For many organisations, a learning management system will be the most expensive element of their learning programme. The LMS sets the foundation for your entire online learning offering, and can determine whether your entire programme succeeds or fails. A user-friendly, fully branded LMS with personalised, engaging content will keep users coming back for an easy learning experience, whereas requiring them to make too many clicks, confusing navigation or an unattractive, outdated look and feel will put them off and hinder your engagement rates.
An open source LMS like Totara Learn can save organisations up to 80% compared to a proprietary LMS - but it’s not just about the initial contract. The total cost of ownership for an open source LMS is very likely to be lower, as you can customise the platform freely, and you won’t be tied into a long contract for an LMS that fails to meet your needs - if you need a new feature, you can build it and start using it much faster than if you had to wait for it to be added to a proprietary platform’s roadmap. In this post, we’ll take a look at some of the ways in which switching to an open source LMS can save you money.
1. The initial cost
We recently spoke with Mike Montague, Vice Present of Online Learning and Development at Sandler Training, to find out about the Totara Learn platform they created with Lambda Solutions. Sandler Training was previously using Cornerstone OnDemand as its LMS, but they found that it was becoming prohibitively expensive to run. With a platform that Mike described as being 'overwhelmingly expensive', they knew that it was time to look for another solution. They considered proprietary and open source alternatives, before eventually opting for Totara Learn, as it was a far more cost-effective choice from the outset. They have managed to cut their per-user cost significantly while also boosting adoption and learner engagement rates by a massive 200%, proving that with the right systems in place, it really is possible to do more with less.
2. The cost of customisations
Another issue Mike and the Sandler Online team encountered was the high cost of customising their previous platform. Every time they wanted to tailor the LMS to their needs, it would cost a lot of money to customise the proprietary system. For a large-scale LMS with tens of thousands of users, customisations needed to be much more cost-effective to implement. By switching to an open source learning management system, they managed to save a significant amount of money by avoiding cost development work on their proprietary system every time they needed custom features and functionality.
3. LMS + eCommerce = revenue
Sandler Training sells access to its learning platform and content online, meaning they needed a robust eCommerce integration. Integrations with proprietary systems aren't always easy (or possible), so they knew that they needed a more open source solution to allow them to integrate their LMS with an eCommerce and user portal. Lambda Solutions, with their expertise in system integrations, were able to integrate Sandler's Totara Learn platform with an eCommerce platform, which provides a healthy revenue stream for Sandler. In fact, their first year using Totara Learn, not only did the platform help them save money, it also helped them make money.
4. Freedom to save
All L&D teams are finding themselves being asked to do more with less, making cost-effective learning solutions vitally more important to the success of your learning programme. Open source learning management systems like Totara Learn, give organisations such as Sandler Training, the freedom to save. The flexibility and scalability of open source learning platforms ensure that businesses aren't paying over the odds for the LMS they need, and it can even help them generate revenue through the smart use of eCommerce integrations.
Hear Mike's first-hand account with Totara Learn at ATD 2018
Want to know how Sandler Training achieved amazing results with their cost-effective Totara Learn solution with Lambda Solutions? Join Mike Montague at Totara's ATD 2018 solution seminar, How to Give Your Organisation the Freedom to Learn, on Wednesday, May 9th at 1:30 pm, room 23B, where he'll be discussing his impressive project with Totara and Lambda Solutions. You can also find the full case study here.
The Totara team will be exhibiting alongside our partners, Lambda Solutions ATD 2018 at the Totara Island, #1027 - be sure to add us to your showplan to score some free swag, get a demo and see what's happening with our growing community! Can't make it to ATD but keen for a demo - not to worry, get in touch with us today and we'll help you out!