Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2019 - 55

SECRETS OF SOURCING
DOUG HARWARD

SELECTING THE RIGHT TOOL
AND TECHNOLOGY PARTNER
FOR YOUR TRAINING
ORGANIZATION

Selecting a learning technology is a
decision that every training manager
must make. Whether it be a learning
management system (LMS), delivery
platform or authoring tool, training
managers from companies of all sizes
are confronted with the need to select
a technology to assist with the learning
experience. It may not be the most
frequent decision you will have to make,
but definitely one of the most important -
and for a number of reasons.
*	 The impact is huge. Technology impacts
so many constituents. Selecting one
technology that pleases multiple user
groups and needs is not easy. It's hard
enough to get your leadership team to
agree on one platform, much less all
your constituents.
*	 Long-term commitments. Technology
often requires long-term commitments
with a supplier. Learning technologies
are generally licensed, not purchased,
which means there are recurring fees
for use and maintenance based on the
number of learners or users.
*	 Total cost. The true cost of a technology
is not just what you pay a supplier.
True or total cost includes your
internal expenses for data migration,
administration, ongoing support by
the IT group, and the cost of change for
moving from one platform to another.
Depending on the technology, this can
be more than the cost of the license
agreement itself.
Choosing a Training Partner
The most difficult factor in selecting
a technology is the sheer number of

platforms and technologies to choose
from. Every supplier wants to show why
their platform is better than others. The
reality is the features and functionality
of each technology are relatively the
same from one company to another. I'm
not suggesting that technologies are
completely commoditized, but I am saying
that the value difference in one feature
versus another doesn't always warrant the
difference in cost.

SELECTING A
TECHNOLOGY IS
ONE OF THE MOST
IMPORTANT DECISIONS
TRAINING MANAGERS
WILL MAKE.

then this may impact the timeliness of
the support you require.
*	 Leadership team. An assessment of
the talent in a vendor's leadership team
and its development organization can
tell a lot about the company's ability to
innovate and remain viable.
*	 Company culture. Assessing the culture
of a vendor can reveal whether they
are committed to the same values as
your organization, such as diversity and
inclusion, security, or individual privacy.
Your selection of a technology and supplier
must be done objectively and based on
the right variables. And it should be done
as a team that includes your constituents
and support staff.

The features and functionality of the tools
are not the only important factors. Look
closely at the capabilities of the supplier
you are licensing from. Every company
has a set of business attributes that make
their organization viable and competitive.
These become even more important
when forming long-term relationships as
opposed to transactional relationships.
Here are a few variables to consider when
choosing a technology partner.

To help determine the factors that are
most important, create an evaluation
spreadsheet and assign a weighted value
to each variable. Hold demos of each tool
and due diligence of business attributes
of each supplier. Have your team evaluate
each supplier and the technology based
on a scale of 1 to 10. Tally the scores based
on weighted values. Now you have an
objective, inclusive process for how to
choose a technology and partner.

*	 Financial viability. A company's financial
viability is the best indicator of its ability
to invest in future improvements and
software enhancements, as well as if it
will still be in business in a few years.

The process sounds simple, and it really
is. But the secret sauce is identifying the
most important variables and including
your constituents and support team in
the process.

*	 Location. The geographical location
of the vendor may indicate how they
will provide ongoing support. If the
company's support team is overseas,

Doug Harward is CEO of Training Industry,
Inc. and a former learning leader in the hightech industry. Email Doug.

T RAIN IN G I N DU STR Y M AGAZ INE - TRAINING IN ANOTHER DIMENSION 20 1 9 I WWW. T RAI NINGINDU S T RY . C OM/ MAGAZ I NE

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2019

http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20190708
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20190506
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20190304
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20190102
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20181112
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20180910
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20180708
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20180506
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20180304
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20180102
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20171112
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20170910
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20170708
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20170506
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20170304
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20171112_se
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20161112
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2016fall
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2016summer
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2016sales
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2016spring
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2016winter
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2015outsourcing
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2015fall
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2015summer
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2015leadership
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2015spring
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2015winter
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2014fall
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2014summer
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2014spring
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2014winter
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2013fall
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2013summer
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2013spring
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2013winter
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2012fall
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2012summer
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2012spring
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2012winter
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2011fall
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2011summer
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2011spring
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2011winter
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2010fall
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2010summer
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2010spring
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2010winter
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2009fall
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2009summer
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2009spring
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2009winter
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2008fall
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2008summer
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2008spring
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