Market Leader OutStart Unveils ‘Next-Gen’ Single-Source Learning Content Management System

Boston – July 8, 2009 – OutStart Inc. announced the immediate availability of OutStart LCMS 2009. OutStart spent more than two years developing and refining OutStart LCMS 2009 before bringing it to market.  The new OutStart software delivers next-generation learning content management system (LCMS) functionality to develop, manage, maintain and deliver modular learning, which replaces the one-size-fits-all courses that have been a staple of the training industry for decades. 

“The demand for LCMS technologies has grown even in a tough economy.  Organizations realize that LCMSs enable managers to react quickly to today’s changing business environment, providing the agility they need to deliver timely, personalized, consumable learning content to support their staff and customers,” said Massood Zarrabian, CEO and president of OutStart.  “To meet this demand, and extend our leadership position, we invested in this next-generation platform, while we continued supporting our customers with our existing solution.”  

“In our consulting practice, we see a critical need for LCMS technology,” said Bryan Chapman, chief learning strategist for Chapman Alliance.  “While learning management system, or LMS, technology goes a long way to support many training functions, it often falls short of putting proper emphasis on ‘content’ as the most important function of the training department.  By contrast, LCMS solutions are ideally suited to support a content-centric learning strategy.” 

“We asked ourselves, ‘How can we re-architect OutStart LCMS to deliver more value for new and occasional users as well as power users and subject matter experts?’, ‘How can we leverage the best web 2.0 technologies to maximize functionality, scalability and performance?’, ‘How can we best support and enable extensibility within the corporate IT environment?’ and ‘How can we do it while protecting our customers’ investment and providing a convenient migration path for them?’” said John Alonso, CTO and co-founder of OutStart.  “OutStart LCMS 2009 is our answer.”
“In using OutStart LCMS we have seen great results in our ability to manage and reuse content globally,” said Mary Beth Schuckman, Yum! Brands LCMS manager.  “We are looking forward to the new release of the product as we feel it is a real step forward in the learning content management market and will help our content developers and learners be even more productive.”
OutStart LCMS2009 – Four Key Functional Areas:

OutStart LCMS 2009 offers capabilities to address four key functional areas.  These are:

1. Single-Source Development.  OutStart LCMS supports single-source development and multi-channel delivery, with the ability to ingest a wide variety of content into native OutStart LCMS content.  OutStart LCMS serves as the single-source hub for assembling, re-using, managing and deploying all types of learning modules.  This learning ranges from online and mobile learning to instructor and student guides, assessments, surveys, job aides and help files.

2. Manage.  Different locations, different versions, lack of accessibility and a lack of visibility are just a few of the challenges to managing learning content and assets.  OutStart LCMS meets these challenges by providing a single source for content, with comprehensive management services.

3. Maintain. Ongoing maintenance of content can be one of the most expensive and time-consuming tasks within the content life cycle.  OutStart LCMS supports increased efficiencies through its rapid editing, extensive review-management functions and immediate re-publishing. 

4. Deliver. Single-source, multi-channel delivery provides organizations cost-effective options and solutions for the delivery of learning modules ranging from online learning to instructor guides, job aids, help files, mobile learning, assessments and the ability to provide training in multiple foreign languages.  

OutStart LCMS 2009 Highlights

OutStart LCMS 2009 supports each of the following four functional areas and offers optimal scalability, performance and extensibility.  Highlights include:

• Configurable user interfaces enhance productivity and lower the entry barrier for new or occasional users.  The power, options and complexity associated with most enterprise applications often bewilder users, unless they use such applications all the time.  OutStart LCMS 2009 offers configurable, highly intuitive interfaces to meet the unique needs of all types of users, for example, new users, occasional users, subject matter experts and the power user.  This approach lowers the entry barrier and enables new and occasional users to be productive, which broadens the range of users who can develop, manage, maintain and deliver learning content.  OutStart designed the configurable user interface for higher productivity by trimming the steps that users required to accomplish each task. 

