Should You Use an Employee LMS for Extended Enterprise Learning in 2019?

Early in 2014, I set-out to answer a question I constantly hear as a learning systems selection consultant:

“Should we use our employee LMS to educate external audiences?”

Back then, I didn’t definitively say “yes” or “no.” Instead, I advised decision makers to proceed with caution before embracing a one-for-all LMS mindset. Why? Primarily because employee educational goals, interests and motivations don’t apply to extended enterprise learners.

Employees are captive LMS users. They are “known” by the system and they must comply with mandated training assignments.

On the other hand, customers and business partners can’t be forced to engage in learning activities. An LMS often doesn’t “know” the identity of these users until they’re persuaded to register or buy. Even then, their participation is voluntary, not mandatory.

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