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LMS Review: Growth Engineering Academy LMS

LMS Review Growth Engineering

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One, if by land, and two, if by sea…

World, get ready for the next British invasion- here comes Growth Engineering,  their Academy LMS and their plucky view of learning management.  This company is cool and they are at war with boring eLearning!

Growth Engineering entered the learning management market differently than most LMSs and it shows in their solutions, product, services and marketing.  Eight years ago, instead of deciding to be a LMS, they decided to help organizations sell better.

Salespeople are a diva lot.   They are busy, self-important, competitive and confident know-it-alls.  It’s hard to teach them anything. (I know, I was a LMS salesman for 13 years. ) Growth Engineering deduced that the only way to change the behavior of salespeople, was to make the salespeople want to consume the content and want to come back.  (Sound familiar?)

They partnered with the U.K.’s top sales and marketing institutes and converted their proven ILT content into engaging, scenario-based, video-laden, gamified, social learning content.   With the online version, salespeople can earn certification and accreditation in approximately 50% of the time and a fraction of the cost making it feasible for Growth Engineering to take an end-to-end sales improvement solution to corporations on a large scale.

Out of this the Growth Engineering Academy LMS was conceived.   Gamification, social learning, motivation and fun are the foundation of the LMS, the content and other learning features are built around that.  You don’t buy the Growth Engineering Academy LMS and they won’t sell it to you, unless you believe in the power of motivating learners though collaboration and gamification.

What makes this LMS so gamified and social?  Here are some examples:

  • The email invite to first log on to the system tees up the game and what you are in for.  In fact, all the email notifications are configurable but come preloaded with engaging marketing and gamification sample text for each of the dozens of notifications.
  • You log on to the system for the first time and they have a real-time tutorial overlay helping you log in, introduce you to the gaming features and your “mission”.
  • A personal Facebook type feed of posts from other users, learners, admins, trainers, executives is the main focus of the homepage.  You can comment on their comments and give them a thumbs up.
  • Users start earning “Achievements” from minute one.  I earned an achievement badge for my first log on, launching my first piece of content, logging on late at night and updating my profile (there are also many more triggers that you can use to award).
  • Anybody can assign anybody ad-hoc “praise” that goes on their record.
  • You earn points for content consumed, earning badges, leveling up and all of this is displayed via leaderboards and news feed in a competitive way — all visible from the main user homepage.
  • The content itself has gaming as part of the instructional design, so gamey content delivered via a gamey LMS making every aspect of the solution fun for users.
  • You can tie your personal Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn accounts and share achievements.

Growth Engineering has a primary focus on how to improve internal and external sales organizations, but their LMS, by success, has found its way into supporting enterprise solutions and all their training needs.  Now they are going global and organizations can license the Academy LMS standalone or with their sales or custom content.

My Assessment:  If you want to make your sales channel better and your organization does not have a LMS,  Growth Engineering is a no-brainer.   If you are looking for your first entry into eLearning and you want to start with solving a problem vs. installing a LMS, Growth Engineering is a great idea.  If you are looking to get into a features/technology battle with your potential vendors, then Growth Engineering is probably too focused on impacting change for you.

 

Growth Engineering Extended Enterprise Vitals

LMS Name: Growth Engineering Academy LMS

Website: www.growthengineering.co.uk

Twitter: @Growthengineer

Contact Information:   http://www.growthengineering.co.uk/get-in-touch/

Extended Enterprise Ready:  Yes

Types of Extended Enterprise Expertise Learning Supported:

  • Partner
  • Channel

Differentiation:

  • LMS solutions are tied to solving problems and not having the most features
  • The most gamified social LMS in the world  (I agree)
  • Fundamentally impact change in an organization with measurable, predictable results
  • On a war against needle-in-the-eye, boring online learning
  • 100% client retention since day 1 eight years ago

Licensing and Certification Features:

  • Can set learning to provide a certification upon completion and be good for x days
  • Also can certify through the concept of assignment of points and awarding of badges

Adaptive Learning Features:

