A Buyers' Guide: Evaluating an LMS Solution

By Elizabeth Alexander

Finding a Learning Management System can certainly feel like a daunting task. Where do you start? How can you successfully determine your criteria for an LMS? How do you make the right decision? We understand the importance and significance of your decision, so we decided to put together the “LMS Buyers’ Guide: Your Roadmap to Finding an LMS”!

When you’re making your decision, 

Do:

  • Internally determine your requirements. What problem are you trying to solve, or capabilities are you wanting to add? What are the must-haves: Customizable courses? The ability to upload third-party content? Reporting? Start with the end goal in mind.
  • Involve a broad-set of stakeholders who can provide different perspectives. Organizational Training and Development, HR, Finance, IT, and Risk Management – each have a vested interest in ensuring the effectiveness of the solution, the viability of the provider, and the overall cost of deploying and maintaining an LMS application.
  • Engage with a professional vendor representative so that he or she can understand your needs, and help you find the best LMS solution for your company. At Oracle, we have several options and are happy to discuss in detail the pros and cons of each.  
  • View an in depth product demonstration. If you need more than one product demonstration, do not hesitate to ask. We are happy to customize demonstrations to make what you see as relevant as possible.
  • Ask as many questions as possible to ensure that the product fits your needs now and in the future. Requirements change over time. It’s important to ensure that your LMS is adaptable and that the vendor can accommodate change. 
  • Determine whether or not the LMS solution is secure-how will your data be protected? Where will this data reside? 
  • What level of support does the vendor provide?
  • Configurability & Scalability – can the application be configured to fit your workflow and organizational structure? Can the application adjust and grow as your organization evolves?
  • After seeing product demos, determine which one you like the most, and get started on purchasing and implementing your new LMS! 
  • Consider when the best time to purchase is. Ultimately, would purchasing and implementing an LMS sooner save you more in the long run? How much time, money, and effort are you currently spending on your manual system? 
  • Is the LMS you’re considering in the cloud? 

Don’t: 

  • Get distracted by the bells and whistles. At the end of the day, does the LMS fit your needs? 
  • Lose steam in your decision making process

We know that this roadmap doesn’t cover it all. But we hope it can help you along the way and can serve as a foundation you can rely upon as you go through the experience! 

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Elizabeth Alexander is a recent graduate of the University of California, Berkeley. While at Berkeley, she studied English Language and Literature. Now, just a few months after graduation, she works as a Human Capital Management Associate Sales Representative in Redwood Shores. Although she’s only been with the company for a few months, she is already getting the chance to help customers optimize their workforce and business. She is excited to see where her newfound career path takes her!

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