6 Types of Fees to Check Before Buying LMS
Did you consider all the cost involved in buying your new Learning Management System? Are you completely aware of hidden charges of your new Online Learning Platform? Is the Online learning platform and the costing involved in procuring it justifies the expected ROI?
While planning to buy or before deciding to finalize the LMS Vendor, you might have spent a week’s effort to go through everything in detail but there are still a few commercial points that you may skip. You might have created a feature list, checked user demo, gone through reports, etc. and obviously direct cost before finalizing the LMS vendor. You should still try to figure out if there is any hidden fee or any charges linked for later stages. You should try to understand at what all stages or for services LMS vendor may charge and how much he will charge approximately to have some approximate budget. Online training budget is one of the most critical considerations while selecting your next eLearning Management System.
Let us understand in detail the types of fees that may be hidden and you need to re-check it before buying your new Learning Management System.
- Set up Fee: It is an initial fee for procuring the eLearning Management System from the vendor. If you are buying the license version to be hosted and get the setup done on your server; the LMS vendor will charge one time setup fee. The LMS vendor will take care of complete setup i.e. from installation to configuration. In case you are opting for an online learning platform, it is known as the Sign-Up fee. The fee may however change on the basis of various factors like type of LMS, Customized features, Add-On modules, internal other integrations, etc. The pricing may differ as per the LMS vendor and so the payment plans too like monthly, quarterly, annually, and so on. Get to know at the start itself about other charges or fee that may come up as a surprise for you, check the rate card and ensure that the cost you are paying is the final amount for buying your eLearning Management System.
- License Fee: License fee is the charge paid to the vendor of Learning Management System. It is not a fixed fee charged to the user. It is also called as renewal fee that needs to be paid to the LMS vendor either on half-yearly or annual basis. The license fee is charged to the keep the contract valid for the said duration and to ensure that all the LMS user logins are active to be used. Check from the vendor about this fees and it can vary from vendor to vendor. It can have various points to consider like licensing cost, licensing agreement, payment frequency, renewal frequency, etc. You should also check if there is any limitation on the number of logins as per your agreement. Moreover, ensure that only one member from your Learning and development is allowed to upload the training content and multiple users can use the login at the same time.
- Maintenance and Upgrade Cost: As per your business strategy, you may need the Learning Management System to get it integrated with other business units and with other tools available. You may wish to integrate the online training system with your department logins like HR, Sales, Development, etc. for smooth functioning of processes and programs. If you need such integration, talk to your vendor about the compatibility and the additional cost that may incur. You should also ask if their team has experience of doing such integrations with third party products. This may help in figuring out the challenges that may come up while integration at your end and cost implications for the same. You should check if there are any system upgradation costs involved at later stages and it is better to quantify them as far as possible. If it is too costly, you can also check with your own IT team if they can maintain the system and handle the upgradation required. This could help you save in recurring cost for your Learning Management System. Maintenance and Upgrade costs are either charged on fix monthly / annual basis or as per the task at occurrence of the event. Ask as much as possible so that you can avoid the surprises at the later stage.
- Training Cost: Learning is never ending. It holds true for your trainer too and so, they need to get trained on your new Learning Management System. You need to ensure that your trainers are trained in all the aspects of the new LMS platform so that there are no queries from their side while using the system for providing the training. There might be chances of having some complexities to use the LMS platform that needs to be addressed at the start. Training cost may differ on the basis of number of trainers to be trained or number of hours / sessions required for the training. You should also take a note about additional training required at the time of upgradation of the system; so, be clear about the training charges as well. Some vendors may provide free and some may provide paid training post upgradation.
- Support Cost: Costing for support depends on the LMS Vendor. There are separate charges levied by the vendor for different types of support in most of the cases. It can be for Call Support, Email Support, chat support, ticket support, etc. The LMS Vendor may charge either the fix monthly cost or variable cost on the basis of number of support requests. There might be vendors providing support absolutely FREE of cost as an add-on benefit to its clients. However, many LMS vendors may charge separately for such support features and it may depend on the type of support you may choose. This is an important consideration as you may need regular support for your trainers.
- Add-On Modules: Complexity may arise on this topic. You may find it difficult especially if you are non-technical to understand the modules and their relative pricing. There may be separate cost for add-on modules that may be most important for your learning management system and may not be the base module included in the base price. One of the most important features requested from any such Online Learning platform is Report. Most of the vendors provide basic feature initially and for customized or detailed reporting module, the charges are additional. Hence, it becomes necessary to check in detail the report structure before you purchase the LMS platform. There may be other such add-on modules required as per your business.
We have tried to include some of the features or parameters wherein the LMS vendors can ask you for the additional hidden costs at the later stage. These features, services or modules may be smartly excluded from the basic pricing and it may be difficult for you to understand while purchasing the Learning Management System. You should be careful while selecting the best and low cost Learning Management System for your organization. To know more in detail about the Learning Management System, read our other blogs.