As I am shortly taking up a new and exciting position with Hitachi Data Systems, I wanted to reflect on what has been a great 5 months spent with the UK’s leading e-Learning company, Kineo.
My role at Kineo was specifically around consultancy support for their larger corporate TotaraLMS customers – and for me, this was new territory on two counts: a) working on the vendor side of the fence and b) working with Open Source based products. Now, I have personally had a Moodle site for a number of years – it was a great way of having a second place to test SCORM content! But as I have said many times, Moodle is not an LMS and has no place in the regulated world which I have inhabited for the last 25 years or so.
Which brings me to Kineo: When I met Sven Laux & Steve Rayson for the first time, it was clear that they were doing something about that! There is still development to be done but Totara is certainly headed in the right direction. But don’t just take my word for all of this, check out the recent eLearnity report on Moodle and see what David Wilson and his team think.
There is another though another dimension to the LMS debate and this is where Kineo have also added real value. The User Interface is often cited as a major challenge for enterprise LMS implementations but when engaging a vendor which has a rich history in elearning design, you stand a better chance. Kineo have a lot more experience in creating engaging UI’s than the average LMS vendor (although it is also fair to say that a lot of LMS customers don’t invest enough in learning how they could improve their UI themselves – maybe a later blog for that one!).
The final major insight I gained relates to Corporate Purchasing processes – and yes, I have been on the other end of this for many years! But the Open Source model is something that seems to be totally alien to many corporates and they don’t always get it. If you are one of those people, then go read this Learning Solutions article:- “Levelling the software procurement playing field”
Another interesting Open Source tool from the Kineo stable is Mahara – an e-portfolio tool. My own website at Andywooler.com is now powered by Mahara.
So, a great company with great people – you might ask why then is Andy leaving? It’s simple. I had an offer I couldn’t refuse and am returning to the client side of the equation with a Saba customer where my 10+ years experience of working with Saba and their product set can be fully utilised.
It’s been a fun ride and my thanks to all at Kineo – I leave you wiser and much richer for the experience and also with these thoughts about Moodle from the users themselves: