For most organizations, there are multiple reasons for switching over to a new LMS. Scalability issues, outdated features, complicated GUI, lack of technical support from the vendor – are just a few of the many reasons. But typically an LMS switch boils down to 3 main factors: the product (feature/function/integration), the vendor (service/support/continuity), or the cost (annual licensing/maintenance/overhead).
Let's take a brief look at each of the aforementioned factors:
1. The Product
Products in the LMS space are ever-evolving to say the least. New delivery modalities, enhanced reporting features, user-friendly dashboards, automated prescriptive functions, consolidation of (previously separated) business functions -we have seen it all. Vendors the world over are re-engineering their LMS platforms from the ground up, acquiring or partnering with other players to provide holistic solutions.
If you are stuck on a 20 year old platform in version 27.X, on one hand you've got maturity, but on the other hand your platform is outdated. More often than not, it's harder for vendors of such companies to continuously evolve and keep their LMS platform up-to-date as the younger and nimbler platforms. So at some point having a platform that was a “charter member” to the LMS space becomes a drawback. This is because regardless of how much you invest in staying in sync with the times, the platform is rarely ever on the cutting edge. And even if it is, you will be investing a lot more than you would have somewhere else for the same thing because of what your vendor had to invest to support its overhead of a thousand staff members handling legacy products.
2. The Vendor
Partnering with a vendor that consistently provides the same level of stewardship over the years also becomes a challenge. As in almost all cases, vendor organizations grow, and while previously you used to be a part of the critical mass, you now find yourself to be just a small fish in a pond of many. Or worse yet, your LMS vendor gets acquired and you get dumped into a bucket that is not only much larger, but is already full of fish your size or bigger.
These types of situations, besides leaving you with a feeling of being invisible, may lead to support lags, service levels deterioration, and overall experience decline. Further, in this time and day when M&A is the primary growth strategy of many large vendors, how can you feel secure that you’ll continue to be important to your vendor tomorrow?
3. The Cost
Finally, at the most objective level we have to look at cost. Are you spending more to stay up-to-date with new releases? Are you expanding functionally to accommodate the business needs of your organization in a non cost-effective manner? In all probability your answer to these questions will be positive. In such a case, would it not only be easier, but also better to save thousands of dollars by just cutting loose and taking your data elsewhere?
These questions weigh heavy on the minds of many organizations I have spoken with in recent months, and the answers are different for everyone. But, there are options and solutions that don't empty your pockets and offer more for less.
Building a unified global learning infrastructure is becoming a requirement for the sustainable success of companies across all industries. After all, in today’s global economy every dollar is important, and every investment has to be justified. Making the right choice is more important now than it ever has been. And that's simply because with the rapidly changing environment you need a vendor that will be there holding out their hand when you are ready to take the next step. No one believes that things will stay the same, but knowing when and how to make a switch is where the value lies. After all, do you really want to finish second best when it's all said and done?
Follow along the next couple of weeks as we talk about switching LMS providers and lay out a road map of potential obstacles and the ways to best address them.
Also don't forget to book your seat for our webinar on LMS switching – Simplifying The LMS Switching Process: Switching For Good – to be held on 12th September, 11 AM EDT. Register now