LMS Basics: What is a SaaS LMS?

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In this issue of our ongoing LMS Basics series, we’re going to take a little dip into the alphabet soup of the learning technology world by exploring what a SaaS LMS is. That’s a software as a service learning management system for those of you who still use words to communicate and think.

If you’d like to know what a SaaS LMS is or what some of the advantages are, read on.

Also, don’t forget to download our free LMS buyer’s guide either here or from the button at the bottom of this article.

What Is Software as a Service (SaaS)?

The phrase “software as a service” really implies two things:

  • You access the software through the internet (or “cloud“) instead of having it installed on your computer network
  • You pay for a license in a subscription model instead of simply “buying” the product

Other phrases that are sometimes used to describe this same idea of SaaS include:

  • On-demand software
  • Web-based software
  • Hosted software

By the way, it seems to be most common to pronounce SaaS as a word, much like the word “sassy” minus the final “y.” Folks don’t seem to pronounce the four letters S-A-A-S as individual when talking about SaaS. If you wondered about this, now you know 🙂

What Is a Learning Management System (LMS)?

A learning management system is a software application that helps you manage your training & learning needs at work. This includes but is not limited to:

  • Creating unique user records for each employee
  • Importing training materials to later assign to employees
  • Creating online training activities such as quizzes, checklists, surveys, and more
  • Managing training that happens offline, such as classroom training and field-based training
  • Making training assignments to employees
  • Sending notifications to employees and supervisors about due dates, training expirations, training assignments, training availability, and more
  • Creating completion records for completed training
  • Storing those completion records
  • Generating reports on training completion and more
  • Providing social learning tools, such as chat rooms, bulletin boards, and wikis
  • Syncing/integrating the LMS with other workplace software systems, such as your HRIS, ERP, CRM, quality management system, safety management and other systems

To learn even more, read our What Is an LMS? article.


What Is a SaaS LMS?

So, putting these two ideas together, what you’ve got is a software application to help you manage and administer your workplace training needs (the LMS) that’s hosted on the internet and that you pay for through a subscription licensing agreement (SaaS).

Not too complicated, right?

Read more about this idea at our What Is a Cloud-Based LMS? article.

Benefits of a SaaS LMS

We’ll refer you to our What Is a Cloud-Based LMS? article for a more in-depth look at this question, but here are just a few significant advantages or benefits to getting your learning management system through the software as a service business model:

  • Much like IT involvement at your end
  • Much less use of your own company’s IT infrastructure (servers, etc)
  • Quicker updates
  • More frequent updates
  • Easier, smaller payments due to subscription payment model
  • Potential for faster downloads of training if your have a geographically distributed workforce with locations in many different places

Conclusion: A SaaS LMS MAY Be the Right Solution for Your Organization

Does it seem like a SaaS LMS might be the right answer for your workforce training problems? If so, let us know if you’re got more questions or want to try one out. 

We hope you enjoyed and benefited from this brief introduction to software as a service learning management systems, or SaaS LMS. Before you move on, feel free to download the free LMS Buyer’s Guide, below. 

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Learning Management System (LMS) Buyer’s Guide

Learn what you need to know BEFORE you begin your search and get a free checklist to guide you, too.

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Jeffrey Dalto

Jeffrey Dalto

Jeffrey Dalto is an Instructional Designer and the Senior Learning & Development Specialist at Convergence Training. He's worked in training/learning & development for 25 years, in safety and safety training for more than 10, is an OSHA Authorized Outreach Trainer for General Industry OSHA 10 and 30, has completed a General Industry Safety and Health Specialist Certificate from the University of Washington/Pacific Northwest OSHA Education Center and an Instructional Design certification from the Association of Talent Development (ATD), and is a member of the committee creating the upcoming ANSI/ASSP Z490.2 national standard on online environmental, health, and safety training. Jeff frequently writes for magazines related to safety, safety training, and training and frequently speaks at conferences on the same issues, including the Washington Governor's Safety and Health Conference, the Oregon Governor's Occupational Safety and Health Conference, the Wisconsin Safety Conference, the MSHA Training Resources Applied to Mining (TRAM) Conference, and others.

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