Best E-Learning platforms between software and strategy


E-learning is a digital learning method that is fully part of the corporate training offer. The e-learning platforms are a mere tool, but it must be made clear that investing in the training of one’s collaborators is a strategic decision for a company.

As every HR manager knows, the personal satisfaction of each employee and collaborator and the loyalty of people are key elements for the professional growth of work teams.

Let’s talk about us: Arianne operates in the ICT / Digital sector and has always had many young and / or professionally ambitious graduates among its staff. Figures who are difficult to intercept and who can easily find an alternative to their current work. The theme of recruiting and also that of loyalty (to contain a very expensive turnover) is therefore a strategic element with which we immediately had to confront.

We are convinced that this is not only valid for companies in the ICT sector such as Ariadne, but can be extended to any company that makes professionalism – and the competence of its resources – a distinctive element.

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Attracting and retaining capable people in the company is not a foregone conclusion: the economic and corporate welfare aspects certainly have a certain weight but, especially on younger and more capable figures, the aspect of professional growth and personal satisfaction are carefully evaluated, above all. in the medium term.

And here, therefore, comes into play training and the digital training tool par excellence: e-learning, in fact.

Corporate e-Learning platform

Having open source e-Learning platforms to organize digital learning courses in the company is certainly not the definitive solution to training problems, but it certainly represents an excellent channel of use. In fact, although e-Learning is not a training project per se but only one of the tools to carry out a medium-long term training project, it is also true that e-Learning – obviously oper source and tailor-made – allows personnel training methods otherwise not obtainable with classic face-to-face training.

This contributes to the affirmation of the value that a dynamic and tailor-made training course can bring. Training, at this point,Training as a strategic element to consolidate a human asset of motivated and satisfied professionals who work within the company to achieve its shared objectives. Training that marks the individual’s professional growth path, allowing him to acquire those skills that will one day allow him to aspire to better, more qualified, more remunerated positions: not outside the Company but within it!

Learning Management System:

LMS is certainly a centralizer of training contents . This is truly “step 0”, at the same level that a company’s website has at least one “about us” and one “contact” page. It may seem trivial but it is not, as already managing a single repository where the contents are organized, updated, easily traceable, appropriately classified, profiled by type of user … It is already a good goal in many organizations! Not only that, the content should not only be “raw” but already declined in formats / times / modes for each type of user and declined according to the methods of use. We only think about the possibility of training using your Smartphone and using training pills designed for the purpose.

Here we could open a very important topic – which we only mention here – and that is the authoring of content: an LMS is only one “half of the apple”: the other half is made up of contents and their quality! Quality understood both as the originality of the contents themselves and their declination in the various formats of use, with a pleasant visual design and engaging usability.

Learning Management System (LMS)

From a more extensive and updated perspective, training is continuous, we undergo and receive it every day, from reading a book to participating in an event, from listening to a podcast to observing a craftsman who works, up to the use of classic formal content.

And then the LMS can be considered as a component of a larger ecosystem in which the goal is to collect and catalog experiences and skills.

It follows that the more sophisticated the LMS is in its functions, the more it has reason to integrate with the company information system: just think of the need to report the results of the training carried out on the LMS in the HR platform or to have to retrieve from the company organization chart. the hierarchy to understand who can authorize to follow a certain training path. In more complex scenarios, an architecture that separates the integration aspects between systems from the typical functions of an LMS can be useful and in this sense Ariadne has moved in the most complex projects.

LMS E-Learning Platform

Choosing a platform is never an easy task and the same can be said for choosing an LMS e-learning platform. Let’s try to give some criteria without claiming to be exhaustive:

1. Functional Coverage: Functional coverage is certainly important. It is true that LMSs are products that have existed for almost 20 years and, although the LMS project we are about to tackle is complex, by choosing one of the market-leading platforms, the functional coverage required by the project will hardly be partial. Rather, the following point 6 should be carefully considered.

2. Market presence: an LMS project is a project that has a life of at least 4-5 years, hopefully even longer. It is ESSENTIAL that the company / organization that sells / maintains the chosen platform guarantees the service also in the future; It is therefore advisable to opt for market-leading systems and not niche products which, although avant-garde, could disappear in a short time.

3. Presence of Partner System Integrators: the success of a project depends a lot – in our opinion for more than 50% – on the System Integrator who leads the project. The possibility of being able to choose from a large number of Partner System Integrators is very important: what has been said for the platform is valid, it is better to choose a Partner with a consolidated presence, not necessarily large, but with real references and to be verified (really do it!).

4. Technology: technology should not be a criterion unless you want to internalize the evolution or maintenance of the LMS platform; if this is the will – however questionable and to be evaluated carefully – then the technological driver becomes very important as the technology at the base of the LMS must be among those known by the corporate IT. Here too what has already been said is valid, better a widely used technology than a niche one on which it is very difficult – if not impossible – to find skills and qualified personnel.

5. Integrability: claiming that an LMS performs the function of “integrator” is wrong because this is not its function; however, it is essential that it offers tools (API) to be integrated with other systems. An LMS that is supposed to be the only software in the corporate information context is NOT a good LMS.

6. Flexibility and customization: if the choice of a platform among the market leaders allows us to be quite confident about the functional coverage, what to do if the platform in question is missing precisely that essential aspect for our company. project? We need to develop an extension or a plug-in, as it is often called, or modify a core function of the system. This MUST therefore be possible and it is not a foregone conclusion that must be carefully verified: the verification must be made both on the actual technical possibilities of the LMS and on the availability of skills for the development of these changes at the technological partner (System Integrator) that is there. proposing the solution.

7. SAAS: The possibility (not the obligation!) To purchase the service in SAAS mode solves – or should solve – many points: it allows us to start gradually and not expose ourselves immediately with the purchase of expensive licenses, we can gradually extend the project to different business areas, we must not involve IT too much in the project at least at an early stage. In short, it allows us to “try” with little expense, little risk and a short timeframe if the LMS project can really work.

8. License mode: Named user, per login, per server license. Surely an onerous license mechanism linked to the use made of the LMS can be a problem, especially if the license is nominal or based on the number of logins registered on the platform. If you want to use the platform not only for employees but also, for example, for the direct and indirect sales network (thus making training a formidable sales driver) we must be able to enable thousands or tens of thousands on the LMS. of sellers / clerks / occasional agents without having to incur unacceptable costs.

9. Price: the price has its weight, especially assessed in the light of the previous point and therefore thinking not only of employees in the strict sense but also targeting all the actors who have to do with the products / services of the Company. To evaluate the costs not only of acquiring the license but to think immediately with a horizon of at least 3 years, more realistically 5 years.

E-learning is a digital learning method that is fully part of the corporate training offer. The e-learning platforms are a mere tool, but it must be made clear that investing in the training of one’s collaborators is a strategic decision for a company. As every HR manager knows, the personal satisfaction of each employee and…

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