Hi Caroline. While I'm not intimately familiar with the external examples you mention - or of course the specific details of your need - one approach that we've used for a similar use case used spaces and projects. It was a way to have some defined structure while also tailoring content and interactions to a particular - in this case - degree program. Without boring you with the details it was for a large, mostly online university whose courses were taught by several thousand adjunct faculty located all over the place. The permissioning was open in the sense that an instructor from one college had access to the other colleges' communities for cross-disciplinary purposes. I recognize that your permissioning approach would probably be different given that you're talking about clients. I'd be happy to briefly share/show you their community offline if you think that'd be helpful.
Re: the LMS angle, I'm not sure if you're talking with Nils Heuer and their SmarterPath product, but if you are one of the features that we like is the ability for learning tracks to be embedded within the context of either a group or a space. So for instance if a given client purchased a certain product/service and you need to provide them with related training or curated support documentation there a few different ways that learning content can be easily surfaced within their own particular client community.
Enjoy your holiday!
Hi Stan Jeffress - thanks for this super helpful comment! Yes, we are speaking to Nils Heuer in less than 10 minutes and they've put together a really great design but i wanted to also gather insights from other community managers as well. What you've done sounds right to me for case as well and was my instinct but since i've only been using JIVE since mid-September and this is our first external instance I wanted to "sanity check." We're really looking forward to our chat with Nils! Thanks again. Happy holidays to you as well!