7 Must-Have Features Your Corporate Training System Needs

When it comes to implementing a corporate training solution at your company, the conversation will inevitably turn to features. Yet, if your company is tied into a cumbersome Learning Management System, you’ll understand why only 39% of users rank their LMS features highly. So what is everyone else looking for that these systems aren’t providing?

In order to gain a better understanding of why organizations are abandoning these legacy systems in droves, you need to get a better picture of the user experience causing the inevitable exodus. If you’re evaluating a new corporate training solution for your company, these ones are what you should be looking for. 

Ease of Use

The number one reason why companies shift from an existing LMS or content management system is because of the poor user and administrative experiences that typically accompany these platforms. 

Once upon a time, it was par for the course to spend a week in an intense onboarding session or get wrapped up in a lengthy training manual, but we can all agree that is no longer the best use of your team’s time. Choose a corporate training solution that is flexible, intuitive, and easy to learn, with a familiar interface your employees already know so the platform becomes as useful as possible, quickly. 

Content Management Tools

Whether you always have training content available, or you’re looking to fill in some gaps, it’s essential your training system also functions as an effective content management tool. 

Every day, your employees are spending more time than they should be looking for product sheets, referring back to training modules or all-hands meetings, scouring for team notes, other company assets, and more. Sadly, many organizations turn to solutions like Google Drive, Dropbox, or some other file repository to house their content. But this is a big mistake, since it not only makes finding the right documentation next to impossible, it’s time your workers are spending on tasks that don’t yield any ROI and instead cause lots of lost productivity.

But there’s a better way: look for a training solution that not only allows you to sort your content into channels and playlists, but offers the ability to tag and annotate content with contextual documentation so people know what they are looking at, what it’s used for, why it’s relevant, and what changes its undergone. 


Of course, having great content management tools is only half the battle: you also need to make sure whatever system you’re using to manage it is secure. In today’s ever-changing digital landscape, it’s important to protect your most sensitive information from attacks and would-be hackers. It’s been reported that “63 percent of companies said their data was potentially compromised within the last twelve months due to hardware- or silicon-level security breach”, which underscores just how essential it is to make sure your solution can protect your most sensitive information. 

Of course, there are also other reasons you want to make sure your learning solution is up-to-date on the latest security protocols, from smaller needs like restricting certain content to particular teams or users, to employing the use of end-to-end encryption, SSO, and custom access controls to ensure information is only shared with the personnel you grant permission to.


Flexibility is absolutely essential to whichever corporate training solution you choose. You’ll not only want the ability to custom brand your portal so it feels like a natural extension of your company, but you’ll want to make sure that your training system integrates with a wide range of best-in-class programs for a frictionless experience.

Support for Mobile Learning

To get the most mileage possible out of your corporate training content, it needs to be as easily accessed as possible. We’ve become such a mobile-first world that you’re doing your enterprise a complete disservice if you’re using a platform that doesn’t allow your employees to have the most convenient experient possible. 

Not only does mobile learning result in a 72 percent increase in engagement, but it also results in massive cost savings and higher revenue for companies that implement it. So whether your team is in the office, on the road, or working from home, they’re able to access key company news, training and announcements, at a time that is most convenient for them, from anywhere in the world, even if there’s no wifi connection. 

Testing and Assessment 

Integrating tests and quizzes into team training materials isn’t a new concept, but it’s one that’s increasingly gaining traction and it’s essential to gauge your team’s understanding of materials and concepts. 

But implementing quizzes doesn’t just help you, as a leader, evaluate understanding, it’s also a powerful motivational tool: 83% of those who receive gamified training feel motivated, while “61% of those who receive non-gamified training feel bored and unproductive” (Yikes!). 

If you’re not sold on the value of gamification, consider this: when training is engaging for the end-user, they have more of a reason to stick with it. Studies have shown that there is a huge correlation between gamification and training: when elements are added to modules, motivation climbs and boredom drops to just 10%. Those are stats you just cannot ignore.


