You need a Learning Management System solution to develop and deliver your education and certification programs. Why do you need Professional Services to ensure your new LMS is a success? Let us explain...
The key to why you need your vendor to provide professional services is in the first statement, "You need an LMS solution". There are hundreds of vendors in the LMS market these days, many of whom offer a quick start, free trial platform. One of the most widely used LMS platforms in the world is an open source platform. The issue with both the free-trial and open source models is that they are mainly self-service, requiring your organization to have IT expertise and resources in-house, or to pay for system integration or IT maintenance contracts if you do not. The self-service model also means that though your vendor may provide great software, they do not have experience in implementing it in real-world situations, integrating it with other systems, or making customizations to suit the unique workflows and processes of your organization. Therefore, the people who know the software better than anyone else cannot help you if something goes wrong during or after implementation.
Most associations have complex requirements for their education and certification programs, that require more than the availability of a good software platform. Most associations will need to integrate their learning management system with at least one other platform, whether this is an association management system, eCommerce platform, or other technology required to support their activities. Therefore associations need comprehensive learning solutions from experienced vendors who can provide comprehensive professional services in addition to world-class software.
In our overview of Key Trends in Association Learning Technology for 2016, we referenced leading industry analysts Talented Learning, who noted that the ability to provide Professional Services is a key differentiation among LMS vendors. The ability to provide insight and guidance on best practice, streamline the complex processes of implementation, integration and customization makes a big difference to the success of association learning technology projects in any year. It is important to choose a vendor that knows the unique needs of associations and can provide a supportive service to ease the transition to a new learning management system, especially if you are upgrading or migrating from a previous eLearning platform, which adds complexity to the project.
"If you are a mid-sized or larger company shopping for your second or third LMS, most free trial LMSs are not a great fit because buyers need more services help. Migrating from a previous LMS or managing the complexities of multiple business units, integrations and languages is too much to figure out solo. Sophisticated buyers with deeper requirements need an experienced professional service team to guide them through the process to ensure success. Professional services depth and breadth is a big differentiator in the marketplace and an easy place for a buyer to go wrong."
John Leh, CEO & Lead Analyst, Talented Learning
Professional Services for LMS Solutions for Associations
Professional services for LMS solutions can include implementation, integration, customization, and training, all delivered with knowledge, guidance and experience gained from working with similar clients, to ensure the success of your eLearning program. Your vendor's services team should be able to confidently predict schedules and budgets and assess risk and communication requirements in advance of the project, using their experience in additions to defined processes, templates, tools, and best practice to deliver complex projects. When a vendor provides professional services for LMS solutions, it ensures that your association can:
- Coordinate internal resources;
- Avoid cost and schedule overruns;
- Have clearly defined measurables for budget, quality and scheduling;
- Avoid project “scope creep”;
- Enjoy a successful implementation or migration to your new learning management system.
One association that has achieved a successful migration to a new learning management system is the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) is a leading organization for chemical engineering professionals, with over 49,000 members from over 100 countries. AIChE worked with WBT Systems professional services team to complete a migration from their legacy LMS, with an integration to their association management system, Personify360, within a tight three-month timeline. The support and experience of the WBT Systems professional services team, employing their QuickValue project management methodology, ensured the project was successfully completed on time. To learn more about the details of this project, read the full case study.
“It was an efficient and expert implementation – quick and painless. The WBT services team have done a great job with a complex project. It has been a pleasure working with them.”
Amit Gupta, Chief Information Officer, AIChE
Wondering how you can learn how professional services for LMS solutions could ensure the success of any future eLearning projects for your association, and hear some real-world success stories from associations like yours?
Join John Leh, CEO & Lead Analyst of Talented Learning and Linda Bowers, CTO of WBT Systems for some advice on "How to Select an Association (and not a corporate) LMS" in a free webinar March 30 at 1pm ET.