Companies that deliver corporate training can boast a 218% higher income per employee and a 24% higher profit margin than those who don’t. Investing in employee training and development, when done well, is profitable.
However, making coaches fly to your affiliates and hosting instructor-led sessions after work can be overwhelming for a business. Luckily, corporate learning is changing rapidly. With mobile devices, the Internet, and opportunities to work remotely, the physical barriers to training have been eliminated. What also makes learning anywhere and anytime possible is a corporate learning management system. In fact, corporate LMS software offers much more than that.
In this article, we’ll take a detailed look at what a corporate LMS is and how your business can benefit from it. We’ll also provide you with a quick overview of the 7 best corporate learning platforms on the market.
What Is a Corporate LMS?
A corporate learning management system (LMS) is software for delivering online training and learning content to your employees. Corporate LMS helps onboard new employees, then get them the knowledge and skills required to perform their roles, and, ultimately, advance faster in their careers. You can learn more about how an LMS functions and how to organize online training with an LMS.
Here are five reasons why you need a corporate LMS:
- You can save your company money by reducing training costs significantly, including travel, accommodations, and other event expenditures
- The learning experience is no longer bound to a classroom. Employees can take courses at their own pace, wherever and whenever it’s convenient.
- A learning platform allows you to train the staff from different locations at no extra cost.
- You can reduce senior employees’ workload. With online onboarding, new employees don’t have to take seasoned employees away from their tasks. The new hires can get up to speed more independently, and you can reduce the amount of face-to-face mentoring.
- A corporate LMS platform makes it easy to keep track of who has completed a course and how well they performed. You can use these useful analytics to improve your development program.
Who Uses Corporate LMSs?
Corporate learning management systems can be helpful both for SMBs and large enterprises, as well as nonprofit and governmental organizations of different sizes. For small and medium-sized businesses, a corporate LMS facilitates development without excessive costs and loss of productivity. For large enterprises, it makes it possible to train entire branches, departments, local offices, franchisees, and resellers, and transfer knowledge efficiently.
Depending on a company’s size, an L&D or HR team will handle corporate online training and use LMSs for this purpose. Within an organization, the following categories of users can be identified:
- An administrator – when it comes to complex LMSs, this can be an IT technician who administers the system, but in more accessible systems, a course author can be an administrator
- An author – a person who creates online training programs and adds courses to an LMS
- Users or learners – trainees who study materials on the platform.
Read this article to learn more about benefits of LMS for recruiters, HR, sales managers and commercial directors.
Types of Corporate LMSs
Learning management systems differ in two basic ways. First, LMS vendors can produce either open source or commercial software. Second, they can range from locally hosted software to cloud-based software as a service (SaaS) solutions. Let’s look at these types of LMSs briefly:
- Open-source LMSs – license-free solutions suitable for non-profit purposes. These can be adjusted to the user’s particular needs thanks to open code. However, this requires you to have an IT technician and spend on server and hosting architecture maintenance. A prime example of Open-source LMS is the Open Edx platform. Due to its XBlock technology allowing easy training content creation and management, as well as detailed platform customization. Open edX rapidly grows in popularity.
- Commercial LMSs – proprietary training software with license fees. These are created and managed by LMS vendors that provide tech support to the customers and take care of their sustainable operation. Commercial LMSs can be installed or delivered as a cloud-based SaaS solution.
- Locally hosted LMSs – the software that you host and maintain in-house. It presupposes high setup fees and the specific license duration. Your IT team is in charge of its operation and security.
- Cloud-based LMSs – hosted on the web by vendors, accessible anywhere on any device. It doesn’t need heavy IT infrastructure or a strong IT background on your part. It’s the LMS vendor that delivers access to this service, maintains the system, and safeguards your data with encryption protocols.
Main Features of a Corporate LMS
You may have various training needs and, consequently, different requirements for a prospective LMS platform. But, in general, any LMS will address these three basic requirements: manage users, manage courses, and assess training progress.
Main LMS features:
- User management. You can add and edit users, organize them in groups and departments, and assign roles to them.
- Course management. You can upload, manage, and deliver learning materials to learners.
- Progress tracking. You can assess how a particular learner or a group of learners performs in a timely manner.
Some extra features:
- Learning path. If your corporate training program is dedicated to several topics or contains few content items, you can organize them in a compound course called learning path. Inside this learning path, you can deploy specific evaluation criteria, deadlines, and rearrange the units.
