Procuring an Open Source License for eLearning

April 17, 2012

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open source eLearning software Moodle learning management system procurementLet’s say you’re convinced open source software, such as Moodle LMS, is what you want for your online learning system. As a manager or administrator, what is the process you go through to implement open source in your K-12, college, or corporate training programs?

Earlier this year, we looked at How an Open Source License for eLearning Works Better Than a Proprietary Solution. As a follow up, we’re examining the procurement process.

The Procurement Process for Open Source Solutions: What you need to know, and best practices. 

The process of procuring an open soure software is very different than a propietary solution.

First, make sure that you send out a different RFP for open-source service vendors than for proprietary eLearning solutions vendors. For instance, don’t expect the open source vendor to provide a “sample” installation or service – since they don’t make money on the open source software (because, well, it’s free) they are not going to be willing to give away their bread-and-butter services. Instead, consider things like the “availability of commercial support, reputation of suppliers and their product development model.”

Also, be prepared for a consultation process with the open-source candidate. This is your chance to ask the open-source provider about how they’re going to meet the very customized needs of your organization, whether it’s a technical school offering training for dental hygienists, an ESL language school or a department of engineering at a university. This is also your chance to see how well prepared the vendor is to provide useful recommendations and act as a trusted advisor for “what is possible” with the eLearning software. Be prepared to pay for consultations if necessary – and remember that the information you gather at this stage can still potentially hold value for later implementation.

As an experienced provider of Moodle open-source eLearning installations and customizations, we’re experienced at consulting with clients to help them understand their needs as they go through the process.

Contact us and we can answer any other questions you may have about the open source license procurement process for Moodle

Sell, market, manage, and scale your eLearning all in one place with the brand new Lambda Suite!!

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