What’s New in Meridian Global LMS 17.2

The 2017 Summer Release of Meridian Global LMS adds seamless integration with OpenSesame’s eLearning Marketplace, exciting new gamification capabilities and effortless efficiency advancements.

 

Reston, Va. – June 24, 2017 – Meridian Knowledge Solutions, a leading learning management system (LMS) provider, today announced the availability of Meridian Global LMS® version 17.2. With the newest release of its flagship learning management product, Meridian makes the jobs of LMS administrators and instructors easier.

Meridian Global LMS 17.2 streamlines the way users find and manage content, giving learners access to more items from the learning catalog, and providing a tool for increasing user engagement.

“Providing a great experience for administrators and instructors is just as important as it is for learners.  In this release, we’ve introduced more tools to allow administrators to grow and manage their learning catalog and increase engagement with learners.”

— Geoff Perry, Chief Product Officer

Meridian Global LMS® 17.2 release includes:

Navigation Enhancements: Navigate with confidence. Meridian Global 17.2 delivers an improved navigation experience, allowing easier, more direct ways to access necessary functionality.

  • Streamlined Navigation
  • Quick Create for Learning Content: Meridian added a universal content create button to the navigation bar, allowing for quick creation of content from anywhere in the system.
  • Edit from catalog details: Content administrators can now jump directly to editing a content item from its catalog details page.
  • Enhanced Predictive Search: Predictive search results now display below the search field and include both the title of the item and its content type.


Classroom Section Updates: Designed with Administrators and Instructors in mind, classroom section updates improve frequently used workflows, easing the burden on your time and resources.

  • Easy-print roster: A printable sign-in sheet that can also be exported to Excel has been added to classroom courses.
  • Information repository for course notes and files: Administrators and instructors can now add files and notes to classroom section details that can be shared between authorized users.
  • Completion Codes: Users can now indicate they have enrolled in, attended, and completed a course, all in one step.
  • Time zones in Section Management: When authorized users create, or edit a classroom course section, they now have the option to associated a time zone with course section start and end times.

Extended Permission Scope

Let your LMS work for you with extended permission scope. Administrators can more effectively delegate administration and increase a user’s influence in the system.

Administrators now have the option to assign individual “scope of control” permissions to users, allowing for more specificity in designating which users a particular administrator can see in Manage Users and Manage Enrollment.

Gamification

Meridian Global 17.2 delivers a new tool, Gamification, designed to spark user engagement and motivation – Administrators have the configurable option to assign points to content items and create badges to be awarded to users based on point accumulation. There is also an optional leaderboard, allowing users to view their progress as well as that of their colleagues.

OpenSesame Integration

The OpenSesame eLearning Marketplace is now integrated with the Meridian Global Learning Management System, making it easier than ever to build your library of online content. Choose from more than 20,000 courses in a variety disciplines and expand your users’ professional skills in a seamless, comprehensive learning experience.

Find the courses you want, choose the number of seats you need, and let Meridian Global LMS import the courses for you. No more uploading courses one at a time.

OpenSesame Integration Highlights:

  • Seamless integration with Meridian Global Learning Management System
  • Access to a library of more than 20,000 carefully curated, professional development courses
  • Choose the courses and number of seats to meet your training goals
  • Maintain complete control over learner access to content
  • OpenSesame courses are automatically added to existing Meridian LMS™ course catalog
  • Single sign-on purchasing and synchronization of content

Availability

Meridian’s 17.2 release is available on June 24, 2017.

Request a live demo of Meridian Global LMS.

 

About Meridian Knowledge Solutions:

Meridian Knowledge Solutions, LLC, is the leading provider of enterprise, web-based learning management software. Meridian’s powerful yet easy-to-use solutions are leveraged by organizations dedicated to building world-class learning enterprises inspired and focused on delivering exceptional results. With over 7 million users worldwide, Meridian offers a flexible, best-of-breed learning management system that gives organizations and users alike a seamless, integrated experience, all while strengthening the bottom line. The company is headquartered in Reston, VA.

Media Contact:

John Carmean
Director, Marketing and Communications
Meridian Knowledge Solutions
jcarmean@meridianks.com

No Time for Nostalgia, Let’s Go Shopping!

Do you shop online?

I will confess—I’ve become dependent on online shopping. Subscribe & Save, household items, most of my clothes…I’ve even started ordering a lot of my groceries for delivery. The more I shop online, the more I appreciate a well thought-out online catalog.

Back in the old days, I didn’t much care about how a catalog was laid out, as long as it had pretty pictures. Remember looking through the paper catalogs that companies sent in the mail, and even earmarking pages with items to look at again later? That tactile experience is one of the only things I miss with online shopping.

When a catalog is well designed, though, it replaces paper window-shopping with unparalleled ease. With a good online catalog, I can find what I am looking for quickly and easily, get it into my cart, make the purchase, and move on with my day. I might miss the browsing, but I can’t fault the convenience.