You can’t improve what you don’t know which is why it’s critical to look for a solution that will go beyond basic data points and give you a holistic view of things like:

  • Which training is being watched 
  • Who is watching it and; 
  • How long they engaged with the content
  • Where they might be getting stuck
  • What topics you may need to create more content around

Your corporate training tool should also give you the option to generate custom reports based on data points like channels, data range, department, users, and uploaded media.  All of these will give you a better look at the impact your program is having and what the ROI is.

In order for you to get the most mileage out of your corporate training system as possible, it’s time to get serious about the way you enterprise implements, distributes, and handles learning. By making an investment in a good system, you give your workers the tools they need to succeed while improving engagement and growing your company’s bottom line. 

CircleHD Makes Platform Free for K-12 Educators Affected By Coronavirus

Platform easily integrates with already in-use technology like Zoom for a more seamless learning experience

March 16, 2020 – SAN FRANCISCO, CA – CircleHD, a Bay-area based company known for its highly-secure, learning experience platform (LXP), has just announced that it will make its solution free to any K-12 teacher or educational institution that has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping the globe.

“The spread of coronavirus has caused my son’s school to close until mid-April and they don’t have any e-learning resources available,” says CircleHD’s Chief Executive Officer, Santosh Sahoo. “We wanted to make CircleHD available to any other individuals or institutions also experiencing a shut down so they can continue doing the incredible educational work they do every single day with minimal interruption.”

CircleHD’s LXP enables users to use a combination of video, audio, and slide deck content to easily create class modules that can be accessed on desktop or mobile, 24/7, from anywhere–even where there is no wifi connection. The platform integrates with Zoom, which many educators have turned to during the outbreak, and features powerful analytics tools that track key metrics like which content is being accessed, when it’s being accessed, and overall student progress. Teachers are also able to create and assign quizzes in order to gain a better understanding of how well knowledge is being absorbed and retained. 

In addition to the aforementioned, CircleHD’s Learning Experience Platform also contains a catalog of tech-forward features that can help instructors get more from their educational content including:

  • Ability to target and restrict learning modules to specific people
  • Automatic transcription which enables content to be transcribed and close-captioned at the point of creation
  • AI-powered search to identify where specific terms and phrases occur in your content library
  • iOS and Android mobile apps allow users to access content on-demand

Sahoo finishes, “With schools from coast to coast shut down to prevent the spread of coronavirus, we hope CircleHD will be a useful tool to mitigate downtime and help educators continue to effectively conduct classes in these uncertain times.”

The company has asked any teachers or institutions wishing to use their platform to reach out directly to sales@circlehd.com



CircleHD is an Enterprise Learning Experience Platform founded by Santosh Sahoo and Vinay Ubale in Bellevue, Washington. Headquartered in San Mateo, California, CircleHD brings enterprise-grade security, privacy, and compliance to company videos, presentations, and podcasts. 

How to Get More from Your Customer and Partner Training

When it comes to scaling your business, customer and partner training should be at the forefront of your mind. Your company can have the greatest product or service around but it won’t matter if the learning curve is so steep that adoption is difficult.

Once upon a time, writing an absurdly large manual, coupled with a week-long, on-site seminar was the way customer and partner training was conducted. It doesn’t take a lot of imagination to easily understand why this method is ineffective, difficult to scale and prohibitively expensive. 

Providing adequate training for your partners and customers is the first line of defense against lost business and it has been shown time and time again to reduce churn. Today’s next-gen enterprises are taking new approaches to increase knowledge retention and cut down on the time it takes for customers and partners to become familiar with their product. Webinars, consulting sessions, and seminars are all popular choices but more and more companies are turning to Learning Management Systems (LMS). 

At first glance, these platforms may seem to have all the bells and whistles your organization needs but, in truth, an LMS may not always be the best fit for information that needs to be shared with an external audience. 

A Bit About Learning Management Systems (LMS)

LMS have a long history of being used for higher education and was built with students in mind, rather than customers. Most systems are designed to be used internally to deliver training modules to the users and while they do provide tracking and quizzing capabilities, it can make things for your customers difficult for a number of reasons. 

