Last week we published an article on the Hidden Costs of an Open Source LMS - we covered services and extended features, including LMS Support, LMS Training, Setup & Configuration, Ongoing Support, LMS Reporting, and LMS Theming. This is Part 2.
Hosting & Infrastructure
This is essentially what is going to be storing and running your system. Hosting packages, and how your system operates, will differ greatly depending on the vendor you’re working with, and the software your purchase. For example, proprietary systems typically keep their systems under lock and key, allowing you to access your system only through their infrastructure. With open source, hosting packages can be created quite differently from one another, so you should have the option of how you want your system to be operated and installed. One of core considerations we see clients run into, is whether data can be stored outside the United States. For organizations based outside of the U.S., this is really crucial. Having someone who can provide you with options, and who can bring up your instance within those locations is something to consider.
Storage is another important consideration. It’s very typical for your LMS to store a lot of content, whether it be video, or multimedia, or learning recorde - having storage allowances, that perhaps tie in with the media serving applications that serve up the video content, is going to be something you’ll want to pay attention to.
LMS Migrations & Upgrades
With open source LMS, there are certain versions of the application that are produced frequently, and you will get periodic major and minor upgrades as they come. This can work in regards to migrations as well - the migration itself requires movement, either of the site as a whole, or some courses and user information, and can involve moving quite significant amounts of data, and a large amount of time.
LMS Integration & Custom Development
It’s important to have a system that is compatible with the rest of your IT infrastructure - this is something that is usually identified to begin with, and tends to come after the initial onboarding. It’s common to have integrations related to user synchronization and authentication, so tying these in with internal HR systems and other platforms is something these integrations typically do. With the predominance of webservices and API’s, there should be no limitation with the information shared between applications.
When it comes to authentication pieces, it could be quite a complex process, meaning that it should be something your vendor needs to be quite proficient in. This is typically handled by training, support, and development teams, depending on what’s involved in the process. You can also start moving into the custom realm, as a lot of applications have these services as out-of-the-box features, but you might need something specific, or customized. The customization piece can be applied across the LMS. Having a LMS that is customizable is important to your organization as a whole.
You can also watch our recorded webinar on Costs Associated with an Open Source LMS.