Why The Exciting World Of Microsoft Dynamics LMS Integration Makes Sense For Your Business

Why Microsoft Dynamics LMS Integration? 

Let us see how Microsoft Dynamics LMS integration combines the power of your CRM with your Learning Management System to streamline your business.

Dynamics CRM On The Up And Up 

The success of Microsoft Dynamics CRM has been astounding. In a few short years since entering the market in 2003 as Microsoft CRM, and through various different versions of Microsoft Dynamics all the way up to the Dynamics 2015 version we see today, Microsoft have wrestled a large chunk of the market away from other CRMs, such as Salesforce and SugarCRM, and built a business worth over $2 billion.

With recent moves focusing on increasing the productivity of companies, rather than simply supplying IT systems, Microsoft Dynamics CRM has been given a new home under the Cloud and Enterprise product division as of June this year. With the departure of Kirill Taterinov, who had been head of dynamics since 2007, and the departmental reshuffle which saw Dynamics fall under new jurisdiction, it may seem a lot like Microsoft Dynamics’ future was straying into the realms of uncertainty.

What Next For Dynamics? 

However, following the Microsoft Convergence conference in March of this year, which showcased the new and exciting developments in store for the service, it is now clear that its future is indeed very much alive and even more exciting than had previously been thought.

Microsoft Dynamics’ move to Cloud and Enterprise makes a lot of sense within the context of its trajectory of recent years. Part of a series of changes that aim to consolidate the power of sales, marketing, service, and social, this move is integral to transforming Dynamics, together with other applications and services, into a connected set of products which truly help to streamline the business and change the way it operates by increasing productivity across the board.

How Does Your Learning Management System Fit Into This? 

Although not part of this new wave of Microsoft developments, Learning Management Systems are fast becoming important and vital part of the growth of an organization for this very reason: they streamline not just training, but the business as a whole. With a strong Learning Management System geographical locations, time zones, and language cease to have so much relevance as self-paced,  training is available on-demand and on almost any portable device with the latest mobile learning functionality.

The best corporate Learning Management System like Paradiso LMS from Paradiso Solutions gives the organization the power to ensure that all stakeholders in the company -employees, channel partners, and customers- have instant access to important and up to date training, and that geographical location, disability, or lack of a reliable internet connection are no barriers to the availability of the training.

Integration Is The Way Forward 

Just like a robust CRM such as Microsoft Dynamics, an LMS can transform the way an organization works, and there are frequently overlaps in terms of data and functionality. This is why Paradiso Solutions has developed Microsoft Dynamics LMS integration, so that two of the most important applications in constant use at your organization can work together to provide a better, more streamlined experience. Paradiso has already had much success in this area with its Salesforce LMS integration, which works in much the same way, and the integration can easily be adapted to work with Microsoft Dynamics AS, GP or NAV.

Microsoft Dynamics LMS Integration Features 

But how does the integration work? How can two applications that serve two different purposes work together? Well, as mentioned, there are a number of overlaps in which data synchronization can serve an important purpose:

  • Single Sign On (SSO).
    Microsoft Dynamics LMS integration has Single Sign On (SSO) built into it, so that after you log into Dynamics your training is available via a tab on the dashboard. No more having to remember loads of different login credentials; Dynamics LMS integration gives you direct access to eLearning content from your CRM.
  • User Information Exchanged.
    When a new user is entered into the CRM, this information is automatically shared with the Learning Management System. Important user data like name, address, social security number, position, department etc. is synched between the two systems. This way you ensure that all data is up to date and current. Likewise learning records can easily be viewed from Microsoft Dynamics and vital information -for example the completion of crucial compliance training- is sent from the Learning Management System to the CRM. This way if employees or partners are yet to complete certain mandatory compliance training, you will automatically know.
  • Advanced Reporting.
    Reporting is a fundamental part of checking not only that certain training goals, learning plans, or milestones are being achieved, but also how effective your training is across the company. Thanks to the Microsoft Dynamics LMS integration the data used for building the reports can come from both your CRM and Learning Management System, increasing their granularity and accuracy and helping to build a more detailed picture of your learners and their progress.