In 17.1, we’ve made some huge improvements in the Meridian Global LMS catalog functionality. This will deliver users, many of whom are increasingly demanding online shoppers like me, a much more convenient and streamlined experience. For example, we’ve added visible content categories for easy navigation to other, similar content. (Am I looking at shoes? Of course I want to see more shoes!) We’ve also added filters to allow content searching by language, better facilitating use by learners in multiple languages.

Users can now navigate through the catalog faster, with enhanced search and browse portlets. The availability of a content item is indicated in its catalog entry—no need to open a detail page to find out a course is already full. Don’t you hate it when you try to add something to your cart online and then they tell you it’s sold out? What’s perhaps most exciting, though, is the ability to open the content suggestion window directly from search results. If a user does a search and finds that what she wants isn’t in the catalog, requesting it is only one click away. That’s a shopping experience I can’t even get on Amazon!

For users looking for a digital alternative to the paper catalogs of yesterday, the catalog opens to category portlets, allowing a leisurely browse through all content of a given type. The option to view all content in a catalog is also still available, with both list and classroom calendar views and multiple options for filtering results. Finally, the whole thing is viewable on the mobile device of your choice, making it perfect to go with coffee or flip through in a waiting room, just like the old paper versions.

It’s impossible to completely recreate the daydream aspect of a few minutes spent with the latest mailer from Crate & Barrel or Williams-Sonoma. That said, MG’s new catalog upgrades improve the online experience, adding both convenience and improved aesthetics.

No time for nostalgia, let’s go shopping!

5 Benefits of Customer, Partner and Sales Enablement Training

Delivering exceptional customer experience, increasing sales and growing the bottom line isn’t always up to your internal workforce. Often it’s the external customers, partners, resellers and dealers that interact with your customers and potential customers on a daily basis. They recommend your business, help answer questions about products and services, resell your offerings, and ultimately leave a good (or bad!) impression about your business to your clients.

 

With such a huge influence on your business success, what are you doing to support, engage and develop the skills of your external workforce?

 

Regardless of your industry, the benefits of learning and development go far beyond the four walls of your organization. Extending training to your extended enterprise can have a profound impact on customer experience, brand loyalty, sales and revenue.

 

If you’re trying to build a business case for offering or selling training to your extended enterprise, here are 5 ways your company can benefit from external learning:

 

  1. Boost customer loyalty and improve customer experience. Loyal customers are worth about 10x as much as their first purchase, and news of bad customer service reaches more than twice as many years as praise for a good service experience.¹ Well-informed customers are happier, more loyal and far more likely to recommend a product or brand and spend more on your services. What does this have to do with training? A lot. Key customer touch points are mobilized to build customer satisfaction and increase Net Promoter Scores.
  2. Increase revenue and better enable the salesforce. The more you empower, engage and train your channel partners and resellers, the better they will be at scouting, gaining and maintaining clients. By continuously training your partners on your new and existing offerings, you’re giving them the tools they need to identify and solve customer challenges.
  3. Improve product speed-to-market. By properly training your external workforce, the learning curve for new product launches is shortened, and issues are quickly resolved during rollout. A well-thought-out learning program ensures your partners, dealers and resellers know the ins and outs of your offerings so they can best represent your brand and get ahead of the competition.
  4. Drive innovation. Social collaboration tools within your learning management system, as well as feedback forms and surveys, help you capture knowledge, recommendations and feedback about the learning and training programs you are providing. You can take that knowledge back to your product and marketing team to help them build new product offerings, shift product roadmaps and better understand the needs of the clients and industry you serve.
  5. Explore new revenue streams. Have you considered selling training to your customers, partners and resellers? Certification courses, workshops and other paid educational resources open up new revenue streams that accelerate your business growth. Companies that extend learning to customers achieve a whopping 800% year-over-year FTE increase than those who do not.² Organizations like Johnson Controls and HAI Group are capitalizing on the learning and development market by using Meridian’s learning management system to sell, deliver and manage online and instructor-led training, and they’re seeing some serious results!

 

How to get started:
Learning management systems have helped millions of organizations automate, deliver, manage and train both internal employees and external stakeholders for years. And companies using an LMS to deliver external training have seen significant results. Brandon Hall Group found that companies using an LMS for external training saw a 40% increase in sales, 37% increase in customer retention and a 45% increase in customer relations. If you’re interested in learning more about how learning technology can help you train your extended enterprise, check out our upcoming live demo of our learning solution, or take a look at some of our extended enterprise resources.

 

 

¹White House Office of Consumer Affairs

²“Customers and Learning: Extending the Boundaries.“ Aberdeen Group, 2013

 

How Training Creates Raving Fans and Loyal Customers

Is your learning management system (LMS) living up to its full potential? If you’re only using your LMS to train internal folks, it may not be!

