Freemium LMS For On-line Coaching: 7 Issues To Take into account
What to consider when choosing a freemium LMS
The term “freemium” usually includes a slippery slope. That is, when you don’t know what you’re getting yourself into. Essentially, it’s free software that includes paid upgrades or add-ons. You can invest more money in the tool to improve functionality or unlock certain aspects of the system. Many companies choose freemium LMS solutions because of the low up-front costs. You are able to gradually expand the tool to develop it with your needs and budget. However, there are a few things to consider before signing up for any freemium training software to keep track of your expenses.
7 items to add to your freemium LMS checklist
1. Ease of use
Many freemium learning management systems claim to be intuitive and easy to use. However, that is a matter of opinion. The ideal LMS should be tailored to the skills and experience of your team. The user interface must be familiar and have a short learning curve. Otherwise, you will spend countless hours acclimating to the LMS. Even then, you may not be able to use all of the functions. If possible, sign up for a free trial or demo. Read reviews to see what others are saying about the ease of use.
2. Additional Fees
There are always hidden fees to watch out for, even when you sign up for paid LMS solutions. That said, freemium systems deserve their suffix because it’s conditional. They are not free and you have to factor in additional costs. Such as integrations, product upgrades, and add-ons. Some providers even offer the basic system for free, but you have to pay to unlock the full freemium training software. Think of it as an LMS taste test. You get a snack and have to purchase the license to get the full menu. For some businesses, it may be more cost effective to simply purchase a licensed LMS instead of freemium. Since it already has additional features that you need at no additional cost.
3. Team skills
Freemium LMS platforms usually require more experience unless you unlock the full product / features. So evaluate your team’s expertise and talents. Do you have IT gurus on your team who can facilitate the implementation process? Are you relatively inexperienced with learning management systems and need individual support from the provider? What features are required to get the job done and streamline the work process? Interview the team to gauge their expectations and find a free LMS that doesn’t disappoint. You can’t make everyone happy, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try.
4. Support Services
That brings us to the next consideration on the freemium LMS list, vendor support services. Do they give you a toll-free number to call in the hour of need? Or do you have to suffice with an online FAQ or knowledge base? Is there a user forum where you can find hints? And what does your support look like? Ideally, the provider should know about their product and what it offers for your company. For example, they can help you customize a package based on your online training needs. Also, check out the online forums and social media groups to make sure they are still active. Because you may need to rely on user support to overcome setup challenges without breaking the bank.
The LMS can be supplied at a low purchase price, but will that lead to compatibility problems later? Your new freemium learning management system must mesh with your existing tools. Otherwise, you’ll have to pay for a replacement or invest in a different LMS and go through the entire verification process again. Inquire with the provider beforehand about the supported formats and the data migration process. Another option is to find a tool that integrates with your current software via plug-ins or apps …
Integrations are the icing on the cake of the freemium. You maximize functionality by integrating existing tools into the platform, such as: B. CRM and authoring software that you already use in your company. Use an online directory of integration filters to find a freemium LMS that goes well with your current toolbox. You can also ask the provider about the fees associated with this feature. You may need to update your pricing tier to access integrations and remove these compatibility hurdles.
Even freemium systems have maintenance costs that you need to plan in your budget. First, there are costs for registration, e.g. B. training your team to use the tool and customize it. There are also ongoing maintenance fees, such as developing new content and updating or updating the tool. Some expenses are not directly related to owning the LMS, but they are an integral part of your online training strategy. Develop a realistic budget that includes ALL fees. You can even request a pricing schedule from the provider that includes expansion costs, licensing, and more. For example, the basic software is free, but you have to pay a monthly fee for additional features or support options. Also, consider the total time required for the implementation process.
Freemium learning management systems have their price. Even if you don’t choose to upgrade, there are still fees to consider, such as: B. ongoing maintenance, support and compatibility issues. At the end of the day, you might pay more for free LMS solutions. Hence, you need to consider all of the costs associated with ownership and weigh your options. Contact vendors to review the costs involved and determine if the freemium product is your best choice. Or if you are thinking of feature-rich SaaS LMS solutions that include a monthly fee.
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