We discuss how to implement WordPress LMS internal training platforms for Fortune 500 companies with Daniel Klein of Joseph Studios in this episode of LMScast with Chris Badgett of LifterLMS. Daniel and Chris dive into how LifterLMS can be used as a scalable tool for onboarding employees and the value of open source resources.
Daniel is an expert in LifterLMS implementation in all forms, but especially at the corporate level. Through Joseph Studios he works with companies to incorporate LifterLMS into their company for internal training and marketing purposes. He creates a partnership relationship with clients and delivers a solution-based program for using LifterLMS to meet their needs.
The combination of WordPress and LifterLMS is ideal for business entities of any size to use for onboarding training for employees. Daniel and Chris talk about how the WordPress and LifterLMS platforms are stable, but-free, feature rich, and not fragile, so they can scale very well.
Many businesses are turning to platforms like LifterLMS to do their onboarding training, because it is a lot cheaper and more accessible. Online training is also much more leverageable, so a manager can create tutorials and have that content serve many more people than it would be able to with one-on-one personal training alone. The course content can also be updated in a course to accommodate new policies or operations in the company.
One huge advantage to the LifterLMS platform is that it doesn’t have any limitations on how many courses you can have or how many students can be enrolled, so it is truly scalable. You do need to have good hosting, but there is no limitation on usage with the LMS itself.
Open source solutions have been proven to foster innovation and success much better than privately held ones. You see many companies today, especially with things like AI, trying very hard to keep their secret formula hidden. Daniel shares his story of being greatly inspired by the founder of Pixar Edwin Catmull’s book Creativity Inc. In that book Edwin talks about how he would share and collaborate with everyone rather than taking the secretive approach.
To learn more about Daniel Klein you can head to JosephStudios.net, and also check out LifterLMS.com to find out more about how you can add online courses and memberships to your WordPress website. If you like this episode of LMScast, you can browse more episodes here. Subscribe to our newsletter for updates, developments, and future episodes of LMScast. Thank you for joining us!
Chris: Hello, and welcome back to another episode of LMScast. My name is Chris Badgett, and I’m joined by a special guest, Daniel Klein from Joseph Studios, that’s at josephstudios.net. Daniel is an expert in LifterLMS implementation but especially at the corporate level and for internal training purposes. Daniel, welcome to the show.
Daniel: Thanks, Chris. Glad to be here.
Chris: It’s great to have you, and I think this is going to be a really interesting episode, because a lot of times we’re talking to the education entrepreneur, the solo course creator, but I’m aware there’s this whole ecosystem of companies, big businesses implementing, training, using WordPress, but it’s not as much in the limelight. Can you tell us why this is emerging right now? Like why now? Why WordPress? Why LifterLMS? Why in the corporate context?
Daniel: Yeah, definitely. So to kick things off, everyone needs training when they start a job, everyone has that growth curve when they start day one, week one at any job whether it’s a Fortune 10, 50, 1,000 or starting a mom and pop gig. You need to learn the job. It’s difficult. It’s time consuming and it’s costly, and a lot of the corporate entities that do this kind of training, they have these monolithic learning management systems that are tied onto things like their Oracle implementation or their PeopleSoft implementations which handle a huge swath of the rest of the enterprise.
It could be HR, it could be supply chain inventory management, vendor management. These monolithic huge multi-million dollar implementations that I’ve helped on many times just eat up the entire company so everyone’s grabbing at okay, so what else did we get with these $3 million and we still have a couple hours left with these $250 an hour resources so what can we do actual, let’s do an onboarding course, or at the end of the year comes around they have money to burn, let’s do some other courses for onboarding.
But there isn’t a tool to come back to and say okay, so my department or my manager wants to build a course for this next group of five people that are coming on board in three weeks, and they have that choice between am I going to do a 50 or $100,000 implementation with this huge long process or can I go with WordPress and LifterLMS and knock something out in a couple weeks and then when these folks join, it’s not me with a PowerPoint presentation or us doing OJT for the next six weeks.
And now I’m a half person and there’s a half person and we’re doing even less, but now they can focus on doing their job and the onboard folks can focus on getting onboarded, and so it’s a win-win. You have WordPress which is everything you need in a software platform, it’s stable, bug-free, feature-rich, and not fragile, it can scale really well, and so can LifterLMS, and I think people are finally starting to put two and two together and make that happen.
