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What are Corporate Learning Management Systems? Ultimate Guide

  • 21-22 min read
  • July 16, 2021
  • 👍 Rating — 5 (5 votes)

If you ask us what’s important for every business, we’d say well educated, skilled and experienced employees. After all, business efficiency and customer satisfaction depend directly on the team effort, which is in turn a function of things like talents, abilities, organization and work ethic. Therefore, these days when everything is so fast and innovative, and the competition is so tough, every company needs to pay special attention to corporate education and training to stay sharp, competitive and on top of the game. 

It’s hard to underestimate the importance of technology when it comes to corporate learning platforms. Why spend precious hours on creating complicated training programs or on building an internal database for onboarding new employees? Now all you need is a reliable and smart LMS for business. Learning management systems are game changers! And we are going to prove that to you in today’s article. 

We will cover the most popular types of corporate LMS systems, discuss their overarching advantages, as well as go over their peculiarities. You will also discover whether it is better to use ready-made or invest in building a custom learning management system. So, without further ado, let’s get started! 

What is a corporate LMS?

To begin with, let’s define what LMS is and what functionality it implies. A learning management system is a solution created to perform administrative tasks related to corporate education and onboarding. It is responsible for data collection, storage, usage, analysis, and reports generating. Thanks to LMS software companies can perform effective e-learning, employee training, and even team building. 

Apart from that, corporate LMS makes education and onboarding more transparent, organized and automated. You can deliver online courses, livestream lectures, perform testing, or distribute various text, video and audio materials and check the knowledge level of all your employees. 

So speaking in general, LMS is an all-in-one digital helper with a wide range of features. We will cover some key ones a little bit later, and now let’s discuss what makes LMS so great. First of all, this solution offers a personalized approach to training each separate employee. And second of all, it operates independently, can be controlled remotely, and you can access all necessary data anytime from any device.

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Good to know
These days e-learning is probably the biggest and most popular trend, and the market needs more smart solutions for this. Our experts have shared some valuable advice regarding corporate LMS systems and why they are worthy of investment in this post. Pay attention to it, as it will certainly dispel any doubts you may still have concerning whether building a business LMS is what you really need.

Must-have features of LMS for business 

The effectiveness of your corporate LMS depends directly on its feature set. With modern technologies, the possibilities are endless. And the boundaries are only limited by the amount of money you are ready and willing to invest in your custom solution. 

Since GBKSOFT built several learning management systems for different businesses, we decided to share with you the most appreciated and useful options that you can in turn consider for your LMS. To begin with, we’d like to name a couple of basic and yet very crucial features that you definitely shouldn’t forget to add. 


Online courses creation
your LMS should let you create learning materials and store them conveniently in one place. Online training courses can be created by managers, special experts, or more qualified employees.
Live streaming of lectures
video materials and live consultations are probably the most effective when it comes to education and training. And these days, when live streaming is a must for many businesses, you should also not forget about it while building your own LMS.
Certification system
certificates are the only real documented proof that your employee or manager has necessary knowledge and accomplished all necessary courses. A good LMS option to have is one that lets you add, create, edit and issue e-certificates in no time.
Scoring system
skillset training implies rating and scoring employee results/performance. Based on those scores or ratings, you can decide what certificate to issue to your employee and what further education that person requires.
Webinars hosting
sharing and exchanging knowledge in the form of a webinar is very important for every business. However, not every company has the necessary hosting options. And with LMS, you can resolve this challenge once and for all – add a feature for webinars hosting and onboard your employees more efficiently.
Various user roles
an LMS can be used by different departments, therefore we would recommend to take care of different access levels and various users roles. The managers can access more information, while the employees will complete tests or see materials according to the given permissions.
Quizzes and tests
it is a good idea to spice up your LMS with something interactive and engaging. This can be a quiz in a form of game, or animated test, or something else no less creative. Gamification helps people stay engaged, makes them learn faster, better and memorize the information quicker.
Notifications
it is crucial to inform your employees about new available training programs, learning materials or upcoming tests. And the LMS system can do this for you. Notifications can be provided in different forms – messages, reminders, action buttons, etc.

