31 May 2017

Why businesses need an LMS

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I often get asked why businesses need a Learning Management System—LMS for short.

There can be many different reasons for this—depending on your industry and specific business—but fundamentally, all companies need an LMS because they have staff and without those staff working at their optimum, your business will not be as successful as it could be.

Having better trained, higher skilled, more productive staff usually means the difference between a profitable business and a business on the decline.

It’s not a stretch to say that today’s businesses must have an LMS to be successful and profitable.

I can say this because I have over 25 years of experience building and implementing large corporate systems and when you’ve been in the game this long, you start to see a number of repeating trends.

The LMS marketplace is tracking remarkably similarly to two of its predecessors, ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) and CRM (Customer Relationship Management). The evolution of marketplace-defining product genres like this follows three distinct phases:

Generation 0

This is where corporates find they have a need for an IT solution within their standard business processes. There is not something readily available in the market so they build their own bespoke solution specifically 'tuned’ for their business using a large number of IT resources and usually with a multi-million dollar budget.

Generation 1

Over time, vendors will realise that a number of businesses are basically building a similar application so they’ll take the plunge and build a product to address this common IT requirement.

Invariably, these Generation 1 solutions are complex, very expensive and require a large IT crew to customise and maintain the solution. Again, this makes them primarily the domain of large corporates with big IT budgets and teams.

In the ERP marketplace, these earlier vendors included Baan, JD Edwards and many more. SAP became the dominant player in this marketplace. Similarly, Generation 1 CRM solutions like Siebel evolved. In the LMS sector it was BlackBoard, CornerStone, SuccessFactors and so on.

Generation 2

Eventually, there is a groundswell against these Generation 1 products because of their cost and inflexibility in changing markets and they become ripe for disruption.

Generation 2 products are typified by the fact that they are relatively inexpensive. This makes them accessible to almost any business; they require little to no IT know-how to get started and run. In more recent years, they have become multi-tenanted applications in the cloud.

  • ERP has been disrupted by NetSuite and Xero.
  • The CRM marketplace has been disrupted by Salesforce and Zoho.
  • The LMS marketplace, like ERP and CRM before it, is now at this same disruption inflection point.

There is considerable opportunity for an agile, inexpensive fully-featured LMS that does things far more effectively and efficiently to usurp the traditional LMS vendors and take a significant portion of a $15 billion global marketplace. This is why we say “Goodbye LMS, hello Velpic”.

Why must businesses have an LMS to be successful?

Business now can’t function without their ERP and CRM systems, so why will this be the case for the LMS?

  • Look at what ERP systems manage: money, stock, people, all the things that make up your business and make it tick. This is why ERP was the first of these three markets to mature.
  • CRM systems look after your clients and everything you do to win business. After you have your business running smoothly and you’re winning clients, how do you improve? What is it about your business that makes it different from all others?
  • This is where the LMS becomes the next critical solution to take your business to the next level. The LMS will allow you to train your staff, improve their skills, keep them safe and aware.

Staff are the single most important asset of any business and the LMS is specifically designed to optimise their performance and abilities.

What makes Velpic so disruptive and why should a business choose it? 

Beyond the basics of a Generation 1 LMS, Velpic has evolved the LMS into a cloud-based, super simple, agile platform to enable anyone at any time to train anyone in anything and on any device.

  • Want to change the content for training? Velpic does this instantly.
  • Want to watch a 2-minute video micro lesson on sales training? Velpic allows this on any device at any time—even in Virtual Reality.

Velpic can achieve these feats because it has reimagined the way an LMS looks and feels. It has democratised the LMS so that anyone within the business can be an educator or a student at any time.

However, staff are now more transient than ever. So, what is it about staff that makes them so critical to any business? It’s their knowledge and knowhow.

In an evolving industrial age where staff are more mobile than ever, how do we keep knowledge and knowhow in our businesses?

This is the final great step that will mean an LMS is an absolute critical element to any business.

Velpic is leading the charge here, transforming a simple training solution into a knowledge repository for any business.

  • By allowing any member of staff to make their own lesson on everything they do at work and everything they know, businesses can then retain their knowledge.
  • As staff move on, their replacement simply taps into the lessons and knowledge left behind by their predecessor, fast tracking their induction, making them more productive more quickly.
  • Once settled, new staff can then start to contribute their own unique smarts into the ever increasing knowledge pool stored within Velpic.

Knowledge is the next great commodity that business will need to tame and turn into success and profits. Just as the ERP and CMS platforms before them enabled companies to manage their business and their clients, the LMS (particularly, Velpic) will enable an entire new generation of businesses to manage their knowledge.

To help you choose the right LMS for your organisation, download our handy LMS Checklist.