Extended Enterprise LMS

When most businesses are looking to deploy a Learning Manage System their first consideration is their own internal use. Cost justification for such an important project tends to revolve around the importance of up skilling staff, compliance education and to talent management of directly employed staff. However, restricting its reach and impact to just your own company could mean missing out on a much wider opportunity.

Extended Enterprise LMS reaches beyond direct employees

The success and fortunes for many modern businesses is often influenced by their close connections to a wider community. To effectively, sell and support all types of products and services, companies often rely on a multitude of partners, retailers, distributors, franchisees, installers and contractors. All these vital businesses will themselves have a requirement to fully understand and be updated on the business services and products they handle and support on your behalf. However, many such businesses won’t have their own LMS facilities to provide this and here lays the opportunity that benefits all parties.

Extended Enterprise creates a community LMS

An Extended Enterprise LMS transforms an LMS platform from a single internal business environment into a community-based tool. Through its ability to host any number of sub-LMS experiences it can provide the ideal vehicle through which you can build increased buyer confidence, deliver a great brand experience and build successful, ongoing relationships between external and operations staff.

Importantly an Extended Enterprise LMS still allows the initiating provider to retain their own branded site as a separate entity with its unique content, hierarchies and learning pathways. However, the LMS infrastructure then simultaneously provides partners an alternative experience wrapped in their own branding and with access to an alternative course catalogue.

Your external “extended” offering could be supplied to partners free as a “value added service”. Educating their staff could increase your sales out, decreases returns or drives sales of associated services. As products and services become more complicated to configure, supply and maintain, it is crucial that partners have all the specialist knowledge at their fingertips. Providing up to date and accurate information and training could be the perfect competitive edge to ensure partners favour recommending your products and services above all others.

Alternatively, partners could be persuaded to pay a contribution for access. If they don’t already have an existing LMS they’ll likely find this ready-made option very attractive. If you then provide them the option to populate it with their own custom e-learning content or other off-the-shelf courses, then the proposition becomes even more compelling. Depending on their needs you can even provide them with administration access to give them almost total independence.

An extended enterprise LMS is also the ideal solution when catering for a partner or distribution network which is highly dispersed and are therefore working across geographic time zones. Providing both online support and training outside of your standard operating hours can either expensive or prohibitive. Your centralised learning platform however ensures all partners have continuous access to up to date repository of high-quality approved training. Extended Enterprise offerings from Totara can also help significantly through support for multiple languages.

So, if you find yourself looking to upgrade your current or implement your first LMS then consider the benefits of extending its reach beyond the confines of your core business. In doing so you can increase its impact, build stronger partnerships and possibly share development costs across your entire value chain.

If this is of interest, then we are happy to talk you through businesses who have adopted this approach and the Totara platform that makes the magic happen. It’s good to talk and we are always happy to listen.

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