Yep, you read that right, and best or worst of all, they (vendor) never tells you, unless you inquiry.

Latest Trends in E-Learning

eLearning 24-7

Twice a year I will be providing some trends that I am seeing in the e-learning market. This one trend really is an irritation to me, because the term “training” is showing up rather than “learning”, which is the standard term as it relates to online learning (see it already?). We call online learning, e-learning, not e-training, but some vendors will have you believe that “training” is the appropriate term, rather than learning.

5 E-Learning Forecasts for 2012

eLearning 24-7

They involved talent management, “hello and goodbye” with vendors, social learning, upswing in mobile learning, new feature sets in the authoring tool space, flat lining in web conferencing and standalone platforms. LMSs/LCMS/CMS/learning platforms in commercial and open space continued their presence. Some items stood out, others continued in an everlasting awful experience (customer and support service – as a whole). Social Learning.

Product Review: BlueVolt

eLearning 24-7

Ability to e-mail a group of people or an individual within the product – ideal for classroom, webinars or even admin to send specific notifications without having to sent it to everyone. E-mail notifications and reminders. Social Learning – No. E-Learning 24/7.

Low Cost LMSs – Yes, u can find one for under 10K

eLearning 24-7

Do these systems have customers with more than 10,000 users? Some systems in this space include e-commerce at no additional charge. If the system offers a robust customization front, then expect implementation time to be aligned to systems that cost more – i.e. depends on what is needed to be done and specs. Tech Support and Service – may or may not be included – always ask. Many vendors’ sites do not state this information in their pricing.

Q&A from Blog Readers on E-Learning

eLearning 24-7

Every e-learning consulting/research firm, etc. But, I do not look at the number of users, number of clients (in terms of ranking as the best of the best), I look at the platform as a whole – including those extra variables people tend to leave out - user interface, customer service, support, training and a few other items. . My latest take on those three vendors (plus one) are: Cornerstone On Demand – I have seen the new UI and I like what I saw.

How to Buy a LMS

eLearning 24-7

LMS – Learning Management System – most commonly sought out by folks. LCMS – Learning Content Management System – going the way of the dodo bird. M-Learning- Mobile Learning. E-Learning – Online Learning. Many people confuse the term thinking it means electronic learning and thus will boost that they were doing e-learning 20 years ago or even longer. LRS – Learning Record Stores.

#25 to #11 LMSs of 2012

eLearning 24-7

It is the holiday season and for those who see me as the grinch (okay a few vendors do, but I digress) here is a special post. Next week, 12-12-12, will be #10 to #1 learning management systems for 2012. New features include m-learning on the iPad with native app (no on/off synch), integrates with Yammer, themes, custom URL, assessment tool, the authoring tool is the key component, help and feedback tab. Sales service – in my experience awful. . #22

Dispelling the LMS Myth

eLearning 24-7

He was recognized throughout the e-learning and learning communities. I live it, perhaps too much, yet the other day I came across a learning blog informing its readers that in order for the LMS to survive: Must become modular. E-Commerce. Customized skinning – albeit in today’s market there are some vendors who charge for skins – disgusting! Excluding the above, there are vendors out there who charge extra for.

#ASTDTK14 Review

eLearning 24-7

ASTDTK14 zoomed into Vegas last week with about 60 vendors (est.) On the expo side, and I know ASTD Events are going to disagree with me (err, they already have via Linkedin), I wasn’t overly impressed on the number of vendors’ booths. Authoring tools vendors – pickings were slim, Adobe was present, so was Allen Interactions (Zebra Zapps), but no Articulate? Mobile specific tools or m-learning spin tools – were not as extensive as I was expecting.

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Product Review: Litmos LMS

eLearning 24-7

Less functionality and features than their standard counterparts, but these features may be “social learning&# , or “ability to tie a user to a course&# or “creating learning paths for each user&# or “assessment tools&# , etc. Vendor: Litmos.

Product Review: Saba Social

eLearning 24-7

A LMS whose UI is poor, ease of use not there and questionable feature sets and service. So, when I went and checked out Saba Social, Saba’s new social learning platform, I had very low expectations. My Learning – identified the popular courses – solid.

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5 Trends to Watch 4 n 2011

eLearning 24-7

They are similar to what you see in your standard LMS, course content, learning paths, reporting – but it is not as robust (which is fine for some end users). One vendor with 750 users, priced out at nearly 24K a year; another close to 11.5K – thus depends on users is a factor. If you are an e-learning vendor exploring the SBM do not take them lightly, a few are slowly entering my 2nd trend. Social Learning and M-Learning.

Latest E-Learning Trends – Some good, some bad

eLearning 24-7

I mean ever&# , from a senior executive at a mid to large size vendor that has been in the market for several years. Across the board, a large number of vendors (from small to large) saw increases in their quarter numbers. Especially, when vendors released their 2010 final numbers and saw big increases from the previous year. Unhappy current customers. How long do you think your current customers whom you initially targeted are going to be happy.

