fingers pointing at each other in integration blame game

Integration: Avoiding The Blame Game

Fulcrum Labs
70 posts

You: The integration between my new learning technology and my LMS is broken. Can you help me fix it?

LMS: Everything looks fine on our end. Talk to your learning technology provider – the problem is on their side.

Integrated Learning Technology: Everything looks fine on our end. Talk to your LMS – the problem is on their side.

You: Now what?

Congratulations. You’ve just played the integration blame game!

 

This no win contest, where each side blames the other for integration challenges (even though each side promised integration would be “no problem”), can be incredibly frustrating.

And it also seems pretty unavoidable. How can you know whether or not the two systems you’re trying to connect are actually capable of integrating? Outside of getting a degree in computer science and accessing the source code of each platform, it’s almost impossible to tell where the integration fault really lies.

 

Tips to Avoid the Integration Blame Game

 

While we can’t speak to the LMS side of this problem, we can offer some insights into how to determine whether or not a learning technology can deliver on its integration promises. Here are three things to look for in a learning technology provider that will help you avoid the integration blame game:

They have an introductory product– When learning technologies offer an easy, low effort way to get started, chances are they have their integration game locked down. Companies use introductory products to entice you to engage with their software more deeply. If the introductory product fails in any way (including integration), youhaven’t lost much. But the learning provider has lost a lot – your company as a potential customer, possibly forever. They’re highly incentivized to deliver on their promises. So, if they claim that integration is “worry-free,” you can be more inclined to believe it.

They have technical staff dedicated to integrationAnother way to make sure you don’t get caught in the middle of the integration blame game, is to make sure that the learning technology provider has IT resources dedicated to integration. This means that they have a technically robust team that is able to understand both the standard and unique integration requirements for a variety of systems – from LMS’s and CMS’s to HRMIS’s and performance management systems. We recommend you look for a provider that has:

Single sign on (SSO) authentication capabilities via LTI, and SAML

xAPI expertise to connect disparate systems

Experience integrating learner access andanalytics from the learning technology to your LRS or LMS

Existing customers have no complaintsWhen partnering with a new provider, we always recommend asking for customer referrals. This is a great opportunity to answer any questions you may have about the integration experience from someone who has actually deployed the technology. Some questions to consider include:

How quick was the integration process?

Did you experience any issues? If so, how were they resolved?

Did you have to engage any of your own internal resources to fix any integration issues?

At any point, did they blame the other provider for the integration issue without offering any tips to remediate it?

How would you qualify their approach to integration? Hands on? Hands off?

By asking a few questions up front, you can save yourself the worry, frustration and headache of the integration blame game.

We’d love to show you how Fulcrum Labs integrates its adaptive, personalized learning technology with existing and legacy systems, and help answer any integration questions you may have. We’re also happy to provide a few referrals of our own:

 

“The online platform provided by Fulcrum is exceptional, access was exceptionally robust. In two years of course offerings, we had only a couple of instances where students and faculty could not access the platform–and in those cases, the problem was typically resolved in under an hour.”

– Jeffery P. Braden, PhD Dean of the College of Humanities & Social Sciences,North Carolina State University

And also:

“With Fulcrum, you get a stable, workhorse of a platform that can handle tens of thousands of users; and a collaborative, insightful partner who will always go above and beyond to help you meet your strategic objectives.” 

–  Nathan Schultz, Chief Learning Officer Chegg

We’d love to hear about your goals. We love a challenge. Let’s do a call and see how our platform might help you.