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LMS Review: WBT Systems TopClass LMS

LMS Review - WBT Systems TopClass LMS

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Founded in 1995 and headquartered in Ireland, WBT Systems is a leading provider of eLearning software.  WBT Systems targets the association market and extended enterprise in the commercial space. WBT’s flagship product is TopClass, a web-based Learning Management System that enables employees, members, partners or any learners globally to access training and events.

It is amazing how much information is on the WBT Systems site.  It literally took all day to read and digest all their information, documentation, position papers, case studies, videos and more.  What I really like is the thought leadership on association learning.  They have written it out and there is no doubt that they are experts.

Almost every association host conferences for their users and for many associations these events comprise the majority of their training.  WBT Systems has neatly integrated conference management in the LMS.  Administrators can manage conference, tracks, speakers, registration, payment, continuing education credits, instructors and feedback.  This was a feature set requested many times over the years that most LMS providers have a poor answer for.

In addition to the full-featured TopClass LMS, which is available as a cloud-based or on-premise solution, WBT Systems also provides a streamlined cloud LMS called TopClass Now, designed for small to medium sized associations making their first foray into LMS.  The offering includes a super rapid deployment, basic branding, content loading and configuration to get organizations off the ground quickly and inexpensively.  Many associations, especially smaller ones, don’t yet utilize LMS so this solution is a valid and prudent approach to get going.

My Assessment –TopClass is a tough, battle hardened LMS designed for the extended enterprise and heavy lifting.  If you are an association or commercial extended enterprise, they are a no-brainier for the vendor mix.  I competed against these guys for many years, and I always considered them extremely competent.

 

WBT Systems Extended Enterprise Vitals

LMS Name:  WBT Systems TopClass 9 and TopClass Now

Website:  WBTSystems.com

Twitter:  @WBT_Systems

Contact Information:  http://www.wbtsystems.com/contact/

Extended Enterprise Ready:  Yes

Types of Extended Enterprise Expertise Learning Supported:

  • Association
  • Sales Channel
  • Customer
  • eCommerce

Business Problems WBT Systems Solves:

  • Association education with a strong focus on ecommerce and certification management
  • Sales channel effectiveness and productivity

Licensing and Certification:

  • Automates all aspects the certification process
  • Multiple certification paths
  • Sale of courses and examinations
  • Notifications and detailed reporting
  • Re-certification management
  • Self-reporting of outside learning activities and credits

eCommerce Features:

  • Early-bird discounts, coupons, tokens, credits, and discounts, course promotion
  • Course bundling
  • Group pricing
  • Comprehensive fiscal like sales analysis

Taxation Features:

  • Calculates sales tax and shipping

Social Collaboration Features:  

  • Mail, notifications, announcements
  • Discussion threads
  • RSS feed notifying of new courses
  • Rating of content
  • Sharing to social media networks
  • Enhanced learner profile for social learning
  • Integration with online community platforms

Mobile Features: 

  • Fully responsive LMS for delivery on all mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets.

Gamification Features:  

  • Support for Mozilla OpenBadges

Globalization Features: 

  •  English (UK and US), Spanish,  French, German, Italian, Japanese, Dutch and Danish language localizations.

Conference Management:

This is a newly added category because of WBT Systems.  They have a conference management module integrated into the LMS.  The module allows associations to set up and manage all aspects of their conference including:

  • Creation of agenda, tracks, breakouts
  • Manage speakers, locations, rooms and resources
  • Price and display conference in LMS catalog
  • eCommerce features as described above
  • Continuing education credit tracking
  • Notification, calendaring, surveys and reporting
  • Register for “interest” for a later time

Technology: 

  • 100% Java application
  • Cloud-based, on-premise, or hosted deployments on Oracle or SQL
  • TopClass Now is their Cloud LMS version targeted for small to medium sized associations
  • Integration with webinar and virtual classroom, single-sign-on, association management systems, CRM, ecommerce, community management, social media, ERP and HRIS systems.

Reporting:

  • Standard, Custom and Ad-Hoc levels of reporting
  • Scheduled reports
  • eCommerce reports

Links to Case Studies on Extended Enterprise Learning: 

  • AIChE – American Institute of Chemical Engineers:  AIChE is a leading organization for chemical engineering professionals, with over 49,000 professional and student members from over 100 countries.
  • National Education Association (NEA):  NEA Academy offers approximately 500 online courses, the greater majority of which are provided by third party training suppliers.
  • AHIP:  America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), the national association representing approximately 1,300 health insurance plans providing coverage to more than 200 million Americans, is a leader in health insurance education.

Position Papers on Extended Enterprise Learning:

Links to Online Demos of LMS:

  • 9 part, pure product demo series available on their website here
  • You can request a personalized demo here

In the News –2016:  

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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 (162 Articles)
John Leh is CEO and Lead Analyst at Talented Learning, LLC. Named among the “Top 20 Global Elearning Movers and Shakers” in 2018 and 2017, John is a fiercely independent LMS selection consultant, blogger and podcaster who helps organizations develop and implement learning technology strategies – primarily for extended enterprise applications. His advice is based on more than 20 years of industry experience, serving as a trusted LMS selection and sales adviser to more than 100 learning organizations with a total technology spend of more than $65 million. You can connect with John on Twitter at @JohnLeh or on LinkedIn.

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