For our weekly interview, today, we welcome Bas Kramer, Director of Business Development EMEA at Outstart.
Outstart is historically one of the LCMS market leaders and has strongly reinforced its position since its merging with Eedo 2 years ago. Outstart is also well-known as an innovative company on social business and mobile learning.
Here is a great opportunity to interview Bas Kramer on its LMS/LCMS market vision and on more innovative fields…
Sébastien FRAYSSE (SF) – Could you give us a few trends about the evolution of the LMS/LCMS market by the beginning of 2010? How is the demand evolving?
Bas KRAMER (BK) – First we absolutely see a split between LMS and LCMS with LMS being a very useful back-office solution for administrating training, while the LCMS focuses on learning content. Organizations are increasingly realizing that it’s the learning content, especially around their unique value propositions: their products, services, and processes that’s crucial. And therefore they need to focus on how they get this learning content into the hands of their employees and their customers in the most effective way. By effective they are looking at delivering learning content in a personalized mode based upon role and knowledge level as well as in multiple formats, such as instructor-led, elearning, documentation, performance support, and mobile. More and more organizations are looking to LCMS technology to develop, manage, maintain, and deliver their learning content. Global organizations are also looking to leverage the LCMS to deliver consistent learning content across regions and languages while allowing for language translation and local customization.
SF – Could you shortly present the different products of your LMS/LCMS offering?
- OutStart LCMS – OutStart’s flagship learning content management solution
- OutStart TrainingEdge.com – an integrated SaaS LMS & Learning System with full feature LMS, LCMS, and social learning modules to address the full range of formal and informal learning needs.
SF – Social learning is getting very popular. From your experience, is it now a business really? In other words, are organization mature enough to get a real business value from social practices?
BK – Social learning is absolutely becoming a reality. Informal or social learning has always occurred at the water cooler, across the desk, etc. Now technology can enable this across time zones and geographic boundaries. There are enough organizations that have experience with this that best practices exist to support social learning initiatives.
SF – How do your products address these needs?
BK – OutStart offers social learning with TrainingEdge.com (LMS, LCMS, and social in a single SaaS solution and also standalone) and SaaS or enterprise, through OutStart Participate.
SF – What about mobility? What are the main practices of your customers? How do your products address their needs?
BK – Mobility is increasingly of interest for our customers, so much so that we merged last year with Hot Lava Software, one of the early mobile learning leaders. This provided us with tremendous intellectual property as well as product. Hot Lava mobile is available to build, deliver, and track mobile applications for learning, performance support, surveys, assessments, and executive communications. These applications can be built once and support over 500 different mobile devices. What we are seeing is that organizations want to take advantage of mobile and are doing so be getting started with controllable but important projects. They are learning that mobile learning isn’t a replacement for eLearning but a great augment to provide short, convenient learning and to support larger learning initiatives.
SF – What direction will you give to your LMS/LCMS for the next years? What kind of features/capabilities do you plan to develop?
BK – OutStart just finished a major release of OutStart LCMS which leveraged the experience and lessons learned since helping to found the LCMS market. Current plans are to enable our current and new customers to fully leverage the solution.
The system was re-architected to deliver more value for new and occasional users as well as power users and subject matter experts, take advantage of web 2.0 technologies to maximize functionality, scalability and performance, and to enable the LCMS to support and provide extensibility with the corporate IT environment. The new version of the LCMS offers capabilities in the following four key functional areas:
1. Single-Source Development. OutStart LCMS supports single-source development and multi-channel delivery, with the ability to ingest a wide variety of content into native OutStart LCMS content. OutStart LCMS serves as the single-source hub for assembling, re-using, managing and deploying all types of learning modules. This learning ranges from online and mobile learning to instructor and student guides, assessments, surveys, job aides and help files.
2. Manage. Different locations, different versions, lack of accessibility and a lack of visibility are just a few of the challenges to managing learning content and assets. OutStart LCMS meets these challenges by providing a single source for content, with comprehensive management services.
3. Maintain. Ongoing maintenance of content can be one of the most expensive and time-consuming tasks within the content life cycle. OutStart LCMS supports increased efficiencies through its rapid editing, extensive review-management functions and immediate re-publishing.
4. Deliver. Single-source, multi-channel delivery provides organizations cost-effective options and solutions for the delivery of learning modules ranging from online learning to instructor guides, job aids, help files, mobile learning, assessments and the ability to provide training in multiple foreign languages.
Our LMS will continue to focus on training functionality.
SF – Thank you very much Bas for this great interview. Our readers can visit the Outstart website to go still further.