How to choose an external e-learning vendor ?

Ideaon

Interaction with a prospective vendor can show and shed more light than reading up about them or viewing their work online. What skills does the e-learning vendor offer? Are the skills that the vendor brings, something that is complementary to your team? There is comfort in knowing that a vendor can work on a particular skillset, but can also work with aligned skill sets? Is e-Learning their major line of business? Pick up the hints.

Customer Excellence Pledge

eLearning 24-7

Everyone knows that support in the learning system space as a whole is below average. Sure there are vendors who do an exceptional job, but the fact still remains that the number one reason, people leave one learning system vendor for another is support/service.

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When your LMS BFF is no longer

eLearning 24-7

The big elephant in the room that we hear so many times and vendors love to pitch (to get you to their system), but rarely the vendors themselves will admit to – many have only themselves to blame. Sometimes, it is the client’s fault and sometimes it is the vendor’s fault. I know, I know it is never your fault (client) – its those nasty LMS vendors, but as with the failure to recognize, often more than not it is duality, at least at some level.

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The 5 most common LMS complaints from end users

eLearning 24-7

My issue is important and your tech people have not responded. As someone who has had the wonderful experience of buying (leasing) a LMS and the issues that arose beyond that, I can tell you that I feel your pain. Write it on a piece of paper and say to themselves, I will e-mail/call support later. E-mail support and hope someone responds. I remember seeing some pricing online by a LMS vendor and then when I got the contract it had different pricing on it.

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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. I’m not a lead gen for the vendors listed – rather the goal is to provide you with vendors that meet numerous criteria including UI, features, support/service, mobile, feedback from current and past clients and future game plans. E-Learning 24/7.

Top 10 LMSs for 2013

eLearning 24-7

Back again to bring this first in a series of rankings for the top ten learning management systems for 2013. Vendors can move up, down or out of the rankings – after all it is on-going. I’m not a lead gen for the vendors listed – rather the goal is to provide you with vendors that meet numerous criteria including UI, features, support/service, mobile, feedback from current and past clients and future game plans. Support of the iPad, thus mobile learning.

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. E xpertus One ($$$-$$$$)- Still the best multi-tenant platform in the market. E-Learning 24/7.

ET and E-Learning

eLearning 24-7

Emerging technology that has I believe the potential to do wonders in the e-learning space. E-Mail. E-Learning and Emerging Technology. While you can easily put a lot of things in here, I am going to talk about four emerging technologies I see as real powerhouses in the possibilities and capabilities in e-learning. But – you say – what about learning/education and training? Kinect + Kinect = Immersion E-Learning.

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E-Learning Zombie Edition – includes trends and duds

eLearning 24-7

Looking into everything that is e-learning and I’ve seen a lot. Social Learning Platform. Just last week, I saw the best social learning platform ever. From a social learning standpoint. Can be also a standalone and/or interfaced with any learning management system or learning platform. Learning Management Systems. End user has issue, submits ticket, receives update notifications until it is resolved. Video Learning Platforms.

September E-Learning Trends

eLearning 24-7

Thankfully, the latest trends in e-learning should solve your soon to be fall foliage dilemma. As you all know, I monitor the entire e-learning industry and with that comes out some interesting trends. How will privacy issues come into play? No surprise that some vendors are also waiting to see what happens. Learning communities tied to groups, courses, et al. Mini bytes of learning content. E-Learning 24/7.

How to choose the right LMS

eLearning 24-7

The same thing applies to the learning management system market. The minus: vendors come out of the woodwork to tell you their system meets those needs. I mean if you say you need “e-commerce for 500 users, certificates, ability to add users to groups for courses”, that would cover about 550 systems. No vendor could say honestly that their system is the best for you, because they are missing a lot of information. Whichever sticks – is your vendor.

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. 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. For the vendor to achieve success in the demo.

Q&A from Blog Readers on E-Learning

eLearning 24-7

Every e-learning consulting/research firm, etc. 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. While the learning cloud and extended enterprise cloud are purchased by folks, I still see the platform – assuming you get all the modules as a HCM. That said, they are in my top 40 for learning/extended enterprise cloud. User Interface – Still a huge issue.

E-Learning Screen recording and video solutions – Should b simple, so why isn’t it?

eLearning 24-7

There are more vendors who do not offer the ability to post – i.e. add audio afterwards it is quite amazing. Again, simple and yet again arguably with many vendors difficult to do. There are dozens of free audio plugins available on the net, so why aren’t screen capturing/recording vendors offering the ability for the end user to add them? Another issue I have with many vendors who offer effects – again, I like that – is that they fail to mention.

