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Selecting and implementing a new Learning Management System (LMS) can be tough. After a bad experience with an LMS product or its company’s support services, making the change to a new LMS can be easy if managed properly. For the Multimedia Innovations team at Teksoft Ventures, changing to a new LMS was a successful and fulfilling experience. Within 13 days of signing the agreement with the new provider, the new LMS was being used by over 2,000 people. How was it possible? Management, teamwork, and a great support staff from the new LMS provider. Here’s the story.
Previous Experience with an LMS
In 2008, Teksoft established the need for an LMS to manage our clients’ software implementations, which specifically included the management, tracking, reporting, and delivery of both instructor-led and online training. After choosing an LMS vendor based on its pricing structure and positive research provided by a well-known eLearning organization, Teksoft began training with the LMS provider — and the nightmare begun. The team sat through an entire week of unprepared training from an inexperienced trainer. Sound familiar to you? After over 45 days of the initial implementation, which included some customization, the LMS was ready to be used, or was it? Constant technical issues caused by an out of date product with poor support led Teksoft down a stressful path for the next 4 ½ years.
Finding the Right LMS the Second Time Around
Though pricing was the sole reason to stay with the previous LMS vendor, the contract had expired which provided Teksoft with an opportunity for change. After researching a few LMS products, many of which were priced lower yet they had high monthly minimums, Teksoft chose an LMS based on the following:
Teksoft had contracted with a client to use the LMS in three weeks. Also, 2 of the 3 Multimedia Innovations team members at Teksoft were completing other client work and had no time to participate in the new LMS training.
To their advantage, no clients were in the former LMS at the time of the switch, so the decision was made to leave the data there. Also, no migration was needed. Most of the data needed was exported to Excel, but none of it needed to be retained. Check with your legal department to determine if employee records need to be retained for a minimum amount of time. Ultimately, having experience with a previous LMS proves to be advantageous. Most LMS products share many aesthetic and functional similarities.
After a week of contract negotiations with the new LMS provider and confirmation from the new LMS vendor that the system would be ready for use by the (now 2 week) deadline, Teksoft Ventures was ready for change.
The one available team member remaining, prepared with a list of questions, met with the new LMS provider for a one-on-one training session via web conferencing. No full days were lost sitting in boring training sessions. No travel was needed either.
Within the next 10 business days, the LMS vendor’s support staff addressed all the immediate concerns and assisted in making sure the LMS was fully functional. With their help and Teksoft’s previous experience, they were able to build curriculums and import SCORM based courses. Rules were created so when a user was registered, he or she would be automatically assigned the appropriate curriculum along with receiving a system generated notification email. The LMS was branded with client specific logos and colors creating a familiar feel in a new environment for the client. Nearly 2,000 users were imported into the LMS. Of course not all systems and implementations go without a hitch, but the LMS vendor made sure all issues were resolved immediately.
All in all, it was a success. Teksoft recently rolled off the first group of 2,000 users as over 90% of them completed their required training successfully. The excellent reporting options provided Teksoft Ventures with the proof of a successful training program. The LMS has solid accountability and has already proven to be a real asset to Teksoft Ventures as they continue to bring in new clients and users.
Written in conjunction with Stephen Calhoun, Multimedia Innovations Designer at Teksoft Ventures.