Top 9 Extended Enterprise LMS Features

Top 9 Extended Enterprise LMS Features
Summary: Your external partners require just as much training as your in-house staff. This calls for a specialized LMS platform that delivers the round-the-clock online training resources they need. In this article, I'll highlight the top 9 features to look for in an extended enterprise Learning Management System.

Top 9 Features To Look For In An Extended Enterprise LMS

Extended Enterprise LMS solutions are custom-tailored to meet the needs of external corporate/association partners, affiliates, franchisees and other sales channels. They help to enhance product knowledge, offer certified or credentialed training outside the four walls, and facilitate knowledge sharing. However, an extended enterprise LMS must have the features and functions your organization requires to grow your online learning business. Here are the 9 most important features to look for in your extended enterprise LMS.

1. Intuitive User Interface

An intuitive user interface (UI) unlocks all the valuable features that an extended enterprise LMS offers. After all, if your learners can't use the tool, then you won't get a significant return on your investment. For this reason, you should choose an extended enterprise LMS with a user-friendly interface that aligns with your corporate learners' skill sets. Some LMS platforms feature a single-page architecture that provides a general overview. Others use a ribbon style that gives you a page-by-page display of your eLearning course design. Get eLearning feedback from your learners to determine the best UI based on their talents and experience level.

2. Certification

Consider an extended enterprise LMS that offers certification or credentialed training support, such as: help in establishing certification, flexibility in certificate design, and the ability to submit credits earned to an accrediting body. Other features may include: automatic notifications when a certificate is due to expire, or specific certification paths, based on an individual's job title, responsibilities and geographical location.

3. Mobile-Friendly

External partners are usually geographically dispersed. Sales channels are scattered across the globe. Learners are always on the go and need online training materials that go with them, which is why your extended enterprise LMS must be mobile-friendly, preferably equipped with responsive design features that allow you to develop and deploy online training courses on any device. You create a master layout with specific breakpoints, then the LMS displays the suitable version. A mobile-friendly, extended enterprise LMS also allows you to optimize images and graphics to reduce load times.

4. Reporting And Analytics

How do you know if your extended enterprise online training is truly effective? One of the best ways to assess your extended enterprise program is through business intelligence reports and analytics. Many extended enterprise LMS platforms offer metrics that you can use to evaluate every aspect of your online training course, from employee engagement to assessment scores. But, make sure that your extended enterprise LMS shows you and your channel partners how well your eLearning business is actually doing. What channels have the most sales? Which courses are most popular? What marketing activity is driving the most sales?

5. Distribution Technology For Building Partner Channels

An extended enterprise is all about distribution of content that requires a robust distribution platform, as well as an LMS. A distribution platform means that you can distribute your content in a sophisticated way through bulk and organizational sales and allow your channel partners to order courses on-demand. Most importantly, growing an eLearning distribution network means your partners need to see the relationship as a win. Does your extended enterprise LMS allow you to develop a compelling pricing model for resellers and distributors to make money? How flexible is your distribution technology? Does it allow you to support your channel partners? Does it allow you to setup portals for channel partners and organizations so learners can view the course catalog on a co-branded page?

6. Customization And Personalization

This is a two-tier feature. The first is customizability. Your extended enterprise LMS should give you the power to integrate branding and modify the user interface. For example, you should incorporate your color scheme and logo. The second is personalization, which pertains to the end-user experience. Your external partners are looking for online training resources that cater to their needs. As such, the extended enterprise LMS must be able to support personalized online training paths and microlearning.

7. Localization Support

Localization is a must-have feature for global organizations with distributed teams. Your new extended enterprise LMS should be able to support distribution of content to learners in multiple locations. Therefore, it's important to research your audience. Conduct surveys to determine their preferences and provide online training resources in a way that matches the needs in a specific country or market.

8. Compatibility And Integration

Your new extended enterprise LMS comes with all the features you need. It's even within your price range. But, is it compatible with your existing software? Make sure your extended enterprise LMS supports single-sign-on (SSO) standards such as SAML, JWT, or OAuth. Then, make sure your platforms provide APIs to manage users and enrollments in eLearning courses. Finally, you’ll want to be able to extract and share eLearning data in a standard way through compatibility with Experience API (TinCan) or webhooks.

9. Support Services

Your new extended enterprise LMS may be intuitive and feature-rich. However, does the LMS vendor offer any services to grow and support new business? Growing an eLearning business means you need to actively sell and market to attract more learners and then support those additional learners. Do you have sales and marketing professionals lined up to build your channels and reach more learners? Do you have a call center ready to field more learner support calls as they navigate registering for or taking an eLearning course? An LMS is just one part of a successful eLearning business.