When building your LMS system, pay special heed to its security, levels of access and make sure that it is mobile-friendly. Most people use mobile devices to complete training and learn, so it would be very helpful to afford your LMS users such an opportunity.

Our Business Transformation Officer

Main types of learning management systems 

Before choosing any particular corporate LMS for your business, it is preferable to check out what kinds of this solution exist on the market. This can help you identify which one is more suitable for your business model and educational objectives. 

After all, the solution should be adaptable to all company processes and you should not waste a lot of time figuring out how it works, or integrating it into your smart business environment. Also the LMS should not complicate the work of employees and their hiring. So, let’s wait no further, and take a look at all popular types of corporate LMS. 

Enterprise vs Individual LMS

The main difference between these two LMS solutions is the size of organization they may be useful to. Enterprise LMS are used by large companies with 500 employees or even greater, they have enormous feature sets and are highly customizable. 

You can integrate various third-party services into this solution, connect it with your existing systems. On top of that, Enterprise LMS is a highly scalable solution as its capacity  will grow together with your company where you can add as many courses as you need over time. 

As to the Individual LMS, it is called this way not because it is aimed to educate a separate person or employee. It is just a learning management system of a smaller size. It still has a lot of features available and ready to offer, however you will need to choose a certain subscription plan level on which the actual number of optionality and functionality will depend. 

Individual LMS can be less customizable and ready-made. This does not mean that they are bad, in fact they are great for small companies that need simple and understandable tools. 

Extended Enterprise LMS

Speaking about Enterprise LMS, we need to mention one more standalone type of this solution, which is Extended Enterprise learning management software. Speaking in general it is a holistic training system targeted at your non-payroll stakeholders. These can include partners from other companies, commission-based sales representatives, technicians, customers who use your products or attend your web portal

Extended Enterprise LMS can help you train your non-employee staff, educate your partners and clients regarding your services, goods or rules. Thanks to such a solution you can easily explain how to use or work with things offered by your company. 

Horizontal vs Vertical LMS

Horizontal LMS is a universal “one-app-for-all” solution that can be used by companies from different business sectors. The use of this type of LMS is not limited by company size, its specialty or educational content. Such solutions should be cloud-based to offer unlimited storage of learning materials and also they should include customizable options. 

As to the vertical LMS, they are developed to meet the learning requirements of a particular company of a certain business sector. The design, feature set, and all tech-related things will be selected to target very specific business needs and purposes. For example, the owners of gyms may need vertical LMS to educate their trainers, to adopt new sports or teach professional rehabilitation techniques and exercises thanks to courses or lectures offered by other, more experienced professionals that are experts in the particular domain at hand. 

Do you use any LMS in your company?

Corporate vs Academic LMS

Let’s begin with the Academic LMS – its main purpose is to provide students with learning materials of different kinds and to provide teachers and professors with personal development opportunities. So all Academic LMS systems are focused on education and progress. They should follow established standards and meet the metrics that define learning success. 

Such LMS can offer a range of features for convenient learning, some interactive materials and even gamification elements. They also provide content in a variety of different forms, which makes studying very effective. 

As you already know, corporate LMS is created to train employees, track their progress and performance, and check if their skills and knowledge can be certified according to governmentally approved standards for a certain business industry. Therefore, corporate LMS contains features for performance reporting, observing timelines, training, analytics, personalized reports and much more. Also, LMS is often mobile-friendly and can be integrated with other smart systems like CRM, ERP or else. 

Cloud-based vs On-premise LMS

It’s not a secret that many companies consider cloud migration in 2021. And when it comes to LMS, some business owners unequivocally prefer the use of the cloud, because all the information is stored on a secure server, can be easily recovered in case of an accident, and also the storage space may be unlimited. Cloud-based LMS systems are more cost-effective and easy-to-use. And they are also very scalable, which is great if your goal is to expand your team and grow your business in size.

