If you've been using an outdated learning management system (LMS) for a long time, you've probably grown used to its little quirks. You know it works (some of the time). You know it has a few problems (or lots). You know how to work around its daily hiccups (sort of) – and you're used to fielding the same tech support problems from your users on a daily basis. You know you really ought to upgrade it and it all seems a little overwhelming.
But here's the truth: migrating your learning system over to a new provider or platform isn't as scary as you think.
We've been doing it for our clients for years. And in that time, we've developed a thorough step-by-step plan to take businesses through the whole process – all while minimising the time, money, and risk involved.
What is migration?
LMS migration is the process of moving all your e-learning data, records, learning modules and courses from one LMS to another. Typically, LMS migration occurs between two LMSs of the same brand (for example, migrating data between a Moodle LMS of one provider to a Moodle LMS of another provider) but can also occur between two different brands or products, depending on the level of compatibility.
As providers of Moodle and Totara solutions, we regularly migrate client data from older Moodle and Totara versions. Visit our LMS migration page for more details. For information on switching from a different LMS to one of our systems, head to our 'Transform your Training' switch hub.
Why would you migrate?
There are all sorts of reasons why your current LMS or LMS provider might not be giving you everything you need. So many, in fact, that we couldn't list them all here. But here are some of the big ones:
- You're spending too much time on admin – enrolling new users, planning their learning pathways, and manually recording their progress and completion.
- Your business (and your training needs) are growing – and your current site can't keep up.
- You need deeper insights into your learning – like advanced reporting, statistics, and analysis.
- Your learners are having a hard time – either with technical problems on an outdated system or from course content that's not accessible or intuitive.
- You're looking for ways to save time and money – through reduced technical support, faster content creation, and less time spent learning.
These are all good reasons to fix a leaky boat and if your company is suffering from any of these problems, we can tell you with confidence: You're not getting the most out of your current learning management system.
We'd love to tell you that migrating to a new site is an overnight job. But in reality, it's a process that takes careful planning and rigorous testing.
So let's make your first few steps a little easier:
How to do it right
Every big change to your business comes with risks and migrating your e-learning site to a new platform is no different.
But luckily for you, we're in the business of minimising that risk.
We've seen all sorts of businesses go through the same process – which means we know exactly where they run into trouble, and exactly how to help them avoid it.
Let's start with the big one:
1. Choose the right provider
There are plenty of companies out there that can promise a smooth migration of your e-learning site but when it comes down to the details, they don't all offer the same full service you need.
The choice you make now could affect your business for months. So before you commit to a new partner for your site migration, make sure their services include:
- Consultation – Are they taking the time to understand your business and its needs before they agree to start the work?
- Configuration – Do they have the technical know-how to make the tweaks and adjustments you'll need to get a perfect fit with your new system?
- Hosting – Can they provide fully-managed, cloud-based hosting with near-perfect uptime?
- Unlimited support – Will they put a limit on support hours and the number of your LMS admins who can seek support?
2. Pay attention to the discovery session
Once you've got a solid provider in your sights, it's time to make contact – and that first point of contact is usually some kind of discovery session.
On the one hand, it's a chance for your potential new provider to understand what you need from your learning management system migration.
But it's also a perfect opportunity for you to scope out the provider themselves.
Some providers work on sales-based targets. They want to push you towards an agreement as quickly as possible – even if the platform they're offering might not be the best fit for your company.
Other providers (like us!) are more interested in results. We'll talk about your learning goals and the challenges you're facing, and the kinds of features and functions you need to achieve those goals.
We'll then point out some of the best potential systems to match your needs and put together a recommendation that includes the right combination of services to give you the best possible chance of success.
If you want to see exactly how fruitful one of these initial discovery sessions can be, you can book a free consultation with us today – no strings attached!
3. Never skip the testing phase
Aside from choosing the right provider, this could be the most important step in the migration process for your new learning management system.
We can tell you from experience that almost every new piece of software comes with a few hiccups. And if you try to launch a new platform that hasn't been fully tested, you could be stuck trying to unravel the mess for weeks or months to come.
That's why every migration we do comes with a crucial testing phase. Before you go live with your new system, we'll take a copy of your existing data and install the site on our hosting platform.
We'll then test the new site in a safe environment, checking for any technical errors or user roadblocks. So by the time you're ready to put your new system into action, you can ensure a smooth and successful launch for your learners.
Looking for a new home for your learning system?
We can help you get there.
If your company is struggling with an outdated learning system, or you're growing too fast for the system you have, it never hurts to get an expert opinion.
So before you dive headfirst into a new migration (or worse, give up and never change!) head over to our dedicated migration page and book a free consultation with us – and we'll show you how painless a migration can be.