E-Learning Takeaways

eLearning 24-7

For the rest of us, it isn’t, unless you see the latest takeaways as examples of what is to come or more importantly what hasn’t – which is really a could be doomsday to many vendors – unless they wake up! In my newest directory, I have 138 vendors. 37 support m-learning. 4 desktop authoring tool vendors work with Windows 8. Articulate has told me that they have an issue with Windows 8 for both Storyline and Studio, but are working on fixing it.

Now you bought a LMS: Implement, Train and Support

eLearning 24-7

You have now purchased your learning management system. Many people will ask their potential vendor what is the implementation time, but will forget to ask if the vendor has a dedicated project manager. This person handles everything from the vendors’ side of thing. The next call you should receive is from your vendor’s project manager. Project manager – the person who handles it all, who will deal with your issues, etc. Congrats!

New Authoring tool rankings #11 to #20

eLearning 24-7

However, in the past week, I have received over 500 e-mails from readers requesting a list of the top twenty (rather than top then). No reason, I just love saying that) Mzinga shows up with a true social learning authoring tool. A few vendors say “social learning” but it is often far from it. I’m always amazed at some of the names vendors come up with for authoring tools. 1st vendor to have online/offline mobile synch. E-Learning 24/7.

Review of ASTD International Trade Expo

eLearning 24-7

Lots of vendors, lots of potential. There were vendors that had nice LMSs and cool features. It just wasn’t me thinking this, I heard it from attendees and even other vendors who were trolling the floor. E-Learning has been minimal. I would estimate that there was a 60-40 split, still instructor led driven, but even a significant number of the ILT vendors were offering subsets or capabilities to turn their ILT into online via webinars or online courses.

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#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. Video learning platforms. 20 Saba Learning Suite.

Product Review: Lectora Snap! Empower

eLearning 24-7

Empower, but I ran into a major issue with Snap! is not the only product which has an issue with a 64 bit Windows computer but in combination with PPT 2010, I’m unaware of any other. Duration (same issue as above) – but keep size. A slight issue I had with Empower! Project – Preview project – similar issue as Page(s). Audio – Add audio to the page, similar to above issue. Flash – Add flash to a page, similar issue i.e

What consumers want in a LMS – can you say WOW?

eLearning 24-7

With this knowledge comes the avalanche of hyper sales, vendors are exploring ways to gain your attention. Thus is should be a concern to every vendor who shows off a system that is stripped off its looks to entice buyers. The most common responses I hear from vendors are. If you are always customizing your system for every client (without heavy customization which vendors will charge), your bottom line has to take a hit at some point. E-Learning 24/7.

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

eLearning 24-7

The LMS market as a whole, has some serious issues when it comes to “ease of use” and “sweet” user interfaces – on both the end user and admin side. Some systems in this space include e-commerce at no additional charge. Any vendor, who includes a set storage fee, should be able to provide you a range of number of courses – with examples and video/audio files – if you plan to use them. E-Learning 24/7.

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.

Attention LMSs – I’m mad as…

eLearning 24-7

I’m tired of telling people that it is better to buy 3rd party courses through you even though they can get a better deal by going straight to the 3rd party vendor. #5 I explicitly told HSwidget in an e-mail not to call me, but rather send me an e-mail. Then he sent me an e-mail asking that I call him. Three days later, I again followed up with an e-mail stating my particulars and that I prefer setting up demos via e-mail. E-Learning 24/7.

Trade Show Circuit 2013

eLearning 24-7

In just one month, the e-learning trade show season will be upon us. Too many e-learning shows. Vendors are assessing as well. The show is solely focused on e-learning and the vendors come from all over the world. On the vendor side, nice set to select from although on the freebie side – always is lame. Vendor Angle. A must for any e-learning vendor. Learning Solutions. Vendor Angle.

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Evolving the E-Learning Experience for the 21st Century

eLearning 24-7

What always stuns me are vendors who state they know what their learners want, but in reality have no clue, because they themselves do not see the technology and its usage among the masses. E-Mail. The growing number of businesses leaving Microsoft Outlook to Internet e-mail is amazing. I see this as one of the most important features for any learning management system, open source or commercial. Innovation drives the market (regardless if it is e-learning or not).

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May Edition: E-Learning News and Notes

eLearning 24-7

In this month’s issue, my tribute is to the 80′s a time where the Net wasn’t around, ILT was the dominant force, CBT was up and coming and WBT was just a dream. The partner approach works this way: vendor A integrates Vendor B’s solution into their product. Vendor B can still sell their product as a stand alone or however this wish to do it and can still sell it/integrate or use an interface into additional vendor’s solutions.

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Break it down! (No it’s not Hammer Time! Yet)

eLearning 24-7

I’ve also learned firsthand, how to make it work in any vertical and any industry. Learning Management Systems. Mobile learning platforms. Social learning platforms. If you want to track in a learning management system or learning platform that supports SCORM then you want it. May offer the ability to take a course via an e-mail link or twitter link or in another fashion. Why do some vendors have trials and others do not?