On-premise LMS is usually purchased by a company (so you get a license to use it and install on your server of choice). It is not a bad choice because on-premise LMS is quite secure and easy to manage, however, in the long run you may need to consider obtaining one more server to be able to scale your LMS solution offering. 

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Who can make use of corporate LMS?

Needless to say that corporate LMS can become a real helper and change the way your employees are hired, trained and grow within your company. These days every company needs its own corporate learning management system. It doesn’t really matter if you have only 10 employees or 100, in any case you need to educate them, train them and check their productivity levels and expertise. And that is exactly what LMS can do for you. 

The LMS system can help you boost your business through the numerous advantages that it offers. Take a look at the video below to find out key reasons why you need to incorporate LMS into your business environment: 

Here are a few examples of where corporate LMS systems can be used. That is, here are a few business industries where organizations can definitely make use of such learning software:


Healthcare institutions
to provide webinars and other learning materials, organize online consultations with specialists, perform testing, spread new research data, etc. Also, LMS can help you keep track of all up to date info related to employees, their qualifications etc. in one secure, centralized place.
Banking and finance institutions
to onboard new employees, provide them with a set of existing rules, standards, policies, protocols and relevant learning materials to digest, you need a reliable LMS. Want to discover the real efficiency rate of each employee at your office/in your team? Then a cloud-based LMS solution with advanced reporting and feedback functionality is a must-have for you.
Franchise business
when you own a franchise business, educating employees requires a special holistic approach. Your employees should preserve and keep to all legal and ethical standards, while also offering the best possible service. To teach them to do that, you can use corporate LMS and distribute all courses, papers, videos and lessons through it, thereby spreading and planting knowledge in employees. And also use LMS to evaluate whether the interns are ready for work with clients.
Educational organizations
we do not implore universities and other high-level learning institutions (after all students learn from their teachers and for them the software is just an additional helping tool). Under educational organizations we mainly imply signifying facilities such as: entrance exam centers, learning centers, tutoring organizations, community educational groups, etc. All these institutions can make great use of centralized LMS to empower and support remote education, perform seminars with experts from all over the world, provide additional learning materials in a more convenient way, etc.
Supply chain business
it is easier than ever to expand your team and make new employees more involved if you have an LMS for corporate education. You can teach your employees all standards, procedures, and rules without even hiring a person to perform training. Supply chain managers can complete various courses online or adopt the best practices, share or exchange experiences, knowledge, information or else with their peers, colleagues, subordinates seniors etc. Also all courses and lectures can be stored in one place and accessed anytime.

These are the main but definitely not the only businesses that can make use of corporate learning management software solutions. Resale, legal, transcription or translation, real estate, construction, logistics, HR and Recruitment companies – they all need a centralized system for educating and testing workers and managers, as well as exchanging knowledge, information and experience with partners.

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App idea
Wondering what educational solutions are on top now? Then our article is for you as it covers the best types of niche educational apps, their market potential, and benefits. Be the first to find out what makes a great educational app!

Top 3 examples of learning management systems

You may be wondering what solutions for learning management one can find on the market. And this curiosity is understandable. So we have looked through several listings (including the one provided by Gartner) and compared a couple of very great solutions, and now we are ready to share some with you.

Adobe Captivate Prime

adobe lmsThis solution can be called the leader on the market thanks to the rich feature set and opportunities that it offers. Adobe Captivate Prime lets you effectively train your employees, partners and even customers. It is adopted by so many leading companies all over the world that it is hard to doubt its power. It offers learning via gamification, social learning, AI-based and personalized features and recommendations. It’s truly a universal LMS.

Talent LMS

Talent LMSTalent LMS is a cloud-based solution that lets companies create effective training programs, set up any program without a specific manual, and access all necessary learning materials anytime from any device since they are located on a cloud. Talent LMS offers various kinds of training starting with the ones necessary for onboarding, and ending with compliance, customer, partner and sales training. It is suitable for different businesses and is trusted by thousands of companies worldwide.

