Enterprise-Class Vs Basic LMS: 4 Questions To Guide You Towards The Best Option

Enterprise-Class Vs Basic LMS: 4 Questions To Guide You Towards The Best Option
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Summary: With more than 500 Learning Management Systems now available, people shopping for a new LMS can be overwhelmed by the number of options and features to choose from. One of the prominent dilemmas lies in the choice between an Enterprise-Class vs Basic LMS. In this article, I’ll present some important questions, and insights, that will guide you towards your best LMS solution.

Important Questions To Help You Choose Between Enterprise-Class vs Basic LMS

Weighing the pros and cons between an Enterprise-Class vs Basic LMS is no easy task. The free eBook LMS Buyer’s Kit provides all the information you need to make an informed decision. First, let’s start with a definition for each type of  Learning Management System.

An enterprise-class LMS embodies a suite of tools that directs learning across your entire enterprise. That includes employees, customers, partners and sales teams. It has the flexibility to address the specific needs of each learning audience within your enterprise and scale globally on-demand. It also continually adds features and learning tech innovations.

LMS Buyer’s Kit: How To Quickly Find The Best LMS For Your Organization
The LMS Buyer’s Kit by Expertus is the ultimate guide to people that are looking to buy an LMS.

A Basic LMS generally provides just one solution for a single department or just one solution for a single learning problem or challenge. It has limited flexibility to add on new learning features or functionalities. In addition, it offers limited scalability to accommodate new learning groups or users. So yes, it’s great if your learning needs are minor, specific and static.

Evaluate Your Future Learning Needs

When you start your LMS search, you have to focus on the future, not the past. That is what should guide your decision towards an Enterprise-Class vs Basic LMS. Instead of looking for a familiar system that can meet your current needs, look for a platform that meets the future needs of your learning organization. Learning has changed dramatically! So even if a basic Learning Management System has sufficed until now, you’ll need to start thinking ahead, or your learning strategy and success will quickly fall behind.

For example, did you know that by 2019, video learning will replace text as the first delivery modality in corporations? The size of one video file can be up to fifty times larger than a typical eLearning file. A Basic LMS simply cannot handle this load, and many don’t include video players. You’ll have to completely reconfigure your platform, or, more likely, ditch it altogether. Either option is costly, both in downtime and expense.

For tips on how to find a future-friendly LMS, download Expertus’ free eBook LMS Buyer’s Kit.

Four Critical Questions to Consider When Shopping For An LMS

An Enterprise-Class LMS will cost more upfront. That's because it already includes the features and capabilities that you’ll need in the very near future. But the reality is, it will save you money, time, hassles and possibly embarrassment in the long run.

Here are four critical questions to consider when weighing the value of an Enterprise-Class vs Basic LMS.

1. How Will A Poor LMS User Experience Affect Learning Success?
With a Βasic LMS, there is a limit to the number of new users you can add. And when you do add them, your system will undoubtedly lag unless it was built to support a set user volume. Everything then slows down, and the number of disgruntled users, customers and partners rises until people stop taking your training, stop using your LMS entirely and potentially stop buying and selling your product altogether! Companies spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to create better training. But without a modern, scalable LMS with an easy-to-use interface and delivery system, this training investment will most probably go to waste.

2. What About Integration?
Enterprise-class LMSs can handle any type of content you want to offer. They also seamlessly integrate with other enterprise-grade software such as Salesforce, CRMs, HRISs and others. The ExpertusONE LMS, for example, has 150+ pre-built APIs that provide immediate, seamless connections. In fact, the ExpertusONE API library is so easy to work with, that your internal teams can set up the integrations themselves. More on that in the free eBook LMS Buyer’s Kit. In basic systems, you’ll more likely need to create custom integration bridges, which are costly and time-consuming. They’re also not always reliable. As a result, as far as integration goes there really is no Enteprise-Class vs Basic LMS dilemma.

3. Do You Want To Deal With A Risky Implementation?
With a Βasic LMS solution, you may be responsible for your own implementation, which, again, may incur additional cost and be error prone. Whereas, with an Enterprise-Class LMS, one that’s built by a seasoned team with expertise in learning platform implementations, you can leave the implementation to the provider’s expert team. Thus, gaining confidence that your LMS will be properly configured based on best practices, along with a smoother transition and a shorter time to launch.

4. How Long Do You Plan To Keep Your New System?
A Βasic LMS is usually a short-term solution. If you don’t want to have to update or replace your LMS in the near future, you should, instead, consider starting with an Εnterprise-Class LMS. Such an LMS can scale as your organization grows and offers the appeal of a modern user experience. Some future learning features include integration APIs, advanced mobile and social learning, reporting, Single Sign-On (SSO), Learning Record Stores, built-in logistics workflows and gamification. It’s also good to have the ability to embed and share content directly to learners.

Yes, you may be able to add some of these features to a basic system. However, it will cost you. In fact, just a few add-ons may cost the same as an entire suite of modern tools pre-built into an Enterprise-Class platform. Other costs to consider include integrations for supporting new audiences, as well as configurations for launching new training programs. Don’t forget about upgrades for broken or outdated software, plus dealing with LMS downtime and its ramifications. The choice between an Enterprise-Class vs Basic LMS is most probably much easier now.

There’s also the tremendous value of gaining a learning partner that’s invested in your organization’s long-term success. Many Enterprise-Class LMS providers, like Expertus, offer LMS strategy and support well beyond the sale. They’ll show you how to leverage their best practices to your organization’s benefit. This is because instead of focusing on the quantity of LMS sales, which lower priced vendors have to do, Enterprise-Class LMS providers focus on quality. Happy, successful customers are good business.

Now you should see that the choice between an Enterprise-Class vs Basic LMS is not as cut and dry as it seems. You need to do your homework on exactly what you want your system to accomplish, now and in the future. You also need to know how much that will truly cost. This may prove to be an eye-opening exercise, and will ensure you get the best spend and return on your investment.

Download the free eBook LMS Buyer's Kit and get informed on important questions to help you prioritize your company’s LMS selection needs. The LMS Buyer’s Kit will further educate you on criteria that will help you select the best LMS software provider for your organization.