  • Configurable roles feature with about a dozen functions that can be included/excluded
  • Can make content assignments one at a time, or filter to get a group and select all to assign content or multiple pieces of content.
  • Via gamification elements of quests and missions, content can be assigned to a level and as a learner completes the level, they can level up.

eCommerce Features: 

  • Growth Engineering solutions are typically not about selling content.  They make the assumption that if there is commerce, it is happening outside the system on a business to business basis, and then the solution is designed for any type of users including internal and external sales channel
  • They can integrate with ecommerce products when required, but not home grown, nor core functionality

State and Global Taxation Support:  None

Social Collaboration Features: 

  • Most tightly integrated social learning features we’ve seen
  • Feels like Facebook with learning wrapped around
  • Running comment wall with ability to Like or comment
  • Integration with Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook
  • Tied tightly with gamification awards notification, display and progress
  • Concept of creating expert and tutor groups to help others

Mobile Features:

  • You can access from a mobile web browser but there is no responsive design so it gets small in a hurry
  • At the end of June 2014, they are introducing responsive design for end users as well as iPhone and Android native apps

Gamification Features:  

  • Points, levels, badges, leveling up, leaderboards, trophy case and challenges
  • Gamification is in the heart of this LMS –it’s not just an add-on
  • Great diversity in the award types and ability to create your own
  • They have about a dozen blog posts on all aspects of gamification here

Virtual Classroom Features:

  • Generic integration with any webinar tool via a field to put in the webinar URL
  • Interactive classrooms allows instructors to interact with class by using polls, assessments, surveys, marking attendance all with real time reporting

Globalization Features: 

  • Language translations for eight languages in core product plus the ability to translate into any language you need
  • Provides the admin ability to see all languages side by side for each label in the system and modify anything to your liking

Technology: 

  • 100% cloud SaaS solution hosted via Rackspace

Integration:

  • Generic integration into virtual classroom tools
  • SCORM 1.2 and upcoming Tin Can 1.0
  • Bulk user upload via spreadsheet
  • Any other integration (HR, Workday, LDAP, Google Apps) or data load is a custom effort requiring Growth Engineering professional services.  You can read more about their API and integration approach here and here.

Reporting:

  • Reporting is probably the weakest aspect of this solution as compared to other solutions.  You can access the basics reports on users, courses, completions, but no ad-hoc reporting and limited configuration options.
  • However, updates coming at the end of June 2014 include more configurable reports, scheduled reports, admin and manager dashboards

Links to Case Studies on Extended Enterprise Learning:  

  • Spicers – Europe’s leading wholesaler of office merchandise – was looking to grow their business by introducing channel partners to a more effective approach to sales strategy.  Learn how they did it with Growth Engineering.
  • Tech Data, Azlan, HP and Growth Engineering team up to certify channel partners and drive measurable ROI.

Links to Online Demos:

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About Talented Learning LMS Reviews

Talented Learning LMS Reviews provide initial screening of vendors for extended enterprise suitability.  Vendors share lots of information on their websites — feature lists, video demos, case studies, position papers, press releases, free trials and more.  We review and analyze all of this information to determine a vendor’s mission, assess the platform’s strengths and weaknesses, and determine how effectively it serves extended enterprise learning needs.

As always, at Talented Learning, we’re not about making sweeping predictions or judging vendors.  Instead, we document the realities of today’s LMS landscape, and how learning technology is actually adding value.  We have only one goal — to help clients find appropriate LMS vendors based on their unique business requirements.

John Leh
About John Leh (125 Articles)

John Leh is CEO and Lead Analyst at Talented Learning, LLC. Named one of the Top 20 Global Elearning Movers and Shakers of 2017, John is a fiercely independent LMS selection consultant and blogger who helps organizations develop and implement technology strategies – primarily for the extended enterprise. John’s advice is based on 20 years of industry experience, having served as a trusted LMS selection and sales adviser to more than 100 learning organizations with a total technology spend of more than $65 million. He helps organizations define their business case, identify requirements, short-list vendors, write and manage RFPs and negotiate a great deal. You can connect with John on Twitter at @JohnLeh or on LinkedIn.

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