eLearning domain has become incredibly popular in the post-COVID era. Accessibility and availability of quality education are some of the highlighted factors that are driving successful digitalization adoption for education institutions and global businesses. Learners can gain access to course content from anywhere across the globe, at the time that fits them, using the devices that they are most comfortable with. The technology sector has also enabled enthusiastic learners to receive their education from popular institutes and make a mark in their career.
This learning and technology mix has been further strengthened by cloud technology that enables eLearning to further enhance its offerings. No wonder cloud-based LMS adoption stands at 12.5%. Researches have indicated that organizations, regardless of the size, are increasingly replacing their current LMS with cloud-based LMS.
Given the trends, it has become vital for the businesses to upgrade their learning management systems to keep their teams ahead of the competition curve.
If you are a business that is looking to revamp their existing training department with the powerful cloud and eLearning amalgamation, then this is the blog for you. In this blog, we will tell you what SaaS-based LMS solutions are, what are their key benefits, and everything else you need to know for successful custom LMS development.
- Cloud-based LMS is actively used by almost 70% of the L&D departments in the North America.
- Out of the $250 billion e-learning market, a total of $1.22 billion was generated by LMS alone.
- SaaS-based LMS is much different from hosted LMS and offers better security, flexibility, and data accessibility to the users.
- Market research, competitor analysis, feature planning, tech stack selection, and hiring a professional development team are some of the crucial factors for SaaS-based LMS development.
Table of Contents
What is Saas-Based LMS?
An LMS or learning management system allows organizations to digitize their team training activities with an effective software solution in place. They are server-based enterprise solutions used to manage and deliver educational content to the trainees.
Having powerful cloud technologies at the backend of such systems widens the reach of an LMS. Learners can gain round-the-clock access to a wide array of training tools and courses in minutes, and use them to grow their careers. Trainers can use such platforms to upload lectures and interact with students from anywhere based on their availability.
General features provided by an LMS
SaaS LMS vs. Hosted LMS
SaaS LMS is a learning management system that is hosted on cloud. Students from across the globe can access the eLearning platform and utilize the courses to grow in their respective fields. On the other hand, a self-hosted LMS is a learning platform that is hosted on-premises. In this way, all the content is stored in the organization’s local servers. Teams can access this material from their systems installed on the premises. The following example will help you understand the basic difference between both the types of LMS.
Imagine you are using a web-based music application. You can browse through the music choices available and choose the one that you want to listen. The music in this case is stored on the application’s cloud server. You don’t have to be physically present at any specific location to access it. This is exactly how a cloud-based LMS works.
But with on-premise systems, you can only access these applications when you are physically present in the building where the server is available. Your systems should have access to the shared records for seamless data retrieval. Accessing MS Office on your system and retrieving a file stored on your organization’s server is one such example.
Why is the SaaS LMS More Popular?
At the end of the day, the value of an enterprise solution is decided by how efficient, streamlined, secure, and user-friendly it is. And while self-hosted LMS are very effective and a great choice for certain business types, SaaS LMS truly excel on all the above-mentioned fronts, making it a more popular choice.
1. Lower TCO
The Total Cost of Ownership is significantly less for the SaaS-based learning systems. This is primarily because it does not involve costs related to infrastructure, upgrades, bug fixes, features, etc.
2. Quicker Deployment
Time is money, and nowhere is it truer than in the business world. Companies don’t have the time to undergo lengthy deployment processes for the LMS. They need something that can be easily and swiftly rapidly and is up and running in no time. Sure, security measures must be taken. But an unnecessarily drawn-out deployment process means that the training of the employees is getting delayed. And if that training is the groundwork for a bigger project for the company, then that becomes an even more serious problem.
That is why, most companies favor SaaS LMS solutions. Organizations can deploy them in less time and learners can access the corporate learning courses immediately. Additionally, you don’t need to rely on an expert IT task force which significantly reduces the cost of hiring these resources.
