| By Dave Foxall
IMC's CLIX Learning Software—A Vendor Solution Brief
Established in 1997 as a spin-off from the Saarland University, IMC is headquartered in Germany and currently has approximately 180 staff and offices in nine countries. Rated as a leading 'visionary' in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Corporate Learning Systems, IMC offers global learning and talent management suites (for all manner and size of organizations) as well as e-learning content development, and a wide range of consultancy services in the field of learning and training management. The company's flagship CLIX learning management software is available in both on-premises and SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) deployment and is known for its seamless integration with other IMC products and other systems. Currently around 4M people utilize IMC's e-learning software products in over 1000 companies worldwide.
IMC CLIX Learning Management System Application Purpose
CLIX Learning is a multilingual software product that tracks knowledge and learning activity and fits with IMC's other software products such as authoring packages PowerTrainer and Lecturnity, electronic performance support LiveContext and the CLIX Talent Suite. Key CLIX Learning software functions are as follows:
- Organization Management – which includes multi-client, group and role management functions; as well as an advanced authorization system.
- Content Management – which includes compliance with international standards such as AICC, SCORM, QTI and IMS Learning Design; wide support for processes supporting the development, versioning and approval of learning content; and tools for publishing the content in training catalogues and portals.
- Process Management – which includes event-driven workflow and notification functions; flexible options for creating educational programs, courses, syllabi and curricula; and a variety of Web 2.0 or social tools to support communication and stimulate informal learning.
- Testing and Assessment – which includes feature sets for the creation, administration and execution of tests (even in diverse learning arrangements); wizard-driven question production (requiring little to no programming knowledge); and the capability to import QTI-conforming test questions into CLIX or export questions created in CLIX for utilization within other systems.
- Authoring – which includes the feature sets for creating customized learning content, tests, glossaries, and feedbacks.
- Resource Management – which supports simplified planning, control, analyses and assessment of resources; conflict management to avoid double booking of resources; and a permanent overview of currently available capacities and their use.
- Reporting and Compliance – which includes a sizeable number of preconfigured reports; individual definition of query criteria for tailored reporting; and direct export of data into MS Excel for further processing.
- Evaluation – which enables the production of online employee and customer questionnaires or manual surveys in PDF format, as well as the ability to create surveys in multiple languages.
- Social Learning – which supports collaborative work through the use of chat facilities and forums. Further, the CLIX Mobile App enables form factor-specific mobile learning software capabilities via smart device access to learning, content management and event planning.
However, it should be noted that a variety of other add-on modules are also available; including Data Warehouse (for the interfacing of data between the learning system and wider HRMS/Accounting systems); Virtual Classroom (for simultaneous remote learning events); and CLIX Learnbase (for offline-client learning where internet connections are weak or non-existent).
IMC's Customer Target Market
IMC's CLIX is focused on the broad corporate learning market and is flexible and scalable enough to cater to businesses in many sectors and with workforces from 500 to 500K. Though most well-adapted for use with universities, schools and training providers, IMC's current marquis customer list includes: Adecco, BASF, Bayer, Brita, Lufthansa, and Volkswagen.
IMC's Perfect Prospect Profile (PPP)
CLIX Learning software may suit organizations that require flexible global, cross-border learning management functionality that sits as a fully-integrated part of a wider learning & development provision. Alternatively, this learning & development software is also potentially highly suitable for commercial training providers.
IMC's Technical Specs
CLIX is available via either on-premises or Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) deployments (with SaaS, IMC contractually guarantees a system uptime of 97%). The latest stated system requirements include:
- Browsers: MS Internet Explorer 8.0+ and Mozilla Firefox 3.5+
- Webservers: WebSphere 7.0; MS IIS 6.0; Apache Webserver 2.0 and 2.2
- Servlet Engines: IBM WebSphere 7.0 (Solaris); Tomcat 5.5 (from 5.5.23); BEA Weblogic 10
- Java Virtual Machine (JVM): With Websphere: IBM JDK of used Websphere version; With Tomcat: SUN JDK 1.6; With BEA: JRocket JDK of used BEA Weblogic version
- Databases: Oracle 11g (from 18.104.22.168) and MS SQL Server 2008 (from SP1)
- JDBC Drivers: With ORACLE: ojdbc5.jar and MS SQL Server: jtds-1.1.jar
- Operating Systems: Microsoft Windows 2003+, SuSE Linux Enterprise 10; SUN Solaris 10; IBM AIX
IMC's Primary Competitors
CLIX Learning's key differentiators are its global scope, social media capability and high level of integration with other systems. Competitors showing similar scope and features include Meridian Knowledge Solutions, Plateau, Saba, SumTotal and SkillSoft.
Strengths of IMC's CLIX Learning Management System
- Learners can create personalized curriculums of blended learning.
- Strong integration between different IMC components and other systems.
- SAP NetWeaver-certified.
- Social media functionality.
Weaknesses of IMC's CLIX Learning Management System
- Brand awareness is lower outside Europe compared to competitors.
- According to Gartner, some customers have cited product reliability as an area for improvement.
- Service Level Agreement (SLA) is lacking compared with similarly-positioned competitors.
Bottom-line for IMC's CLIX Learning Management System Software
IMC's CLIX Learning system offers a multi-functional and multi-lingual learning service with a high level of integration possibilities. Rated by Gartner as a leading international learning management system, the incorporation of social media functionality suggests that IMC aims to maintain this level of forward thinking capabilities and performance for some time to come. The company's key challenge in the short-term however, may be to prove themselves in the highly-competitive North American market.
Categories: HR Learning Systems
Tags: IMC, CLIX
Author: Dave Foxall