- Event calendar. If your corporate training program includes in-class activities or webinars, you can schedule and monitor these training events in your LMS as well. The LMS will notify learners of upcoming events and get this off your table.
- Certification. When an employee completes a training course or a test, they anticipate validation from you and appreciate some reward. LMS platforms can issue certificates for them and facilitate overall professional certification in your company.
- Mobile learning. A good LMS will be available for learners anywhere and at any time. It should be accessible on any device as an app. Also, users will find it helpful to take courses when offline and get their results automatically sent to the system when they are back online.
- Social media tools. LMS platforms can support likes, shares, discussions, user feedback, and other features similar to social media platforms. They provide more collaborative learning experiences and improve engagement.
- Gamification. Another way to learners’ engagement and motivation. Employees can have a friendly competition while collecting points and badges for finishing their training modules.
Software Related to Corporate LMSs
Let’s take a look at some types of software that are related to corporate LMS software.
eLearning authoring tools are a type of software used to create digital educational content and deliver it via an LMS. More precisely, it can include interactive courses, video lectures and tutorials, quizzes, and simulations. Authoring tools differ in their functionality and accessibility. Some corporate LMS platforms include bundled authoring tools that can help the user build full-fledged interactive courses, quizzes, conversation simulations, and branched scenarios. With a built-in course editor, you can create simple courses and tests right in the LMS.
Digital knowledge repositories
A digital knowledge repository is an online central location for the learning content of an entire organization. In other words, it’s a corporate knowledge base. This type of software is a great vehicle for just-in-time learning, as employees can access information in this library whenever it is needed. They can also communicate in discussion forums and contribute knowledge to the storage. Administrators can set permissions and control policies for access to information.
As a standalone solution, digital knowledge repositories can be helpful for post-training support. Or they can have integrations with other corporate software solutions or with LMS platforms.
Hosted course platforms
These platforms host online courses from various vendors and have e-commerce capabilities. There, individuals and companies can upload or build courses and sell them to customers. It’s like a marketplace for courses that facilitates the delivery of eLearning content to end users. Read more about platforms for selling and purchasing courses here.
A microlearning platform is designed to deliver knowledge on the go, in easily absorbed bite-sized chunks to fit into a daily workflow. On microlearning platforms, companies can build microcourses from prepared materials or access existing microlearning content provided by the platform. Microlearning platforms are agile and mobile friendly, which allows employees to access task-based knowledge wherever and whenever they need to.
Despite the fact that the market already offers an abundance of employee training solutions, an LMS can substitute many of them and be an all-in-one system for you. Now, let’s delve into the ways a corporate LMS platform can benefit your business.
How Can Corporate LMS Software Help Your Business?
An LMS is a powerful solution that can help companies address a variety of training needs. Let’s take a look at the training scenarios you can cover with a learning management system and how diverse companies use it for different needs.
New hire orientation
With a corporate LMS platform, you can put most of your employee induction training on autopilot. You only need to create a core corporate training program once, and then assign it to all new hires. An orientation program is usually prepared by an HR manager on the following topics:
- сompany’s history
- mission, vision, and values
- corporate policies
- corporate culture
- organizational structure and leadership team
- products/services and their main benefits
- key clients and partners
Outcomes: A good induction training experience can simplify and streamline the new hire adaptation process, increase their retention, and get them to work faster.
With iSpring, Oticon, Inc. provides onboarding for new employees.
“When new account managers join Oticon, Inc., they go through a 10-week onboarding program to help them acclimate to the company and become productive quickly.
We use eLearning to help our account managers acquire knowledge about our company, our products, and our technology, and then use in-person training to teach them how to apply this knowledge to deliver the quality service our customers expect from Oticon.”
Once success is achieved with an orientation program, most organizations start to add more specific training: sales, operations, management, even training for how to use company benefits or put in for a vacation will probably make its way into the corporate LMS platform.
Here are a few examples:
Product knowledge training
Product learning can either be a part of onboarding for new hires or can be accessible for any employee who needs to refresh their knowledge. With an LMS for corporate training, you can also educate staff on new products or services, even before those products and services are released.
A typical online product training course gives learners comprehensive information about features, benefits, and how to use the product. There is typically a quiz at the end of the course to assess how knowledgeable the employee is about the product, and see if they need additional training.
Here you can see a demo of a Cleaner Pro-15 Vacuum Cleaner online training course.