3. User Friendly
You don’t need to train your staff to use a SaaS LMS. Rather, you can have the system up and running in no time. Admins, learners, and trainers can take control of what to upload and how to share enabling each of them to stay updated on the latest information. Furthermore, any updates once made, are reflected through the entire system simultaneously.
4. Seamless Integration
An important aspect of choosing the right LMS is that it should be expandable, that is, must integrate flawlessly with other ERPs such as human resource management platforms, CRMs, etc. With cloud-based solutions, you can achieve this without having to worry much.
5. More Flexibility
Enabling learners and trainers to interact from anywhere, around the clock, a SaaS-based LMS offers more flexibility. It also helps you cut down on the cost of hiring experts and managing infrastructure. Trainers can simply upload the course material and learners can browse through it at their convenience. They can carry out discussions, update the material, and make sessions more valuable for each one.
How can Businesses Deploy Saas-Based LMS?
When any business wants to deploy a SaaS-based LMS, there are generally two options to choose from. Here we’re discussing each of them for you.
Off the Shelf LMS
Off-the-shelf systems are licensed software that you can purchase from a vendor. They are ready-to-deploy software with no or minimal customizations available.
Benefits of canned LMS include:
- Lesser initial cost
- Quick to implement
- Feedback loop helps brands fix the shortfalls
- Updates are usually included
- May include support services
Shortfalls of off-the-shelf software are:
- Expensive over a period of time
- Not customizable
- No control as they are owned by someone else.
- May go unsupported after sometime
- Upgrades are costlier
- You may be paying for the features you don’t use
- May not integrate well with your existing systems
- May involve planning to see how you can align your processes according to it.
Some of the popular off-the shelf LMS solutions on the market include:
Edapp is one of the most popular SaaS-based LMS that not just allows you to train your workforce, but also offers an extensive range of editable courses. Another reason that makes it among the top choices is that it’s free to use.
Features of EdApp include:
- Canva integration
- Ai translation
- Quicker search
- Global course updates
- Detailed reports and analytics
- Seamless ERP integration
Knolyx boasts of offering a learning infrastructure that boost learner engagement. The solution offers a wide range of features and can be accessed over mobile or web based on the user’s preferences. Enterprises can also avail custom plans based on their preference.
Features of Knowlyx include:
- Add/ update information
- Department-based courses
- Learning path designs
- Multimedia lecture support
- Design interactive training scenarios
- Automated, customized emails and notifications
Dokeos is a robust LMS solution for corporate, pharmaceuticals, and healthcare organizations. It enables a lucrative learning environment that fits the standards of each industry. It incorporates and easy-to-use authoring system with a strong reporting feature for businesses to create and manage workforce training.
Features of Dokeos include:
- Audio/Video Recording
- Built-in Course Authoring
- Certification & Licensing
- Content Management
- Content Sharing
- Course Tracking
- eCommerce Management
- Employee Portal
- Engagement Tracking
Nimble is a great LMS that helps businesses create engaging courses for their team training. The cloud-based system allows you to use a drag and drop program to get up and running in minutes. Using this LMS trainers can track the learning journey, assess knowledge, and evidence course completion. You can choose from the fully editable version and ready-to-use LMS for trainers and trainees of all levels.
Features of Nimble include:
- Course Authoring and Publishing
- Customizable Branding, Questions, and Templates
- Interactive Content and Learning
- Learning Management
- Mobile Access
- Progress Tracking
- SCORM Compliance
- Template Management
Read More: 9 Benefits of Learning Management System
Looop is an enterprise learning solution that’s lean, mean, and offers learning delivery for L&D teams. Businesses can create custom courses for their teams and even reach out to them via email, chat, app, or SMS. You can use the system to deliver the right resources at the right time and track engagement right from click to completion.
