Upskilling has become a critical priority for companies wanting to remain competitive in a rapidly-evolving market. Advancements in technology and changing consumer preferences mean that companies that fail to upskill their workforce are quickly left behind. 

To stay ahead of the curve, businesses must invest in their workforce by providing continuous learning and development opportunities. That way, the company remains relevant, boosts productivity, and retains top talent, all essential for driving growth within the business.

A learning management system (LMS) is a key part of upskilling. LMS has become increasingly popular in recent years, providing centralized employee training platforms that make creating and delivering training content much easier. 

An LMS can help employees access engaging learning content to fill skill gaps and internal subject-matter experts share their knowledge and core skills with peers. It can also help companies track elearning and create personalized learning paths for team members.

But an LMS can become more hassle than helpful if it's not integrating well with your company's current tech stack. You need to be able to integrate your LMS to reap its full benefits. So let’s discuss LMS integration, why you should care about it, and how you can seamlessly integrate it to meet your organization's needs. 

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What is LMS integration and why does it matter?

LMS integration connects your learning management system (LMS) with other tools and platforms within your organization's tech stack. This integration enables the transfer of data between systems. The best LMS platforms offer built-in integrations with your Human Capital Management (HCM) systems, content creation tools, video conferencing tools, learning tools, and other software applications. 

The goal of these integrations is to create a seamless learning experience for employees by integrating different tools into the centralized platform so they aren't jumping from app to app and data isn't getting lost in the shuffle. LMS integration helps organizations streamline their training process and improve the employee experience. 

It also helps streamline data and processes. Depending on the integration, it can push learner and skills data into the LMS from an HCM/HRIS, which leads to more personalized learning. 

Or for other integrations like Training Orchestra, you can manage all of your blended learning in one place so you don't need to do double data entry.

The benefits of LMS integration go beyond L&D

There are tremendous benefits to LMS integration. One of the most significant advantages is the increased efficiency of using the LMS. 

Organizations can reduce the burden on internal resources required to develop and deliver training material by automating workflow processes and centralizing them all in one platform. 

A common example of this is eliminating the need to enter the same data across different tools. L&D teams can save significant time by avoiding inefficiencies like double data entry and manual cross-checking. 

By reducing the time and effort needed, employees can create and use the training material, while also having time to focus on business-critical tasks and initiatives. That translates into a boost in productivity. 

LMS integration also increases learner engagement. When an organization can provide relevant and personalized training content, learners are more likely to remain engaged with the content and motivated to complete it. You can even integrate gamification features to enhance engagement with healthy competition, and improve new knowledge retention. 

LMS integrations can also help your organization manage training requests. L&D Directors are familiar with the constant flow of training requests from managers identifying skill gaps in their teams. These reskilling requests can quickly become overwhelming and time-consuming. 

With a centralized platform for managing training content and requests, you can streamline requesting, developing, and delivering training programs. You'll meet the upskilling needs of the workforce faster, ensuring employees get the training they need when they need it, and improving overall employee performance. 

LMS integration also means you don't have to make all that training material from scratch. LMS integrations allow you to access off-the-shelf training content and resources from vast libraries of pre-built courses. This reduces the time and cost of developing training and will enable employees to access top-tier training from their centralized platform. 

LMS integrations are essential for keeping employees engaged with training, helping you quickly ship company-wide training initiatives, and managing the constant flow of training requests. You can create an upskilled, efficient workforce by leveraging the power of integrations.

Challenges of LMS integration – why the details matter

While there are numerous advantages of LMS integration, it's not without its challenges. If you aren't working with an LMS system designed for integration into your current tech stack, integration can be especially costly. The cost of integration varies widely, depending on the size of your organization and the complexity of the systems and the data you need to integrate. 

Technical complexity is another consideration, and compatibility issues aren't uncommon. Integrating different systems can require custom solutions, which can be time-consuming and expensive if you need to pay for technical expertise. 

Compatibility can become an issue as apps and platforms update, too. When software updates, the integration may also need an update. This can require ongoing maintenance from a dedicated team to ensure your LMS functions correctly. 

You'll also need to keep data security in mind, as integration allows data transfer between systems, some of which might contain sensitive employee information. You'll need to ensure the integration isn't violating any data security regulations and that appropriate measures are in place to protect information. 

There is also a potential challenge in user adoption. Employees need training on using the LMS system, including all the integrations with your tech stack. It can take time for employees to adjust to new workflows, especially if the UI isn't intuitive. Slower adoptions can limit the benefits of the LMS, no matter how great the integrations may be. 

Despite these challenges, LMS integration can significantly benefit organizations that want to improve their training workflows and employee skill sets. You can overcome many of these challenges by choosing an LMS with built-in integrations for your tech stack. With plug-and-play solutions, you can realize the full potential of an integrated LMS without the hassles.

Types of LMS integration for every organization

There are some excellent LMS integration opportunities, each with its own benefits and use cases. By understanding the different types of LMS integrations available, you can choose the ones that best fit the goals and needs of your organization. 

Selecting suitable LMS integrations for your organization can help optimize your elearning and development strategies while reducing your workflow. It can also make training initiatives more effective and give you the power to upskill from within the organization. 

Let's look at some of the most common LMS integrations and examples of apps and platforms that might already be in your tech stack. We support many of these integrations through our comprehensive learning platform, 360Learning. Have a question about a specific integration? One of our experts would be happy to chat.

Off-the-shelf content integrations

This integration allows organizations to enrich their training catalog with high-quality, ready-to-use content. With a few clicks, you can connect your LMS with content created by industry leaders, giving your learners access to a broader range of training resources and more subject-matter expertise. 