Your Customers Are Not Your Students

LMS was instrumental in bringing the offline college experience online and allowed instructors to digitize courses, course catalogs, and other instructor-led materials. But “time is money” and with ever-shortening attention spans, businesses no longer have the wherewithal to handle long, complicated training sessions before the product becomes useful to them. 

In an increasingly online world, people have turned to platforms like YouTube when they need to learn a new skill or want help with a certain product feature. Instead of wasting time to search for the appropriate training module, people can simply search for what they need, click to watch the content, and get on with their day. 

Long Implementation Times

Implementing an LMS at your organization comes with a significant investment in cost, time and potential disruption to your organization. Assuming you already have the resources available, an LMS can take 6-12 months to implement. You’ll have to account for:

  • Planning 
  • Project management
  • Configuration
  • Reporting
  • Systems integration

If you don’t already have content, curriculum structures, evaluations, assessments, and competencies available, you’ll need to spend extra time putting all that information together. Designing a course alone can take up to six weeks or longer, adding additional stress and down-time in your organization. 

Not only will you need to assign specific team members to take on extra work, but those people may end up wearing many different hats, which can lead to burnout and wear down engagement. It’s very likely that you may need to hire additional help, adding extra cost to the tab. 

Poor User Experience

Even if you do get through the implementation process with your LMS, there’s a high probability that your hurdles won’t end there. According to a study by Brandon Hall Group, only 33% of LMS users say they’re satisfied with their current system, and “poor user experience” is cited as the biggest reason why.

The problem is so widespread, it’s been estimated by Capterra that “as many as 80% of LMS implementations fail because leadership doesn’t make UX their top priority when evaluating systems.”

A few ways LMS usually comes up short in the user-experience area include:

  • Nightmare navigation
  • Lack of personalization
  • Inaccurate labeling and tagging
  • Annoying pop-ups
  • 15+ clicks before you can start learning
  • Video not supported natively
  • Complicated SCORM training requires multiple toolchains

Of all these UX issues, there is one, in particular, that should be singled out if you’re considering LMS for partner and customer training; There have been many reports of these platforms being difficult to update with new content, which means you’d be training customers and partners on outdated features and information. Ouch!

Subpar Mobile Experience

There’s no doubt that mobile devices touch every single part of our daily life. The average person spends 2 hours and 51 minutes per day on their mobile device. Since mobile has surpassed desktop as the primary way to access the internet and 89% of that time is spent on apps, it’s critical that your content be optimized for smartphones. If it’s not, your end-user experience will suffer and create additional barriers to adoption. 

Not only do many LMS lack dedicated mobile apps and browser compatibility, but there are plenty of vendors still using fixed and fluid mobile layouts instead of responsive ones which allow information to be wrapped and scaled based on a user’s screen size (Hot tip: if you’re reading this on your mobile device, you’re seeing an example of a responsive layout). 
What customers and partners need in an on-the-go, globally-connected world is the ability to access knowledge from their phone at a time that’s convenient for them. Mobile-optimized training allows content to be reached quickly and increases overall user satisfaction. 

Security Issues

Many traditional LMS systems require users to access training from a computer in the company’s office, and only on the company’s local network making this solution a logistical nightmare for anyone outside of your organization. Some content is exclusive to your partners, some is for the public. As such, it’s important that you can send information to certain individuals or groups using an access control feature–one many LMS don’t have.

Even if these systems allowed you to share information with your partners and customers, the chances that the information would be properly secured is pretty low.  High-profile data breaches and confidentiality leaks have become the new norm and many LMS lack even the most basic of security protocols. 

An example of this can be seen in the rise of videos in training: Many LMS vendors have antiquated support and are still using programs like Flash Player, which has major security flaws and can leave sensitive information more exposed to would-be attackers looking to exploit vulnerabilities. Definitely something you don’t want to risk at your organization.