Features of Nimble include:
- Built-in Course Authoring
- Content Management and Sharing
- Course Tracking
- Document Management
- Employee Handbook
- Employee Portal
- Engagement Tracking
SaaS based Custom LMS solutions
Due to the disadvantages of off-the-shelf systems, global businesses choose to deploy their own custom LMS solutions to train their teams.
Some of the most prominent reasons of going for custom LMS development include:
- Since these solutions are custom to your business needs, you don’t have to pay for the functionality that you don’t have to use.
- They offer seamless integration with your existing software solutions.
- They scale better with your organizational needs.
- Custom-made solutions come with the promise of reliability.
- Although they have higher initial cost, they deliver better ROI over time.
- They come with the options to include more data-based insights.
- Security is higher as compared to canned systems
How to Develop a Custom SaaS Based LMS?
When it comes to SaaS LMS software development, you have two routes in front of you: in-house development, or hiring a software development company to develop your solution for you.
While both approaches have their merits, in-house development is slightly more complicated and way more expensive. The reason being the fact that you will have to hire a team of full-time developers, QA engineers, designers, IT experts, etc. Furthermore, you will have to provide adequate infrastructure and resources. Maintenance of the said infrastructure is also a very difficult task for a newcomer in this industry because that would require you to hire a different maintenance team. All these expenses and complexities that come with them can be a little too much to handle for new start-ups of people on a tight budget.
That is why, the second approach is the better approach. There are plenty of trust-worthy software development companies like Matellio that can help you develop your custom LMS solution at cost-effective rates. We also offer excellent DevOps consulting services and development for those businesses who want accelerate the process without compromising the quality of the end-product.
But if you still want to develop your LMS solution in-house, you can build a small core team and then add additional staff to support them part-time or as the need arises. Matellio, as an experienced staff augmentation company, can help you find the right talent to plug the skill gap in your team. We offer cost-effective rates and all our services are highly scalable to meet your fluctuating needs.
Whichever route you choose to go, the following steps will help in developing your custom LMS solution.
Step 1: Start with Planning
Right planning from the beginning can help you make the most of each penny that you invest in the custom LMS development. This step helps you decide what you want to achieve and in what time. How this system is going to impact your organizational growth. You can also check the market for deeper insights and understand how you can add value to your target audience’s experience. Try finding answers to the following questions during your planning phase:
- What is the result you want to achieve with your custom LMS solution?
- What problems are you currently facing with employee training?
- Who are the custom LMS development companies?
- What are your budget and time requirements?
Answering these will give guide your initiative in the right direction.
Step 2: Choose the Custom Learning Management Development Company
Once you have a detailed plan, you can reach out to the top development companies in your area who will now shape it. While shortlisting the companies, check for the metrics such as:
- How much experience do they hold in the area of eLearning development?
- What is their experience in developing applications in your industry?
- What is the quality of solutions they have delivered?
- How their clients have rated them for their services?
- What additional USPs they have?
Step 3: Start with LMS Development
Once you have the right technology partner by your side, you can start with the development and deployment of the product. An expert eLearning solution provider will complete the process in the following steps:
- Phase one: Discovery to highlight all important features
- Phase two: SRS creation and scope freezing
- Phase three: UI/UX development
- Phase four: Backend-end development
- Phase five: QA and testing
- Phase six: Bug fixes
- Phase seven: Deployment
The market statistics are clear indication of how organizations are using technology to their advantage to cope with modernization in workforce training. The trend is not seeing any downfall for now, and is expected to show staggering results in the future. If you want to invest in an enterprise solution like LMS for your team upskilling, the time is now!
Matellio has years of experience and infallible instincts to develop top-notch SaaS-based custom LMS software. Our cloud and eLearning experts work together to analyze requirements and then come up with the perfect solution for unique learning needs. We follow the agile development methodology and that allows us to deliver quality products while keeping our clients at the heart of our process. All our services are highly scalable and designed to fit the needs and resources in various industries and of different sizes.
If you want to learn more about our LMS software development services, reach out to the technology experts at Matellio.
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