So a lot of departments, a lot of divisions are coming to us and saying we would like this for our training program for our OSHA compliance or PCI or HIPAA compliance program. We want to make this part of our department and for a whole lot less than 150 or $100,000, they can make that happen so it’s very attractive from both angles, I think that’s why it’s happening now.
Chris: That’s awesome. It sound similar to something we’ve seen at the small business level with tools like Infusionsoft for example. Some people criticize Infusionsoft for trying to do too many things and there’s this whole thing of all in one solution versus best in breed. So I totally get what you mean, sometimes even at LifterLMS, we do that where it does a lot around the needs of the learning management system but if we’re going to integrate with an email marketing tool we’re going to not build our own email marketing tool, we’re going to integrate with the best in breed.
I get what you mean. It’s a slippery slope of that all in one magic tech stack but it doesn’t really work that way in the real world and there’s that whole vendor lock in issue of I already bought it, I got the implementation, and that momentum is already going but it takes some leadership inside of a company for somebody who’s in charge of training or in charge of IT to at least take a pause and see if there might be a different way, maybe a more cost effective and better way. How do you get through to those people?
Daniel: Well, it does like you said take a certain type of person. It does take a leader who’s willing to say listen, we made a decision, it was good for what we wanted it to do. We need to do something else that’s going to be better for these other things. We did PeopleSoft. We did Oracle because of reason A. That was perfectly fine. Maybe it’s still valid, maybe it’s not. We’re not going to do it for the LMS part. We’re not going to do it for these other things, here’s the reasons why, cost effectiveness, ability to transform quickly, feature-rich.
That’s all valid. All quantifiable. We can lay it out there for you. The reasons why it’s going to be much more cost effective to go with LifterLMS than Oracle, PeopleSoft, or anything else out there. Now another thing that might want to also consider when you go through these transformation is does it work and I think LifterLMS at this point, it just works.
How much better can it get, it works, there’s no bugs, it’s stable, it’s enterprise ready, and it’s scalable. At that point, you just start evangelizing it, and people are going to start showing up. There isn’t much else that I think you could do if other things come out in the future, that’s cool. But at this point, yeah, it’s ready to go. Fortune 50s can absolutely use this in every department for everything that they need. I’ve seen that first-hand, and yeah, it’s happening.
Chris: Yeah. These times right now for WordPress are really interesting. It’s looking at something like over 30% of the entire Internet is powered by WordPress. Open source used to be something that was of fear. Now it’s a benefit because there’s all these companies working together building products, building an entire ecosystems of solutions instead of one company trying to do it all by themselves and perhaps some small innovation skunkworks team in a warehouse somewhere.
Open source, it empowers a lot of innovation and it makes complete sense why WordPress is scaling the way it does. It also doesn’t have, like with Lifter, the metered pricing where it can be as big as you want. You can have as many courses, you can have as many instructors, you can have as many enrollments as you want. There really is no limit. You need good hosting if you’re going to have a high traffic site, but that’s just the basic foundational IT question. Do you have good hosting that can handle high traffic? Which I’m sure is not a problem for corporate clients.
Daniel: No, most corporate clients these days are on Amazon web services or Azure or they still have internal DC. All of those options work with WordPress and Lifter, you just need a server and you’re good to go, install the software. Super user-friendly as you know and a lot of folks out there know. 30% of the Internet knows WordPress is really easy to use and manipulate and then you can tie it into other things.
You can have a DevOps model built into your WordPress stuff so that you can have a development environment, a UAT, or a testing environment, your live site, you can transport code smoothly through all those environments. You can have quality gates to those environments. You can put in firewalls to protect yourself. For the open source code, if your IT folks are scared about using open source code and burning into license issues or compliance issues.
There are tools out there now like Flexera, Black Duck, WhiteSource that can scan that code at third-party locations or in Euro and DC, and make sure that that open source code is good to go, so we’re getting to a point where code is code and it doesn’t really matter where it get it, or where it comes from as long as it meet some kind of level of quality whatever you determine that it, you’re good to go.
Chris: Well said. Well said. You touched on internal training and I know sometimes this is a topic. If you look at the LifterLMS website. It looks like predominantly, it’s for people who are trying to monetize their knowledge or build online schools or online universities for revenue purposes. But there’s this whole world of internal training and there’s a whole feature set inside of Lifter where you can lockdown an entire website, you have membership that the HR manager could manager.
You can actually create an intranet not on a public Internet where it’s like literally behind the firewall inside your company. You can do that with WordPress. There’s this voucher code system where a manager could give out codes to their new employees or if there’s a new training available and then they can go see if the manager can look and see who’s taking a training.
