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One Organization – Multiple LMSs – Myth Or Reality?

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When we think of Learning Management Systems, we usually think that one organization requires one LMS integrated to their employee database. This LMS is usually for the global employee base. By using an LMS, all the training will be administered at a centralized location and managed by the Human Resource department of the Company. All Global Fortune organizations have invested in an LMS – either proprietary LMS’ or open source LMS such as Moodle.

Implementing and managing LMS is a huge and an uphill task. Integrating all user data, creating sub admins, creating and uploading courses and then assigning users are some of the many tasks LMS administrators have to perform. Once the courses are assigned and students start taking them, there is a whole lot of admin support that must be addressed for users’ issues, such as being unable to access courses, forgetting passwords, broken links in courses, being unable to obtain a certificate after completing the course…you name it.

Amidst all these, do you think organizations will have a need for another LMS? Looks like a joke! You may be surprised to learn that, we have been working with at least five such organizations that have done just that. Why?

Global Fortune companies believe that training is a KEY ingredient for a company to grow. They invest a percentage of their turnover in training initiatives. Some companies allocate as much as 20% of their turnover to training. By having such huge training budgets, who are they targeting?

  • Training distributors and channel partners: On their products, processes and selling skills so that they can sell more. There is huge number of distributors and dealers spread all over the globe. Having them in their internal LMS may be a security issue. Hence, they invest in another LMS which is hosted outside company servers.
  • Training customers on specialized subject and company products: There are certain specified and sophisticated industrial products that need in-depth training – it could be on the processes and product usage for their customers. Organizations are spending lots of money in creating online customer universities. For this need too, organizations prefer having a separate LMS.

Having multiple LMS’ is a growing trend to train employees, distributors, channel partners and customers. Most organizations are trying out cost-effective solutions by investing in open source LMS’ to meet their needs.

I also know an organization that implemented 15 Moodle installations for their global audience, one for each country. They wanted to have decentralized training for their teams.

Do you think that the trend of multiple LMS’ is here to stay or do you envisage major issues in such implementation?

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