Top 8 Features to Look for in an Extended Enterprise LMS11 min read
Extended Enterprise (EE) LMS has become more and more popular in all kinds of industry, especially since COVID-19 pandemic occurred. With numerous great benefits, it is considered as the future of corporate e-learning. Let this article walk you through a closer picture of what you need to know about Extended Enterprise LMS.
An overview of the extended enterprise LMS
Before we dive into the specific features you should be looking for in a top-level Extensible Enterprise (EE) LMS, let’s get a quick overview of enterprise LMSs to make sure we’re all working from the same knowledge base.
A Learning Management System (LMS) is a knowledge base for your organization to store, extract, and support training. The parts that make up a great LMS are their features. These systems are able to reach multiple audiences through one platform. For example, this could be used by a company that trains multiple groups of channel partners or a trade association that provides eLearning to various member organizations.
The goal is for learners to reach their peak performance and stay involved in their career development and advancement. The purpose of this system is to provide a unique training experience for each audience as well as maintain privacy and segregation between these groups. Basically, if you’re looking for a platform that can act as if each of your audience has its own unique learning experience, then an extended enterprise LMS is the right solution for you.
Learning management systems require time, resources, and maintenance, but if you end up with a process that requires too many of these, an LMS can prevent productivity and learning from happening. Different LMS platforms come with different functionalities. We have listed the top 8 LMS features and requirements that will help you get the most out of your LMS and streamline the process.
Why Invest in a New Extended Enterprise LMS?
Here are some of the benefits to your learning business that can arise simply from investing in a new, upgraded enterprise LMS:
- You will be able to customize training for each member organization only.
- You’ll be able to track the training of these unique audiences, learn from that data, and continue to improve your services in the future.
- Due to this customized experience, you will be able to improve member and learner retention.
There are many benefits to companies that choose to use an LMS for external training needs, including:
Allowing you to organize all your learning in one convenient place:
Without an LMS, all customer training and referrals would be spread across a number of different mediums. Perhaps one lesson would be a YouTube video, another in a physics manual or book, and another on a website. Due to LMS technology, all training content is available in one place, making it easier for learners to access and easier for training managers.
Training content becomes mobile:
Thanks to LMS platforms, training can be done at any time and on any device. Learners with busy schedules can work through a course on the go, on their smartphone, tablet or laptop. This also improves the overall participation of the course as the LMS allows for flexible times to fit all schedules.
Accessible training content:
In today’s globalized market, it is more important than ever to deliver training content on a platform that is accessible regardless of the learner’s physical location. LMS allows all learners to participate in training courses, even if they are far away from the company providing the training.
If a company has multiple branches, message consistency can be a challenge. The LMS allows for a cohesive training course that is accessible to all customers or employees no matter where they are located. This ensures that all learners receive the same training and understand the product in the same way, rather than having multiple different company locations, each with different training locations. Even remote or international learners receive the same training as those who are actually present at the training site.
Providing valuable analysis:
Companies that use LMS to conduct their training get the benefit of built-in course analytics. Measure, track, and report completion rates, certificates, overall course attendance, and LMS test scores, as well as several other metrics
Top 8 Features to Look for In an Extended Enterprise LMS
It’s important to note that the benefits from the previous section don’t just come from investing in any enterprise LMS. You must invest in the right solution for your organization’s unique learning business. However, an extended enterprise LMS must have the features and functionality your organization requires to grow your e-learning business. Here are the 8 most important features to look for in your extended enterprise LMS.
1. Customize and Personalize
The intuitive user interface (UI) unlocks all the valuable features an extended enterprise LMS offers. After all, if your learners can’t use the tool, you won’t get a significant return on investment. For this reason, you should choose an EE LMS with a user-friendly interface, customization and personalization within a user-friendly extensible enterprise LMS that is very important for both the company and the customer.
Branding your own company:
Ability to customize and personalize the user interface allowing branding and messaging to be integrated. Being able to choose the images and color palettes used on the website allows the learning platform to become a seamless extension of your company.
Branding for partners:
Larger partners may require creating their own branded extension to your learning management platform. If Safeway were a distributor for my liquor business, I would probably need a Safeway-specific branded learning platform. In this way, being able to customize and personalize your EE learning platform is crucial.
For this reason, you should choose an EELMS that has a user-friendly interface that matches the skill set of your company’s learners. Some LMS platforms have a one-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 user interface based on their talent and experience level.
2. Reporting and analysis
Reporting and analytics have emerged as a must-have feature for any top LMS. The data needs to be calculated and analyzed to ensure that your investment is working and what areas can be enhanced for even better. To do this, an LMS needs to be able to meaningfully analyze and run reports on extensive enterprise platform data. Make sure that the report is capable of meeting your company’s needs.
Learning analytics helps assess learner progress and find opportunities for corrective interventions and support. However, it is no longer enough just to issue a completion report. To be able to make informed L&D decisions, your LMS needs to provide actionable insights. The ability to create custom reports focusing on the metrics that matter to you is definitely something you’re looking for in a modern LMS. Many enterprise LMS platforms offer metrics that you can use to evaluate every aspect of your online training, from employee engagement to assessment scores.