It’s not just about monetizing knowledge and selling courses for profit. The tool is there to help you with internal training. Can you maybe describe, and you’ve done some internal training, LifterLMS implementations before. What are the types of things that your clients are looking for? What do they want to do with internal training with the LMS?
Daniel: There’s a really cool book out there that inspired me and formed the culture around the company Joseph Studios. By a guy named Ed Catmull. He founded Pixar and he wrote a book called Creativity Inc., and that book inspired me tremendously. In there, he describes a problem where everyone wanted to build 3D models in kind of an animated way, but no one have the technology to do it and all these different design shops were super hush hush about their trade craft.
No one was sharing information, and he was one of the first people I think that started everything is open source, everything is open to the community, I’m not going to have any secrets. I would love to share and collaborate with you. That’s all happening today. Everything should be open source. Everything should be shared freely and especially within departments, there shouldn’t be silos, you should have opportunities to learn and grow everywhere.
Now here’s how that answers your question. Imagine you have a department and you have specialist within the department who learn different things as projects and programs go forward, so you have Mike who just finished doing a team event. You have Sarah who just finished writing some script, whatever. Someone just finished doing some kind of cool training somewhere else, and you want to bring that knowledge back into the rest of the tribe and spurt it out so that no one dies from that knowledge.
No one gets promoted. God forbid, no one gets promoted. How do you do that? LifterLMS is a solution that a lot of folks are turning to. When that person comes back, okay, throw together a course real quick. How easy is that? You go in to launch courses. You build out a couple sections, couple lessons, you throw it together, you slap an icon on it, done, post it, and then everyone has access to the knowledge you just learned, so rather than it being let’s say, let’s talk about competitors in here.
You have in VSTS, or Visual Studio Team Server, a lot of folks do that. There’s a wiki feature in there. We can collaborate on kind of a shared document. There’s Google Docs where you can collaborate on shared documents. There’s some Atlassian, like Confluence. Where you can collaborate and share knowledge that way, but there isn’t a tool that will do a QA, QC check on what you’re learning. It’s just for the better part, it’s a Word document. It’s just bunch of words, maybe pictures, maybe well organized, probably not.
And with LifterLMS, you add a couple extra capabilities, so I wouldn’t be providing you a course for your training. I would also be providing a quiz to make sure that you are catching what I’m picking up, or you’re picking up what I’m putting down. And that’s something that isn’t out there. The ability to monitor who is learning and who is not, who has time to learn, who does not, that’s important. You should be spending 10, 15% of your week learning and growing. You can monitor that. So I think it provides a couple extra opportunities that Confluence, VSTS, SharePoint, Google don’t offer.
And that’s the ability to not only provide training to the rest of your tribe, but QA, QC that other people are actually learning this stuff. The tribal knowledge is spreading.
Chris: Yeah, those are really good points, and I think that I spend a little bit of time explaining the difference between an online course in a learning management system. Lifter does both of those things, but it’s that LMS or the learning management system piece where there is reporting. You can look at how Mike is doing. You can look at how Sarah is doing. You can see which one of the safety training course, people have activated the safety training course, if they’ve completed or not. Who’s slacking, who hasn’t done it yet?
That’s the whole management piece. It’s not just getting the multimedia content out there in a nice learning friendly structure which is the online course piece. It’s all there. It’s all part of LifterLMS, it’s a complete package. I really like what you said around the culture of learning. I think that big organizations. A lot of at least in the tech world, I know places like Google, there’s this flex time where people can learn things and work on other projects.
I think Google is doing pretty well but the culture of learning is. It’s important. It’s important today especially as the world seems to be changing faster and faster, complexity and the rate of change is increasing. Allowing your employees to be adaptive and learning is critical. You also mentioned capturing value from the best people on the team.
I think traditionally even in big organizations, the training process is almost like well, can you just shadow Mike for a couple weeks, and it happens, it’s not recorded. What if Mike quits? But what if you were to just record that training, like turn it into a course. Doesn’t matter if Mike quits, it’s infinitely scalable. Mike can continue to update it as he finds new things that make his process or whatever he’s teaching even better. There’s just a lot of leverage in it.
Daniel: Yeah. There should never be a single point of failure for sure. That’s a very scary thing. If you’re watching this right now and you have a department of 100, 150 or more people. If one of those people quits, and your whole department goes down, you have a very serious problem. But I’ve seen that in almost every organization I’ve been a part of. There’s always one person who I hope they never go in vacation. It’s a terrible thing to say. I hope they never get promoted. It’s a terrible thing to say.