As I already said training from the Learning Management System is accessible via a tab on the Dynamics dashboard. Bringing your Learning Management System and CRM together helps with learner engagement, as learners can go directly to their training without fussing around logging onto other platforms.

Make Your Sales Team The Best They Can Be 

Your sales team is what drives the business. Without a strong, clued-up sales team your business can’t grow at its full potential. It is for this reason that sales training is so crucial, and even more important that your CRM and Learning Management System work together. Whereas previously training your sales team relied on instructor-led face to face classes, now your Learning Management System allows you to control what your sales team learns (new products, changes in tactics or company policy etc.), how the training is delivered (classroom-based, gamification, blended learning, and more) and on what device (PC, laptop, tablet, or smartphone). There is now no excuse for not being able to complete training, thanks to the Offline Player which lets learners download training when connected to the internet to be completed at their convenience.

Microsoft Dynamics LMS integration makes a lot of sense and, given that it is a Microsoft product and incorporates Office365, is immediately familiar to anyone who has ever worked with MS Office. Clearly there is cost to bear in mind, especially if your organization is a Subject Matter Expert. At Paradiso we work with you and your organization to determine which features are the best fit for your business, based on factors such as company size and budget. Our solution is tailored to you, and we do all the hard work, development and implementation for you, as well as providing full client training.

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

Why You Should Sell Courses Online, And How You Can Do It

Sell Courses Online And Transform Your Learning Management System Into A Money Making Machine

eCommerce is an avenue that is fast gaining momentum in the eLearning industry. With the rise of various different types of eLearning platforms it is now easier than ever for instructors and companies to sell courses online and bring in an extra revenue stream.

No doubt there are plenty of people out there who haven’t yet considered the benefits of selling the content they have spent time and resource creating, as well as people who may be unsure of the best way to go about it. This article should open up some possibilities for those who are considering commercializing their own content, and will give some useful information for sellers who want to learn more about how you can hook your Learning Management System (LMS) up to an eCommerce platform to add make some cash out of material you have spent a lot of time and effort producing.

eCommerce is simply selling your product online, and there are plenty of different platforms to choose from which can each offer you something slightly different depending on your needs; but more about that later. eCommerce gives users the power to sell whatever they want, and to whomever they want, over the internet. Almost all robust Learning Management Systems have some kind of eCommerce integration which allows learning managers and course designers to effectively sell courses online, either to individual buyers or buyers looking to purchase content for organizations or specific eLearner groups.

When it comes to selling eLearning content, probably the main product you will want to sell are your courses. However, the list doesn’t end there. All eLearning content you produce can be sold, including webinars, presentations, videos, digital content, and even entrance to in-person events.

How Integration Works 

eCommerce LMS integration is a customization offered by many market-leading Learning Management Systems, and the extent of the integration depends strongly on the needs of the individual organization. It depends on the quantity and breadth of your products, the size of the company, and how many bells and whistles you want included in the package. At Paradiso Solutions we work with you, the client, to determine exactly what your needs are and how we can best build in the integration for your specific case to allow you to sell courses online.

Thanks in great part to Single Sign On (SSO) -which means you only need to enter one set of login details for both the eCommerce platform and the Learning Management System- going from purchasing to taking the course is now a piece of cake.

Who Is Going To Buy?

There are different types of people who you will want to buy your eLearning material, such as individual private buyers or people who like the look of a course or webinar. Your students or users of your Learning Management System may want to purchase courses also, and likewise you might want to buy individual or packages of courses for your students.

After the buyer has located the course on the eCommerce platform they will proceed to the checkout. From here they enter a few personal details and make the payment.

