Learning Management System For Small Business | Agente

Learning Management System For Small Business

Sveta Yurkevich

Marketing Manager
lms for small business

Learning Management System or LMS is software that enables you to organize business training for employees even when the business budget is tight. This platform is an online alternative to face-to-face classes, which is especially handy after COVID-19 outbreak. Once learning content is uploaded to LMS, users can access it whenever it is convenient for them. It’s also possible to track learner progress and engagement.

Why use LMS for small business?

Source: Freepik

Provide a whole-spectrum learning

LMS software for a small business allows you to run corporate training and orientation, as well as knowledge retention. 

  • Employee training. With LMS, you can create programs for employees to learn specific knowledge or skills and improve performance in their current roles. 
  • Employee orientation. The important task of onboarding a new hire can be automated and handled easily by an LMS. Of course, HRs have to greet newcomers and give them a tour around the office, but all the rest can be studied online. It includes the message from the CEO, the company's history, corporate policy, responsibilities, information about career advancement opportunities, and benefits.
  • Knowledge retention. A knowledge retention program allows valuable skills, techniques and information to stay with your company when your employees leave or retire. LMS makes it available at all times to train new employees or people coming from other departments.

Reduce workload

LMS software is a great tool to organize the learning process. The system automatically delivers online course materials, checks and marks tests, creates and delivers certificates, as well as processes payments if needed. LMS bots can answer frequent users’ questions and learners themselves can communicate on the basis of the platform.

Reduce cost

It’s not cost-effective for small businesses to have a person who is responsible for managing training only. Costs connected with face-to-face learning and development such as physical printed learning materials, instructor travel costs, and venue hire are all eliminated by delivering training through an LMS.

What are the types of Learning Management Systems? 

Source: LMS design by Agente

There are three major types of LMS – proprietary, open-source, and self-hosted.

Proprietary LMS

Proprietary LMS is owned and managed by the LMS vendor usually on an annual license fee.

Examples: Litmos, Topyx, Saba, Blackboard.

Pros

  • Reliable.
  • Come with training, and customer support from the company.
  • Guaranteed security.
  • Hosted by you or on the cloud.

In the case of a cloud LMS, you don’t need to install anything on your computer or a web server. Everything is hosted on a remote server. You simply sign into the LMS software application.

Cons

  • Requires a licensing fee. Any customization requires additional payment.
  • More user enrolment increases cost.
  • Integrations are available, but you have to pay.

Source: Blackboard LMS

Open-source LMS

An open-source platform is a LMS that gives free access to its code and the ability to modify it.

Examples: Moodle, Chamilo, Open edX, Effectus.

Pros

  • Almost all products and plugins are free.
  • Available online community support.
  • Unlimited users.

Cons

  • Complicated to use because of lousy design.
  • No dedicated technical support.
  • Hidden costs on maintenance and support.
  • May have security flaws.

Source: Moodle-based project by Agente

Self-hosted LMS

If you don’t feel like choosing one of the two variants above, this one might be a perfect fit for you. Self-hosted LMS means you own a ready-made structure like a cloud-based LMS and can fully customize it. 

Why self-hosted LMS?

Customization flexibility. Out-of-the-box solutions give no or limited customization opportunities like branding and some basic options. With self-hosted LMS you have endless possibilities to make your own product:

  • Mix facilitated sessions with self-directed modules
  • Integrate webinars
  • Create custom automated emails and reporting and many more.

Unlimited scalability and storage. Your own LMS allows you to put the data wherever you want and toss in additional servers without worrying about hitting a ceiling.

Data safety. You own the database and get direct access to the learner database. It means more flexibility and less reliance on a third party.

Your security standards. You can apply as much security as you want, including restricted access to specific IP blocks and 2-factor authentication. 

Lower total cost of ownership. Yes, self-hosted LMS requires an initial investment, but it is more cost-efficient than paying forever, potentially spending thousands of dollars monthly as your learning programs grow in popularity. There is no completely free LMS for a small business. Even open-source solutions require further investments.

How to choose the best LMS for a small business?

Thus, self-hosted LMS is the best choice if you want to keep the advantages of both proprietary and open-source types. 

Here are the factors to consider when you choose the best LMS software for your small business:

Customization options

Look for learning management systems with greater customization options with easier setup tools that require little to no programming skills. The platform’s interface should also be easy to navigate for end-users. Look for a user interface that positions main menu items on the top left. Users look at websites eyeing the top of the site and the left-hand rail first.

Accessibility

Your audience should be able to access the LMS via multiple platforms, whether by desktop or laptop computer with an Internet connection or by smartphone or tablet (iPhone, iPad, iPod, Android). Also, accessibility involves making the platform convenient to use by people with disabilities. For example, the ability to activate the mode for people with visual impairment.

Source: CAE

Social learning tools

The platform should encourage active user interaction. It’s a good practice to have real-time interactive discussion boards and built-in instant messaging. These LMS tools help increase learner engagement and collaboration. 

Integration

LMS software should be able to integrate with third-party systems. For example, Microsoft Outlook, iCal, Google, and Yahoo.

Automatic Reporting

LMS platforms should provide administrators with the ability to generate automatic reports showing the progress of learners. The reports should break down information by subject, export reports into other applications, and be customized to include specific variables.

Security

A high-quality LMS works with LDAP Authentication, Active Directory, or Federated Services. It means administrators don’t have to include separate permissions for users. This security feature saves time and allows you to administer security settings behind a firewall or in the public domain.

Administrative Monitoring

LMS systems should enable administrators to see a log history of all learner and instructor activity, such as learner information, curriculum, and changes made to courses.

Our experience

Agente created an LMS platform white label solution which can be easily customized to fit the needs of a small business. What are the perks?

Features you get with our LMS for small business

Our solution doesn’t require any subscription fee. Only two weeks on deployment and you get a fully-customized platform with the following features:

  • Course building tools
  • Video integration
  • Real-time webinars
  • User roles management
  • Teacher’s dashboard
  • Student dashboard
  • Responsive layout
  • Messaging system
  • Payment integration

Source: Agente LMS

Recap

The best LMS for small business is the one that allows you to pay once and get a solution that perfectly fits your business needs. The fully-customizable LMS by Agente provides you only with the features you need for employee training, orientation and knowledge retention.

21 May 2020

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Sveta Yurkevich

Marketing Manager

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