Who would use an Extended Enterprise LMS?
In 2 of our previous blog posts, we defined the meaning of Extended Enterprise (training, development, certification or support provided to your external non-employees) and reviewed its measurable benefits. In this post, I would like to address what type of client would take advantage of Extended Enterprise and in our experience how these types of clients have applied Absorb LMS to deliver their external training.
1. Transitioning to Absorb LMS
This might be an SME who specializes in automation technology and have made the decision to switch to Absorb having previously attempted to train their channel partners using a different LMS. They need to transfer their previous LMS' historical user activity and in an effort to address the low adoption rate that affected their previous LMS implementation, this client has elected to use Absorb Engage (formerly known as the Mercury module) and by doing this, they can acknowledge and reward the most well-trained channel partners through contests.
- Our sales and customer success teams worked together with the client to plan and execute a smooth transition from their previous LMS to Absorb. A historical import of their old learner and course data is required to ensure that employee learner activity and the small amount of external learner data is included within the new Absorb portal. The Absorb team was able to provide a template for importing existing data that made migrating systems simple and seamless.
- Contests are designed and targeted to external users to encourage completion on channel courses by automatically awarding various types of gift cards to qualified learners using Absorb Engage.
2. Segmenting employees & end-users
This might be an SME who has developed a catalog of courses for their employees and would also like to introduce their customers to similar training that educates them on their products and services. They will continue to use the main Absorb catalog page for their employees but will utilize Absorb Deep Links to quickly integrate an external catalog page on their customer facing website.
- Separation of Internal and External users through Departments.
- Course availability rules utilizing Departments and Email domains to target content that internal users must complete and external users can choose to complete.
- Payment Gateway setup to enable a Shopping Cart for external users to purchase courses.
- Client lists several courses on their own customer facing website and links the pay button to an Absorb Deep Link. This link will seamlessly move the user from the client web page to Absorb's Shopping Cart.
3. Deploy employee & end-user training
This might be an SME that has several hundred employees located in the UK, but uses resellers in many different geographical regions to deploy their services globally. Having introduced Absorb to their internal employees 12 months ago, they would now like to implement a certification program to their resellers to ensure compliance. They will also include Absorb Engage to assist in learner engagement, specifically using targeted, custom billboards for each individual reseller and they have also selected the Absorb Inform (formerly called the Business Intelligence module) to enable their administrators to track detailed metrics on course purchases and user learning habits.
- Develop, design and deliver curricula based on a learning path certification process for resellers. They will use Absorb certification and competency features to confirm their resellers' knowledge in regard to their products and services. They will be deploying their training content to many different companies and have decided to add custom billboards that display each separate company's branding. Using the availability rules of Absorb Engage, they'll target specific billboards to their relevant organization.
- The SME will also use Absorb Inform to create customized dashboards and reports that display metrics based on courses purchased, region purchased, discounts applied, failed transactions and general transaction trends. These dashboards will be available to specific administrators who are responsible for reporting on and determining the ROI of the new certification program. The admins will also setup the reports to send Excel formatted reports to each Divisional Manager using the Absorb report generator, all of these reports are automated from the LMS.
Extended Enterprise enables LMS clients to increase the scope of their potential training audience. This could mean customers can take advantage of repackaged employee training content so that they can learn how to best use their products and services. A company could also utilize competency-based certification to ensure that geographically separated resellers or organizationally distinct channel partners are informed to maintain a specific standard of product awareness. Usage patterns of Extended Enterprise learners are often more variable than usage patterns of internal employees.
The right LMS plan will provide pricing that works for the customer training use case, as the number of users and their frequency of use can be difficult to predict. Each of the clients in the use cases described above were able to take advantage of a price plan that fitted their requirements and worked best for them. The efficiency that the LMS originally offered to Instructor Based Training for internal employees (reducing the need for travel, consistent training delivered through one source and ease of use) are now delivering similar improvements to external learners.
Absorb is a powerful and flexible tool, especially when used to promote and deliver training to internal and external audiences. Absorb will also grow with you as your needs evolve when your user base begins to increase and the administrative oversight leads to a desire for more nuanced and detailed levels of reporting and learner engagement. Absorb LMS offers fantastic Extended Enterprise options 'out of the box' as part of our core offering as well as enabling solutions to more complex engagement and tracking requirements through the additions of Absorb Inform and Absorb Engage. Whatever your Extended Enterprise needs are, Absorb has a solution for you. Tell us a bit about yourself and we would be happy to find a solution that works best for you.