Once the purchase has been processed the learner, if they are a user of your Learning Management System, simply has to enter a few personal details, and because of SSO they will be automatically enrolled on the course they have bought and can access the Learning Management System from the eCommerce dashboard. If the buyer is not a Learning Management System user, then they can be assigned guest user status and still get access to the course, or simply download a copy of the course to use on another learning management system.

Pricing

The pricing that can be assigned to your products for selling eLearning online is very flexible. Courses can be sold individually or as part of a bundle of courses, and there is the option of bulk discounts if you so wish. You can manage subscriptions, payment plans, and even offer free trials.

Customization

Just like your Learning Management System it is important that the eCommerce platform you use reflects your brand’s identity. With eCommerce LMS integration the ideal is that the transition between the two platforms is seamless from the user’s perspective. Being able to transform the look and feel of the platform is critical, as it could be the difference between a learner choosing your course or not. If brand loyalty is important to you, then it is crucial that the branding, color schemes, and narrative be consistent across any platform to which you lend your brand.

Choosing The Right Platform 

There are several excellent eCommerce platforms which you can choose from to help you sell courses online, and as already mentioned much depends on the size of your company and your individual needs - you can view a great article which delves much deeper into the subject here. Probably the first thing that you will consider when looking for an eCommerce platform is the cost, especially if you are an Subject Matter Expert. The good news is that to sell courses online is now so popular that there are plenty of options available at very competitive prices. Just be sure before you commit that you are only purchasing the features that you need and not a whole load you will never make use of. Likewise you must be aware of where your business is headed in terms of growth, and be sure that the platform you choose is fully scalable in line with your own projections.

Possibly the most important thing to bear in mind when making a decision on which eCommerce platform to go with is how your customers will be interacting with the platform, and how easy it is for them to process to the payment stage. The easier it is to go from choosing a course to actually purchasing it, and the less hassle the customer has to go through with forms to fill out or extra accounts to open, the happier the customer will be and the more willing they will be to buy.

Some Platforms To Help You Sell Courses Online 

Paradiso LMS integrates with the most popular eCommerce platforms around. Again, which one you choose depends on a lot of factors. WooCommerce is a platform built on WordPress and can be downloaded for free as an add-on, so if you already have a site built on WordPress then this would be an easy transition. Magento on the other hand is designed more for enterprise and larger companies, with tons of great features and almost unlimited customizability, however may be a wee bit out the price range of smaller firms. Shopify is a good option as, for a monthly fee, they take care of a lot of things for you, allowing you to concentrate more on other things such as making your courses the best they can be.

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

Why Salesforce LMS Integration Could Be The Future Of Your Learning Management System

Salesforce LMS Integration Explained

An LMS on its own is something that can keep staff better informed, ensure that channel partners and customers are up-to-date with the latest product information and guarantee that all employees have taken the latest compliance tests. This, at least, is a very simple explanation of what an LMS can do for you and is what a basic, non-customized learning management system, such as Moodle, performs. However it is integrations with popular software and applications that truly give your LMS legs and unlock its true power. Integrations give your LMS the ability to work alongside and support programs and systems that your company uses on a daily basis and that, on the face of it, have nothing to do with training. Salesforce claims to be the world’s most popular CRM, so it is important that something as fundamental to a company’s success - training - to be closely linked with it.

Paradiso LMS

Quite aside from simply managing and delivering training for educational establishments and businesses, Paradiso LMS, the learning management system from Paradiso Solutions, has a number of features that make it quite a lot more than just an LMS. It has a built in authoring tool, Paradiso Composer, for creating courses from scratch. It has various social learning features that bear more resemblance to Facebook than to classic eLearning. Most importantly from an instructor’s point of view is that you can run highly detailed reports and track your learners’ progress with ease. Salesforce LMS integration gives Paradiso LMS a huge boost by consolidating key aspects of your CRM and LMS in one place, where they are easily accessible.

