Almost all companies today have a way of administering their employee training and certification programs. Some use expensive software running on servers that they have to maintain. Others use “homegrown” applications that have been developed in-house, and are usually clunky systems with very little flexibility.
Other companies however, have discovered the power of the cloud-based learning management system (LMS) that integrates social learning features and powerful collaboration tools, along with the more traditional features.
When it comes to comparing these learning management systems with one another though, it’s sort of like comparing cars. All cars have tires, an engine, a steering wheel and seats, but they aren’t all alike. In fact, some cars are dependable, some are high-performance, some are simply economical, and others are constantly in the shop. The same is true for learning management systems. Just as you wouldn’t expect a Ford Focus to out-perform a Ferrari, you can’t expect a homegrown LMS to compete with today’s state-of-the-art social LMS platforms.
The advantage of a modern social LMS solution over the older generation or homegrown learning systems is clear. The old platforms typically require a staff of administrators to oversee the delivery of training, as well as tracking the results. The older systems are also one-way streets, pushing the material out to learners regardless of their level of understanding. Today’s modern, cloud-based social LMS is far different.
For one thing, cloud-based, or software-as-a-service (SaaS) LMS platforms are highly flexible and customizable. And since they run over a secure Internet connection, there are no hardware or server maintenance costs to deal with. In addition, they are easy to manage and require far less overhead to administer – some are available with no per user fees so you can include everyone at your organization for no additional cost (LMS pricing).
But, the most appealing feature of a cloud-based social LMS is the social component.
A social LMS is an interactive collaboration platform that can be used to develop communities of practice within an organization. Subject matter experts on a particular topic can be easily accessed, and their knowledge shared wherever it is needed. Learning can become a constant practice, rather than an occasional event. Users of the system begin to develop and share their own knowledge, and perpetuate the learning process throughout the organization. And all of this happens right alongside the formal training and certification needs of the company – on the same robust LMS platform.
The future of learning development is here, in the form of cloud-based social LMS systems. Of these, one in particular is worth looking into. The TOPYX LMS is an award-winning platform that delivers an enhanced online learning experience, along with all of the social features discussed above. This robust system even offers fixed rate pricing, so companies know exactly what they will be paying on their training budget. You can get a personal LMS demo to see how such social learning tools can help your organization.
If you are looking at a “homegrown” learning management solution or looking to bring a complete LMS solution in-house, you really should take a look at what cloud-based, SaaS LMS solution are available to help you meet your learning goals. And, you may even be able to boost your bottom-line be avoiding internal IT costs and per user fees. All learning management systems are not created equal.
Vice President, Business Development