can any of todays LMSs be ‘challenger brands’?

With over 600 LMSs globally, how can any of them stand out, have they not all got similar levels of features and benefits and enjoy similar level of functionality?

Challenger brands are commonly talked about in the banking, technology, motor worlds, so it’s not something new, for example; Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Metro to name a few are quoted as the ‘challenger banks’ to the banking sector, taking customers away from the likes of LBG, HSBC, Barclays, and Samsung are giving Apple a run for their money – but how can am LMS be a challenger brand…?

Our team always suggest to download the Unicornucopia app at iOS | Android. This where all our marketing budget is seen in its glory, we provide a full SkillsServe LMS brochure, and factsheets on the SkillsServe features such as eCreator, ExamServe, Performance Management/T&C. Of course not everyone can download an app, so the regular links to our factsheets can also come in handy:

SkillsServe brochure |eCreator |ExamServe |T&C Solutions |Content Services |Library of Courseware |ComplianceServe

But still, does all this gloss actually demonstrate how we are any different, or simply that we can market ourselves better? – equally our industry friends have some great marketers pumping out this kind of stuff.

Can any of us really say we are challenging the larger LMS companies out there? Be bold, you probably can, as can we confidently say Unicorn’s SkillsServe LMS is a ‘challenger brand’. Testament to this the latest (Craig Weiss) eLearning 24/7 – State of the LMS Industry Global Report published July 2014, ranking SkillsServe as the no.1 LMS for financial services worldwide and no.8 for the wider market beyond FS.

Some would say it’s the David and Goliath scenario! Reality is the majority of LMSs have similar levels of features and benefits and enjoy similar level of functionality, so differentiating yourselves can be difficult, but our customers tell us we’ve achieved this by…

Service not just software

We offer a personal service that customers truly appreciate, using a consultative approach to understand the requirements and delivering a solution, not a piece of software.

Platform Services Team

Our service approach continues beyond implementation, with a Help Desk in its true sense, not just a technical support number/website. You can see our Help Desk info online here.

User Experience (UX)

Our in-house Creative Design, UX and developers work closely together (the teams sit next to each other!) to ensure the user is at the forefront of any SkillsServe feature, both from a usability perspective and making it visually appealing, whilst also sensitive to the customers brand guidelines and culture.

Competitive Software as a Service fees

We have no hidden charges. Our simple, easy to understand, and competitive SaaS model includes; hosting, support, maintenance, unlimited administrator accesses, unlimited content authors, and all features of the LMS. We don’t charge per feature, per course upload, or by file size amounts, or extra for admin users and customer support.

Updates / New Releases

Many firms tell us they have invested in an LMS previously and are often still on the version they first implemented, in some cases a version which is no longer supported by the provider. This quite often means lack of functionality, poor user experience, and in the worst case a break in service. To add to the pain, many of the firms charge to upgrade to the latest version, or in some cases the upgrade means they lose their customisation, or have to pay to have it re-developed.

SkillsServe is a configurable platform, avoiding the need for ‘development’ and has a single code base, with all customers getting access to the latest version at no additional cost. Releases are on average every 6 to 8 weeks and applied seamlessly behind the scenes.

To end with…

Let’s face it, there’s no shortage of new entrants to the LMS market – there is now 600+, so being no. 8 worldwide is something we are very proud of, but more so being top of our game as far as customer service makes the real difference.

and yes!… todays LMSs can be ‘challenger brands’, but personally I feel there is a lack of real challengers as a percentage of the 600, but enough to keep it interesting, we also are yet to see any consolidation – my feeling is this is starting to change, which will keep us on our toes.

About Mark Jones

It is time to step up. I’ve dedicated the past 12 years to eLearning and supporting the industry. Now I use my experience and knowledge of professional qualifications, CPD and learning and development solutions, including face-to-face, off-the-shelf, bespoke and learning management systems, to help steer our industry through the future. I’m not one for convention and I thrive in debates. I’m not one for being known for my written words, other than being a typo pro – thank you proof readers you are my rock! When it comes to talking, you will find it hard to stop me, I love to share and share the love!

Posted on August 1, 2014, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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