Outcomes: Good know-your-product training can help empower your teams and boost both sales and customer satisfaction metrics.
Johnson & Johnson
With iSpring, Johnson & Johnson trains sales representatives.
“Johnson & Johnson represents more than 25 brands and 350 products. Our employees must know all of them. Every 2 months we provide training for our sales representatives on various product lines. With iSpring, we regularly check the knowledge of 400 field employees from different regions. This keeps our staff focused and affects our sales results.”
Job-specific skills training
Job-specific skills are skills required for a particular job. For example, an architect needs CAD (computer-aided design) skills, a teacher must know how to plan lessons, and a programmer has to be great at coding.
Job-specific skills training is a core component of employee education, especially for those in technical roles. Because technology is constantly changing, even tenured employees need to update skills regularly.
With a corporate LMS, it’s easy to involve staff members in training on a regular basis thereby ensuring continuous learning. It’s even easy to involve and engage staff members in collaborating to develop new training.
Outcomes: Ongoing job-specific skills training can help your employees always stay up to date with the latest developments and improve their performance.
Villa St. Vincent
With iSpring, Villa St. Vincent prepares employees for the Nursing Assistant Competency Exam.
“We train new employees to become CNAs on an ongoing basis. Our program includes 43 hours of online curriculum completion (through iSpring),16 hours practicing laboratory skills, and 16 hours of clinical skills.
Since moving our training to iSpring Learn, we managed to increase employee retention from 69.6% to 86.4%.”
This is a fragment from the Villa St. Vincent’s course for CNA certification.
Sales and customer support skills training
Courses on sales teach learners how to sell products better: predict customers’ needs, present products in terms of customer benefits, handle objections, close sales, etc. Customer support skills training educates employees on how to make customers feel listened to, while quickly executing processes that resolve problems.
Corporate LMS software allows for learning process automation and better engagement. You can provide your learners with beautiful SCORM-compliant courses, assess their knowledge with online quizzes, and develop their sales and communication skills with the help of role-play simulations.
Outcomes: A good training experience can make your employees better equipped to increase sales, and well-trained service & support teams can convert customers calling about a problem into brand evangelists.
With iSpring, parapharmaceutical distributor ForaPharm trains salespeople.
“We deliver product knowledge learning and train our salespeople with dialogue simulations which are extremely helpful for building communication skills. In the form of a game, our employees work out the scripts and learn to present a product.
Since implementing iSpring tools, the level of our sales team performance has doubled vs. only in-person training.”
This is an example of a car sale dialogue simulation.
Channel partner training
With a corporate LMS platform, it’s possible to educate channel partners across the globe. Such training gives them insights into your products, the development pipeline, new features, new product applications, and how-tos. Plus, you can provide your partners with compliance training and help them build sales and customer support skills.
Outcomes: Online channel training can help you enhance your company’s network and upgrade your business.
With iSpring, Hyundai Mobis provides high-quality training to 400 dealerships in Russia.
“We mostly train parts managers. With iSpring Learn, we teach them how to work in the Dealer Communication System (DCS) and assign them courses about our corporate culture and main business processes.
Having moved to online learning, we managed to reduce training costs by 5X and tripled the pace of learning and enrollment.”
By investing in a corporate LMS platform, you can provide your employees and partners with continuous learning. Ongoing professional development is a driving force behind achieving goals and remaining competitive. Companies that know more, grow more!
The 7 Best Corporate Learning Management Systems
According to Talented Learning, there are over 800 LMS vendors competing in today’s marketplace, ranging from global software companies to tiny cloud providers. We’ll overview the 7 most effective solutions used by businesses around the world.
1. iSpring Learn
iSpring Learn is an easy-to-use LMS that boasts extremely rich functionality. It has great capabilities both for user management and content authoring and delivery. The platform has a built-in tool for creating pagelike courses with multimedia and quizzes. It is also integrated with the powerful iSpring Suite authoring toolkit that allows you to create professional eLearning courses, advanced quizzes, role-play simulations, and video tutorials.
You can also set up blended learning programs by combining self-paced courses with online training sessions that can be hosted via the integration with Zoom or MS Teams.
Besides, the platform has a set of unique features like an organization chart, a catalog for course self-enrollment, a newsfeed, a supervisor’s dashboard, and an employee evaluation module. The best thing is that all these robust features are pretty affordable for SMBs.
Automate corporate training and improve employee performance.