Why Salesforce CRM

Salesforce is the planet’s premier CRM system and is used by thousands of companies, with millions of active users. Although split into various business units, Salesforce still has the largest market share of any CRM with a capitalization of $50bn. It invests heavily in philanthropy and especially marketing, having not reported a GAAP profit since it was founded in 1999. Salesforce has been recognized as the world’s most innovative company five times and is one of America’s most commercially successful cloud-based organizations. In short, it’s something that many, many different companies across the world use in some capacity and it makes perfect sense to integrate both training and customer relationship management.

As previously explained integrations are what gives your LMS the edge it needs to really carve out its own place in your company. The tools and apps that you use everyday to coordinate, design, implement, share, collaborate, schedule or record tasks and information can indeed work with your LMS in such a way that they help streamline the company, foster growth and reduce operating costs. After all, training your employees and ensuring that everyone is on the same page and has the information they need to do their job right is one of the most important facets of a sustainable business.

Paradiso LMS has been designed to work seamlessly with the programs that you use everyday, in such a way as to complement how they help your business. Part of this is our integration with Salesforce, which consolidates the power of both your CRM and LMS and streamlines the experience, giving you access to your training, learner records and data from the Salesforce dashboard, as well as instant access to over 5000 courses from the Paradiso Course Library.

Features Of Salesforce LMS Integration

Paradiso Solutions Salesforce LMS integration includes Single Sign On (SSO), so you need only one set of login credentials to access both platforms and there is no need to switch between the two. Training is embedded within the Salesforce platform and all you have to do to access it is click on the training tab on the dashboard. This tab also lets you view learner records and data and run custom reports and analytics, drawing on data from both your LMS and Salesforce. From the dashboard you can launch and assign courses, view eLearning material and use social tools.

One difficult side of maintaining so many different systems - HRIS, LMS, CRM etc. - is that employee, partner or customer information sometimes gets out of sync if these systems are not coordinated. Our Salesforce LMS integration automatically synchronizes this information whenever a new individual is added to the CRM or a registered user completes a course or milestone in the LMS. This way you can be sure that the most up-to-date information is always where it needs to be, and that hugely important information such as compliance is passed on to your CRM.

Collaboration Is Key

A big part of all new learning management systems is social learning and group collaboration, as it is now accepted that learner engagement and knowledge retention are strengthened through working together, and learning continues even in social environments away from the classroom. Paradiso LMS Salesforce integration works alongside Salesforce Communities, Chatter and Partner Portal, bringing the social aspects of your CRM to your LMS.

Paradiso Solutions Salesforce LMS integration is a complete solution for your company. Paradiso works with you to help you decide which features suit your needs, and how we can best combine the powers of Salesforce and Paradiso LMS for the benefit of your company.

By setting up these two platforms to work together you are streamlining two integral parts of your business, which can in turn have an effect on revenue. Your LMS takes on a host of new and exciting features and becomes an even more valued cog in the overall system. This adds a great deal of value and acts as a safeguard for the future of your learning management system within the company.

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

Leveraging The Power Of SharePoint LMS Integration

The Power Of SharePoint LMS Integration

Microsoft SharePoint is Microsoft’s tool for company-wide collaboration and is fast on its way to being one of the most popular cloud-based collaboration tools available. Close to 80% of Fortune 500 companies use some form of SharePoint, and brings in well over $2 billion annually for Microsoft. Microsoft SharePoint is a powerful tool for content management, social networking and even workflow management, and in its latest releases has introduced a number of features that directly relate to training, like social features such as collaboration and discussion forums.

The benefits of Microsoft SharePoint, and by extension SharePoint LMS integration, for an organization are many, as are the reasons for its success. Collaboration has been proved again and again to increase employee engagement and retention of knowledge, not to mention the creativity that working with your teammates towards a common goal can breed. Microsoft SharePoint works with Microsoft Office 365 (although the two aren’t bundled together), and for this reason it is immediately accessible on an intuitive level for most people who have ever used a PC. If you know your way around Microsoft Office, then you can right away begin to collaborate, share and create.

