ShareKnowledge Blog

SharePoint as an LMS: From a customer's perspective

Amber Rasmussen August, 2015
SharePoint as an LMS

There is no better way to find out whether an LMS solution will be a good fit for your company than by asking questions to current customers. We are so confident in ShareKnowledge and the value we provide, that we are disclosing a Q&A that went on between a potential client and current customer. These are real questions that extend beyond the standard sales and marketing jargon you'll find on a website - the crucial info you'll want and need before making a big purchase. For those interested in a SharePoint-based LMS, we hope this blog post provides value in your search for the perfect LMS solution.

SharePoint as an LMS: From a customer's perspective

How long have you used Shareknowledge?

Approximately two years

Did you migrate to Shareknowledge or was Shareknowledge your first LMS?
We migrated courses from a homegrown LMS we built using SharePoint, InfoPath and SQL reporting services.

If migrated, how smoothly did your migration go, any lesson learned?
Very smoothly. We rolled out ShareKnowledge over the course of about six months and encountered very few issues.

How is Shareknowledge working out for you?
We are extremely satisfied with ShareKnowledge. It integrates well with our corporate intranet (built on SharePoint), and the adoption has gone faster and we have penetrated further into the organization then I predicted.

What are some of the challenges/limitations you have come across using Shareknowledge?
1. The integration with Active Directory is not seamless. Authentication to the SharePoint site(s) that ShareKnowledge is installed on works fine, but you need to use an additional integration tool to map users to groups to assign courses. In our case, the integration requires some time from one of our DBAs to write and maintain a script that maps users to groups (or Org Units, in ShareKnowledge vernacular) by job title. Expect to spend some time determining how you want to create the structures in ShareKnowledge and develop a plan for populating from your backend directory system (whether AD or another).

2. Upgrades can be a little time consuming and resource intensive.

How do your learners/users feel about Shareknowledge?
By and large, learners have taken to the trainings we have provided. We are a widely distributed company and having a centralized LMS gives them something to tap into to be a part of a larger company culture.

How quickly did your company adapt to using Shareknowledge?
I think very quickly. Step 1, I published an existing course on ShareKnowledge and just observed. Then we published a new course, and then we began migrating all existing courses. The whole process took about six months. During the interim we had a foot in both ShareKnowledge and the legacy system. With few exceptions, people didn’t seem troubled by the transition.

If given a redo what, if anything, would you do differently in making your decision in using Shareknowledge? 
I wouldn’t do anything different. I think the vendor selection process was good, and I’m happy with the results.

Do you get the support you need?

Yes, although I noted some of the challenges above, I will say that the ShareKnowledge team is very responsive. I always get a response within 24 hours, and they are all very friendly and work hard to resolve any issues.

What tool(s) do you use to author eLearning training?
Captivate 8

Do you find it easy to upload content (documents, eLearning)?
Yes, if you are familiar with SharePoint document libraries, it’s a breeze.

Do you access Shareknowledge remotely (outside of your company domain) or with mobile devices? Yes, through Microsoft Direct Access or Cisco VPN, not through mobile.

If so, do you find Shareknowledge works well on multiple devices outside main office (i.e. can you use Shareknowledge while traveling etc.?)

Yes, through Microsoft Direct Access or Cisco VPN. We don’t support use of ShareKnowledge on mobile or non-company devices. I would expect ShareKnowledge to operate fine externally, as long as your SharePoint installation supports it. Also, you would need to make sure that the elearning content is designed responsively.

Choosing an LMS
What Everybody Ought to Know about Choosing an LMS

A step-by-step guide to choosing the most beneficial LMS for your needs.