It may sound like a cliché, but organizations (i.e., companies) do possess unique DNA. Let’s put that statement into perspective. Even though Coke and Pepsi operate in the same universe, their corporate culture and values aren’t identical. They both compete against each other, but they have vastly different ways of going about their business, training their staff, branding and promoting their products, and servicing clients.

So, if how businesses operate at their core can differ, why should they follow identical corporate training programs, or use identically configured cloud-based or Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) learning management systems (LMSs)?

The Power of Customized LMS

There is immense power in using an LMS to manage corporate training programs. However, there’s even greater value in personalizing that system to represent the unique “DNA” of your organization. Because people development and training are such unique aspects of a company and play such a critical role in delivering a competitive edge over your peers, it behooves business executives and training managers to personalize them to meet an organization’s specific needs.

Some of the benefits of customized LMS solutions include:

  • Complete customization and control over the learning environment: You roll out training to fit your needs, and are not bound by constraints set out by your SaaS LMS provider or tool.
  • Custom and tailored functionality for your specific learners: Not all learners within an organization learn the same way. Instead of enforcing a homogenous learning approach, customized LMS allows you to tailor features and functionality to target specific learners within your org.
  • Customize user roles: Many LMS’s enforce a top-down, hierarchical learning org structure, which might not fit all companies. Customized LMS tools allow the definition of learning roles, user responsibilities, and learning paths to meet each organization’s unique learning environment and needs.
  • Customize reporting capabilities: Canned reports often don’t fit the needs of every organization. The ability to customize your reports, based on unique corporate training requirements, means your LMS adds value to your Human Resource Support (HRS), Decision Support (DS), and Management Information Systems (MIS). Pulling data from multiple segments of the company, and monitoring and tracking them through customized dashboards is easier than using limited-flexibility canned reporting.
  • Customize forms: Training and learning workflow differ from organization to organization. Off-the-shelf LMS’s may offer limited customization that might not integrate well with overall workflows. A personalized LMS system addresses those gaps.
  • Connectivity to specific third-party apps: While many software-as-a-service LMS’s offer out-of-the-box connectivity with front-line open-source apps, that integration may not be possible if your organization uses specific 3rd-party apps or custom-built in-house training support apps and applications. The only way to guarantee error-free connectivity with such environments is to use a customized LMS solution.
  • Not limited by other services: You are not constrained to have to fit into the pre-sets that an off-the-shelf content company may push on you. This means a custom LMS allows you to design the content the way you want, with all the elements you want.
  • Brand integration: Learning management environments and training support tools are a great way to educate, inform and promote the corporate brand, especially in training environments shared by in-house staff eternal partners – suppliers, customers. Off-the-shelf systems offer limited brand integration through toggles and settings. A customized LMS frees you from such limitations.
  • Fully customized design for your corporate brand: With a custom-built LMS, you can project branding at every level of your training program, including corporate themes, color schemes, images, content, forms and screens, backgrounds, headers, footers, and banners. There’s limited scope for such corporate branding with off-the-shelf SaaS-based LMS solutions.
  • Dedicated server/VPN for your LMS: You won’t share the learning environment, that supports your custom-made LMS, including servers and bandwidth, with other SaaS users – some of whom may also be your key competitors! Custom LMS’s, therefore, enable you to optimize training infrastructure and manage it based on your corporate needs.
  • Cost of Ownership: SaaS providers typically spread their costs, be it additional storage, faster processing power, increased bandwidth, or expanded administration expenses, across all users – regardless of whether individual service users require or benefit from such outlays. Over time, this costing model can be significantly more expensive than compared to a custom-built LMS that caters to your specific needs.
  • Targeted expenses: Think of a SaaS LMS solution as a buffet of 3,000-plus features and functionality, a significant number of which your organization might not necessarily use or care for. Yet, like it or not, you pay for those characteristics! When you create your own LMS from scratch, you only pay for the LMS features you require, instead of having to invest in a package deal of features that others – including competitors – benefit from.

It may be true that, for some organizations, there is better value in using a SaaS model, where one-size-fits-all works. These companies may also benefit from shorter implementation times associated with out-of-the-box solutions. However, the benefits of customized learning solutions far outweigh those of pre-built software.

Customized LMS solutions don’t just make better operational sense in the long term, they also provide better value-for-money. That’s because you only build what can deliver a competitive advantage for your company – and not for a group of cohorts who might also be your competitors. And, unlike SaaS LMS tools that bind you to follow a uniform set of rules, custom-built LMS solutions work to support the unique workflow and integration needs of a company’s broader learning environment.

Customized Learning Where Needed

Just as organizational culture differs from one company to another, corporate LMS needs are unique from one organization to another. Organizations also benefit more from following unified, corporate-wide training strategies, as opposed to building training solutions for each business unit or department. Uniquely integrating Sales training with Marketing training, for instance, help both units benefit from training synergies. Using a custom-built LMS can help unlock those synergies.

There are broad segments of an area where customized LMS solutions can be extremely impactful. To make the most of eLearning, organizations must personalize their LMS experiences across the enterprise, including:

  • Compliance & Policy
  • Customer Education
  • Employee Orientation & Onboarding
  • Leadership & Talent Management
  • Products & Services
  • Sales & Marketing Enablement
  • Soft Skills Development
  • Technical Skills Development

And that’s where, through its array of customized and off-the-shelf training solutions, KDG InterActive delivers a competitive advantage to its clients. Grounded in strong instructional design foundations, these solutions offer rich eLearning experiences, not just to a company and its staff, but also to its clients and business partners.