 

The benefits of leveraging an LMS to deliver learning and development (L&D) training courses across organizations are far and wide. Strong L&D programs can reduce onboarding times, boost employee engagement and productivity rates, shorten skills gaps, accelerate individual and organizational performance, and of course, help maintain and manage compliance.

 

This is all great stuff, don’t get me wrong, but your LMS is capable of far more than just internal learning programs.

 

Think about all the people who represent your business that are not necessarily part of your internal of employees. These are the your customers, partners, contingent workers, franchisees, dealers, channel sales and other external sales and service providers that are involved in some way, shape or form in your business. In the learning world, this is known as the extended enterprise, and for many organizations, these folks are often the people who interact with customers the most.

 

So why wouldn’t you want to ensure they are up-to-speed and effectively trained on your organization’s products and services?

 

By extending your learning strategy beyond your traditional HR learning needs, your LMS actually has the potential to dramatically increase customer satisfaction.

 

Truth: Happy customers = better business outcomes

 

High customer satisfaction and brand loyalty is fundamental to your organizations success, and it all starts with a first impression and unforgettable customer experience.

 

An external learning strategy, enabled by an LMS with deep extended enterprise capabilities, can drive new revenue streams, improve profit margins, and turn your customers into loyal, stark-raving fans.

 

Let’s take a quick look at the numbers:

 

  • It is six to seven times more expensive to acquire a new customer than to keep an existing one¹
  • You have a 60-70% chance of selling a product to an existing customer. Compare that to the 15-20% chance of selling that same product to a prospect²
  • On average, loyal customers are worth up to 10 times as much as their first purchase³
  • Increasing your customer retention rates by just 5% could lift profits by 50%4

 

Are you starting to understand why external training is so vital to your business? Think about the untapped potential!  

 

If you’re not already, it’s time to start thinking about how you can extend learning and training opportunities to your external network. In 2014, Brandon Hall Group surveyed 174 companies and found that those with extended learning programs realized a:

 

  • 40% increase in sales
  • 37% increase in customer retention, and a
  • 45% improvement in customer relations.5

 

The numbers don’t lie. Businesses that are offering training and development programs to their extended enterprise are seeing significant return on investment. However, with so many different ways to capitalize on external training, it’s hard to know where to get started.

 

If you’re new to the concept of the extended enterprise, or just dipping your toe in the idea of expanding your training programs, our best advice is don’t boil the ocean. It’s natural for mind to go in a dozen different directions thinking about all the different audiences and scenarios that will benefit from external training.

 

For some ideas and advice on how to get started or refine your external training programs, check out “Learning Unleashed: Create Raving Fans and Boost Revenue Through Training.

 

¹Frederick Reichheld, Bain & Company
²Marketing Metrics
³White House Offi ce of Consumer Aff airs
4Frederick Reichheld, Bain & Co. “Prescriptions for Cutting Costs”
5Brandon Hall Group “Extended Enterprise Learning, Making Learning Impact the Bottom Line” 2015

Extended Enterprise: What does it mean and why does it matter?

Often we are quick to think of our learning technology as a cost center; a necessary evil to onboard employees, get people up to speed, maintain compliance, etc. However, those examples of how you can use your LMS are just the tip of the iceberg. Learning and training programs shouldn’t be confined to your internal folks. There are so many untapped opportunities where you can leverage training outside the traditional four walls of your organization.

 

You just need to take a step back and look at learning audiences from a broader perspective – start thinking about your extended enterprise. These folks are comprised of a dynamic and diversified set of customers, partners, contingent workers, brokers, dealers, channel sales and other external sales and service providers. The specific audiences will depend on your industry and organization, but every company has some type of an extended enterprise.

 

Extended Enterprise Audience Examples

  • Associations – The extended enterprise is often association members seeking certification and continuing education opportunities. For example, HAI Group and The Society of Actuaries offer industry-specific training and certification courses to their members to help them deepen their knowledge and better serve their clients and communities.
  • Manufacturing companies – The extended enterprise is often partners, specialists and technicians who resell, service and maintain product offerings. For example, Johnson Controls offers dozens of training courses to their large network of technicians, dealers and distributors to ensure they are safely and correctly installing and servicing Johnson Controls equipment.
  • Enterprise software organizations – The extended enterprise is often clients who need to be trained on how to use the software products. Many large enterprise software companies offer universities where clients can access training courses that are embedded directly in the software product they’re using. So, if they don’t know how to do something, they can quickly launch a tutorial video and continue on with the task at hand.

 

In each example the value of extending training to external stakeholders is clear. External training programs give the learner deeper knowledge and understanding of your organization’s products, services and solutions, making that learner better equipped to deliver a better customer experience on your behalf. The impact of external training on the customer experience is HUGE. Too huge to dive into in this post. So, stay tuned for a few more posts breaking down how you can increase customer satisfaction and drive revenue through external learning!

 

In the meantime, check out one of our posts on three ways external training boosts customer service!

 

Questions? Comments? Feedback? Drop me a line below!