Conducting market research consists of asking all the suitable questions to prospective vendors of LMS for determining whether they are the proper fit for your e-learning needs. One fact is that you will not be alone while making a decision. Various stakeholders have various priorities and unique needs.
When buying LMS technology, you must address three aspects-‘definition of problem you are aiming to solve’, ‘Identifying a solution’ and ‘selecting a supplier’. You may fail to achieve an agreement at any one of these stages. For avoiding this, the business problem must be made clear and all involved must have a shared set of priorities.
The first step is most difficult and the last is the easiest to solve. But reaching group consensus can be tricky. Here is a list of questions you must address before approaching your potential LMS vendor or eLearning content development company:
- What is the budget, scale of current investment, and quantity of potential investment in LMS?
You must determine the learning budget of your organization before proceeding with selection. In case companies do investment in on-premise solutions, HR technology becomes the responsibility of the IT dept. In case companies invest in cloud solutions or SaaS (Software as a Solution), the L&D (Learning and Development) function becomes responsible for budget. While making budget, company must consider future, past and current expenses.
- What is pricing and cost model of a next generation system and what is the result of their escalation after the first year?
Once a budget has been determined, understanding pricing options is a critical component for selection of a system. Because there are many factors impacting pricing, it is virtually impossible for making comparisons of pricing models. It is critical to assess a potential LMS vendor regarding expenditure on all aspects of product. When considering budget, the past, present and future expenses must be considered. For this, the company must ask detailed questions about pricing.
- What are important aspects of implementation of LMS?
One of the challenges faced by a company is implementation when you have expectations regarding how and when you can use the system. The company must develop a plan for rolling out their technology, especially by units of business or region. They must exercise patience when implementation fails to proceed smoothly.
- How must we revisit our current contracts with technology providers or upgrade the technology?
Often a company will consider replacing technology when it is time to renew or upgrade the existing one. This will also determine if a new system can meet needs of individual workforce. To consider a timeline, one must depend on existing technology of a company, its willingness to change and its resources. Companies must create a plan for rolling out their LMS technology again, potentially by units of business or region.
- What is our choice of delivery model and what resources are required for cloud based or SaaS system?
Many companies have a preference for a delivery model based on company strategy and they will communicate it accordingly to a potential LMS vendor. For instance, industries with high security requirements need an on-premise model. Majority of modern LMS providers offer cloud based system or SaaS.
It is of vital significance to ask the right questions to a potential LMS vendor. E-learning development companies or LMS vendors will then provide objective options.