Thank you voters! Epignosis eFront LMS Won the Best of ELearning! Award

ELearning! Media Group Awarded Epignosis for Best Open Source Solution

We’re very happy to announce that Epignosis eFront won the Best of Elearning! Award for Best Open Source Solution, and an Award of Excellence for Best Learning Management System (SaaS, Open-Source, or Content Supplier) at the annual Enterprise Learning! Conference & Expo at the Hyatt Regency in Irvine, CA which were held last week, September 26th. So a big thank you must go out to all our voters!

The Elearning! Media Group’s Best of Elearning! Awards are the exclusive reader’s choice awards program for elearning products and services. Recipients are chosen by Elearning! and Government Elearning! magazines’ reader community via an open-ended online ballot. Altogether, 72 products across 21 categories were named best-in-class by learning professionals and executives in 2012, and approximately 3881 nominations were collected over the balloting period.

“Given the number of nominations, to earn an Award of Excellence is quite an honor,” says Catherine Upton, Elearning! Media Group’s publisher. “And, to be named a category winner is a true testament to the vendor’s product and service excellence.”

“This award was the result of years of improvements to make eFront a top-class solution for organizations that need to train their people and customers around the globe. This is a happy moment for us and we appreciate all our customers who trust in us for their elearning endeavors,” said Athanasios Papagelis, Founder and CTO of Epignosis.

Each honoree will be featured in the 2012 Best of Elearning! Awards December issues of Elearning! and Government Elearning! Magazines and can be downloaded at http://www.2elearning.com. To view the 2012 Best of Elearning! Award Recipients go to http://yhoo.it/SSImHj.

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Moving from an open-source to a commercial LMS – the story of Transactel

Transactel is the largest call center in the Central American region and is made up of 6,200 ‘heroes’ (as they’re called internally). The company has doubled its size in the last five years with the addition of 12,000 employees when Transactel partnered with TELUS International. Through the TELUS partnership Transactel is now providing services to the TELUS International Philippines call center.

In 2010 Transactel required a global training tool able to support 5,000 employees at one time. They looked into different solutions and used many different open source solutions but finally settled on the eFront open-source Community edition. They needed a tool that could support the different initiatives the company had, as well as keep an efficient track of the scores obtained in the lessons.

After 6 months Transactel became part of the TELUS International Team which shifted their priorities and policies. TELUS International policies required that all material be kept confidential and they needed a tool that could support multiple users from multiple departments yet still keep each department’s information private. At that point Transactel decided to move to eFront’s commercial solution – the eFront Enterprise edition – to meet the new needs of the company and for the commercial edition’s skill management and organization structure.

With the change to the eFront Enterprise LMS, Transactel could accomplish the information confidentiality required from their LMS, and found it less of a strain on resources from an administrative perspective since they could assign courses and lessons to people who belonged to specific departments with very few clicks.

“eFront Enterprise provides all the tools that the big guys in LMS offer (but sometimes fail to provide) for a fraction of the price. Also with the eFront Enterprise edition you not only get a robust LMS but also a Talent Management software.”

To download this customer story please click here or check it out on Slideshare:

Open-source and the “security through obscurity” fallacy

The security of open source software is a key concern for organizations planning to implement it as part of their software stack, particularly if it will play a major role. Currently, there is an ongoing debate on whether open source software increases software security or is detrimental to its security. There are a variety of different benefits and drawbacks for both sides of the argument.

The main concern is that because free and open source software (FOSS) is built by communities of developers with the source code publically available, access is also open to hackers and malicious users. As a result, there could be the assumption that FOSS is less secure than proprietary applications. This assumption has a name – it is called “Security through obscurity” – an attempt to use secrecy of design or implementation to provide security. Unfortunately, security through obscurity can give you a false sense of security and ultimately lead to an insecure system.

Security through obscurity has never achieved engineering acceptance as a good way to secure a system. The United States National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) specifically recommends against using closed source as a way to secure the software (i.e. “security through obscurity”), and they state, “system security should not depend on the secrecy of the implementation or its components[1].

Too often people assume that secrecy equals security [2]. Nothing could be further from the truth. Today’s strong cryptography is based on the assumption that an “adversary” will know both that something is encrypted, and what the encryption scheme is. The notion that hiding the means of encryption will somehow make the data in question more secure is a notion that has been obsolete since World War II. Strong crypto assumes, rather, that despite the fact that the encryption algorithm is a matter of public knowledge, that the data in question will remain encrypted and secure.

Open Source software is based on a similar notion of security. Hiding source code is a bad way to assume you’ll achieve security, because even a powerful and highly proprietary company can’t guarantee that source code won’t leak out. Instead, security should be based on a worst-case scenario: assume your “adversary” has access to the source code; and deal with it.

For example, the “Security by design [3] principle advocates that the software should be designed from the ground up to be secure. Malicious practices are taken for granted and care is taken to minimize impact when a security vulnerability is discovered or on invalid user input. In other words, good engineering practice is what makes a system secure and not whether or not the source code is open


[1] http://csrc.nist.gov/publications/nistpubs/800-123/SP800-123.pdf

[2] http://onlamp.com/pub/wlg/4436

[3] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Security_by_design