Weak Analytics

In order to understand the impact your customer and partner training is having, robust analytics and reporting are essential. Most LMS are extremely limited in their ability to provide the insights leaders need: these systems might provide stats on quiz scores and number of users who completed a module, they don’t give you data that would help you understand:

  • What content is being accessed
  • When content is being accessed 
  • How often the content is accessed
  • Who is viewing it and for how long
  • Where additional training may be needed

Best Practices for Successful Partner and Customer Training

When you offer your partners and customers education, you’re empowering them to get the most out of your product. At the end of the day, Learning Management Systems are not designed for this use. You will be much happier if you find a solution that is focused on securely delivering training to external populations. 

When considering a customer and training program, there are a few steps and best practices you should follow:

Consider Your Strategy

Think clearly about the goals of your training program and who it’s meant to serve. You’ll want to begin by collecting information from different departments: Tap into your sales, marketing and customer service teams, as they’ll likely have some intel on common customer pain points and topics they’re interested in.

Establish KPIs

It’s all well and good to have a strategy for your training program, but you’ll also need to have a clear picture of what success looks like from an analytical perspective. Measurable goals will help you accurately evaluate your training program and keep the team on track.

Create Easily Consumed Content

Like many other functions in the business enterprise (we’re looking at you, marketing), content is king. But it’s not enough to just build the content, it also needs to be compelling and engaging. Be sure to:

  • Keep It Short: From course length to sentence structures, keep as much as you can brief and concise. 30 minutes should be the maximum amount of time it takes to get through a training section. If you’re able to, 3-5 minute “micro-learning” modules can be a great knowledge builder for customers who are constantly on-the-go or who are strapped for time. If you have a more complex topic to cover, consider breaking it down over several sessions.
  • Add a Human Element: Whether they’re accessing training from behind a computer or via their mobile device, your customers are still human. Write content like you would express it in a formal classroom session. Keep your sessions engaging by saying no to buzzwords and telling relevant stories or anecdotes.

  • Embrace Non-Traditional Content Types: According to Forrester Research, people are 75% more likely to watch a video than to read documents, emails, or web articles. And no wonder since the human brain processes video 60,000 times faster than it does text. Not only is this format more engaging for the end user, but retention levels rise to an impressive 65%.

“Non-traditional content” doesn’t need to stop at video, though. Many companies are also successfully using podcasts to engage their workforce, customers and partners. And since listening is more of a passive action than watching a video or reading, it’s much easier to do while multitasking or on-the-go

Choose Your Solution

The solution you choose can make or break the success of your customer and partner training. As mentioned, LMS isn’t a great solution for an external-facing program so you should look for something that allows you to:

  • Store content on an intuitive, interactive platform, rather than folder-based file storage
  • Decide whether content should be shared with one person or multiple people and set appropriate access controls
  • Share content securely, even if it’s outside of your organization
  • Support multiple types of text, video, slide, and podcasting modules in one place
  • Integrate the system seamlessly with your existing tech stack
  • Take advantage of robust security features like SSO and encryption in transit/at rest
  • Use advanced search capabilities
  • Access an extensive analytics suite 

CircleHD provides an all-in-one secure system that can centralize your internal resources, external customer training, and gated partner content on a singular platform. Not only does CircleHD grant you complete control over every piece of your training program, it also integrates with systems your company is likely already using such as Hubspot, Marketo, Google Analytics, and Salesforce. 

Help Everyone Get With the Program

Putting together an effective customer training program is easier when you get support from other parts of your organization. You’ve already brought other teams on board to provide intel in step one, so be sure to tap into those resources for further information.

Be sure to link your training to customers and partners when they are onboarding and add links in any and success emails. Your sales and support teams can also help you identify any problem areas, which you can use to develop new content. 

Measure Success

As with any organizational initiative, strategy should never be static. You should always be evolving to meet the needs of your audience and adjust your program to provide more value. A robust analytics suite will give you insight into what modules are most popular, what users may be struggling with and what features you may want to develop more content around. 

Using a strategic approach to training can keep your partners and customers on the same page and driving results is simple. By shrugging off LMS you open your enterprise up to creating a modern customer and partner enablement program that will help you improve your product, increase satisfaction, and grow your bottom line. 


Do you want to learn how CircleHD can power up your enterprise with more effective partner and customer training? We’d love to hear from you