Tovuti LMS

tovuti LMSThis is one more cloud-based LMS created to make corporate learning easier. With Tovuti LMS, you can create and distribute learning courses, embellish them with engaging elements, schedule live events, manage certifications and compliances, get reports, learn from mobile devices, and enjoy great gamification elements. What’s also great about Tovuti LMS is that you can sell your courses as they partnered with several payment processors to create a kind of robust marketplace for sharing knowledge. Also Tovuti LMS offers virtual classrooms for better and synchronized learning. 

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Interesting topic
Looking for inspiration to build something truly innovative, useful and educational? Then check out this post written by our Chief Transformation Officer – Alexandra. She knows how technology can power up education and make e-learning exciting and effective. Perhaps some of Alexandra’s insights will help you with the development of your own learning management solution. 

What’s better to buy or to build an LMS? 

By now you may be wondering why should you develop an LMS system when there are so many great ones available on a subscription basis? And we cannot disagree with this statement, because the off-shelf solutions are really solid and feature-rich. However, what they lack is customization and focus on your particular business. 

On top of that, you are not the owner of the ready-made LMS system, so some unexpected things like change of feature set, subscription plan, limitations of available storage or else can happen anytime and you cannot influence them. All you’ll have to do is either look for a more suitable alternative or accept the changes and keep working with the system despite its newly found limitations. 

As to the custom-made LMS, you are the one who decides what features you need and what you don’t, as well as for which integrations you are ready to pay and which ones are not necessary. Also you can change the solution in a way it’s better for your company. The design, functionality, infrastructure and all related to your custom LMS is under your control. And that gives freedom in decision making. You pay for the services that you need, storage that you use and maintenance that is required. So you invest in your solution once and it serves you for years thereafter. 

How to select the right developers team

If you’ve made the decision to build your own corporate LMS system, then the first thing that you should do is start looking for a reliable team. The thing is that the development includes numerous steps and processes and only a cohesive team can handle it and release a highly functional system in the end. 

Here are the steps that the development will include: 

  • researching the market and looking for the best examples of LMS systems (to define the best feature set and approach);
  • selecting your own feature set, needed tech stack and writing specifications of the project;
  • creating the design prototype and selecting all design elements;
  • front-end and back-end coding and integration of third-party services (if needed);
  • testing the system, its performance, compatibility and other key aspects; 
  • release and ensure further continued maintenance. 

To complete all those steps you need the following professionals: 

  • Business Analyst;
  • Designer;
  • Front-end and back-end coders;
  • QA specialists; 
  • Scrum Master. 

So when looking for a team to build your LMS make sure that it has all those specialists and also that they have experience in building LMS systems for businesses. 

You can look for a team using specialized websites like Clutch or Goodfirms. Then select a couple of most suitable companies, check their websites, portfolio and get in touch with them. Don’t be afraid to ask many questions and ask for examples of their works. Also start with the Discovery stage and communicate with the Business Analysts to define all of the unknowns of your project and end up having a detailed project plan and technical documentation. 

Make sure that the team is good at working with cloud services and third-party integrations. Also the team should be able to work with the latest technologies like AI, live streaming, Machine Learning, since all of them can be incorporated into your system and make it more advanced. 

How much does it cost?

Corporate LMS is a complex solution that requires incorporation of a barrage of features that need thorough development and testing. So you probably understand that custom LMS development will be quite an expensive undertaking. An advanced solution may cost you $50,000 – $75,000 and the total price can be even higher depending on the feature set and third-party integrations with services that you need. 

Since GBKSOFT has already developed LMS systems, we are ready to share with you an estimated quote. Check out the table below to see how much money you can expect to need in order to build a holistic LMS system for business.

Tech specialist Dev Hours Dev Cost
Business Analyst 238 h $7616
Scram Master 414 h $9936
Admin 39 h $897
HTML/CSS 172 h $2752
PHP back-end coder 993 h $24825
Designer 83 h $1909
Manual QA 305 h $5795

So as you can see, we estimate that it can take around $53,730 to complete a custom development. The price tag may seem too high, however, there is a possibility to get no worse LMS solution for less money. And that’s possible thanks to MVP development. You will get a basic and yet functional version of the LMS system, test it within your company and then keep improving it further, making it increasingly more advanced over time. 

