February 10 2013

Totara. Our Partner for eTraining in the Corporate Sector

Written by Shevy Levy

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The corporate world needs online learning, too. While some automatically think of K-12 schools, colleges and universities when anyone mentions the Moodle LMS, there are millions of people taking training online: from warehouse forklift operators getting safety training to salespeople learning effective scripts and corporate executives learning the finer points of a company’s project management processes, it’s all happening now.

Lambda Solutions became LMS distributor Totara’s first and only Canadian partner in 2012 to facilitate successful corporate-sector enterprise deployment of Moodle-based learning solutions.

This week we talked with Totara Vice-President Willem Boom about what makes Totara and Lambda Solutions’ offering a great alternative to proprietary LMS’:

LS. What kinds of companies are benefiting from Totara’s approach of building the eTraining capabilities off the Moodle LMS?

Totara. When we first started this, we didn’t realize how many large Fortune 500 companies would be eager to switch from a large, expensive customized LMS to Moodle. But there’s been such a range, from those enterprise firms to large government agencies and smaller companies. For instance, we just signed up a subscription today for a 200-person company, but we have up to a million users on another installation we were working on recently. There’s a phenomenal range of capabilities we can offer, for companies big and small.

LS. What are some of the benefits companies are already getting from Totara building off of Moodle with Lambda Solutions?

Totara. Clients already like working with their partners. They’ve been in a relationship with their customers and that helps us understand clients’ needs better so that we can respond to custom requests.

One of the biggest advantages we’ve seen for our clients is the great reduction in costs decrease in costs, by as much as 70-80 percent less than what they were paying with a proprietary LMS. The lowest savings we’ve seen is 50 percent. That means corporate clients get to put more budget into actual learning, rather than paying for a system just to track people. They can invest in functionality that will bring real change in an organization.

The flexibility of the solution is also key. Our ability to integrate with other systems in their company comes because we’re not dealing with have multiple data entry points, compared to proprietary solution vendors that charge enormous sums for integration. With us using open code, it’s very easy to do linkages in terms of APIs. The overall benefit they see stems from a whole network of partners out there who can share knowledge through open source.

As we’ve alluded to before, with large proprietary LMS systems, corporate clients might only use maybe half or less than half of all the features, but they’re paying for all of them. If they turn to Totara and Lambda Solutions, any features they don't have right away, we can build on the product roadmap. The trade off in terms of cost versus not having every single feature straight away has overall been very positive for clients.

LS. So corporate clients are getting the functionality they need with Totara. But how easy is it to use the system?

Totara. Just like Moodle that Totara is based on, it is a very intuitive system. Our philosophy has always been that the system has to require almost zero training to use it. It’s got to be as easy and intuitive as eBay or Amazon, if not easier; otherwise, if an employee gets frustrated, they will skip learning for that day and go back to their main job.

Do you need an online corporate training solution for your firm? Ask us about how Lambda Solutions and Totara can help.

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