Off-the-shelf LMS software on a mobile phoneWhy Are There So Many Dissatisfied LMS Customers?

After 20 years of talking with all types of clients, we realize many have one thing in common: Few are completely happy with their off-the-shelf LMS software… at least not for long. The solution they hoped would meet their training needs falls short. So what are the common problems? Here are some limitations of off-the-shelf Learning Management Systems that most often lead to disappointment.

The LMS may not:

  • Provide a good mobile experience, so it makes it difficult to get to courses on a phone or tablet.
  • Be compatible with certain browsers.
  • Work well with the company’s firewall.

All of these shortcomings make training difficult to access, which is a major pain point.

But Wait! There’s More!

Companies with smaller training audiences or simpler training needs find themselves in “sticker shock” after looking at the cost of a full, off-the-shelf LMS. After all, who wants to pay for bells and whistles they will never use?

Vendors typically either charge a substantial fee for their off-the-shelf LMS software, or they have a “per user” pricing.

  • If you have a substantial online training curriculum with a user base that will be taking numerous courses, the right off-the-shelf LMS may offer a decent ROI.
  • If you have a rotating set of users that takes only one course (for instance, an orientation course for new vendors, contractors, or job applicants), most any off-the-shelf LMS will not be cost-effective.

Besides accessibility and cost, here are some other shortcomings companies may find with their off-the-shelf LMS.

  • Unappealing user interface
  • Poor support of video or gamification
  • Inability to deliver targeted content
  • Limited reporting functionality
  • Clunky course maintenance and file management
  • Limited or no customization and personalization options
  • Compatibility issues with other tools and file types
  • Insufficient security
  • Poor customer service and tech support
  • Outdated security protocols for privacy data
  • Challenges and costs of administration and updates

They Aren’t All Bad

Just to be clear, we aren’t saying all off-the-shelf learning management systems are bad. Not at all! What we are saying from 20 years of experience is this.

  • When a company with a sizable training program chooses off-the-shelf LMS software that does not meet its technical requirements and match its learning management needs, the shortcomings quickly surface.
  • Some of the biggest names in the LMS market have the biggest lemons, but a convincing sales team.
  • When a company just basically needs to track training, a full off-the-shelf Learning Management System can be overkill… an overpriced solution to a simple need.

An LMS Solution to Truly Meet Your Needs

Are you among those who are dissatisfied with their LMS? Left Brain Media can:

  • Show you how to maximize the use of your current LMS;
  • Help you find the right off-the-shelf LMS that’s the best fit for your specific business needs; or
  • Create an affordable, custom LMS solution to track and analyze learners’ progress.

We have helped companies redesign and reorganize the content in their LMS. We have even created Pinterest-like user experiences that layer on top of an LMS to give the course browsing experience a more personalized and modern feel.

Custom Tracking Solutions

One of our common requests most recently (even from big companies) is for a solution that allows them to offer and track training to those outside their company in a cost-effective way.

For instance, one very large national client asked us to create a way to track potential new hires’ completion of job preview training. Then another client needed a way to ensure users of their business app had good training. All of these users would access the training only once or twice, but there were likely to be thousands of them. Paying a “per user” price for an LMS was not a reasonable solution. So we built a custom WordPress-based solution that gave them the flexibility, reporting, and pricing they need.

Training Outside the LMS

When you add a course to the LMS, it’s often important to make snippets that can be shared on any website. What’s the benefit? It’s a great way to give people a taste of the training and entice them to watch the full course. Left Brain Media does this for virtually every new project we create now.

If you have a rotating set of users, simple training and tracking needs, or a need for eLearning solutions that are outside the box but within budget, contact Left Brain Media for a free consultation.

More About LMS Software and Custom Solutions

Here are several other articles about off-the-shelf and custom LMS solutions.

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