Given that there are more than 18,000 Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs) on the planet, the academic Learning Management System (LMS) market is huge. While there are many more corporations than colleges and universities, there is naturally a much higher percentage of IHEs actively participating in the LMS market.
After all, what self-respecting college or university doesn’t have an LMS? Corporations, on the other hand, may or may not perceive the need for an LMS. Most corporations realize they need a Learning Management System (LMS) is likely the main driver for future market growth predictions.
A recent market research report from MarketsandMarkets revealed that “The Learning Management Systems (LMS) market size is expected to grow from USD $5.22 Billion in 2016 to USD $15.72 Billion by 2021, at a CAGR of 24.7%.” It’s important to understand that these figures and projections include both the corporate and academic LMS.
The Difference Between a Corporate LMS and an Academic LMS
While in the broadest sense both LMS types do the same thing – create and manage content and track learners as they engage with that content – they’re substantially different because higher education is more concerned about theoretical knowledge than corporations, while corporations are more concerned with practical or applied knowledge than higher education.
The difference here is a matter of degree, all IHEs and all corporations do both theoretical and practical learning; it’s more a matter of where they fall on the continuum connecting the two, with higher education leaning towards the theoretical end of the spectrum and corporations leaning more towards the practical end of the spectrum.
According to Marsha Weobong, CFO of Telania, “The explosive growth in the LMS market presents unique advantages and challenges to companies and customers. While consumers have lots to choose from, they also can also have analysis paralysis. It helps to have a trusted partner in the LMS space”.
Flexibility is Key in a Corporate LMS
A business wouldn’t want to choose an academic LMS because the settings are very different both in terms of culture and workflow. IHEs operate on an academic schedule that includes very regular semesters, trimesters, or quarters within which courses happen, with final exams administered at the end of each period.
That’s simply not how corporate training and learning happens, which is on a much more wide-open, fluid, flexible schedule with wide variation in course duration.
Louisville-based eLeaP has taken this to heart in its LMS offering. The web-based, cloud-hosted LMS was designed for maximum flexibility, adaptability and customizability to allow companies to quickly create and offer courses of any depth, breadth, or duration.
Integrating an LMS with Other IT Systems
Rather than the traditional grading structures at academic institutions, a corporate LMS is more about tracking the progressive development of skills and/or certifications that feed into an employee’s career path and rewards. But for that to work, unlike in higher education, the LMS will need to integrate with other systems, such as the company’s Human Resources Information System (HRIS).
That’s just one example of how a corporate LMS needs to integrate with the rest of the company’s IT infrastructure. The eLeaP LMS includes a robust API to facilitate such integrations. It consists of a set of callable methods that allow for automatic interactions between the LMS and other systems at your company.
Single Sign-On (SSO)
Few things are more annoying for employees and network administrators than managing multiple log-in credentials for multiple systems and apps, making SSO a critical requirement of any corporate LMS.
Data Interchange Capabilities
Corporate LMS needs to be able to both import and export data in a wide range of formats in order for the system to achieve interoperability with the widest range of other systems and applications as possible.
On the import side, eLeaP was designed to be fully compatible with SCORM 1.2 and SCORM 2004, Flash presentations (.swf, .flv), embeddable web-based and other video formats (YouTube, .mpg, .mpeg, .mov, .wmv, .mp3, .mp4, .m4v), PowerPoint, PDF, and more. Exporting reports from eLeaP in Excel or PDF formats is accomplished in just one click.
Branding the LMS
In the corporate world, it’s vital that the LMS be able to bear the full identity of the company throughout. This goes well beyond putting the company logo on a page. Branding support in eLeaP includes organizational information, branded URL, logo, colour schemes, and instructions to create a secure, branded training/learning portal.
Extended Enterprise Learning and eCommerce
If a company has the right kind of robust LMS in place, it can easily extend its training and learning offerings to learners outside the company. This can include supply-chain vendors, sales representatives, service technicians, customers, or anyone else who the business would like to see better aligned to company goals.
With an Enterprise account, companies can set up multiples instances of eLeaP to serve different target audiences. But there’s no reason to stop there.
A company might have learning content that would be valuable to any number of people, which is why eLeaP includes eCommerce functionality to turn your learning content into a streamlined, on-demand product anyone can purchase directly. This presents an opportunity to transform your corporate learning efforts into a tangible revenue stream, something company leadership would view favourably.
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