• Built on web 2.0 technologies.  OutStart LCMS 2009 is architected using second-generation web concepts to provide the best possible user-centric experience, while maximizing scalability, performance and extensibility.  This enables organizations to quickly and affordably integrate the LCMS with other enterprise systems.     
• Integrated social business software to support the developer and SME as well as the learner.  OutStart LCMS 2009 includes an integrated social business platform enabling developers and SMEs to share ideas, best practices, tips and tricks, development standards, ask questions and more.  OutStart LCMS also integrates with OutStart Participate.  OutStart Participate is a social business software platform that bridges the gap between formal and social learning.  Bridging this gap is essential to the learning process. 

• Developer functionality for enhanced productivity and efficiency.  Individual workspaces enable developers to focus on just the assets they need to manage the task at hand; content preview allows in-line content creation and editing; bulk assignment of content properties eases support for large content repositories; and, simple keyword search with grouped results plus advanced metadata-based search offer the flexibility to get developers to the content they need to reuse in the most efficient manner.

• Reuse, repurpose legacy content.  To protect an organization’s investment in (and enable broad contribution of) learning content, OutStart LCMS ingests and disassembles legacy and third-party content in a variety of forms, including SCORM, AICC, MS Word and PowerPoint.  OutStart LCMS also imports, manages and reuses media assets such as FLASH, video and images.  All externally authored assets immediately become reusable learning objects within the LCMS. 

• Capabilities to enable broader reach and management.  OutStart designed its new LCMS to enable wide participation in the learning-content life cycle by giving users just the permissions and functionality they need to successfully perform their tasks.  LCMS managers can use the “roles administration” function of OutStart LCMS 2009 to:  a) give (or prevent) users access to any of the system’s available actions, and b) define content status.  Review management includes in-line commenting and editing, document mark-up preview and acceptance for the management of suggested changes.

• Delivery options.   In addition to single-source, multi-channel delivery capabilities ranging from online learning, to instructor guides, job aids, help files, mobile learning, assessments and the ability to provide training in a multiple foreign languages, OutStart LCMS 2009 offers advanced e-learning delivery flexibility to best insure content meets a learner’s needs.  An advanced assessment model supports criterion-based dynamic prescription and reporting.  And content viewers and page layouts are configurable, which offers developers the ability to define custom business rules around content presentation and behavior. 

• Aggressive standards support.  OutStart LCMS 2009 maintains prior versions of (and aggressively supports the latest) industry-leading standards such as SCORM and AICC, enabling OutStart LCMS users to share knowledge and reuse compelling content.  Supporting standards improves a developer’s productivity and delivers rich and productive experiences to learners.

OutStart is the world’s top maker of LCMS software, ranking approximately five times larger than its nearest competitor.  OutStart also holds 90 percent of the LCMS market share in defense, finance, government, high-tech, professional services and telecommunications. 

About OutStart

At OutStart, we’re out to solve a big problem. 

Most organizations posses a wealth of underutilized collective intelligence around their products, services and processes.  This underutilization negatively impacts employees, customers and partners, costing precious time and money while hindering performance.  Said simply, “what your people don’t know will hurt you.”  

OutStart’s social business software and learning systems act like a lifeline:  connecting people to the know-how, creativity and learning they require to be efficient, effective and agile. 

Since its inception in 1999, and backed by leading venture capital firms, OutStart has matured into a profitable and rapidly growing company with an impressive range of customers who are surpassing expectations and delivering exceptional business results.  The company is honored to have customers like Autodesk, BB&T, Boeing Company, BT, CVS Caremark, DIRECTV, EDS, Internal Revenue Service, Lufthansa, McDonald’s, MetLife, Prudential, TiVo, Australian Defence Force, U.S. Navy, UK Ministry of Defence, Verizon Wireless and Yum! Brands.   

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