Recent News

New: Shopify Order Processing Improvements

Posted September 30, 2018 by Josephine Huschmann

We are excited to announce the latest enhancements to our Shopify integration.

The Shopify e-commerce solution enables you to start selling your e-learning courses online. Whether you want to set up an online store or sell right on your own website, Shopify is a robust platform when it comes to online retail.

Firmwater LMS integrates seamlessly with Shopify which is crucial for many of the training companies we work with. Shopify manages the entire e-commerce back-end, plus the option to create an appealing online store to showcase products. The platform works with apps to cover a wide range of functionality and features. To integrate with Shopify, Firmwater has built an app that handles the fulfillment of online course products. The app directs purchasers to the LMS site, creates a user account, and places the chosen course into the user’s training plan.

The following changes have been client-initiated. Some of them may also apply to your business model and can be applied to your account optionally.

1. Scenario - Payment by Invoice or PO

Client #1 is transitioning from a legacy platform to Firmwater LMS. Over time, the client has established a very large customer base. Most of these customers are used to paying by invoice or PO (purchase order) for the courses offered. Our client was looking to put any unpaid orders on hold until payment had been received. In the past, we exclusively supported credit card payments through our Shopify integration and would give LMS access to purchasers straight away.

Solution

We made changes to our order processing to support this scenario. We can configure your Shopify store to fulfill and auto-redirect orders based on financial status (pending, authorized, partially paid). An order that is not yet paid, is processed and displayed in the LMS’s Orders menu but purchaser access is put on hold. Once payment is received the order marked as paid in Shopify, fulfillment gets initiated. The purchaser invitation email gets sent out and the seats are made available to the purchaser.

2. Scenario - Duplicate LMS accounts

Client #2 offers a wide variety of compliance training. These courses often require annual or bi-annual re-certification. Client #2 is therefore handling a lot of returning customers. As the time-frame between purchases can be several months, learners often forget which email address they used for their last purchase or the email address was entered with a typo. In the past, we used to require for the email address used for the Shopify checkout to match the existing LMS user account email. If a new email address was used, a new user account was created for the return purchase and the client ended up with duplicate user accounts that needed merging.

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Solution

We solved this issue by pre-populating the email field during LMS sign up but allowing to adjust the email if necessary. We also added an option to log into an existing account if a purchaser already has one. This will lower the number of duplicate accounts and will lower support cases for merging LMS user accounts.

3. Scenario - Assign courses to users straight away

Our Shopify integration supports single and multi-seat scenarios. We give purchasers the option to either assign the course to themselves or to become a Group Manager and invite others to take the course. We initiate this option with a pop-up window when accessing the courses in the LMS. This course of action has been working great for a lot of our customers. For client #3, a textbook publisher, this behavior was not ideal. For their business model, each student is supposed to purchase a single book - the option to invite others would confuse the user.

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Solution

In a case where the pop-up is inappropriate, we can now disable it for the site. This is especially useful for businesses that focus on selling B2C rather than B2B. The option to invite others is not possible and the course, or in client #3’s case, the textbook is assigned to the user straight away.

If you believe that your business could benefit from using any of these features, let us know.

New: Certificate Verification Service

Posted September 26, 2018 by Josephine Huschmann

This new feature is especially interesting for training vendors that work together with an accredited certification body.

We now have the option to add a uniquely generated Quick Response (QR) code to completion certificates. We can generate a certificate specific code that carries distinct link information. The link allows anyone to access our Certificate Verification Service. A web page accessible without credentials that display the learner’s completion details.

 

Sample CompletionCertificate with QR code

Sample Completion Certificate with QR code
Sample CompletionCertificate with QR code

Verification Service


How can I verify learner information?

To confirm the authenticity of a certificate the QR code can be scanned with a smartphone. The QR code link will open our Firmwater Certificate Verification Service page. Here you can view the learner’s name, course title, score and date/time of course completion. This means external entities can easily verify the accuracy of the information that is displayed on a digital or printed completion certificate.

Who benefits from this service?

