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LMS platforms to further integrate with social learning

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Integrated talent management and social learning software suites are increasingly moving into the mainstream, leading to consolidation at the high end of the learning management systems market. Cath Everett reports.

According to HR research and consulting firm Bersin & Associates, large companies in particular are replacing their older platforms with more integrated offerings that enable internal social networking, knowledge sharing, collaborative learning and the provision of expertise directories.
Josh Bersin, the firm's president and chief executive, said: "The LMS market has expanded to one of total learning platforms. While the market appears to be mature, it actually is re-emerging as companies replace their legacy LMS systems with integrated talent management and social learning platforms."
The global market is forecast to have grown by 9% during 2010 to hit £1bn, with two-thirds of sales being generated in North America. But over the year ahead, Bersin & Associates predicts that revenues in other parts of the world will increase by between 7% and 11%, while growth in North America will slow to between 2% and 5%.
Vertical market software specialists are driving growth across all geographies, however, with sectors such as healthcare leading the way in cutting-edge areas such as mobile learning. Software-as-a-service offerings are also becoming increasingly popular due to their adaptability.
The report entitled 'Learning Systems 2011: The Definitive Buyer's Guide to the Global Market for Learning Management Solutions', also revealed that LMSs continued to generate one of the lowest user satisfaction of any HR system, however.
While such offerings were acknowledged to boost productivity and generally meet business needs, they were considered poor in areas such as overall usability, reporting, integration and customisation.
Moreover, even though talent management and continuous learning are expected to be the future of the sector, key procurement drivers today remain improving the management of elearning and enabling the more effective administration of training.

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