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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:
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.
Here’s one made earlier… thanks Craig Weiss for your post on “free” open source LMSs, I like the puzzle!
|Craig Weiss posted: "As you prepare your LMS discovery you might be thinking to yourself, perhaps I should get those free ones, you know like "Moodle". And it would understandable to think that way, after all you just sat in a panel session where people from big name compan"
Well done to all the award winners last night #learningawards @yourlpi – a joy to work with an inspirational bunch of L&D professionals, all who show true dedication to support the learning and development of their colleagues and customers.
Touching story from Paralympic Gold medallist from Beijing 2008 and Bronze medallist from London 2012, Liz Johnson to support raising money for www.dreamflight.org
The Learning and Performance Institute hosts the annual Learning Awards to recognise outstanding examples of high standards, best practice, innovation and excellence in Learning and Development.
The awards are presented at The Dorchester, Park Lane, London and are firmly established as the benchmark for excellence throughout the learning industry. http://www.thelearningawards.com/
Are you someone who likes to read the entire accountants report, sit through endless PowerPoint slides, or read the 44 page proposal from a supplier? I bet you have seen one of these and no doubt come close to “death by PowerPoint” …
I can’t take credit for all of this, but I can share what I found from reading the book IMPACT by Jon Moon and how I adapted it. The book is a must read and I have to say I’ve changed a lot of how I create presentations, write reports and proposals – all of which have made me more productive and best of all more successful. I would love to share all that I have changed, for now 3 of Jon’s tips for PowerPoint I’ve adapted and my top tip – buy the book and visit Jon’s website www.jmoon.co.uk
In the current economic times it’s no surprise that when a company selects a vendor for services they ask about financial stability. So you want to make sure that when you present to the buyers they remember the key points that are meaningful and hopefully secure you the deal.
I tend to go one step further and add some images. This in this example gets two messages across – consistent growth and profitability. All the other points you can discuss. They will remember the key point 3O years consistent growth and profitability.
You want your audience to remember a key process change coming into effect. You could present as 4 bullet points or try an acronym.
A cartoon that reinforces
I kind of wish I had been more focused in the graphic design class at school as I really wish I could draw great cartoons – Google Images you are my rock! You do have to be careful here (copyright, appropriateness of the cartoon etc.) and to be fair this is very much my take on using a cartoon. See Jon’s in his book. Smart Art I’ve used for showing a workflow / process, yet recently I’ve started to use the great cartoon you see below, to show how we don’t do it. My audience remember the cartoon as us knowing what not to do, and then I show then a slide with a creative looking document template and talk about the process. Fun to formal in 2 slides I find gives you an element of control at the same time as delivering a clear message.
Good To Great always great to read!
Whether you’re attending Learning Technologies next week or following what’s going on from afar, make sure you take a few minutes to read this invaluable blog post from Kate Graham.
In it, she’s shared a heap of useful information about the backchannel to help everyone get the most out of it – including some blog and website links you might need beforehand and a heads-up about the right people to follow on Twitter to make sure you don’t miss out.
Kate will be adding more information about hashtags, speakers and practical advice over the next few days, so follow her on Twitter and visit her blog regularly (or sign up to the LSG site where she’ll also be posting).
I’ve been elected to the Board of the eLearning Network (eLN) so hope to give you plenty of support in return for you electing me!
baby boomers through to generation Z are all now giving the online education world the thumbs up and not seeing online as an inferior alternative
US: Online learning growth dwarfs overall enrolment
My conclusion from reading this report by I. Elaine Allen, University World News is what will the employees of the future expect to see in their working environment when they leave education and that the baby boomers through to generation Z are all now giving the online education world the thumbs up and not seeing online as an inferior alternative. “The proportion of academic leaders who now believe online education is as good as or better than face-to-face classes is now just over two thirds of all respondents, up from 57% in the first year of the study.” – I guess you have to assume many of the ‘leaders’ are either baby boomers changing their views or the generation X’s moving in to the category, so naturally the statistics are changing with the age band of the leaders.
US: Online learning growth dwarfs overall enrolment by I. Elaine Allen, University World News