Our client offers court-mandated training courses. Learners will have to complete the online course and present a completion certificate to the court during their hearing. A judge can now easily verify the authenticity of the certificate by scanning the QR code and comparing the details on the certificate with the LMS details that are displayed by the Certificate Verification Service.

What else is new?

We record a user’s profile name at the time of course completion. The name that gets displayed on the certificate can therefore not be changed. This guards against learners changing their profile name after completing a course to generate a certificate with someone else’s name on it.

Would you benefit from this feature? Want to learn more? Contact our Customer Success Team.

 

New: Major Updates To The ‘Add Participants’ Page

Posted September 10, 2018 by Josephine Huschmann

We want to introduce you to our brand new ‘Add participants’ page that allows you to add users in one of three ways:

  • by adding existing users,
  • by inviting users by email, or 
  • by inviting with a code.

The new page has been thoughtfully designed to make the process more intuitive and cohesive, regardless of the approach. 


Who uses the ‘Add participants’ page?

This page is used by Group Managers - learners with admin privileges. A Group Manager is anyone that purchases more than one course seat through your e-commerce store. A multi-seat purchaser can invite others to the course, oversee their learning progress, and generate reports. Another scenario where we encounter Group Managers is when LMS orders are used - orders that are added manually to the platform.

add participants page

1. Add participants

Add Existing Users

A learner with an existing LMS account can be selected from a user list. Start typing the user’s name or click ‘Browse’ to select an existing learner to add to the course.

Invite By Email

If you are looking to invite a new user to the LMS, you can invite them by email. The learner will be able to create their account and access the course.

Invite With Code

This is a brand new feature that allows you to invite learners even if you don’t know their email address. A PDF invite that includes a registration link can be downloaded and distributed to the learners. The link allows the student to set up their account and access the course.


Approach1 Approach1 Approach1
Add Existing User Invite By Email Invite With Code

2. View invitations sent

Regardless of the approach used to invite a user, any invitation can be revoked before it is accepted by the learner. Invitations can also be resent in case the learner deleted the invite or cannot find it in their email inbox. The PDF paper invite used for invitations by code can be re-downloaded in case the file/paper was lost.

If you have any questions regarding the new page, or simply would like to get in touch with our Customer Success Team to discuss your training needs - get in touch.

   

3 Reasons To Stop Using Free Sites For Training

Posted September 6, 2018 by Josephine Huschmann

Let’s face it. You spent valuable time and money creating high quality training videos and are excited to share them. Are you loading your videos to a free hosting site like YouTube or Vimeo? Is that a great experience for your audience? Stop! We have a better solution - don’t miss out!


Reason #1 — You want to showcase the quality of your training

Your company sells high quality equipment so why skimp on the product training program? A free hosting site does not portray the intrinsic value of your training to your customers. The platform you use to deliver your training should match your high quality videos.


Reason #2 — You want your online videos to stand out

By placing your training videos on a public streaming site, you have no control over access, promoted site advertising or suggested videos. Your learners may stumble upon your competitor’s video tutorials. You want a training delivery platform to make your videos the focal point and give you full control.


Reason #3 — You want to capture Big Data

Who is watching your videos? Are your online learners able to assimilate the key facts and figures? Using a free hosting site, you have limited access to the data behind your online training. Collecting data can help you analyze and improve your training program over time.


So How Do You Make a Successful Video Training Program?

The best option is to use a cloud-based platform that can be tailored to your company’s branding. An LMS (Learning Management System) is the best software to deliver your training online to your resellers, customers, partners and your own employees.


Some Features to Look For in an LMS:


  • Centralized Video Library - A platform to store and manage all of your training videos and manuals in one place.
  • Personalized Experience- A training platform that can have the look and feel of your organization.
  • Intuitive Interface - A clean, clear interface for your learners to make training easy to find and to complete.
  • Easy To Scale - A solution that provides each of your resellers/ clients their own branded LMS site to take your online product training.

Ready to take your online training videos to the next level?

Contact Firmwater today to see how your training videos look on a professional LMS (You can thank us later when you get that promotion).



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