SharePoint – Social Learning Savior?

eLearning 24-7

In today’s corporate world, you can not toss a rock in any direction without someone mentioning SharePoint as the glorious solution for social learning and in many cases a LMS. It solves all issues, and for some I surmise it all is all knowing – well for those who watch and read their learners’ posts. The social learning savior or a hero waiting to save the learner in distress? For social learning, this slew of items – documents, files, etc.

Product Review: Totara

eLearning 24-7

Vendors in this space include Docebo, eFront, Litmos and of course Totara. My Learning tab – shows alerts, recent learning, upcoming events. Graphical progress bar – basically less text or funky icons that only the vendor knows what is – example, a recall one vendor using a floppy disk to represent an online course. My Learning. Recent Learning – Course title, progress bar. Learning Plans. 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. Too many vendors are focusing on talent/performance management as the next feature/component in their systems. Do you have a LMS/LCMS/Learning Platform. Today, however more and more learning management systems are bringing into content management features, inc.

LMS Stories – Fantasy or Reality?

eLearning 24-7

Dragons and knights aren’t heading down the e-learning path. As I have noted numerous times, if you listen to vendors, everyone loves their system, they have retention rates in the plus 90%, yet, somehow the number one thing they hear is that people are looking for a new system, they are unhappy with their current system. If everyone is content with your system, and there are 450-500 vendors out there, then how is it, people are leaving? E-Learning 24/7.

Bridge over troubled authoring tool waters

eLearning 24-7

Why are some vendors making it impossible? Why are some vendors treating you as a spy or something sinister when you just want to try out the product? You would think that with over 140 authoring tools on the market, vendors would want you to try out their product before dropping any type of cash. While there are plenty of vendors who offer trials, without you having to contact them first or register, there are plenty who do not. Less than 10 vendors.

Answering your LMS Questions

eLearning 24-7

How many of you have seen vendors respond to your questions? A: Virtually every LMS vendor out there in the marketplace provides these features. Examples: E-mail notification via SMS. Mobile learning – it might surprise you to know that 75-80% of all systems in the space, currently do not offer any type of mobile learning, the number goes up even higher for online/offline synch. Smart App for TV – One LMS vendor. A: Depends on the vendor.

Halftime! LMS trends though July

eLearning 24-7

If your system on your own servers goes down or has bandwidth issues, you are in some minor doo doo, especially when your end users come complaining to the person in charge of training. When you need a fix, then the LMS vendor must work with you either remote to solve it or if it is big nasty fix, go on site. SaaS and LMS vendors. From a LMS vendor perspective there are a lot of pluses. What makes this interesting are the two routes vendors are going.

LMSs, TMs and HCMs

eLearning 24-7

If you visit the Taleo home page, you will learn the following two items. I must have been sleeping, but when did “learning” slide under Talent Management? When did “learning, which is training” become a defacto component of Talent Management? Better yet, when did “learning/training” become a component of Human Capital Management? It can easily change the world of e-learning upside down. E-Learning 24/7.

How to Sell a LMS

eLearning 24-7

” Customer: We are seeking a system that offers curriculum paths, ability to group learners to take x course or courses, e-mail notification, blah blah. Listen to their issues (if they used a system in the pass). I would always tell them up front before jumping into what I was seeking, my knowledge of e-learning and systems, so we could move past that. You have contacted the vendor to inquire about their system. Read about, learned about your solution OR.

The Latest: Rapid Content Authoring Tool Market

eLearning 24-7

I am still surprised on how vendors who are offering assessment only tools are staying in the game. This will become one of the biggest features in 2012 – especially with people wanting to create simulations without being an e-learning developer. Some vendors push heavily on PPT, implying that a great WBT is really a PPT converted to Flash. Over 98% of the LMS/LCMS/learning platform have at least one compliance standard, so why use a RCAT that doesn’t?

What’s hurting the LMS market

eLearning 24-7

Make no mistake, there are plenty of vendors out there who believe in the concept of focusing on features and forgetting about usability, under the guise that people would rather have lots of cool blinky things rather than usability. While this is a great concept for party decorations, it is not for a learning platform. There are a plethora of vendors out there, with blinders on. . Yet, many vendors are doing exactly that. E-Learning 24/7.

Trade Show Wars

eLearning 24-7

The buzz, hype, demos, salespeople, awful expensive food, hotels that overcharge (I always find better deals on Expedia or sign up for the hotel’s e-mail newsletter) and yes, sometimes beyond awful seminars. The second segment is for vendors – including insight from fellow vendors on various trade shows. I know there are people who will visit the conference’s expo section, where the vendors are listed, prior to the show. E-Learning 24/7.