terça-feira, março 30, 2010

Outsourcing ELearning

Outsourcing is now being considered for ELearning. The term refers to a group or company that contracts with another group or company that's usually overseas to provide services that might otherwise be performed by in-house workers. In the past, this strategy has been mostly utilized by the BPO industry and has proven to be successful for many large companies.

The ELearning industry is seriously considering this because of the many advantages outsourcing can bring to the field. Here are some reasons why it is beneficial:

First of all, it significantly cuts down costs. This is probably one of the key reasons why subcontracting to a third party is commonly practiced by a lot of businesses. These kinds of arrangement give a company the power to reduce fixed costs and control the scalability of the service providers. However, it is extremely important to choose a good vendor for this to happen.

Second, it allows easier scalability. With this strategy, a team can become scalable on demand. A team of 5 or even 500 can be engaged without having to worry about hiring, retention, termination and so on. The vendor will be the one who will manage all of these things, as well as training and provision of replacement resources. This is ideal for smaller or startup companies.

Third, there's better quality with innovation. If a good ELearning vendor has been chosen consistently to begin with, then it is safe to assume that he is better placed to deliver high quality work. As the vendor's team handles many different kinds of projects for various clients, they will continuously improve. Such experiences will equip them with the ability to anticipate problems, troubleshoot more effectively and propose valuable inputs.

Fourth, the company can focus on core strategic goals. This is undeniably the most important benefit any business can receive from outsourcing. It helps emphasize the strategic tasks of a company's training function without having to sacrifice quality or service. There would be more time to spend important energy on future plans, changes, required skills and training, evaluations, mapping of business results, alignment of training and development with business needs, and implementation of cultural change plans.

Choosing an inadequate vendor can practically reverse all the abovementioned advantages. Here are some of the things to consider when choosing a vendor:

Capability. For electronic learning, it is important the vendor has the industry at its very core. To evaluate this qualification, a company can review the vendor's website, check work samples, ask for the development team members' profiles, understand their development processes, inquire about the number of projects delivered, understand their working style, and so on.

Credibility. It is important to check how long a company has been in business. A good way to evaluate credibility is to speak with their long term customers. Sometimes, it is best to ask for "evidence" such as sample works or concept projects because this quickly eliminates the wrong kind of vendors.

Costs. As long as their services are within the budget, are worth the price and caters to the company's needs and preferences, then it is good to invest in that vendor. Remember that cheaper is not necessarily better.

Source: Joel Owens

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