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System Integration Nightmares: Five Situations to Avoid When Integrating an LMS

Posted by Julia Borgini on 1/8/2019
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Companies are always looking for ways to increase productivity, efficiency, and performance. Most turn to new technology to accomplish that, however the way you introduce the technology to the organization can have a big impact on its success. There's a lot of pressure to find the 'right' technology and integrate it in a timely manner to the organization. Done incorrectly, it can be disastrous for those who use it and the organization as a whole.

Deploying a new learning management system (LMS) can be a challenge for Customer Education (CE) professionals, as it often integrates with other high-visibility systems in an organization. Any negative impacts to those other systems can have large repercussions to the business as a whole.

To save you the headache of conflicts, issues, and downtime, here are the top five situations to avoid when integrating an LMS into your organization's tech stack.

Top 5 situations to avoid when integrating an LMS

1. Assuming the out-of-the-box integrations will do what you need. Many LMS systems integrate with other software and systems such as CRM and HR, but how often is data synced between them? For example, when a new learner is created in the LMS and is not a contact in your CRM or HR system, is a new contact created in the CRM or does the record remain isolated in the LMS alone? Ideally, the LMS should pass information back and forth to all of the integrated systems so each system is updated accordingly.

2. Integrating the LMS with every system in your organization at once. Pat Durante, CEdMA President and Senior Director of Technical Enablement at Talend, explains that a full integration with everything in an organization isn't the best way to show the true value of the LMS to management and the CE team. Using new software can be overwhelming for people and processes, so a phased integration approach may work better. It's important to prioritize integrations, Durante explained, and bring the rest of the systems on board in phases. For example, start by integrating the LMS with the CRM to highlight training consumption to the sales and customer success team, as well as connecting it to the company's payment processor to accept payments for ad hoc training purchases.

3. Ignoring employee training opportunities and limiting advocacy. Employees can be vocal advocates for training programs, both internally and externally, so it's important they connect to the LMS easily right away. That means integrating it with the organization's single sign-on solution to access the training programs without creating new accounts or keeping track of yet another password. Single sign-on integration removes the barriers to learning for employees right away and opens them up as an advocacy channel.

4. Skipping the LMS vendor's integration support service. Most enterprise software vendors offer professional services support for any purchase, which often includes integration assistance — for a price. To save money on the purchase, companies may skip this support option, which can lead to additional costs, time, and effort to get the LMS to integrate within a tech stack. The vendor has the expertise to advise or even perform the work themselves, so asking for help may be a more efficient and cost-effective option than hiring external contractors to do it or to co-opt other employees to help out when it's not their core function.

5. Deploying the LMS in isolation from the rest of your organization. Sharing information across teams and systems benefits the entire organization. The more data people have, the more informed decisions they can make, and ideally, those decisions have positive impacts on the business as a whole. There's no reason to isolate training information within the LMS and the training team. Yes, it's important they know how the training is being used, but the customer success team can also use that information for their programs. Gaining a better understanding of customers and prospects leads to more positive outcomes for the company, but it can only happen if information is shared with everyone. 


No matter what technology your business is using to drive progress and efficiency, your LMS doesn't need to be a problem for you. By avoiding these five situations, you can ensure a successful transition and implementation of any LMS in your business.

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