MVP development is a win-win situation – you get your own customizable solution and you get a reliable team of software engineers who will help you with LMS maintenance and further features development. 

Also speaking about corporate LMS cost, you should not forget about the maintenance cost. For example, our team is ready to maintain custom LMS for $1740 – $3232 depending on the duration of work and number of specialists you may need. 

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GBKSOFT experience 

We have already shared with you some tips on how you can choose the right developers team. And now we’d like to speak about our team and experience that we’ve gained while building LMS systems for businesses. GBKSOFT can become your perfect development partner since we know all possible pitfalls and bottlenecks of LMS development and also we have experience of building some features from scratch and integrating third-party services. 

We’ve recently cooperated with a healthcare company (unfortunately we cannot name neither the company nor the project since it’s under a NDA). So we’ve worked on a corporate LMS that required the following feature set

  • webinars creation and hosting;
  • advanced reporting and analytics showing learning progression, real results and level of qualification;
  • learning path creation where the user can create a specific learning plan and add the type of required content to it;
  • cloud deployment to make the storage of data and its accessibility better; 
  • healthcare standards compliance; 
  • performance review tools; 
  • admin panel
  • gamification used for quizzes and tests. 

As you can see the functionality is quite impressive and requires real professionalism from the software engineers and quality assurance specialists. If you need a similar solution or just a great corporate LMS for your business, let’s partner up and turn your idea into a real solution.

Although LMS systems are great helpers, businesses can fully rely on them when it comes to training and educating employees. Some learning aspects should still be provided off-line and in person. Also if your LMS is on-premise, sooner or later you’ll face the need for additional investment into servers where the data is stored. Let’s not forget about ready-made solutions that have some functionality and customization limitations.
Custom LMS is a real investment into your business productivity. It will let you train your employees effectively, perform seamless onboarding, and organize experience exchange in the form of webinars or live-streaming lectures. Custom LMS solution will be highly scalable and equipped with the exact feature set needed for your business industry and your particular company, and also it can be maintained by a developers team. All your data, certifications and employee productivity reports will be stored in one well-protected place. And there will not be any unexpected “surprise expenses” as you are the owner of the solution. Sometimes the owners of ready-made LMS change subscription plans, remove some features or discontinue support of certain services. So your own solution is always better, and is certainly superior in that regard.

To summarize

Learning still remains the key focus of every company, because only with highly qualified specialists on your team can you achieve incredible success. Although many companies keep educating and training their employees, they are not doing it effectively enough. They either keep buying expensive courses or using old-fashioned tools that are not suitable for today’s demands. 

What every company really needs these days is a custom business tool called a corporate LMS. This solution is a real game changer in that it can elevate your company to a whole new level and improve the qualification of all departments’ employees. 

When choosing between ready-made and custom-made LMS solutions, we’d recommend that you invest in the latter. First of all, this solution will last you for years and will grow with your company as it is highly flexible and scalable. Second of all, you will customize it and fully adapt it to your particular business model. 

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Let’s discuss it together and define the most suitable feature set, tech stack and design. We have experienced Business Analysts who will help you shape your idea in no time.

 

Creator

I am mainly focused on enterprise mobility (Apple, Android), and digital transformation, highly curious about all emerging tech trends, always pay close attention to crucial details and try to find answers to a lot of questions before writing about something.
Alexandra Rostovtseva

Expert

Being a proficient leader with over 10 years of experience in Project and Product Management, Business Development and Sales, I have strong skills in Negotiations, Crisis, Client and Risk management. Being an outstanding communicator I’m also a good mentor and leader in the tech industry. Experience and expertise are the key foundations in my ability to provide deep insights into the industry and as result I’ve also been published or was a contributor to several tech and business articles.
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