Updated: Apr 25
Most every company today understands the benefits of training its employees. This is especially true as the global workplace increases in complexity and the competitive landscape in most every industry becomes more intense and crowded. But as many companies are learning, there can be a significant benefit in training other entities that have a stake in your company, including your partners, customers, and suppliers. Known as the “extended enterprise”, these additional groups can benefit from their own unique learning experiences and can bring additional value to their role in your organization’s ecosystem through the availability of specified knowledge and training courses.
Understanding the Unique Training Needs of the Extended Enterprise
While the benefits of internal employee training can be fairly obvious, the goals of training programs that reach out to the extended enterprise can be harder to define, at least at first. For example, if your company works with channel partners as part of its sales strategy, you may not have analyzed the time and effort it takes to bring that organization to a high level of sales production and the knowledge and skills they require to collapse this learning curve as soon as possible.
Similarly, your company might not have performed any type of survey regarding the challenges your customers might find in working with your products and services in a way that brings them the greatest benefit.
And your suppliers might not have a handle on the systems and processes they are required to use in order to meet the operational obligations in serving your organizations.
Taking the time to communicate with these separate entities to gain an understanding of the challenges they see and the role that training can play in helping them improve their knowledge and skills levels can help you to formulate the aspects of your extended enterprise training program that will bring incremental value beyond simply training your employees.
The Role of the Learning Management System in Extended Enterprise Training
The core technology that supports any type of eLearning-based corporate training program, including extended enterprise training, is a learning management system, or “LMS”. This is the application that is used to build, deliver, and track your training program. Today, LMS applications are offered with a number of options in terms of delivery and architecture. And for extended enterprise training, there are two primary options to consider.
Cloud-Based v. On-Premises
In years past, the only real delivery option for organizations looking to build an extended enterprise training program was in “standing up” their own LMS on-premises. Unfortunately, the option called for a significant investment and could take many months to complete. It also meant that your company was responsible for the ongoing management and maintenance of the system.
Today, more companies choose to work with a cloud-based LMS offered by a third-party vendor. This approach eliminates the need for a large, up-front investment and shifts the responsibility for the ongoing management of the system to the LMS vendor, this allowing your company to simply focus on developing and delivering great training.
Multi-Tenant v. Single Tenant
A more recent development with regard to LMS architecture is the availability of multi-tenant architecture. While a single tenant LMS dedicates the entire infrastructure to a single audience, a multi-tenant LMS allows the system administrator to “spin up” new instances of the application on-demand. This is especially beneficial for extended enterprise corporate training programs as it allows for the creating of unique and private eLearning environments (portals) for each of your training audiences.
LMS Portals for Extended Enterprise Training
LMS Portals offers a cloud-based, multi-tenant learning management system that allows our clients and partners to launch and manage multiple private eLearning environments to support extended enterprise training programs. Each portal you launch can have its own unique branding and includes powerful supporting tools for user onboarding, messaging and collaboration, analytics, and more.