Explore how LMS integrations can revolutionize your training programs. This article delves into reducing friction between your LMS and core business systems, facilitating better decision-making and enabling sophisticated course delivery. Read on to find out more!

What is LMS integration?

LMS integration refers to a learning management system’s ability to communicate and share data with other software applications used elsewhere in an organization.

These activities are technically independent from the actual hosting of courseware; integrations are extensions of the LMS’s core functionality of delivering content to learners.

Some integrations extract user information from the consumption of training to build a database of learners or customers to manage compliance with training mandates and push course completion data into an HR app for compliance monitoring, for example.

Others enable the use of video or podcasts during training, connect with scheduling tools, or support the monetization of training products.

The common denominator is that integrations use automation to eliminate manual, repetitive, tasks to streamline training delivery and administration. Integrations reduce the organization’s administrative burden to maintain data in multiple systems.

When a new hire is entered into a HR management system, for instance, their identity is automatically added to the LMS, and the appropriate new hire training is assigned. The integration may subsequently update the HR system to maintain a record that the training was completed.

LMS Integration Examples

There are many types of integrations that extend the functionality of a LMS depending on the type of training and business objectives. Here are some of the more popular ones and the value they offer to training providers:

  • eCommerce: This is critical for any training provider seeking to sell courseware online. eCommerce integration provides access to digital storefronts (e.g., Shopify) to promote training content and related products. eCommerce platforms enable bulk sales, discount pricing strategies, and support multiple secure payment gateways (Stripe, PayPal, credit cards) so customers can purchase content easily, securely, and from anywhere in the world. It should automatically enroll the customer in the LMS and instantly present the course. The Firmwater LMS Shopify integration provides all this and more.

  • External LMS: An external LMS integration allows training providers to host content on their own LMS and deliver it through their clients’ LMS. Course completion and scores are immediately posted to the external LMS, making it seem as if the organization is providing the training on their LMS, but the content is still monitored and controlled by the training provider. This ensures training providers maintain ownership over their

  • Single Sign On: SSO integration allows users to login to the LMS using the same digital credentials and SSO provider (Google, MS Azure, OKTA, OneLogin, etc.) they use to access other systems and shared assets in the organization. SSO offers several benefits:
    • Simplifies administration of users for the organization. When access to an application is enabled in the SSO directory for a user, the user identity is automatically created for the user when they first login to the LMS.

    • Simplifies password management for organizations and users. Organizations can specify a single password policy with their identity provider and use their providers Two Factor Authentication (if desired) with all SSO accessed applications.

    • End users get the benefit of a single password for use with all SSO gated applications, reducing the organizations IT support costs around forgotten passwords.

    • SSO integration lowers security risks because only current members of the organization can gain access to the systems accessed by SSO. When someone leaves the organization, their removal from the SSO directory removes their access to all SSO accessed systems.

  • Calendars: Integration with calendars and time management software apps allow administrators to see into users’ schedules to organize and book training events without conflicts. They usually include tools to notify participants and track attendance.

  • Content Management: These integrations allow learning materials, study guides, and videos that live on shared platforms like Google Drive, Office 365, YouTube, or Vimeo to be incorporated into training classes.

  • Customer Relationship Management: Integration with CRM solutions like Salesforce, Mailchimp, and Hubspot allow for detailed customer marketing and sales data to be gleaned from training records. Assign specific training to employees, partners, and user groups, or trigger follow-up communications and suggestions based on recent purchases or course completions.

  • Human Resources: Integrations to HR management systems like ADP or BambooHR do things like automatically enroll new hires in orientation and other necessary training classes. Easily import learner training progress, certification renewal schedules, and training histories to keep employees in compliance, and their entire HR profile accessible though one interface. When people leave the organization, the integration may automatically disable user access to the LMS, thereby reducing administrative burdens and improving security for the organization.

  • Video Conferencing and Webinars: LMS integrations with video conferencing tools like Zoom, GoToMeeting, Webex, or Microsoft Teams enable businesses to incorporate live training and meetings directly within the learning portal. Reach larger audiences and track attendance metrics.

LMS Integrations Benefits

The LMS has become an essential corporate educational tool, especially in larger organizations and those with remote employees. Integrations scrape user information, sales data, course completion rates, and other critical metrics from training activities and import them into other business systems to make intelligent decisions about the type and quality of training offered to internal or external customers.

The primary benefits are to:

  • Reduce administrative burdens, data redundancy, and data entry errors by automating simple workflows and eliminating the need enter the same user data into multiple systems.

  • Ensure consistency in implementation of user identity creation and deletion as people join and leave an organization.

  • Enhance coordination between learning and business objectives, ensuring that new people receive the appropriate training on a timely basis.

  • Support compliance efforts by automatically reminding employees of pending re-certifications or refresher maintain a record of each user’s training history in the event of an audit.

For more insights on selecting the right LMS for your training needs, don’t miss our guide on the Top 10 LMS Features for Training Providers to Consider.

Enable Automated Business Processes with Firmwater LMS Integrations

The goal of LMS integration is to reduce friction between a businesses’ learning management system and other core systems. It should facilitate communications between business processes to enable better decision making across the organization, and it should enable training providers to deliver their courses into more sophisticated environments.

Firmwater understands these complexities and has built its LMS to support integrations that simplify access, enable eCommerce through Shopify, interface with external LMSs, and more. Because investing in a LMS without these capabilities means missing out on data and functionality that could be used to build a more successful business.

Take full advantage of the concept of open LMS integration with Firmwater. Visit us at firmwater.com to learn more about how we can connect to mission-critical systems to make your LMS a greater asset to your business, or contact us at [email protected].