Skillsoft and SumTotal: Collaboration in e-learning

Yesterday it was announced that e-learning company Skillsoft is set to acquire SumTotal Systems for an undisclosed sum. Skillsoft said that that acquisition will expand its solution portfolio and global reach. So what does this do to the dynamic of the e-learning industry? Should all content providers be collaborating with LMS vendors?

Collaboration is one of those overused terms in education jargon. Conversely, it is also the key element to a learning strategy that is formal, yet informal where necessary and includes all-important social learning.

There are over 600 LMS platforms navigating the e-learning space, with some of the bigger players expanding their platforms with sophisticated authoring tools and gamification modules. In reality though, most LMS providers struggle to provide everything their clients need. With current trends advocating the need for responsive design for mobile, video, Salesforce integration, Tin Can APIs and learning communities; you’d be hard pressed to find an LMS that provides it all. Collaboration between software and service providers is the key to delivering a complete solution.

Being part of a forum of LMS providers is helpful for collaboration (we’ve had 3 meetings, so far so good). If one platform has 24 hour technical support, another has highly-rated gamification widgets and we (YUDU) can deliver content onto any device for both online and offline interaction – it makes sense to partner up, doesn’t it? An industry working together will deliver better products. Better products will result in happier customers, and this will lead to subsequent growth in the e-learning space.

Since integrating our app framework with the Tin Can API, we have partnered with Unicorn Training to deliver corporate training apps. Unicorn already have a successful business in creating and delivering bespoke training packages, mainly used in the Finance sector. By collaborating, we are now able to offer solutions to Unicorn’s existing clients, which offer added value. This reinforces Unicorns market position; whilst extending YUDU’s client base. It works, and demonstrates how collaboration is beneficial.

The list of what people expect from their learning tools is endless. According to Craig Weiss, industry expert, the following are the ‘must have features’ of the moment:

  • Gamification
  • Mobile for tablets with responsive design
  • Video
  • E-Commerce with significant capabilities
  • Competency Management including Skills
  • Compliance
  • HRIS integration
  • Salesforce.com integration
  • Modern UI for learners

In reality a lot of these won’t be delivered to the end user. It’s not that they are not available, nor that Learning and Development teams aren’t flexible enough to embrace them. It’s more a case of a segmented industry which is yet to collaborate fully, allowing e-learning to expand and deliver the ultimate experience.

At YUDU we have a number of Video Training Apps in development. Clients have used our platform to deliver gamification modules and others have exceeded in delivering a modern UI for their learners. We are yet to find anyone delivering expertly across the spectrum, but do hope that our forum of LMS providers will expand to deliver the optimum e-learning experience. It’s our aim and the ambition of many a Learning and Development Director we are in discussion with.

YUDU are a provider of training apps which can be fully integrated with an LMS. They give clients a gateway to iPads, Android tablets and everything else without having to change their LMS provider or package, giving a valuable addition to any e-learning package. We make it easy to upload content, and even easier for trainees to access training documents and videos whilst on the move.

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