If you are looking for examples of open source corporate LMS, this page explains some of the advantages over proprietary software, and has some case studies of business learning platforms created using Moodle and Totara.
When the open source learning management system Moodle was launched in 2002, it was designed for the needs of the education sector. With a talented core team and the support of a global community of developers who were enthusiastic about the vision of the Moodle foundation, as well as the opportunity to contribute to its growth and improvement, it has evolved and continually improved ever since.
Not only has Moodle kept pace with the latest trends in and opportunities from web technology, such as mobile accessibility, it has been at the forefront of many of them. Along with WordPress, the world’s most popular website builder and content management system, Moodle is a great example of how open source innovation can transform how people use and interact with the Internet.
Moodle became so good a tool for helping both educators and students that it started to attract the interest of corporate trainers and HR managers looking to improve workplace learning in their companies. Especially since 2010/11, organisations beyond the education sector have started to see Moodle’s functionalities in course creation, social learning, online tests and multimedia content management as something that could improve their business training capabilities.
The potential of open source learning platforms for the corporate sector was seen by some who adopted is as a business LMS to great effect. A make for corporate fork of Moodle – Totara – was created by Catalyst IT, Kineo and Flexible Learning Network.
As of 2020, the new Totara Learn LMS is part of a suite of learner engagement, learning platform and performance management tools.
Totara is a customised version of Moodle, tailored specifically for the needs of the corporate sector. Businesses had traditionally been required to pay per-user licence fees for a proprietary learning management system. This could get expensive for a large workforce. Customisation was often relatively limited and product innovation would be under the control of the software vendor, potentially limiting the ability of an online training system to evolve and adapt to the changes and growth happening across a company.
If an organisation then felt that they had outgrown the capabilities of their learning platform and / or had become unhappy with the services provided by their vendor, they would need to leave not only the LMS provider, but the software itself. This could mean either a painful data export and migration process or a start-from-scratch job.
Moodle and Totara LMS Partners
With open source software, such as Moodle and Totara in the LMS arena, you don’t need to pay a licence fee for each user. You can pay an expert service provider to develop the learning platform in line with your unique requirements, which may be scalable without costing a great deal more if its adoption grows within your organisation. But how do you find a trusted Moodle or Totara LMS expert?
Moodle provide a list of Certified Service Providers and similarly, Totara has its own partnership programme. The headquarters of Moodle and Totara have accredited the companies on these lists as being competent in being professional providers of open source learning platforms using their software. By choosing one of these LMS providers, you should get a good level of expertise and support. However, if you did want to switch provider, you should be able to have another company take over without any disruption to you or your learners. This freedom from vendor lock-in is one of the key selling points of an open source LMS.
So let’s have a look at what some of these Moodle and Totara partners can do for organisations that need a corporate LMS – across a range of sectors and requirements.
Health & Safety
In the run up to the London Olympics in 2012, the British Safety Council was commissioned to deliver health and safety training to 125,000 contractors working on site during the event.
The British Safety Council (Britsafe) needed to make training materials securely accessible to staff and volunteers at various locations in the UK and overseas. Using Moodle with development services provided by Webanywhere, Britsafe were able to deliver quizzes and video-based training in five languages, which included Spanish, Chinese and Russian.
Read more about this Olympics case study.
Corporate LMS for Retail
Kineo were brought in to develop the new online training portal for Tesco Academy.
Totara was seen as the ideal retail LMS for providing:
- Online course booking and management
- Advanced feedback and reporting systems
- Learning paths
- Scalability for hundreds of thousands of users
- and much more
This retail learning platform was rolled out across Tesco’s global senior management teams to improve training for specific job roles, re-accreditations and user-friendliness. With a bespoke retail LMS using Totara, they have made estimated cost savings of over £1 million per annum.
Read more about this Tesco case study.
The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) needed a learning platform to deliver their pre-training courses to employees working worldwide.
Lambda Solutions provided this government organisation with a Moodle implementation plus branding, hosting and ongoing support services. The bilingual learning platform was successful in preparing overseas based employees for a blended learning programme. CIDA’s eLearning Specialist, Isabelle Gaudreault M.Ed. said:
We still do training here, but because we’re able to do some pre-training before staff come, the training program takes less time.
Read more about this CIDA government Moodle case study.
Local Moodle and Totara Partners
Whether Moodle or Totara LMS is the right open source elearning solution for you depends on the unique needs of your organisation. To ensure that the best corporate LMS solution for those requirements is chosen, it might be good to work with a company that has partnerships with both Moodle and Totara, so that they are not biased one way or another.
A good place to start might be to narrow down partners based on their proximity for consultations and their experience in your sector. Here are a few companies in major, English-speaking locations worldwide who are both a Totara LMS Partner and a Moodle Certified Service Provider.
USA and UK
Webanywhere – official Moodle Partners and Totara LMS Platinum Partners for the United States and United Kingdom, with bases in Chicago Illinois, London and Leeds in West Yorkshire. They have a good deal of experience working with major clients in the following sectors:
- Healthcare (with clients including the NHS)
- Retail – Zara, Domino’s Pizza, Safeway, Texas Instruments
- Education – including schools, colleges and universities
US Address: Webanywhere Inc, 220 N Green St, Chicago, IL 60607, USA.
Tel: (312) 588-7284
UK Headquarters: 6th Floor, City Exchange, Albion St, Leeds, West Yorkshire LS1 5ES, UK.
Tel: 0113 320 0750
Lambda Solutions – Moodle and Totara Partners with experience across most sectors, including:
- Energy – Health & Safety and Compliance solutions for the Oil & Gas sector
- Healthcare – Children’s hospitals, palliative care and healthcare industry training providers
- Education – Schools, colleges and curriculum services providers
- Corporate – with clients including Kodak and ASM International
Canadian Headquarters: Suite 200-110 West Hastings, Vancouver, BC, V6B 1G8, Canada.
MyLearningSpace is a Totara LMS Platinum Partner and a Moodle Certified Services Provider based in Australia, with 3 main offices in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne.
They have an extensive corporate LMS client base that includes household names such as Shell, Ricoh, ebay and RipCurl, as well as the e-learning projects for the Queensland Government.
HQ: Level 10, 239 George St, Brisbane, Queensland 4000, Australia.
Tel: 07 3535 1214
Choosing the best provider
When looking for the best corporate LMS for your needs, open source is a great choice for ensuring great value, flexibility in customisation, and a future-proof solution. Moodle and Totara are the leading learning platforms when it comes to open source elearning, and the providers above are probably worth considering. By choosing open source, and a provider with a track record in your industry, you are probably heading in a good direction!