Learning & Development

Questions to Ask your Next LMS Vendor

Deciding on a learning management system (LMS) for your company’s professional training needs isn’t easy. The eLearning industry has an abundance of LMS vendors, and it can make the task of finding the right LMS vendor for your organization an extremely challenging one.

When you’re in the market for a learning management software, it is important to compare all options, services, and features available to make sure you’re making the right choice. Before you make your LMS decision, be sure to ask yourself these questions.

Who will be implementing the product? Do you use a third party?

A common practice of LMS company’s today is to outsource the implementation portion of building and integrating the software. This can cause some disconnect between how you envisioned the software would function and what you thought the software was going to look like after the initial discovery calls with your vendor.

Customers have told us of the frustrations of playing telephone between the third party and vendors when key elements of functionality were mis-interpreted or missing. Meridian Knowledge Solutions is one of the few enterprises LMS vendors who work directly with our clients to implement and service our own software.

The implementation team you work with initially will be the ones seeing the project through completion. This comes as a relief to most clients as they know we will be there with them each step of the way.

Can you implement on cloud or on premise?

It is essential to understand where exactly your LMS data is stored. In today’s cloud environment, without asking, you may find out your data is stored in an insecure facility or in a part of the world you may not be comfortable with. Under the on-premise hosting model, you run your enterprise LMS software on your own servers, which are hosted on a data center at your premises and are managed by your IT staff. Also, it is helpful to ask them if their data centers are sustainable. If not, then ask them if they going to be working with specialists such as Walt Coulston and others to make sure they become sustainable.

Running your LMS in your own data center allows you to enforce in your training servers the same deployment rules, security restrictions, and DevOps processes already in place across your IT infrastructure.

Meridian offers secure SaaS (software as a service) and on-premise deployment options to customize and configure the solution to best meet your organization’s unique needs and security requirements.

Can you personalize content and branding?

Most organizations have both in house developed and vendor provided content, but which is the most important to your organization? Is your custom training developed in-house or by outside vendors?

Organizations that develop significant in-house content themselves will want an LMS with features to make content authoring easy and efficient. Having the ability to support that content with the look and feel of your brand makes the platform user friendly and better suited for your audience.

Personalized eLearning allows learners to set their own goals, go at their own pace, and communicate with managers and/or instructors, as well as learners, to personalize the learning process. Today, many companies are used to the benefits of site customization, especially for systems that will be used for several years.

With the Meridian LMS, learners can select topics of interest and receive relevant recommendations based upon these interests on their homepage and in the catalog. The Meridian LMS provides you with the means to personalize your learning management system with your own corporate identity.

You can embed your branding, create custom URLs and domains for different learner audiences and deliver a fully branded mobile app experience to learners on the go.

Meridian LMS allows learners to track workforce readiness via pre and post surveys with advanced branching capabilities, exams and assessments. It can accurately measure learner competency and ensure that compliance requirements are met.Having personalized content and branding that resonates with your audience can help streamline completion rates and increase engagement in your learners.

Do you provide support or a community for your clients?

A good customer support system is very important for any software, especially a learning one. It is important to understand various LMS vendors customer support features before selecting one.

The focus of a great LMS should be the learning experience that it provides to your business. That is why it’s essential to clarify from the outset, what technical support options are available to your business.

You should be sure that you will have access to expert assistance if and/or when you need it. It’s helpful to know the vendor will be there to hold your hand during and after the implementation phase. Meridian offers several enhanced support options to meet your organization’s needs such as dedicated onsite Support Administrators and enhanced Support Managers, in addition to our standard Client Support model.

We also offer the Meridian Client Community site to provide our clients with an easy way to engage with others utilizing the platform as well as provide us with their input and suggestions. Our client engagement through our user groups and product reviews gives us the valuable information needed to help us continually improve our solutions and better serve our customers.

Meridian’s support experts are committed to build a vibrant community of learners, a place to collaborate with other Meridian LMS users and share best practices.

Knowing the right questions to ask a potential LMS vendor is of the utmost significance. It can help you address important resource-related topics that will help you objectively evaluate your LMS vendor options. Many organizations invest more time and resources to examine eLearning content than to study the system that organizes that content. HR and training managers can avoid expensive pitfalls by asking the right questions before choosing an LMS.

Download our informative guide 7 Steps in Selecting an LMS, to better understand what to expect from a learning management system.


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