Find a Technology Partner for the Long Haul

In the Learning Technology space, vendor relationships can sometimes be measured in months rather than years. In an environment where about 40% of companies are actively looking to replace a current provider, longevity is hard to come by. But that’s to be expected with the transactional nature of many of these relationships. Clients always want the newest, latest thing and many providers struggle to provide the most basic customer support. That’s why our collective Brandon Hall Group jaws dropped when Smartchoice Preferred Provider Latitude CG introduced us to their client of 20 years, the American Board of Emergency Medicine (ABEM). In the world of technology partnerships, 20 years may as well be 1,000.

And while the length of the relationship is surprising, the reasons why are not. Latitude has always taken this kind of partnership approach with its clients. We see it time and again with companies such as Stellantis, Polaris and Subaru. They remark how deep the partnerships with Latitude are. And Latitude wouldn’t have it any other way. For them it’s not about selling the technology and moving on, it’s about continuously collaborating to meet needs and solve challenges.

ABEM is the credentialing organization that certifies emergency medicine physicians in the U.S. They begin to track physicians once they join an emergency medicine residency and let them know when they are ready to apply for certification. And this is where the partnership with Latitude comes in. Over the last 20 years, the two organizations have partnered to create a sophisticated and fully integrated application platform, an assessment platform and a portal for monitoring assessment results and certification status. Latitude’s experience in managing extended enterprise learning needs is essential in this complex environment of professionals who have a common thread but work for different hospitals around the country.

But the system that Latitude built over the years shows their dedication to the partnership. As Michele Miller, Associate Executive Director for Systems and Technology for ABEM puts it, “We took a learning management system and created a monster, but in the best way.” Not only is the Latitude platform managing applications and assessments, ABEM also uses the platform to push out activities and tests to physicians to ensure they meet the requirements to remain certified. Latitude built an “item bank” for ABEM, where volunteer subject matter experts write and store questions. Then ABEM can assemble the tests from these items on an as-needed basis. Latitude also worked closely to integrate offerings from other vendors that filled specific niches they couldn’t. 

This example relationship is the embodiment of one of the key pillars for technology selection — don’t buy a technology, but select a partner focused on your business’s success. Miller puts it best when she says, “It’s not about just the product that Latitude can provide, it has more to do with the people who work there and how they’re going to interact with us.”

David Wentworth, Principal Analyst, Brandon Hall Group

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