In recent updates of SharePoint the focus has been shifted towards creating a social environment in which employees feel relaxed and comfortable, and have the necessary tools to hand to encourage collaboration and productivity. This social dimension of an LMS is a relatively recent thing, but has gained much traction in the world of eLearning over recent years. With advances in eLearning technology such as Tin Can api and a wealth of systems that incorporate it, social and informal learning are playing an increasingly bigger part in learning management systems.

Ask any head of training and they would probably tell you that the biggest problem they face is learner engagement. eLearning courses that stick to the traditional methods of instructor-led classroom-based training are simply not yielding the same results as those that incorporate more social and informal elements.

We can learn anywhere. We learn from reading an informative, relevant article, or watching a stimulating video. Most importantly we learn from interacting with others, from sharing information and encouraging creativity. It is at this crossroads that the worlds of the learning management system and collaboration software such as SharePoint meet. This fertile ground of mutual learning and cooperation can be expanded through many of the features available in SharePoint and any top LMS, but together they have the potential to magnify it significantly.

Independently SharePoint is a powerful tool for encouraging collaboration, but it was not designed to be an LMS, and so lacks many of the features - specially designed for this purpose - that make an LMS the best option for training your workforce or partners. Likewise an LMS is designed with training in mind and the social aspect, although becoming more and more prevalent with learning management systems, has some way to go to reach what SharePoint offers. This is why developers are seeking to integrate SharePoint with an LMS further to leverage the best features of both. If you as an organization are as serious as you should be about training and developing the skills of your workforce, then an LMS is a must. SharePoint on its own just doesn’t have the same functionalities as an LMS in terms of training.

6 Advantages an LMS has over SharePoint for training

Below are some advantages an LMS has over SharePoint for training:

  1. Performance Tracking and Management
    The ability of the instructors or talent managers to track progress and achievements through their learning is hugely important. It helps build a picture of the learner and provides instructors with data needed to determine future learning paths. Compliance is also a big factor.
  2. Learning Paths
    With an LMS you can set customized learning paths for individuals or groups. This gives direction and helps the employee or partner to achieve their potential through the provision of relevant training.
  3. Reporting
    While SharePoint does have the option to send out quizzes to users to gather feedback, there is no custom report function allowing you to mine critical information about progress and the effectiveness of your training.
  4. SCORM Compliance
    Without the aid of a plugin or LMS customization, SharePoint cannot produce the SCORM-compliant material needed for industry standard eLearning courses.
  5. Dynamic eLearning Content
    As the main function of SharePoint is not to provide eLearning content, some key features are missing that can truly help boost learner engagement. Some of these are awarding certifications, gamification and blended learning.
  6. eCommerce                                                                                                                                                                                  Integration with LMS eCommerce enables you to easily sell any course content you create online, letting you boost revenue through sales.

So the next logical step is Microsoft SharePoint LMS integration to get the best out of both platforms. Single Sign On shows that there is a seamless transition between SharePoint and your learning management system - once logged into one platform you don’t need any extra login details for the other. From the SharePoint dashboard there will be a tab for your training, and from there you can view and assign courses, create and run custom reports on eLearning data and work collaboratively with other e-learners, among many other perks.

With SharePoint LMS integration you can also work on raw eLearning content - such as documents, videos and images - in SharePoint and import it to the LMS to to finalize as SCORM-compliant. Assignment content in SharePoint can be linked with the LMS, meaning that when it is altered at all in SharePoint then these modifications are reflected in the LMS.

Overall the benefits are plain in favor Microsoft SharePoint LMS integration. The social aspects of both, SharePoint’s accessibility and intuitive ease of use and the performance management and custom learning capabilities of the LMS together form a powerful package. By smartly playing to the strengths of both platforms you will foster an environment in which collaboration, creativity and engagement play vital roles in both the development of your workforce or partners, and the performance of your company.

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.