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Why LMS Companies Need Deep Partnerships with Content Providers

• 4 min read

Forge strong partnerships to derive L&D value from your partner program

In the past three years, we’ve seen some of the world’s biggest brands pair up across all types of industry verticals — oftentimes in unexpected ways. Covergirl and Lucasfilm? It happened. Ikea and Dreamworks? That also happened. Prior to the release of the Force Awakens, Covergirl and Lucasfilm released a line of Star Wars makeup and Ikea teamed up with Dreamworks to create a new line of children’s toys.

In addition, a lot of interesting partnerships also emerged in Tech. In 2016 we saw Apple team up with luxury clothing brand, Hermes, to create an Hermes-branded Apple Watch. Spotify joined forces with Uber to promote Spotify Premium and to create a more personalized experience for customers, and Snapchat partnered with Square to create Snapcash.

So why are these superbrands teaming up and how can we apply this to the learning space?

Finding the value of a partner program

Not all partnerships are created equal and not every company is a good fit for a partnership. Why form a partnership in the first place? It depends on your company’s goals. For companies that have similar values and business goals, a partnership makes sense. When leveraged correctly, a partnership can aid in increasing brand awareness, expanding reach, growing sales capabilities, and strengthening your product.

In the LMS space, partnering with a content provider produces invaluable results on both sides. For an LMS company, including learning content creates a more holistic product. LMS companies aren’t just selling a platform: they are selling a way for companies to train their employees and help advance their careers. By including learning content alongside the LMS, you offer a total solution that ultimately helps the customer achieve their goals. For learning content providers, having a strong relationship with an LMS adds additional value to the content itself. An LMS can provide more robust tracking capabilities that is easier to manage and scale.

With this in mind, how do you go about creating a partnership that works? We’ve rounded up some of the best tips and tricks to keep in mind when creating a successful partner program:

Establish a mutual understanding of value propositions and core business functions

For companies entering a partnership, it is imperative to have a clear understanding of what each side is striving to accomplish. Is one partner more focused on product integration? Are they trying to increase customer retention or new business? Prior to entering into a formal program, companies need to be mindful of each other’s goals.

Regardless of the product differences between companies, each company should complement the other and help achieve strategic objectives. Covergirl wouldn’t have worked with Lucasfilm unless each company recognized that generating ticket and product sales in addition to awareness were key goals.

Find an executive sponsorship or a champion

Every idea will always be more successful if it has buy-in from the top. Whether it’s a C-Suite executive enthusiastic about the partnership or a product team member, finding a champion is essential. Strategic initiatives can oftentimes become buried under other projects and having a champion to advance the cause will help bring life to a partnership. Additionally, when product and sales teams are passionate about partnerships, other departments such as marketing often follow.

Be transparent & don’t be a “taker”

Is that integration going to have a slower timeline than expected? Are learning courses not loading the proper way? Partnerships are built on trust and transparency. This can foster an environment of collaboration and can bolster future initiatives. Each company should be adding value to the other. Rather than focus on individual goals, companies can avoid becoming “takers” by continuing to always help partners achieve their goals. OpenSesame provides value to its learners and LMS partners through APIs and integration options for various LMS companies. Conversely, an LMS company benefits through improved access to a robust online library of learning content.

Companies should be invested in each other and some companies are better suited for partnerships than others. In the learning space, content providers like OpenSesame and LMS companies like Docebo generate a significant amount of value when combined – not just for the partners involved but ultimately for the consumer. That’s a partnership worth forging.

Victor Belfor is the VP of Partnerships and Distribution Strategy at OpenSesame and has fifteen years of Go-To-Market strategy and execution experience.

See how an LMS, supported by the right content integrations and partnerships, can drive business and help your customers achieve their goals seeing Docebo in action today.