“Extended Enterprise” is anybody outside of your company who can affect your organization’s bottom line. This includes channel distribution partners, dealers, franchisees, resellers, contractors, and customers. For modern organizations, training and certifying your “Extended Enterprise” audience is a critical responsibility.
The utter scale of training and monitoring staff globally in the extended enterprise is a genuine challenge as it often involves thousands of staff. So automating that process is an important need for many businesses. Organizations that are inclined to train the “Extended Enterprise” most effectively, will have a competitive advantage.
A Learning Management System (LMS) is a software application for the administration, documentation, tracking, reporting and delivery of training programs. Corporate training departments use LMSs to deliver online training and track it for learning completions.
Extended Enterprise Learning is a training system targeted at your non-employees who use your products and services. The goal is to effect measurable behavior change through a training program for your customers and external employees specifically on your products and services on a training platform separate from your current LMS system for internal employees. The Extended Enterprise LMS can reach out to several audiences through the same platform, and give them specialized training experience based on their use of the product. It is a wonderful opportunity for separate training for people who are not your direct employees but need to be certified to work with your company’s product. With an Extended Enterprise LMS, you have the opportunity to have a corporate LMS, and another separate extended LMS for external employees and customers so that they could be on the same page with you, on your products or services.
An “Extended Enterprise” is enabled by an LMS to keep a track of all your users, content, and the relationship between the two.
Why train your Extended Enterprise audiences?
Learning must expand its footprint inside and outside the organization, helping employees, customers and partners at all stages of their relationship with the organization to power learning to its fullest potential in order to develop and increase organizational and employee performance.
Having a community of your partners, customers, members or learners is the ultimate goal of extended enterprise learning because each new interaction with learners though costs nothing, has a definite positive impact on organizational success.
Five Benefits of an Extended Enterprise LMS
Here are five reasons that an Extended Enterprise LMS could benefit your business:
1. Make money, save money
The cost of building and supporting an increasingly global network of partners and customers is significantly diminished through extended enterprise training and performance support.
Studies show that organizations that focused their learning efforts solely inside the company, witnessed a 5% year-over-year increase in revenue per Full Time Equivalent (FTE) in the last 12 months. On the other hand, those that had some sort of learning programs for either customers or partners saw a 40% greater jump in revenue per FTE, at 7% year over year. Those organizations with formal learning programs for both customers and partners saw almost double the revenue increase, at 9% year-over-year. Organizations broadening learning to both customers and partners saw nearly double the increase in year-over-year revenue per FTE.
2. Ability to track training for different audiences
It is easily possible to measure the business impact of extended enterprise learning. An extended enterprise LMS facilitates reports on the training completions of your extended audience groups. You can compare trained vs. untrained groups or track individuals in any metric you want; such as renewals support calls or channel sales performance to determine the measurable impact.
3. Training service technicians and sales reps beyond the corporate employees
With appropriate training for service technicians and external vendors, your products and services can be handled in the right way and you can be certain about your external market being more trained on how to solve any problems with the necessary training. Training service technicians will help them gain knowledge on company policies. This would help them know the way the product works on a deeper and certified level. Sales training will allow the sales representaives, employees and channel partners to gain more product knowledge and sales skills.
The idea is that you do not have to have one LMS to do everything for your company. With an Extended Enterprise LMS, you have the convenience to have a distinct corporate LMS and another extended LMS for outside employees and customers to become more familiar with your products or services.
The use of the LMS to reach the extended enterprise allows multiple levels of training with self-paced and collaborative learning, orderable materials, personal learning plans, and certification tracks.
4. Training your customers for product knowledge
If you train your customers on software or any other product they just purchased, they have a better chance to get a good start, use the product as intended, be successful and renew their subscriptions.
Educating your customers enhances customer satisfaction and reduces the cost of customer support. They will be trained on the product and become more familiar with all the aspects of the product, and figure out how it works.
5. Creating a Stronger Brand
The most significant benefit attached to offering extended enterprise training is that it can help you strengthen your brand.
As all your partners and customers are going to receive the same kind of training on your services and products, it’ll help support and strengthen your company’s image in the exact way you want and will help your business.
So, by meting out training to your external enterprise members, you make them better brand ambassadors for the products and services you offer. Thus they help make your brand stronger, and enable enhanced visibility in the industry.
Organizations are rapidly adopting the concept of training and certifying their audiences. This is because, once training is done well, it becomes a significant competitive differentiator.
Extended Enterprise learning systems can be a helpful addition to your company’s current LMS by supporting external employees and customers to become more knowledgeable on products and services. Extended Enterprise LMS can help your company make money, save money, and step up your pace of business.