Every business has different types of learners to train. You may have started with employee training. But now you’re wondering about other audiences. What about contractors or clients? Or even customers that use your product or service? You’ll want to create a specific environment for them, that has distinct branding and content, and is configured to their needs. And this has to be easy to set up.
That’s where a multi-tenant learning management system (LMS) comes into training the extended enterprise. In this post, we’ll run through what the extended enterprise is and the ways a company can train different audiences using one LMS.
What is a Multi-tenant LMS?
Multitenancy is a term that you may have come across during your search for an LMS. Its meaning can change depending on context. In some cases, it means that the software in question can be divided into separate iterations or partitions. In cloud computing, it’s a really important concept that helps to reduce costs and increase scalability. For a cloud-based LMS, this means that you can divide up your LMS into distinct, “mini LMSs” called portals.
What is an LMS portal?
A portal is the website page that a user accesses the LMS from. Once logged in they’ll find themselves in their own profile, ready to take the courses they have been enrolled in. Most LMSs have a hierarchical setup for their portals.
For example, LearnUpon’s set up consists of a top-level portal, and a series of sub-portals. You can create a new sub-portal from your parent portal instantly. This allows you to delegate the management of the sub level portals to others if needed.
Every setup is different, but most use their top-level portal to train internal employees. All of the compliance, onboarding and other employee training is done in this portal. Sub portals are usually used to train learners who are external to the company.
What is the extended enterprise?
The extended enterprise is the name given to the training of those outside of your organization. Providing them with their own dedicated portal, you can easily train customers, partners or resellers, and other external audiences. To use an extended enterprise training model, you’ll definitely need a multi-tenant LMS to separate audiences.
What types of audiences are in the extended enterprise?
The audiences trained using an extended enterprise model are diverse. Here are some examples of common use cases we see:
A broad term for the training of contractors, resellers and other types of partners.
For corporate training companies training clients, an LMS with portal functionality is a must. This is because it helps them to scale their activities and lower their costs. Each client is given their own dedicated portal.
By training customers on your product or service you increase adoption. The benefits of this training include better product adoption rate, better customer retention and a higher likelihood to upsell. Many companies create corporate universities that strengthen their brand in the market.
When you think about the possibilities you can see that the LMS can address a number of business goals. Many companies use a combination of these types of training.
What’s the benefit of using multiple portals in your LMS?
The benefits are simple. The end users are being delivered training in a separate environment. The interface is familiar to them and the content specific to their needs. Each audience is getting a more tailored training experience.
Admins of the LMS can cater to a larger number of learners, in various portals quickly and easily. As your training efforts grow, you can add more and more portals. Think of a training company who cater to corporate clients. When they secure a new client their process will look something like this:
- Create a new sub-portal
- Choose the website address
- Configure the settings
Unique branding for each portal
By branding each portal to match the audience, you enhance their experience. This makes the training less jarring to adopt and more engaging for the learner. This is important if you’re training external audiences. If you are training customers on your product you’ll want to present your brand in the very best light.
Delegation of roles to users
You can create various types of users in an LMS. Each carries out different roles. Having a multiple portals set up allows you to delegate the control of a sub-portal to an individual of your choice. Perhaps a client of yours wants to be able to make changes in ‘their’ portal. You can allow this safe in the knowledge that they have no access to any other portal.
Copying courses to portals
One of the big time savers of a multiple portal set-up is the ability to copy courses to other portals. You don’t have to create courses from scratch each time.
As an admin in control of the top portal, you’ll be able to track and report on the progress of learners in all portals. With the ability to set up scheduled reports you can easily keep an eye on every audiences training.