Top 5 Differences Between An SMB-Focused And Enterprise LMS

Top 5 Differences Between An SMB-Focused And Enterprise LMS
Summary: Whether your business is big or small, a Learning Management System can help you maximize online training effectiveness. However, you need to find an LMS platform that's custom-tailored to your organization's needs. In this article, I'll share the top 5 differences between an SMB-focused and an Enterprise LMS.

SMB-Focused And Enterprise LMS: 5 Main Differences To Consider

SMB-focused LMS platforms are geared toward start-ups and organizations with fewer resources. They are flexible, scalable, and user-friendly, which makes them an ideal choice for small to mid-sized businesses. Then, there are enterprise Learning Management Systems that offer more advanced features and functions. However, they tend to come with a higher price tag. So, which is right for your online training program? Here are the top 5 differences between SMB-focused and enterprise LMS platforms to consider.

1. Pricing Structure

Cost is a major factor. The tool may have all the features you need. But can you really afford it? Most SMB-focused LMSs are offered as SaaS solutions. This means that you pay for active or registered users. As such, you have the ability to scale the tool as your organization expands. Likewise, you have the ability to decrease your monthly subscription if you downsize your company. In the case of an enterprise LMS, many LMS vendors have a minimum user requirement. For example, you must pay for at least 100 users per month or sign up for a monthly package.

2. Extended Enterprise Training

One of the most notable differences between an SMB-focused and an enterprise LMS is their sales channel and partner training support. SMB systems are geared toward small to medium-sized businesses. As such, the features typically center on in-house Learning and Development. For example, developing the skills of your staff members and improving their task proficiency. In contrast, enterprise LMS platforms typically feature extended enterprise tools. This allows you to provide online training content to franchisees, sales partners, and even customers. For instance, product knowledge online training for independent sales contractors.

3. Usability Vs. Creative Control

SMB Learning Management Systems are notoriously user-friendly. This is due to the fact that organizations need to develop and deploy online training as quickly as possible. Especially smaller businesses that have to make the most of limited resources. SMB options usually include pre-built eLearning templates, intuitive user interface, and wizards, which are all ideal for rapid eLearning development. Enterprise LMS solutions usually have more creative control. As a result, their user interface may not be as simple and straightforward. This gives your in-house L&D team the power to customize the LMS platform and provide targeted online training resources. For example, you have the ability to integrate social media tools and third-party software.

4. Hosting Options

SMB systems are usually cloud-based. As such, you can access them remotely, using any device. The LMS vendor takes care of the hosting, updates, and software upgrades. Your corporate learners and eLearning team, alike, can login to the platform from anywhere in the world. There is a growing number of enterprise LMSs that follow this cloud-hosted model. However, many are installed options that are hosted on your local servers. With this, comes the ability to customize the infrastructure of your LMS so that it adapts to your evolving needs. For example, you're able to manage users and integrate branding.

5. Support Services

Small to mid-sized businesses tend to have a smaller L&D staff on hand. SMB-focused LMSs take this into consideration and provide organizations with built-in resources. However, the lower cost usually includes fewer support services. For example, 24/7 access to tech experts who can help you troubleshoot issues. If the corporate eLearning project is more involved, you may have to outsource some of the tasks or pay for add-ons. Enterprise LMS platforms usually offer more advanced support services, for a fee. But keep in mind that these tools are usually intended for larger organizations with a dedicated L&D team and tech staff. Thus, you may have to spend more time and resources updating and maintaining the tool yourself.

3 Tips To Find The Right LMS For Your Organization

1. Have A Long-Term Perspective

The Learning Management System may be ideal for your current needs. However, it must be able to stand the test of time if you want to improve your online training ROI. For example, a limited LMS platform may prevent you from scaling to accommodate more users as your business expands. Or you might be unable to provide your extended sales channels with the online training resources they require if you decide to branch out in the future. Thus, you'd have to purchase a replacement tool that can grow with your organization.

2. Conduct A Detailed Training Needs Analysis

Before you start researching the LMS market, it's important to get your priorities in order and identify your objectives. What do you really need from the tool? How is it going to help you achieve the desired outcome? The answer to these questions allows you to determine which LMS platform aligns with your needs. For example, you are more concerned with a quick roll-out than full-fledged customization features. As such, you may want to opt for a SMB tool with an intuitive user interface and built-in resources.

3. Collect Feedback From Your eLearning Team

Your eLearning team is going to use the LMS platform to design, develop, and deploy online training content. Therefore, they should be able to voice their opinions and ideas before you make your final decision. Their input may even help you narrow down your options or explore new possibilities. For example, offer recommendations for SMB or extended enterprise LMSs they've used for past corporate eLearning projects.

SMB-focused and enterprise LMS solutions have their own pros and cons. Ultimately, the deciding factor should be what's best for your corporate learners. Which LMS platform gives you the tools and technology you need to create winning online training courses? How is your tool of choice going to help you allocate your online training resources effectively and get a solid return on your investment?

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