However, ensure that your extended enterprise LMS shows you and your channel partners how well your eLearning business is actually doing. Which channels have the most sales? What courses are most popular? Which marketing activities are driving sales the most?
3. Mobile App and Remote Friendly
With the changing demographics of the workforce, the popularity of telecommuting (accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic) continues to grow. On-the-job training may not be convenient or even impossible under current circumstances. External stakeholders are often geographically dispersed, and they need to access training programs on the go. With mobile learning, your company can develop and deliver courses on any device allowing users to access these courses virtually anywhere.
Look for a responsive LMS that automatically scales to meet any screen size. As such, a modern LMS must be remote-friendly. For example, it should provide you with a mobile app to ensure learners can access the training program anytime, anywhere, and most importantly when needed. This ensures that your learning platform and content look fantastic and works well no matter what device your learners use to access it anywhere.
This LMS feature is pretty straightforward – after all, it’s not that everyone would flock to Amazon or Lazada to shop if it weren’t so easy. With eCommerce functionality, you can use built-in stores or integrate with providers like Shopify or BigCommerce to simplify selling (and shopping) training. With e-commerce, you can also compose and sell course packages and manage different plans for different customer groups.
The user interface includes e-commerce, making it easy for your customers to browse, preview, and purchase training materials or course catalogues from your LMS. For companies that want to generate revenue by selling courses, the LMS must include eCommerce functionality. When you are looking for eCommerce features, consider the following factors:
- Support for generating revenue reports and flexible formats that can be viewed on any mobile device or desktop.
- Flexible payment gateway so users can use their preferred payment method either via credit card or PayPal in a variety of currencies.
- Push notifications and sales receipts emailed
- Support features such as applying discount vouchers, selling with courses by making product recommendations based on the user’s browsing history or shopping cart, etc. Marketing initiatives, cross-selling and marketing are tracked and reported in detail.
Some topics require more coverage, or sometimes you need your people to provide a large amount of documentation to get certified and ready to do the work. This is where certification programs come in handy, something you can create quickly and easily. Consider an extended enterprise LMS that offers certification or certification training support, such as help in certificate setup, certificate design flexibility, and the ability to send pass credits to the inspection agency.
Other features may include automatic notifications when certificates expire or specific certification paths based on an individual’s job title, responsibilities, and geographic location. For example, an online training certificate in customer service ensures that every team member has the necessary talents and can follow company protocols to reflect your brand’s image accurately.
6. Data Security Protocol
Data security in an LMS is another must-have feature. An LMS not only holds the personal data of learners, but learning materials are often proprietary or of commercial value.
Sign-in is the first point of contact. Is it safe? How is sensitive data protected? Where is it stored? When people with legitimate access needs are not granted the necessary privileges, they often resort to sharing passwords, compromising the security of the entire process.
Access becomes unchecked and admin’s profile? The operation is no longer correct. Better to choose a system that allows unlimited administrator roles to be sure that your needs will be met in a controlled manner. You need to know that your sensitive data is safe from prying eyes.
Therefore, your LMS should have data security measures in place to protect your information. For example, protected servers and encryption protocols to prevent hacking. When in doubt, ask the LMS provider about their data security policies and if they have experienced any breaches in the past. You can also search for online reviews and ratings from previous customers.
7. Localization Support
As your company expands, you may need to interact with different audiences across the globe. When delivering content to a global audience, localization should be an element of your expanding enterprise LMS. Learning must happen and be accessible anywhere for all learners to use a multilingual user interface that can be translated into any language, allowing you to focus on learning, researching and developing specific content tailored to the needs of the target country or market.
These features will enable extended learning to quickly and efficiently reach all of your external partners, which will allow your company to scale. If your company is looking for invest to increase revenue, reduce costs, and improve productivity, expand your learning beyond the internal walls of your organization with an equipped LMS. Wide language localization, domain management, and global payment gateways for e-commerce are a necessity.
8. Feedback System
Your partners must be able to solve common problems and reassure valuable customers when they reach out for support. An extended enterprise LMS can provide the rapid online training resources needed to handle these types of requests, such as small online presentations and branching scenarios.
The tools used during this time are prompt and convenient. As a result, partners can use them in the field to troubleshoot issues more quickly and efficiently, leaving customers with a more positive perception of their experience. The best way to get opinions about your online training is to ask the learners in the company directly. Therefore, one of the LMS features that you need is a built-in feedback system to collect and compile user data.
For example, organize all the survey data and then create a companion chart. At the very least, it should have a surveying or exploration tool so you can examine the waters over time. You should also create an accurate online training budget in advance to narrow down the candidates and allocate your resources more efficiently. Last but not least, schedule a meeting with potential LMS vendors to clarify any questions or concerns you may have.
Organizations are rapidly embracing the concept of training and certifying their audience because it has become a significant competitive differentiator. The Extended Business Learning System can be a helpful addition to your company’s existing LMS by helping external employees and customers to understand products and services better. An extensive business management system can help your company make money, save money and speed up your business. Must-have LMS features will depend on your goals and requirements. When choosing an LMS, identifying the features you need as well as those you want will help you make the best decision for your organization.