Why are you fostering that? Don’t do that. And then also on the flip side you have a lot of millennials that job hop every one or two years, and they’re desperate to learn new things and explore this awesome business world that you’ve thrown them into, it’s just a great opportunity for them to do that and figure out who they are and what they’re trying to do, how they can bring value, it’s a great opportunity for a lot of different folks, different styles, all sorts of stuff.
Chris: Yeah, and if we talk about onboarding like new hires. There’s two ways to do it. The new hire could show up on day one, they’re not really oriented, and they got through the hiring process, but they’re not really oriented, and now they have to go shadow Mike or the months previous they’re going through the onboarding courses, learning about the company brand, learning more about their job, and they show up on day one ready to hit the ground running. It’s a choice but you have to slow down to speed up in the sense that you have to invest a time to create internal training program.
Daniel: Let’s look at it from an auditing perspective too. A lot of organizations with HIPAA compliance, with FDA compliance, FAA compliance require folks to have certain levels of training prior to touching anything. You have to have read your SOPs, you have to have done your training, and they want quantifiable proof that everyone within a certain amount of time has done that, and LifterLMS can do that.
You can track every single person when their training was done. What their score was, when it’s up for renewal, and you can prove that before Jamie touched that airplane, before Ronnie touched the patient, they were completely trained. We are within regulatory compliance, you can print it all out. Give it to auditors, we’re good to go.
Chris: There’s the basic OSHA stuff as well, right?
Daniel: Yeah. If there’s ever an accident and you have an OSHA finding or an OSHA recordable. Yeah, that’s something it consider is whether or not they were trained for sure.
Chris: The other piece too for the corporate world is continuing education requirements. Sometimes there’s training. It’s just mandatory, but other times it’s for development of your people and maybe you require people to have certain number of hours, of continuing education requirements. You can outsource that, but you can also in-source that or do a mix, where they can take some from within the company, and some from other sources but in-sourcing continuing education is efficiency gap that’s out there and ready if companies are ready to invest in that.
Daniel: I bet people could save many tens of thousands of dollars by doing that.
Chris: Absolutely. Well, one of the reasons I want to interview you Daniel is I heard from my customers what a great job you did for some people with your business, Joseph Studios. When people come, they’re like, he did such a great job. It wasn’t just like it’s great, it’s awesome, thanks for the introduction or whatever. It was amazing, it’s great. It’s still great.
When I hear that, I’m just for one, really grateful for what you’ve done and taken good care of somebody that who we share as a customer, someone that’s in our ecosystems or whatever. It makes me want to introduce you to more people out there in the world looking for great service. What do you offer at Joseph Studios? What’s on offer?
Daniel: How we differ ourselves is that we take a solutions-based approach more than a transactional approach. The folks on the team are LEAN six sigma black belts, green belts. Meaning they have quantifiable experience and process improvement, defect management, and remediation. A lot of us are project management professionals have Agile Scrum experience.
So what does all that mean? It means when we device a solution for you, it’s going to be holistic. It’s not going to be a band-aid fix. It’s going to be something that carries you forward. Now until however long you need or want. We’re able to quantify the cost of our projects because we’re LEAN six sigma green and black belts. We can say quantifiably this project will pay for itself in three years. You can [inaudible 00:19:56] just fine. Here’s what you need for capital, and we can build a proposal that you can take in front of your board of directors, president, or a bank and say here’s why this make sense mathematically.
So it’s a different level, it’s a different Echelon of engagement. It’s not a vendor, it’s a strategic partners relationship where you invite us in, and we work together to come to a solution that’s agreeable not just for you but your investors as well as us in our ability to further help other clients. So yeah, it’s a triple win, win for your investors, win for you, win for us. It’s all good around.
Chris: That’s awesome, and who is the ideal client? Who do you like to work with?
Daniel: Ideal client is anyone who’s willing to take on that solutions-based quality approach. So if you want something that is going to be quality, that’s going to stand up to the test of time, that’s going to be enterprise-ready and scalable, give us a call. If you want something that’s going to better your department, and it’s going to be a part of something that is going to help you guys grow, we would love for you to be a part of our portfolio. We would love to share experiences with you and help you see that value realization, so yeah.
Chris: That is awesome. Well, Daniel Klein. Ladies and gentlemen. Thank you so much for coming on this show. He’s at Josephstudios.net, go check that out.