5 Criteria To Choose The Ideal Extended Enterprise LMS For Your SMB

5 Criteria To Choose The Ideal Extended Enterprise LMS For Your SMB
Stocked House Studio/Shutterstock.com
Summary: Are you having trouble finding the ideal extended enterprise Learning Management System for your business? In this article, I’ll share 5 key criteria to help you choose the ideal LMS for your small to medium-sized organization.

How To Choose The Ideal Extended Enterprise LMS For Your SMB

The hunt for the perfect extended enterprise LMS is quite imperfect. It involves a lot of trial and error, which can be not only tasking but also resource draining. You will need to spend time interviewing LMS vendors and performing extensive training analysis to spot your pain points. If you don’t do your homework for this, chances are you won’t get the right fit for your small business. We have 5 tips that will help you streamline and make the overall process a lot easier and less time-consuming for you.

eBook Release: External Training 101: Everything You Need To Know BEFORE Buying Your Next Extended Enterprise LMS
eBook Release
External Training 101: Everything You Need To Know BEFORE Buying Your Next Extended Enterprise LMS
Learn how external partner training can improve your profit margins and discover how to find the perfect extended enterprise LMS platform and create a more accurate budget.

1. Know Your Limits

By limits, I am referring to your budget. You need to know exactly how much you are willing to spend on the extended enterprise LMS. Make a detailed LMS budget, and gather all the existing online training resources you already own to see if they can be repurposed. If you already have a lot of material on hand, then you may be able to cut your online training costs. When you do select an extended enterprise LMS to try out, make sure you note all the selling points and product downsides. This will help you compare them if you aren’t completely satisfied with the first one you select.

2. Determine Your Primary Goals Beforehand

One important part of running a successful business is knowing where you lack. You have obviously come to a realization that your business needs an extended enterprise LMS. So it is equally important to know the purpose of this need. The reason for this is that it allows you to select an LMS platform that addresses your gaps and goals. This will save you a lot of test and trial, as you will be testing out platforms that target exactly what you need right from the start instead of signing up for free trials and demos that are bound to fall short of expectations because they lack the necessary features or functions.

3. Verify Support Services

Every extended enterprise LMS vendor offers unique support services. While some may provide round-the-clock phone support with an IT specialist, others opt for more basic assistance such as an online FAQ or email contact form. Thus, you need to figure out how much support your organization requires and how much you’re willing to pay for the privilege. For example, your L&D team may be less experienced and require more extensive IT support until you find your footing. As a result, paying for a support service upgrade may be worth the investment.

4. Check If It Is Compatible With Your Existing Online Training Resources

Compatibility is crucial if you already have a lot of existing online training resources and want to utilize them. You need an extended enterprise LMS that can support these file formats and allow you to integrate your data with ease. This allows you to migrate files on to the platform yourself, rather than hiring someone else to do it for you. Consult the LMS vendor beforehand to verify the compatibility of the platform and be completely transparent about the desired outcomes. Let them know which tools you already own and the primary application for each. For example, your animated video creator is used for compliance safety videos and demos. But is the new extended enterprise LMS compatible with this third-party tool, or will you need to invest in a replacement?

5. Consider Deployment Options

There are several deployment options to choose from, including SaaS cloud-based and locally installed. Each option has its pros and cons. For example, software that’s hosted on the cloud may require lower start-up costs. However, purchasing a license outright and installing the software locally can be a more cost-effective choice in the long term. There’s also the matter of pricing plans. Some LMS vendors charge by the user, while others charge a flat fee that covers your entire team. For this reason, you need to ask about hidden fees and request an itemized cost breakdown.

Insider Tip: Do Your Research

Running a small business, you probably don’t have time to go through an extensive list of LMS vendors to interview and choose from. So you need to focus your efforts instead of test driving every tool. You should pick between 3-to-6 LMS platforms to try out. If you have already pinpointed the need for the extended enterprise LMS, this makes your hunt a lot easier. If not, then you can search online for the best LMS providers and look at their client testimonials and ratings to get an idea of how they work. When you have the list ready, you need to properly vet the LMS vendors and platforms. Have detailed conversations with the LMS vendors and let them know exactly what you need. Don’t hesitate to ask how they can help you achieve the desired outcomes, as well as provide examples of how they’ve done so for other organizations in the past.

As you are well aware, extended enterprise training requires a significant investment. However, a little homework goes a long way. Test a few different extended enterprise LMSs so you know what to expect and avoid buyer’s regret. Identify your goals beforehand to whittle down the list of contenders. Vet the LMS vendors by asking targeted questions and addressing your concerns prior to signing on the dotted line. The process may be a little tedious, but it will prove to be quite beneficial for your business’ bottom line.

Want to learn more about the possibilities of an Extended Enterprise LMS? Download our free eBook External Training 101: Everything You Need To Know BEFORE Buying Your Next Extended Enterprise LMS to discover everything you need to know about how to launch a successful external partner online training program. We’ll also share tips to find the perfect extended enterprise LMS for your organization regardless of your size or online training budget, as well as insider secrets to choose the right pricing model and deployment options.