Cloud computing is of the new-age technologies that have been driving the rapid and consistent growth of the worldwide eLearning software market. Both educational organizations and business enterprises these days prefer cloud-based eLearning solutions to on-premise eLearning solutions. The cloud-based learning management system (LMS) and virtual classroom software are more flexible, customizable, scalable, and secure than conventional eLearning software solutions.
Also, they help your organizations to curtail both capital expenses and operating costs by eliminating the need to build, upkeep, and manage an onsite IT infrastructure. The cloud-based eLearning solutions are developed, hosted, maintained, and updated by the eLearning solution provider. Your organization can make the cloud-based software solutions accessible to instructors, learners, and administrators through using the cloud-based software delivery model – Software as a Service (SaaS).
That is why; your organization can ensure eLearning continuity and achieve eLearning objectives only by partnering with the right eLearning solution provider. While comparing and shortlisting eLearning solutions, you must focus on evaluating the professional reputation and credibility of the SaaS providers. You can easily understand important aspects of the learning solution as well as check if you can trust the vendor by asking some simple but critical questions during the selection process.
10 Questions You Must Ask to Find and Choose the Right eLearning Solution Provider
Question 1: What is your experience in developing and offering eLearning solutions?
Most providers allow you to choose from multiple eLearning solutions and pricing options. But the providers differ from each other primarily in the category of years of experience. The experienced SaaS providers always update their eLearning solutions according to varying business needs and emerging eLearning trends. Also, they upgrade their software programs regularly to boost the learning experience. Many experienced eLearning companies stand out from their competitors by winning awards and obtaining certifications. Hence, you must ask this question to differentiate experienced providers from new entrants.
Question 2: Do users need technical skills or training to use the eLearning solution efficiently?
Some eLearning solutions are easier to use than others. But the complex eLearning solutions always come with more advanced features and leverage new-age technologies. While comparing the eLearning solution providers, you must check if the users need specific technical skills or additional training to use the LMS system or virtual classroom software seamlessly. It is also important to check how the vendor helps users understand the key features of the eLearning solution and assisting them to start using the software in no time.
Question 3: Do your eLearning solutions come with complementary digital content?
The success of EL&D programs depends directly on access to multi-format digital content. Most cloud-based eLearning solutions these days support a variety of digital content and come with built-in content authoring tools. But your organization can save both time and resources by opting for an eLearning solution provider that offers a ready-to-use cloud-hosted digital library along with LMS system and virtual classroom software. You must ask this question to assess the robustness and quality of the digital libraries offered by the vendor. Also, the answer will help you to understand how the vendor integrates the digital libraries with your choice of eLearning software.
Question 4: Can you customize the software according to my organization’s precise eLearning needs?
Each organization sets its own employee learning and development (EL&D) goals. Some organizations focus on creating a culture of learning, while others emphasize boosting employee efficiency and productivity by honing their professional skills. Hence, an eLearning solution may not come with native features and options to complement your organization’s EL&D needs perfectly. But most SaaS providers customize cloud-based eLearning solutions according to precise organizational needs. Also, they boost the software’s functionality by integrating it with existing enterprise and eLearning solutions.
Question 5: Do your eLearning solutions include features that boost learner engagement?
Corporate learners most often acquire knowledge and skill after working hours. Hence, you cannot encourage and motivate an employee to learn without keeping them engaged. While implementing EL&D strategies, you must focus on improving learner engagement by implementing microlearning. At the same time, you must ask the eLearning solution provider the right questions to check if the software comes with built-in features and options to keep corporate learners engaged and motivated.
Question 6: Can my organization adopt emerging corporate training trends proactively?
The trends in both eLearning and corporate training change from time to time. You can keep your EL&D strategies more relevant only by implementing some of the hottest corporate training trends – microlearning, game-based learning, social learning, and mobile learning. That is why; you must check how frequently the SaaS provider updates the eLearning solutions to adopt the emerging eLearning trends.
Question 7: How are you going to store and secure my learner and business data?
Several studies have highlighted the effectiveness of enhancing data security and privacy. But you must remember that every eLearning solution provider stores and secures data in a different way. You can easily know where your data will be stored and what mechanisms will be used to keep the data secure. Also, the answer will help you to check if the data storage and security practices followed by the SaaS provider help your organization to comply with regulatory standards and requirements.
Question 8: Can I transfer and export my data without any restrictions?
There are always chances that you might have to switch to a new SaaS provider in the future to avail of more advanced eLearning solutions, enhance data security, or comply with new laws. You cannot change the eLearning solution if the current provider imposes restrictions on exporting or transferring data. That is why; you must ask this question to understand how to take control of your data in case you decide to change the SaaS provider or stop subscribing to the cloud services.
Question 9: Can you provide references for some of your recent clients?
You can evaluate the quality of the SaaS product and credibility of the SaaS provider more accurately based on the feedback received from its existing clients. You must ask the eLearning solution to provide references of at least three clients. It is also a good idea to ask the vendor to provide references of clients belonging to your industry. You can interact with these clients to know if the provider is reliable and credible.
Question 10: How can my team get technical support and assistance in minutes?
As mentioned earlier, the cloud-based eLearning solutions will be maintained, managed, and updated by the SaaS provider. Your employees and instructors can access the cloud-based eLearning solutions continuously and seamlessly only when the IT issues are resolved in minutes. That is why; you must ask this question to know how users can get technical support quickly while using the eLearning solutions. It is always important to check if the vendor offers technical support through multiple communication channels – phone calls, instant messaging apps, text messages, and emails.
In addition to being flexible, customizable, and scalable, cloud-based eLearning solutions help your business curtail overall EL&D costs. But you can set up a culture of learning and make EL&D an ongoing process only by partnering with the right eLearning solution provider. That is why; you must compare the SaaS providers by asking these relevant questions while comparing the LMS system, virtual classroom software, or online examination software provided by them.