Undoubtedly, the ability to integrate a variety of third-party content and existing enterprise applications has become a sore point for established players in the lms space. The race to be more flexible than the next provider has been fierce and reached new heights during the show, as a number of companies announced open, object-based architectures. Consequently, it seems that flexibility and scalability may cease to be points upon which to compete.
KnowledgeNet debuted a hosted lms that leverages its new Open Learning Architecture (a phrase that the company trademarked) with Monsoon, the company's e-learning platform. The Open Learning Architecture is a framework for integrating third-party technology and supporting key content standards such as aicc (Aviation Industry cbt Committee), scorm (Shareable Courseware Object Reference Model), and ims (Instructional Management System). Customers will be able to choose KnowledgeNet's new lms or third-party lms products, which can integrate into Monsoon via the Open Learning Architecture.
Meanwhile, Generation21, as well as several other vendors, announced alignment of their products and services with scorm, aicc or ims standards.
LearnFrame, Draper, Utah, unveiled Nebo, describing it as a "universal platform." The company claims that Nebo is the most flexible JavaBeans-based e-learning platform to date, capable of easily integrating any type of content with the widest range of existing enterprise software. The flexibility is possible, according to LearnFrame officials, thanks to kyso, the company's patent-pending, proprietary technology.
DigitalThink, San Francisco, introduced Enterprise Gateway, the industry's "first open, scalable, secure protocol" that integrates e-learning with enterprise business applications. As part of the announcement, the company unveiled partnerships with Boniva Software, Click2learn, Docent, isopia, Teamscape and ThinQ, all of which have committed to supporting the protocol.
Pathlore, Columbus, Ohio, announced a guarantee to its customers, saying they can now "plug and play" multiple vendors' courseware with the company's lms.
Clearly, it's not important which company was first to market with the above introductions. What is important is the fact that customers are beginning to make demands. And vendors are listening. —T.G.