Comparisons and advocacy

What's driving LMS Buying Behaviour?

 
Picture of Andy Chaplin
What's driving LMS Buying Behaviour?
 

Hi all,

Found this article today.  

http://www.eduventures.com/2016/02/whats-driving-lms-buying-behavior/

Thought it might be interesting for some.  The comments on Moodle were extremely simplistic though...

Moodle remains the best choice for institutions that still hold a nearly religious preference for open source software and those seeking the absolute lowest total cost of ownership.


All the best,


Andy

 
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moi!!! it is what is is...
Re: What's driving LMS Buying Behaviour?
Documentation writersParticularly helpful Moodlers

Hi Andy, 

"...comments on Moodle were extremely simplistic though..."

Simplistic, true, but not an argument without strong advocates, ie, the providers of commercial products. For me, I suspect it may be more correct to suggest that the article reflects the activities of the producer's sales and advertising departments. Most education administrators are still somewhat naive when it comes to technology, well, the people who are making decisions anyway, and they are the ones targeted by, therefore most susceptible to, the blandishments of a sales department. (To be fair though, most products now are workable and will provide the service they claim, with a far fewer non-service periods than they used to, so their claims are not entirely unjustified.) Less kindly I would comment that we are all subject to flim-flammery in varying degrees, and sales departments are proven experts in such nonsense. A well done magic show is still more entertaining than a news conference announcing the discovery of gravity waves.   

For years, we have heard how "everything is going to the Web." Yet the school administrators I deal with are horrified when I suggest that they would be better off if they dumped their current Client-App-Server architectures, often with devices. I advocate providing just a web service and true BYOD using nothing but Open Source products. They hear "providing just a web service" and shock sets in. The secondary of  "...nothing but Open Source products." is just so frightening for them. Worse is "true BYOD", that means they have to surrender the control they think they have, that is just terrifying. Most administrators are suspicious of stuff that is "free" or "Cheap, so I don't use those words anymore, I prefer "much lower cost, and no ongoing licensing or scaling fees." Still not making headway, but gaining some credibility I think. I don't think this is much different anywhere else in the world. Of course, in that scenario, they think their options may be severely reduced to one technology and one set of products, not recognizing the opportunities to be so flexible. 

Arrhhggg, enough....    


 
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Picture of Richard Oelmann
Re: What's driving LMS Buying Behaviour?
Core developersParticularly helpful MoodlersPlugin developersTesters

It's a good question.

I can give an example of an institution I am aware of that went through a full VLE/LMS review, which recommended Moodle (out of Moodle and a.n.other commercial system).

The 'powers that be' then had meetings with the sales team from the commercial system (there is no equivalent for Moodle, other than partners, which were not considered or invited to tender) and, of course, the institution ended up with the commercial system.

The review, at least, was made based on self-hosting either solution, yet within about 18months, self-hosting the commercial system has broken down and the institution is now cloud hosting that paid for system.

What drove that decision? - I have no idea (no explanation has ever been given by the decision makers at the institution), but certainly the fact that those who received the LMS review then only spoke to the sales staff from the commercial option has to have something to do with it!

 
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Picture of Visvanath Ratnaweera
Re: What's driving LMS Buying Behaviour?
Particularly helpful Moodlers
Richard

In other words the answer to "What's driving LMS Buying Behaviour?" is "Corruption" in certain cases? Have been there, have seen too much. This current post on /. reminded me some stories: http://news.slashdot.org/story/16/02/15/1930258/harvard-prospective-cs50-ap-teachers-must-ccmicrosoft-on-training-applications.
sad


 
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Picture of Richard Oelmann
Re: What's driving LMS Buying Behaviour?
Core developersParticularly helpful MoodlersPlugin developersTesters

'Corruption' is a strong word Visvanath and not the impression I intended to give in this instance.

I would say more a case of allowing the commercial sales staff to lead the decision makers in the direction they wanted to go and to feed their preconceptions about open source, etc. If you only listen to the FUD and don't hear the rational arguments to counter it then it makes sense. By only comparing the two systems as self-hosted solutions, they self-limited the market and by default only one of the options had a commercial marketing arm to argue its case, which led to the foregone conclusion.

I would suggest this instance is more a factor of the poor decision making processes rather than individual or institutional corruption, allowing the decision making process to back up preconceived ideas and prejudices studies - although, that's not to say it doesn't happen in some cases.

 
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moi!!! it is what is is...
Re: What's driving LMS Buying Behaviour?
Documentation writersParticularly helpful Moodlers

Perhaps we need to invent a new word, "Corruption" is too strong, for this sort of thing, although, it could become corrupt.  I suggest it is more likely that a lack of understanding and genuine relative knowledge, behind these kinds of decisions. It is easy to become a captured audience, if the marketing people get their pitch right and appeal correctly to our vanities and prejudices. It is made much easier in this market because the seriously adversarial nature of marketing and sales is a sure winner over any product that depends on goodwill and word of mouth. Besides, the US can't function without sales and marketing, no one would know what to do, what top buy, what to think. Donald for Prez!!!!   

 
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Tim at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
Re: What's driving LMS Buying Behaviour?
Core developersDocumentation writersParticularly helpful MoodlersPlugin developers

Another group for which Moodle is the best choice, is people who need all the basic LMS requirements, and then have some particular needs on top of that. For them, the customisability of the Moodle platform is unequalled.

 
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