Latest LMS Trends – The Truth is No Longer a Stranger

eLearning 24-7

The LMS/LCMS/Learning Portal market continues to be strong. In my latest directory, 393 LMS vendors – global, of which 34 or so are open source systems. Here are five trends that are being seen in the market, but one of these trends can cause consternation, among current customers. In a market this size, and with so many vendors overly focused on the U.S. Acquiring another LMS or e-learning vendor. Extended Enterprise & E-Commerce.

5 Trends to Watch 4 n 2011

eLearning 24-7

They are similar to what you see in your standard LMS, course content, learning paths, reporting – but it is not as robust (which is fine for some end users). One vendor with 750 users, priced out at nearly 24K a year; another close to 11.5K – thus depends on users is a factor. If you are an e-learning vendor exploring the SBM do not take them lightly, a few are slowly entering my 2nd trend. Social Learning and M-Learning.

LMS Vendors: U Can Survive – Innovate, Invigorate and Invent

eLearning 24-7

It was within these comments, that afterwords, I decided to expand a bit plus identify other areas that I see, LMS vendors must explore – which they have not yet done so, to re-energize themselves. Thus, the LMS vendors are creating a Bogeyman – their own bogeyman, and it does not have to be that way. Majority of employees access a LMS or Learning Portal out of the workplace. Far too many LMS vendors are stuck in a rut. Social Learning.

Top 10 LMS/LCMS Trends and Forecasts

eLearning 24-7

The trends apply to both LMS/LCMS vendors. Extended Enterprise - Vendors are expanding into the wholesaler/reseller/affiliates/sales agent sector with their solutions. The note of interest is that it is occurring with all size of vendors, albeit the charge is being led by mid size vendors. Not all of the big dog vendors have entered this space, despite it being a huge revenue opportunity. and European vendors interestingly enough, do not follow suit.

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Being Thankful: E-Learning Thoughts

eLearning 24-7

Thus, it makes only sense to present my list of “thanks” from an e-learning perspective. Vendors who added innovative features including text to speech (way to go SoftChalk), to true HTML5 support (Claro, Cm-Studio, Rapid Intake, Toolbook and sort of HTML5 output – Lectora) to image editors, SDK kits, gaming sims and Sony PSP devices. Vendors who dumped desktop apps and went into the “cloud” – thank you, thank you.

E-Learning Innovative Products – They are Out There

eLearning 24-7

It is what makes any product or service, aspire to new heights. I especially love it when it happens in the e-learning industry. Innovators and Risk Takers – emerging technology integrated, new ideas, pushing the envelope in what is possible in e-learning/social learning/m-learning, coming up with something that has never been done before – risk takers. Skinned to match the customer’s look in your system. Create Mode.

Something is Going on Down there in the LMS Market

eLearning 24-7

LMS Vendors and Tablets Update. That said, why is this happening: A significant (over 90%) of vendors are holding off this year and at least part of next year from optimizing their solution to the iPad. But with LMS vendors jumping into the mobile learning sector, at least in some cases, it may be a tad misleading. The bandwagon rage are LMS vendors stating that their product/solution is optimized for tablets, specifically mentioning the iPad. E-Learning 24/7.

2010 LMS Products of the Year

eLearning 24-7

A lot of great products out there this year, new updates and latest versions; new companies, new services and just some real innovation. I include Learning Portals, LCMSs, as part of the mix. Extended Enterprise – System must have e-comm, multi-tenet – fully skinnable, additional functionality. That said, across the board for all Big Dog systems, their social learning functionality was weak. You can also sell your Jackdraw courses in the e-comm marketplace.

LMS News. Directory. Plus E-Learning Notes

eLearning 24-7

Several vendors have left the space, a few have entered. Vendors are hearing us and are making changes. More multilingual options to their web sites, trials and social learning. Newest Version – LMS/Learning Portal Directory. Added Demo Column (Y/N) – If the vendor enables you to view a demo of their product without having to register or provide any information upfront, it is identified as “Yes&#. Fear Factor: Vendor Pricing.

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E-Learning Trade Shows + Product Reviews 4 #TK11

eLearning 24-7

What I like about conferences is the ability to see the latest products and hear the pitches from the vendors. Demonstrations are crucial, whether it is a 30 minute one, with an audience or one on one, with a potential customer. Yet, for all that do it, their are equal number of vendors who do not. E-Learning Trade Shows. Vendors who hand you a product (trial) and their business card or they just have their items in a bowl and you grab one.

LMS vendors: R u hearing us?

eLearning 24-7

LMS Vendors. 30% vendors offer at least one type of social media – from my latest LMS directory. Dozens of LMS vendors, had typos on their web pages, zero screens of the system, links that went nowhere and two kicked up my Firewall warning of possible privacy collection and one had a Trojan Horse (I use a hardcore firewall and A/V). Over 90% of LMS vendors had their sites available only in English; so the potential customer could not view it in any other language.

ATD ICE 2016 – Post Review

eLearning 24-7

Lots of folks interested in my Find an LMS service (I find three LMSs for you) and my new e-learning strategy services (contact me if interested). . I saw a lot more folks than in previous shows and more e-learning vendors too. Equally there were several ILT vendors who had some type of online learning thing going on. The key I found is that these folks are unaware of the potential of e-learning and what it can do. .

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