When Shopping for an LMS, Look for a Partner

There is a lot of different learning technology available at the moment with a never-ending array of  features and functionalities all designed to make your life easier and your learning better. The most-purchased technology is the LMS. Three quarters of organizations use at least one, and they account for the lion’s share of the learning technology budget. But are buyers getting their money’s worth? 

Brandon Hall Group research says the answer to that question is likely “no.” For starters, 45% of companies say their learning technology ecosystem is “inadequate.” More than half of companies would like to change technologies for better data and analytics or for technology that is easier to use for both learners and admins. This does not point to a scenario where the myriad of features are paying off. 

Perhaps more important than a list of functionalities listed on an RFP, is the idea that the vendor you choose will be a partner in the long-term success of your learning, your learners and your business. The key difference between an LMS vendor and an LMS partner is whether they are as invested in the success of your business with their software as you are. A partner will be there to support you with resources, knowledge and insight to help make the most of the technology. 

In many cases, the relationship with the vendor ends as soon as the ink is dry on the contract. Organizations have to make their own way through implementations and integrations, as well as user training and adoption. It makes more sense to have a vendor partner that can guide the organization  through the process. A solid onboarding process will help get the system up and running more quickly and help drive user adoption. These first few weeks and months are critical, as they will set the tone for how users and admins view the solution moving forward. A rough deployment can mean an uphill battle for engagement moving forward. 

About half of companies say they would like to switch LMS providers for better integration capabilities. This is not always a technology issue. In fact, it is more a result of poor partnership through the implementation phase. A good LMS partner can work with L&D and IT teams to guide integration in any technology environment. And as far as adoption goes, the vendor should have the best insight into how and why learners use their solution, so it makes sense to have their help driving the adoption process. 

And while there are plenty of providers who carry a partnership this far, many still drop off at this point when it comes to ongoing support. About 45% of companies say they want to switch providers because they do not feel their current provider is able to partner with them for the future. A strong partner will provide a host of self-service support resources, as well as a smooth process for addressing concerns on an ongoing basis. 

To learn more about finding a technology partner, take a look at the L&D teams that spend a lot of time supporting their customers and keeping them happy. And many are even active in their own company’s customer experience when they provide customer training. Brandon Hall Group Preferred Provider LearnUpon understands that when it comes to technology, the L&D team gets to be the customer and should be treated as such. They provide complete end-to-end support throughout their client  partnerships, complete with dedicated onboarding specialists, customer success managers and customer support teams. For a deeper dive at what goes into successfully choosing the right technology  partner, watch our on-demand webinar.

– David Wentworth, Principal Analyst, Brandon Hall Group

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David Wentworth