Virtual Education Box (Vedubox) is a complete e-learning platform cloud service. It includes many integrated systems such as virtual classrooms, recorded video streaming and digital lessons, quizzes, and exams, online payment, and storage. It gives affordable, easy to use, secure service to all organizations, instructors, and experts who are interested in online training through the tools that the internet provides.
Along with affordability and security, Vedubox offers many other advantages to its users. It does not require any set-up process or technical experts as it is innovative, modern, and practical. Also, there is not any hidden cost.
Thanks to its cloud servers, Vedubox can reduce the cost of servers, internet connection, management, redundancy, and security. The platform is load-balanced, redundant, and scales horizontally, allowing administrators to add as many users as they need at any time without disruption. Vedubox is quite preferable when compared to both open-source and on-premise systems.
Open-source LMS platforms
Moodle is an example of an open-source LMS platform that is usually known as a free system. But there is a major misconception that it is free since there are many costs, including set-up, site branding, customization of features, hosting, security certificate, IT personal, administrator, training for administrators and users and upgrades or new versions. Sakai is another LMS that has similar hidden costs like this.
Moreover, Moodle does not come with a bundle of extra features, such as video conferencing and video streaming. Many features that Vedubox offers, such as webinar, web and video conferencing, video streaming, SMS, e-mail, need to be integrated through additional server and software set-up. This fact makes the hidden costs even heavier.
On-premise LMS platforms
On-premise systems are set-up on the servers that are special to the customer. However, the various features and specific technologies that Vedubox offers require a lot of servers. That’s why on-premise systems are inadequate to include all these services on just one platform. It is inefficient to set up different servers for all features.
Compared to both groups of LMS, the real advantage of Vedubox lies in its ability to offer that many services on just one platform without any hidden cost. It is useful for various people and institutions.
True Cost of an LMS
LMS is not a one-shot facility. When you want to use an LMS, there are many additional services that you might need. Hence the additional costs should be considered. The costs of an LMS can be classified as hidden costs and hard costs.
Hidden and hard costs of an LMS
Open-source software has a precarious nature in that regard. There are many hidden costs that you can only find out after you already chose the software. It is usually an inverse relationship that exists between hard costs and hidden costs.
Hard costs are the costs that a customer can guess before using an LMS. They include licensing fees, one-off set-up fees, and pricing models. The lack of license fee seems quite attractive at first, as in the case with Moodle. However, to run your system successfully during its lifetime, you need more than just a code.
As we stated above, hidden costs are essential before deciding to use an LMS as you may fail to predict the usage patterns. Here are some hidden costs that you need to think about before you use an open-source LMS.
Your LMS may require you to set up a server and a hosting architecture so that many users can use it simultaneously. For this, you need to hire a professional IT vendor that will recommend a server configuration that can support your training at least for a few years without an upgrade.
You need to pay attention to the small but essential details such as site branding. For this one-time task, you need to hire a designer or design agency.
Moodle is feature-rich, but the features mostly need to be finely tuned. You will need to customize to change, remove, hide the features that come standard. It is a considerable cost, even for a low or moderate level of customization.
For hosting, it is hard to rely on your own website. So, you should either buy your own hardware or rent space in the cloud that is paid monthly or yearly.
Security Certificate (SSL)
Depending on your provider, a security certificate (SSL) is also needed. Having a security certificate comes at a cost, as well.
There are also many costs associated with the administration side of the LMS. Set-up of additional services can be handled at once, but you need an IT professional or maybe even an IT team to assist you with server related issues.
You will need help with the administration that is going to make you hire a part-time or full-time administrator. You will need to train them to use the system effectively.
The most important hidden cost element might be the upgrades. Moodle rolls out at least two upgrades a year. You need to choose to upgrade at least once a year. Customization is a direct determiner of an upgrade cost. If your customization is high, the upgrade can be even more costly.
In short, open-source LMS platforms might not have many hard costs, but that does not make them free. On the contrary, they can be more expensive than an LMS with a one-off licensing fee. The hidden costs here are not only in terms of money but also in terms of time.
Free LMS platforms require time to find IT professionals who can set up servers and customize the LMS. Time is needed to implement new processes and to train staff or hire somebody to train them for you. It can be said that the game is not worth the candle.
In conclusion, you should remember that open source LMS platforms are not as free as they seem at first glance. You should always be aware of the hidden costs associated with operating the platforms. Vedubox is neither an open-source, free service nor an on-premise paid service.
It is a hybrid platform. Since it provides an integrated system, many features come with the package. It takes less than a minute to start the lesson. It is easy-use, secure, and quite affordable when its performance is taken into consideration. Vedubox is a good deal if you want to engage in online training.