SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT PARTNER - LEARNING MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
Headquartered in Los Angeles, California, USA, our client (partner) offers software development solutions on the Microsoft and Open Source technology platforms to their clients. Our partner is a leading IT services provider catering primarily to clients in the Southern California region, with a large development team working with some of the largest firms in the region.
Over the last two decades, our client has worked with several technology partners based offshore in different countries for projects on different technologies at different billing rates. After almost a year of discussions, the client started with testing just 1 senior software engineer on the Microsoft .NET platform with Pegasus InfoCorp, allocated on a long term basis.
Here, we discuss one of the projects that our team has delivered with our client (partner's) team. The end client is one of the largest eLearning solutions firm in the world. It offers complete online learning and management solutions to its clients - to develop and manage their workforce and organizational training strategies, saving organizations their time and money. The company offers high end learning management software systems and online course libraries, with content and branding that can be customized to the organizational needs.
At its inception, the company had developed a basic learning management software solution which they generally provided to all their clients. With the advances in technology and specifically in the learning management solutions domain, the company was looking to re-develop and revamp their existing software and build a high end and far more advanced solution to be at par with their competitors in the market. The company planned to outsource all their elearning software development work – to re-build and manage the learning management solutions, while they themselves focusing on their other services, that is, marketing the same and providing content and material for the actual courses. The company contracted with our client (partner), for all their software development work. The initial scope discussed was to build a completely new web based solution for online learning management, which would enable users to take courses, answer tests or quizzes, track scores, view reports etc through the system. The elearning solutions were to be developed in on the .NET platform along with telerik controls for enhanced user interface display and interaction. Also, all the courses in the system were to follow the SCORM (Sharable Content Object Reference Model) and AICC (Aviation Industry Computer-Based Training Committee) standards so that they would be more interactive and thus be beneficial to the end clients.
RESOURCES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
A team with 2 resources on the Microsoft .NET platform was allocated by Pegasus InfoCorp for the eLearning project and it was quickly scaled up to 5 resources within a few months. The team has been working on the project in the agile development methodology, since the last 3 years and is focused on developing the elearning software - continually building new features and customizing based on the end-client’s organizational requirements. The elearning software is distributed to different organizations by the company and the main modules of the software are basically customized to each organization’s training and learning requirements, branding etc. The .Net team allocated, works on the following main modules for the learning management system, which are constantly customized for each end client. All requirements for these modules are created assigned to the .net developers by the client and are tracked through a project management tool.
The main modules include:
- User Role Management: In the user management module the .NET developers have developed the ability to create new users, assign user roles, job types and access permissions for a user, belonging to the organization. Users are also assigned to groups and branches created in the system, based on which the courses are assigned to each user.
- Course Upload, Assignment and Enrollment: The team has built an elaborate feature for users to be able to upload SCROM or AICC course material, assign courses to users or groups of users within the organization. The users also have the ability to enroll themselves for the courses assigned to them, view online course material, take online tests/quizzes, get graded/scored based on the test results, view reports/charts on the progress and many more features.
- Live Courses (Classroom) and Meetings: We have also built a scheduling module for the users to be able to schedule live meetings and courses. Ability for the users to view and show interest in attending the live sessions. Also users would be able to view other users attending a live session, number of participants, agendas etc.
- Notification Emails: The .NET team has also worked on a “notifications” module, that basically sends auto notifications to the users on courses that they have been assigned to, course dates, courses that have elapsed, new courses created etc. All the notifications are configurable through the application and can be set accordingly. Notification emails are sent through a windows application created by the .Net developers. The application runs every hour and sends all relevant emails based on the set configuration rules.
- Reporting: The .NET developers assigned to the project have also built a complete reporting system for the project. The .NET reports developed are of three main types – User, Course and General Reports. The user reports consists of a wide range of reports for the users, to be able to view detailed reports based on numerous parameters such as courses attended, courses completed, other users attending the courses, courses that have lapsed and many more. Similarly the course reports basically provide detailed statistics on all courses created, courses assigned, groups they are assigned to, course dates etc and the general reports cover all other general parameters such as total users attending each course, courses created grouped by course types, total users that have passed the course etc.
Over the last 5 years and still going strong, the client has steadily increased his team with Pegasus InfoCorp over various projects. The team now spans across specialized and generic technologies in the Microsoft domain and also in the Open Source LAMP domain. On the Microsoft platform, this has involved custom development on the ASP.NET and SQL Server platforms, along with specialized resources on the SSRS, SharePoint, SilverLight and Microsoft Dynamics platforms as and when required. On the Open Source LAMP platforms, this has included resources with skills on custom development on PHP and also specialized resources on platforms / frameworks such as SugarCRM, Social Engine, eLgg, CakePHP and Symphony. We now also have a specialized network, server and technical support team that provides 24/7 support to the client with resources allocated round the clock. These resources help our partner provide remote network and server support to their clients and also video conference support for basic technical issues related to hardware, printers etc.
Specifically on the eLearning platform, our team has worked on building and customizing the elearning solutions for different domains such as hospitality, corporate, retail, law and many more, based on the clients business needs. Our application is being used by several companies in the US, with thousands of active employees in the system. The client's works closely with the team, discussing requirements and enhancements on a daily basis.
We have always received positive feedback and appreciation from the client on a regular basis and we strive to continue providing the best quality service to the client and carry forward our long term relationship with the client. The client has remarked on different occasions - "Pegasus InfoCorp always allocates good resources with good communication skills and delivery". And they have mentioned, "Over the years, Pegasus InfoCorp has emerged as our first preference for work. We still look at other firms once in a while for comparisons, however, Pegasus InfoCorp continues to be our preferred partner".