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In the process of selecting the right Learning Management System (LMS) for your organization, a large percentage of discussion time is likely to revolve around ROI - what are the hard, upfront costs to overhauling or upgrading your training capabilities, and what are the ongoing costs and pricing models further down the line? So, remember to cover the following three discussion areas in your next meeting about LMS cost management.
1. Open-source LMS keeps base costs at a minimum
As opposed to proprietary LMS models, an open source LMS does away with monthly or annual license fees, as well as obligatory subscription and maintenance costs.
By allowing LMS platforms to be freely distributed and developed, open-source LMS providers create an economically efficient framework, from which organizations can then begin to budget and plan training according to their needs. As your training needs scale and become more complex, an open-source LMS can be customized to grow along with you.
Because of this framework, the costs involved in developing and managing an open-source LMS are likely to differ in specifics, depending on the business. Larger businesses will be concerned with ensuring seamless communication and interaction across their company, whereas smaller organizations may be more interested in automating to maintain cost-efficiency. Common costs to consider include initial configuration, training, and support, as well as longer-term storage and customization needs.
The economic benefits of an open-source platform are that it can free up time and finances, which can then be attributed to the creation of online training content, tool replacements, and additional support services. Like any platform, open source LMS will require periodic upgrades, updates, and ongoing maintenance, so it’s important to bear these considerations in mind when creating a budget for your training programs.
Want to dive deeper into successfully budgeting your eLearning programs? This article has what you need: LMS Cost Considerations: How to Develop an L&D Program Without Going Over Budget.
Keeping content relevant and effective is an absolute necessity when it comes to getting the most from your investment, which means that L&D payroll or subscription considerations are also likely.
2. Utilizing learner outcome analytics significantly optimizes costs
It is important to bear in mind the up-front costs of installing and configuring an LMS. Once the hard costs of integrating a new training program into your organization are combined, the figure can be sizeable. However, the real task of managing cost-efficiency when it comes to LMS platforms is the ongoing process of optimization.
The most cost-efficient open-source LMS are those that maximize learner outcomes by making intelligent use of learner analytics. Analytics allows educators to gain insights into valuable information about the areas where training is having the most impact, versus areas in need of improvements, rethinks, or outright cancellation. This learning data can then be leveraged to make improvements to your training programs, streamlining your offerings and cutting back on inefficient LMS and related costs. You can learn exactly how to do this with our free on-demand webinar: Capturing Data to Improve the eLearning Experience with Analytics.
To create a learner-analytics profile that aids cost-efficiency, it helps to establish a consistent framework of relevant indicators. This might include a comparison of training program statistics, or data on learner engagement. Over time, such a framework will help reveal the most and least valuable aspects of your LMS. Having this data on-hand is useful for presenting ROI to shareholders and painting a picture of costs versus usage across incremental periods. We cover how to do exactly that in our blog:
3. Developing your LMS storefront helps maximize eCommerce capabilities
The high degree of customizability offered by open-source LMS means that organizations can make use of numerous free LMS tools to increase their capabilities. Open-source users are able to enjoy the benefits of add-ons and plugins to tailor their software without paying out for software costs.
But it’s also important to consider how your own training products and courses will be sold online - how they will be accessible to users, and how your storefront will operate. A seamless browsing experience, which doesn’t require users to switch between sites or platforms, is one of the fundamental methods you should look to for increasing their sales.
The best way to achieve the kind of user experience that keeps learners happy is with a fully-integrated eLearning and eCommerce solution that provides a single user pathway from registration to payment. All-in-one eLearning revenue solutions that bring open source LMS together with eCommerce and analytics systems, such as the Lambda Suite, enable organizations to begin immediately sourcing revenue from training programs.
Allocate time to develop the UI and overall look of your storefront, as well as carefully selecting the right LMS storefront software. The best storefront applications will give a high degree of customizability in terms of branding and eCommerce functionality. That might mean the ability to sell various types of courses, from single programs to group packages. It may also include the option for bespoke pricing models for different clients, ensuring your organization remains responsive to your market.
The Lambda Suite was designed from the ground up to meet all these eLearning and eCommerce needs using a single all-in-one revenue solution. To find out more about everything the Lambda Suite can do for your eLearning business, take a tour with our On-Demand webinar:
Whether you’re looking to manage the costs of your Learning Management System, are looking to optimize your LMS and eLearning programs with learning analytics, or need any other eLearning and eCommerce solutions, we have the expertise to help you reach your goals.
Contact us today. We’d love to help you create a better way to learn!