Check out: OpenSesame, LinkedIn Learning, Coursera

HCM integrations

Keep people and learning data in sync without manual data entry. When an organization connects its LMS and HR systems, it ensures that employee training records are always up-to-date, providing valuable insights into training progress and helping you quickly identify your workforce’s skill sets and skill gaps. 

Integrate with: Workday, Cornerstone OnDemand, SAP SuccessFactors, HiBob

Content creation

LMS integration with authoring or content creation tools enables subject-matter experts to create engaging content with clicks, not code. This feature empowers non-technical team members to share their knowledge through compelling and hyper relevant content. It also reduces the time and effort required to make excellent training materials. 

Check out: Google Drive, Genially, Loom, Canva, SCORM

Workflow tools

Learn in the flow of work while enhancing workflow for the content creators. You can manage training programs with less time and effort by automating tasks like content creation, training assignments, and scoring. 

Check out: Slack, Zoom, Salesforce

Training management 

This integration marries the power of an LMS with a Training Management System (TMS), resulting in the automated management of blended learning needs. Features like scheduling, tracking, and reporting are efficiently managed across all aspects of the employee training programs. 

Check out: Training Orchestra

Video conferencing integrations

Remote employees and guest speakers will benefit from this integration. Organizations can schedule live training sessions within their LMS using popular video conferencing tools. You can deliver engaging, interactive training sessions and webinars regardless of where your trainers and learners might be. 

Check out: Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet

Gamification integrations

Gamification integrations can help boost learner engagement by adding game-like elements to the training platform. The integration might include motivating leaderboards, badges, and rewards, which can encourage learners to complete training and achieve goals via healthy competition. 

Check out: Kahoot!, Quizlet 

Social learning integrations

Social learning integrations allow learners to collaborate and share knowledge, creating a more dynamic and engaging learning experience. You might include discussion forums, social media sharing, and peer feedback to help learners engage with each other and build a community within the organization. 

Check out: Slack, Yammer, Microsoft Teams

Chatbot integrations

Chatbots powered by natural language models can provide instant feedback or extra guidance to learners in the flow of training. They can also help personalize the learning experience and assist employees without taxing your L&D resources. 

Check out: MobileMonkey, BotStar

Mobile learning integrations

Today's workforce isn't tied to a desk, and their learning platform shouldn't be either. Integrate your LMS with mobile elearning apps so your workforce can access training on almost any internet-enabled device. Being able to access online training and materials whenever and wherever needed is especially important for frontline employees.

Check out: Moodle, Canvas

Customer relationship management integrations

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) integrations help improve how an organization manages customer relationships and sales. Integrating the CRM platform with your LMS can improve your sales team's performance and provide better customer service. You can also track the effectiveness of your sales training programs, based on revenue performance.

Check out: Salesforce, HubSpot, Zoho CRM

Single sign-on integrations

Single sign-on (SSO) integrations enable users to log into the LMS using their existing credentials without having to remember or use multiple login details. SSO integration greatly simplifies the user experience and authentication process, reducing the risk of security breaches caused by weak passwords. 

Check out: Okta, OneLogin

How to integrate LMS in 5 straight-forward steps

Want to bring the benefits of LMS integration to your organization? Start the process by identifying your goals for the integration, including what functions you want to have, what data you need to share, and what workflows you'd like to automate. 

Then you can: 

  1. Select your LMS. You'll need to find an LMS that meets your integration requirements. Choose an LMS with an open API that easily integrates with other software applications.

  2. Choose your integration tools. If your LMS doesn't integrate with your tech stack automatically, you'll need to find an integration tool that does it for you. Something like Microsoft Power Automate may work, or you may need to develop a custom tool.

  3. Plan the integration. Create a plan for the integration, identifying what resources you need and if any security measures need to be implemented to protect data. Then create a timeline so all stakeholders know when to expect to start using the new system.

  4. Test the integration. You'll want to make sure everything is working as expected. Test the data exchange, workflows, and security measures to ensure no unexpected snags.

  5. Train your team. Once everything is integrated, train your team on how to use it. Be sure to focus on any workflows that are now automated so they see the immediate value of the new system. Provide online training materials and support resources for a smooth transition. 

If you opt for an LMS with built-in integration functionality and an open API, you can create seamless integrations right out of the box. The platform should offer intuitive tools for bringing in and using your existing tech stack, which makes centralizing your training a smoother transition.

Empower your team with LMS integrations

Integrating an LMS with other systems within your organization can provide tremendous benefits, including an improved workflow, increased engagement, and a centralized platform for managing training. 

While it can come with challenges, the rewards greatly outweigh the issues. And choosing an LMS with integration built into its DNA, like 360Learning, helps you get all those benefits without any manual coding or technical expertise. 

360Learning is a comprehensive open API learning platform that offers a wide range of built-in integration options, and a user-friendly interface for creating and delivering engaging content. 

You can seamlessly integrate learning content from third-party providers like LinkedIn Learning and Coursera to enrich your training library. You can also integrate with HCM systems like SAP SuccessFactors and Workday to keep your people and learning data in sync without adding work to your already-filled schedule. 

Ready to create seamless learning experiences for your employees, trainers, and stakeholders? Empower your team to learn collaboratively through upskilling from within. Get a personalized demo of the 360Learning platform to see how we can help you drive more impactful L&D.

LMS Implementation Cheat Sheet by 360Learning

Smooth-as-butter LMS implementation in 11 steps