Extended Enterprise is a common term in the Learning Management Industry but may be unfamiliar to those simply looking for the best LMS for their organization. We’ve covered this topic before (we suggest reviewing: Extended Enterprise Learning Management) but as we engage larger clients with more complex needs it becomes a topic worth revisiting.
Define Extended Enterprise
BusinessDictionary.com defines ‘extended enterprise’ as a “Wider organization representing all associated entities, customers, employees, suppliers, distributors, etc. who directly or indirectly, formally or informally, collaborate in the design, development, production and delivery of a given product to the end user.”
Extended Enterprise Learning Management
How does this apply to an LMS website? At their core, LMS platforms manage, distribute, track, and report on various types of training activities within a given organization. If training requirements extend beyond the reach of the corporate LMS and potentially include stakeholders outside the organization, then extended enterprise LMS technology should be considered. Extended Enterprise Learning will frequently impose a need for specific types of functionality which other top LMS Platforms may lack.
What to look for in an Extended Enterprise LMS
Many challenges which LMS Administrators may face in an Extended Enterprise setting can be minimized or even eliminated by utilizing a properly designed LMS. A few highlights follow.
Your organization may provide training for customers, distributors, dealers, franchisees or other learner cohorts. An effective Extended Enterprise LMS should be able to organize various Learners into manageable groups, each of which can possess their own configuration, administration, and content. The Accord LMS efficiently manages this issue through our hierarchical team model. Each team can have its own reports and administrators possessing custom permissions. In addition, a chosen administrator can be granted different permissions depending on a given team he or she is working with.
Extended enterprise environments may have large numbers of learners. Reducing redundant administrative tasks is critical for the LMS solution to be readily scalable. Accord automates several key areas of the LMS to support large distributed learning environments.
- Learner Import: Accord provides several options for automatically importing Learners into the LMS. Clients can choose the model which aligns with their current infrastructure.
- Team Membership Rules: Accord provides a rules-based system which will automatically move learners into the team or teams where they belong based on their learner profiles’. As soon as a client is moved into the system, they become automatically organized based on your designated rules.
- Learning Role Membership Rules: The Accord LMS uses a Learning Role concept to provide each learner with the training they need, when they need it. Administrators can articulate their training plan as a set of rules which will automatically assign correct roles and associated training for each Learner based on their specific Learner profile.
- Automated Report distribution: Administrators can create a single report which is automatically filtered for and delivered to administrators on each team. Reports sent to administrators are limited to learners in their affiliated teams.
These features are helpful in any LMS environment but the ability to save time and increase consistency becomes even more important when needing to train many Learners separated into many different cohorts.
Each cohort may require their own administration. Some LMS restrict the numbers of administrators or do not offer custom admin permissions. The ability to create custom admin-types allows each cohort to possess administrators with customer permissions, limited to their specific team or cohort. The Accord LMS Team Hierarchy structure facilitates administrators who can oversee the entire LMS or limited to only specific groups of Users. Each team can function as if they maintain their own customized LMS while still being part of the greater organization.
There is no sense in getting established with a new LMS without the type of vendor who is willing to be available and helpful while you setup your extended enterprise training. It has become common for certain LMS vendors to take a more hands-off approach during LMS system implementation. This may suffice for simple-use cases but for more complex organizational environments it becomes more critical to take some time to evaluate both your LMS and your vendor to make sure that both can support your specific business case. Create your user cohorts and test the automation to ensure your vendor understands your particular strategy BEFORE making a purchase. Ultimately, the LMS with the strongest implementation support may be the best option for a smooth deployment.
Managing an extended enterprise learning management system does not need to be constantly challenging. If you have an efficient LMS which can handle the complexities of a diverse and distributed organizational environment, managing an LMS can be easy.
For more detailed information, we strongly encourage you to review our Extended Enterprise LMS White Paper.
Don’t hesitate to reach out to your Accord Sales team to find out how the Accord LMS can help you realize your extended enterprise training goals.