Selecting an LMS: IT Implementation and Ongoing Support

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Selecting an LMS: IT Implementation and Ongoing Support

It’s never a good thing when a Learning Management System has major roadblocks right out of the gate.

The first impression you get from a new LMS is during the implementation process. So, if the experience is bad for the IT department from the get go, this doesn’t bode well for the level of success expected for administrators, employees and managers. This could make or break how the daily use of the system will go.

There are a host of issues that need to be addressed during the implementation process that include, but are not limited to:

  • Installation
  • Security
  • User account management and authentication
  • Data migration from the legacy LMS to the new LMS
  • System integrations 

As with any software system, a number of things could go wrong during implementation. A complicated to use LMS only exacerbates the problem. In order to implement an LMS quickly without issue, it’s important during the LMS selection process to prioritize an LMS that is straightforward and easy to use as well as provides a high level of customer support should the need arise.

If there is a glitch during implementation and nobody to provide answers, staff is left to research on their own on sites such as Google or other forums.

If this is the route taken, it results in more staff hours. And, more staff hours equals more money spent.

The more complicated an LMS is the more resources may be needed to implement it as well. For instance, if there are too many options available it can actually make the system harder to use than if there were fewer out-of-the-box options. As a result, you may run into the issue of staff that need to have a certain skillset to even operate the LMS, additional equipment needed and more money for customer support.

When you purchase an LMS, it’s expected that implementation shouldn’t be the obstacle that inhibits learning programs from getting started so that business goals can be achieved.

An LMS that is difficult to implement, sets the tone for more problems down the line.

If employees are delayed in getting the training they need, this results in an unhappy learning department, front-line managers and CEO. And, of course, you are not any closer to reaching your business goals.

What Makes IT Implementation and Support 'Easy'?

During the LMS selection process, there are a few things that should alert you that it will be ‘easy,’ including:

  1. Utilize existing infrastructure. An LMS that can piggyback onto an already established mainframe will immediately make installation easier because it will inherit all existing authentication protocols, processes etc.
  2. Integrations. It’s important that your LMS can ‘play nice’ with all of your other business systems. The LMS should easily and seamlessly integrate without any fuss.
  3. Data migration and content management. Data and content play an enormous role in eLearning. A system that integrates both an LMS and CMS will simplify the task of managing information.
  4. Updates. There will always be updates to any LMS so it’s imperative to choose an LMS that makes ease of use a priority and provides your business the tools needed for success.
  5. Customer support. If help is needed, an LMS should provide timely customer support. It shouldn’t be an afterthought nor a pricy add on.

During the LMS selection process, keep these features top of mind while exploring additional requirements.

The Selection Process

An LMS that is quick to set up and easy to use is only complimented by fast and thorough support, available 24/7.

As you’re evaluating various LMS systems, ask yourself “what requirements are needed to implement a new LMS?” Are there infrastructure limitations that will eliminate a type of Learning Management System?

Being aware of this important information will help narrow down the list of potential LMSs that will better fit your specific situation and most likely won’t cause any problems getting it set up.

It’s also important to consider what kind of additional training, if any, the IT staff will need to maintain the LMS. If there is more than average training needed just to work with the LMS, this could potentially be a red flag that the system is complicated.

Be sure not to overlook customer support when selecting an LMS.

The responsiveness of the LMS vendor from the initial inquiry stage should give you a realistic idea of what to expect throughout your time as a customer. If a vendor is slow to respond to your initial sales inquiry, it’s unlikely their customer support will set any industry records.

Here are some additional tactics that help explore beyond marketing speak:

  • Ask for testimonials or references from customers in similar markets and territories
  • Read independent reviews available online
  • Submit test support tickets during your trial period

An LMS is an important investment to make so it’s crucial to make sure you choose the right one for your business. Ease of Use will be an ongoing theme during the process, and for good reason. The faster and easier you can implement an LMS the faster you are to creating learning programs that will reach your business goals and benefit the success of your business.

ShareKnowledge is a good choice for those who want to leverage their SharePoint investment. For IT professionals, our solution makes the most of your organizations existing infrastructure, processes and know-how which ultimately makes your job easier. If you would like more information about how ShareKnowledge can solve your training needs, please call fill out the form.

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