7 Tips for Choosing an eLearning Content Provider

We have seen a lot of change in the past year in the world of online training and talent management. Over the last 12 months or so, you might have  seen your content contract go from ElementK® to SkillSoft®, or most recently MindLeaders® to SkillSoft®, or maybe your LMS contract shifted from Learn® to Taleo® to Oracle®. Heck, here at ej4 we recently went through our own ownership consolidation.

The point of the matter is everyone is consolidating, and where you wanted to be as a learning organization may have changed due to factors outside of your control. As the market continues to shift it is important that you stay focused as an organization on your #1 goal of performance improvement.

So, what’s your strategy on vendor selection? Here are some tips to help get you started when selecting a content provider:

  1. Trial, trial, trial. Demo examples of off-the-shelf content, and/or custom content that has been produced in the past.
  2. Ask for references. Go beyond just asking and actually call the references to see how the vendor has helped other organizations.
  3. Make sure it’s easy. The content must be easy to administer, work in your LMS, and be viewable on any type of device.
  4. Look into the future. Find out how often the content is updated and make sure it will fit your long-term strategic needs.
  5. Be cost conscious. Buying the lowest price point will not always get you the performance improvement you need, and the same can be said for the highest price point. In this economy just make sure you have made the right decision for your organization.
  6. Watch the term of the contract. Some providers are pushing 5 year contracts in the market to get you the “best” price.  A lot can change in 5 years, look at the iPhone.
  7. Have FUN! You do not want to buy from a vendor that you dread talking to on the phone each time you have a question. Make sure you talk to the people in the organization that are going to be involved with your account. Your first impressions will set the tone for the future.

Okay, so that is just a portion of what you should look for when selecting a vendor. I could keep writing on this subject, but I would rather hear your feedback.   How are you selecting vendors these days?