bugle features

Training platform access: 6 authentication methods to choose from

5 min read Carina Leal, Product Manager at bugle

Bugle allows you to choose from 6 different authentication methods to adapt to the type of audience your academy is for. In this article, we explain these 6 different methods, without the technical gobbledygook, and offer examples of their application to different use cases.

Let’s start with the basics.

What is an authentication method?

It’s how a platform or network identifies users’ identity when they are trying to access it. Easy enough to understand, right? We all do this plenty of times throughout the day, whether it’s assessing our email, social networks, the company’s intranet, the platforms we work with, and so on. You usually have (at least) two fields in the login process: a username (often your email address) and a password.

Why does bugle have different authentication methods?

The bugle platform is gated. This means all our customers’ users need to login before entering their respective academies. This is always true, whether you use bugle to train customers, partners, employees, leads, external sales teams, or any other stakeholders. The difference is that for each use case, there are different needs and types of learners so the authentication method may be different.
The different authentication methods will only make the user sign up differently, this means the first time each user accesses your academy, they will see the fields pertaining to the method of authentication you chose. After the first access, the login will only require your users to fill in their username (email address), and their password.


What are the 6 authentication methods?

1. Single Sign On (SSO) integration
2. Pre-inserted emails
3. Code & Email authorization
4. External Code
5. Platform access codes
6. Open Access

Now, let’s see what they mean and some examples of how they are used in bugle.

1. Single Sign On (SSO) integration

Technical language aside, we do this integration when customers want their learners to be able to access their academy using the same login as their product, CRM, PMP or any other tool they see fit. This means, the user can go from the integrated software to the training platform seamlessly without the need to login again.

This is very helpful as you can have your training available exactly where it’s needed* without the need for your learners to login again when accessing your academy, for example, via your product for your customer to get immediate help, or via your CRM so your salespeople can quickly access product or pricing information.

As in most integrations, the SSO integration requires a bit of technical work from both bugle’s product team and your tech team, but don’t worry about that – it’s a business-as-usual kind of situation for the tech guys on both sides.

*Quick tip: even without SSO integration, you can still add specific training content links to your product, CRM, or other tools. These links can be to the academy welcome page, or to specific courses, documents or course chapters in the academy – whatever makes sense for that specific place.



2. Pre-inserted emails

For this authentication method, you need to upload all your users (their name and email address) to the bugle platform before inviting them to join your academy. You can upload your student list using an Excel or CVS file, or individually directly in the platform.

Once your students are in the platform's learners management area, you can then send them an invitation to join. In their first access (the sign up) they will be asked to create their password, and use the email you pre-inserted for them in the platform as the username. After that, each student can simply login using the same login information.

Pre-inserted emails
This type of method is used when you know exactly who you want to give access to your academy, including their email addresses, and want to make sure only those you have included can access your training. This is the most common method used, for example, in employee training or any situation when you know, before starting, both your students’ names and email addresses.


3. Code & Email authorization

This authentication method includes an additional authentication field in the sign up page. This means you will need to upload your student list with both their email addresses and a specific code assigned to each user. This code can be an employee number, tax number, ID number or any other individual code that is specific to that particular user.

When you choose this method, in their first access only, your users will need to write both their email as username, and the individual code you assigned – besides the password, of course. After this initial sign up, they will only need to fill in their email and password to enter your academy.

Code and Email authorization
When customers choose this authentication method, it’s usually as an assurance that the right people are joining the academy, or so they can correctly identify each audience member for training management and reporting purposes. The most common use case of this method is employee training.


4. External Code

This authentication method is a simpler version of the previous one, as you only need to pre-insert the individual codes and the trainees’ names to identify each user, which is ideal when you know who your learners are, but don’t know their email addresses. Some use case examples for this method of authentication are partners training and customer training.

With this method, the first time your trainees access the platform, they need to fill in their assigned code, and their email address. From this point on, they will no longer need to use the code as it will be automatically associated with the email address they provided in the first visit.

External code
The password, as you know, is always necessary – and for privacy and security reasons, each student creates their own on the first time they access your academy, regardless of the authentication method you select.


5. Platform access codes

If you don’t know any information about the audience, including a specific identifiable code, this is the method for you. The platform will generate the access codes and you’ll share a different code with each person you want to invite.

Upon sign up (the first time they login), each user will be asked to insert the code you shared, their name and email address – which will then be automatically associated to the code you gave them. Again, after this first access, your users will only need to fill in their email address and password to login.

Platform access codes
This may seem a bit odd but let’s look at an example: imagine you are training channel partners in the consumer goods industry and you don’t know who will be getting the training within your partners’ team, it can be sellers, distributors, re-stockers, store clercks or any other function along the value chain distribution.

6. Open Access

Finally, this type of authentication method means anyone can enter your academy as long as they sign up – meaning: fill in their name, their email address (username), and define their password. So, you don’t need to pre-insert any of your audience’s details for them to get access. This option is the best if your academy is open to your entire community, being it customers, leads, or anyone else interested in your training.

An example of this use, check out our own bugle Academy. The bugle Academy is open to anyone that is looking for knowledge on digital training, whether how to create an effective online training course, or learn about how specific business units’ can leverage training, like Mastering Customer Onboarding Training, or Managing an Online Sales Academy.

Open access bugle academy
As we make all these courses available to everyone, you can simply go to the bugle Academy’s sign up page if it’s the first time, or login if you have already registered.

Yet, sharing educational content with the community is not the only use for this type of authentication method. Some of our clients in the Marketplace industry also use this method, as it’s difficult to know in advance all the partners and partners’ employees that need to join in.

Extra tip: Additional fields in the sign up page
With bugle, you can also add other fields to your sign up page, as we do in the bugle academy, where we also ask what business unit you work in, when you sign up. This is so we can focus our communication on topics that will be most relevant for you based on that information.
Another example of an accionable additional field is the country. With this information, you can define that the country selection will change the default language of the platform for your user (although the user can still change the platform language at any time).
Please note that it’s not advised to include too many additional fields, as it is a huge detractor to sign up. If you ask for additional fields (ideally no more than two), make sure they are actually important to make the learning experience better for your audience.


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Would you like to learn more about how bugle can help you improve your training programme? 
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Tags: bugle features, customised academy, about bugle


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