How To Get The Most Out Of Your Extended Enterprise LMS: 8 Questions To Ask
Interconnection plays a big part in today’s market. Most companies have built up an extended network of customers, vendors, suppliers, investors, external partners, and local communities. If this also applies to you, you already know that training this extended enterprise network on your company’s products, services, and values is a must in today’s competitive environment. In the years to come, extended enterprise online training is expected to become a common practice for all companies that want to reinforce their brand image, as it gives a competitive advantage to pioneer organizations that enter this field.
Here is a list of 8 crucial questions to ask before you decide to proceed with extended enterprise online training, and search for the most suitable extended enterprise LMS for your organization.
1. What Are The Benefits Of Training My Extended Enterprise Network?
You can only have minor expectations from an external network, unless you establish a crystal clear relationship between you and them. Extended enterprise online training helps you set a solid ground between your company and your external partners by clarifying goals and expectations, and giving both parties the opportunity to know each other. This way you’ll build a relationship of loyalty and trust. This can only be achieved in “open communication” settings, where your external partners are aware of the core values and procedures followed within your organization so that both external partners and customers can avoid false expectations. In addition, through extended enterprise online training, your organization gets measurable indications of the actual behavior and performance of external partners. Such information helps them make plans and predictions for the future, enabling them to adjust their marketing and communication strategy for each group accordingly towards the desired outcome.
2. Is Extended Enterprise Online Training Affordable?
Extended enterprise online training doesn’t come for free. It’s an investment and must be viewed as such, as there are extended enterprise Learning Management Systems that may look as somewhat expensive choices. However, when you are training external partners and customers, there is always revenue to be awaited. There are two basic reasons for this: synergy across the network is achieved more easily and your brand awareness spreads widely, giving added value to your products, with a positive effect on your ROI.
3. How Much Customization Does An Extended Enterprise LMS Need?
Knowledge attained from an extended enterprise online training program must always be connected with your brand’s name. Your colors, slogans, logo, and company name should be all over the extended enterprise LMS you use. Remember, there is a double purpose to this: First, to provide knowledge and skills to your external partners and customers. Second, to make them partakers of your corporate identity. Thereby, an extended enterprise LMS that can be easily customized is always a must.
4. Should The LMS Vendor Provide Security And Support Services?
Given that an extended enterprise LMS is, by default, supposed to grant access to multiple users from all around the globe, security is of utmost importance. Due to the very nature of extended enterprise Learning Management Systems, it is necessary that the LMS vendor is able to guarantee “security valves” and support services that will provide on-the-spot help, the soonest possible. If not, this may put at risk the credibility of your extended enterprise online training program, with negative implications for your brand as well.
It is always a good idea to test the support services offered by the LMS vendor during the LMS trial period. Come up with inquiries matching the training requirements of your organization, and make sure that the services offered are those you need. Last but not least, try to foresee not only potential requirements of your remote learners, such as offline access, localization issues, etc. but also limitations your remote learners are likely to face, such as authentication issues, secure access, etc.
5. What Type Of Reporting Should I Expect From An Extended Enterprise LMS?
LMS reports are a must-have when attempting to train such a diverse group of remote learners. They offer insight as to whether your online training course and your external partners are heading towards the right direction, and they provide information about what your audience has learned from the extended enterprise online training. This gain will also benefit your organization, while in the case that faults are detected, you will have sufficient feedback to analyze what goes wrong and take corrective actions. Some indicative LMS reports your extended enterprise LMS may provide range from simple LMS reports, such as learner participation, performance scores, course completion, and user satisfaction rates to more advanced, such as certification tracking.
6. Do I Need To Have IT And Programming Knowledge To Successfully Implement An Extensive Enterprise LMS?
Over the past years, Learning Management Systems have gone a long way, developing features that people with little or no programming knowledge at all can manage. Given the increasing demand of extended enterprise Learning Management Systems, LMS vendors have realized that most companies lack specialized personnel to successfully implement an extended enterprise LMS platform. Therefore, they identified the need to not only facilitate the implementation process for their clients but also to provide IT staff and online support services in every step of the implementation process. Depending on their pricing policy, this service may be charged for an extra fee, or may be included in the “package”.
7. How Do I Achieve Learner Engagement With An Extended Enterprise LMS?
Smart design and witty branding are essential to start with. That is why you must search for an extended enterprise LMS that is easily customizable, user-friendly, and device-responsive. Your external partners should be able to familiarize themselves with the learning environment and engage with your online training content without any technical obstacles on their way.
8. Do I Need An Extended Enterprise LMS With eCommerce Features?
This depends on whether you plan to offer extended enterprise online training for free or for a fee. Think ahead who your target audience is, and if there is a pretty good chance that the online training content you include could be of interest to wider audiences. Unless you have decided to offer extended enterprise online training only to your eternal partners for free, you should select an extended enterprise LMS with eCommerce features, such as a shopping cart, an online payment gateway for credit card payments, etc.