2. Learn Upon
Learn Upon is another great LMS that enables you to deliver impactful learning experiences. You can easily build training programs by importing SCORM and xAPI courses, uploading videos, adding presentations and documents, and incorporating VILT sessions.
The platform has strong reporting and analytics. It allows you to track all training activities and monitor learners’ progress and results easily with a variety of out-of-the-box reports that, with filtering, dashboards, and automation, do a good job. If you’re going to train employees from different branches or organizations, you can create and manage multiple portals each with its own unique style.
3. SAP Litmos
SAP Litmos is a straightforward LMS which, like iSpring Learn, allows you to upload various kinds of content as modules of a course and combine courses into learning paths. It also has a built-in authoring tool that lets you create SCORM courses that look like pages of text filled with information. You can also subscribe to its library of off-the-shelf content packed with courses on soft skills, compliance, U.S. healthcare, and more.
SAP Litmos is integrated with over 30 services that can help you enhance the learner’s training experience while streamlining the administrator experience as well. It provides a few webinar platforms to integrate with (Zoom, Webex, GoToTraining), and several optional connections with products like Zendesk or BambooHR. There is also an API that you can use to integrate the platform with any other web app.
eFront represents itself as an enterprise learning management system engineered to support the most demanding and complex learning ecosystems. It offers a lot in terms of customization. You can not only customize your portal’s look and feel by using your theme and domain, but you can also build a unique modern multipage website with its site builder and extend the portal’s functionality by leveraging eFront’s native plug-ins or by creating your own.
One of eFront’s interesting and useful features is Skills. You can assign courses and curriculums based on your trainees’ specific skills. You can also identify your employees’ weaknesses with its skill-gap tests and analysis, and create learning programs according to the results.
Bridge is a complex solution that combines the functionality of an LMS with performance management and career development features. Like eFront, it allows you to quickly identify training gaps and growth opportunities, tailor assessments to the employee’s specific role, and assess skill mastery on the spot. With Bridge, you can build eLearning courses yourself with the integrated authoring tool or connect with third-party content libraries like LinkedIn Learning, so your employees can self-enroll in courses. You can also create your own categorized catalog of learning content for learners to self-enroll in.
Docebo is a corporate LMS powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI) that helps employers provide personalized learning effectively. You can not only enroll employees in mandatory training programs but also let them decide what they would like to learn. The platform comes with the AI-Powered Deep Search that lets them easily find relevant content, and Docebo Learner Coach that can recommend training materials to users. The LMS itself also provides personalized suggestions on content based on what would likely interest users, as well as popular course options. Besides, Docebo has great social learning functionality. Employees can share content with their colleagues, ask each other questions, and provide feedback on user-generated content.
7. Adobe Learning Manager
Adobe Learning Manager (formerly Adobe Captivate Prime) is another powerful LMS armed with artificial intelligence (AI) and a machine learning (ML) engine for creating unique learning experiences for employees. Like Docebo, the platform analyzes learner data to predict new content that is likely to engage them and provide suggestions. Adobe’s unique feature is skills maps that include skill sets, knowledge, and the traits of each employee. These skills allow organizations to set or raise performance expectations for their staff. When an employee completes a course or a learning program with skill credits assigned to it, they gain skills as a result.
How We Selected the Best Corporate LMSs
The preceding list was created based on the most popular solutions for learning and development presented on websites such as G2 and Capterra. We’ve selected from among big players that have only LMS functionality, as well as complex corporate solutions that also include skills management and career development features. We’ve attentively explored the vendors’ websites and which training capabilities they provide, and identified their strong points and distinctive features.
How to Choose the Right Corporate LMS
Selecting the best LMS for corporate training can be quite challenging and take a great deal of time and money. Selecting the right learning management system for your company can be quite challenging and take a great deal of time and money. There are a lot of things to keep in mind, such as whether or not the LMS can really help solve your existing business problem, whether it has all the necessary features to fit your training needs, or if it’s going to stay within your budget.
Here is a list of useful resources that can make the LMS selection process much easier:
- A 5-step guide on how to choose an LMS →
- A checklist of features and questions to discuss with an LMS vendor →
- A guide on how to write an RFP (with samples & a free template Inside) →
Want to see an LMS in action? Get an iSpring Learn 30-day trial and check out all the features of the learning platform for free or book an LMS demo so our managers will show you how to handle your project tasks with iSpring Learn.