Having a VLE as an enterprise solution no longer means having to set up and run the VLE on your own hardware. There are now many other models by which you can have access to the functionality and a range of associated services.
External hosting is becoming increasingly popular whether the VLE is a software as a service (SaaS) commercial product or an open source product. However, every institution has its own unique circumstances and, as can be seen from our case study vignettes, there is no single best fit solution for the sector as a whole.
For us, moving to managed hosting was ideal for a learning environment that needs to be up 24 hours a day. Hosted services provide a superior offer to what we could deliver internally.
Rob Howe, Head of Learning Technology,
University of Northampton
The next big decision will be whether to stay self-hosted with the strength of control and a joined up interface with other systems or whether to go to the cloud with the benefits of being always up-to-date and having a cleaner installation with better usability and no downtime.
Richard Walker, Head of E-Learning Development,
University of York