2016 Top 10 LMSs

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Thank you all for the delay.  It’s been a long few weeks, putting together the 2016 Top 50 LMS Report.

Before, I jump into the Top 10 for 2016, some interesting bits of info

a. This year’s report comes in at slightly over 500 pages – all of which is in an easy to read format, getting right to the point.

b. 43 profiles, whereas each vendor responded to 12 questions – covering everything from setup fees to data centers to latest features to support/training to security/privacy.  

c.  After reading thru, you will likely find the vendor you are seeking – it is that extensive. 

d.  To order the report, go Buy The Report .

e.  Besides the report, you will receive an executive summary PLUS a how to navigate and use the report mp4 with my amazing voice.  Sorry, no autographs. 

f.  The price is $599.  An super duper deal.  Already feedback has been fantastic.  “BEST ONE EVER” says Mark A., from Florida;  “Extensive and wonderful, ”  says Steve from CA. “A must for anyone looking at buying a LMS”,  says Karl from TX.

A bit more

  1. The criteria is in the report.  Based on 690 vendors
  2.  Vendors in the report did NOT pay an application fee, nor did any vendor under consideration.  This is 100% independent, analysis.   No money whatsoever changed hands.
  3. Vendors are from all over the world.  IF your system scored high enough, you made it – regardless of where you are located.
  4.  Here is a brief Sample_Pages_EL247Report.  it does not include an example of every page in the report nor does the summary include everything in it. 
  5. The questions asked, can be found in my Linkedin Group – Questions – Part 1Questions Part 2, Questions Part 3, Questions Part 4

And now..

#10 (use echo sound, please.. 10, 10..10)

Spoke by Unboxed Technology

Gamification. Social. Courses. Micro-burst learning platform, which is a subset of an LMS.  There are quite a few micro-burst platforms out there, but only two really shine. One of them is Spoke.  It offers a fun UI.  The admin side is solid more streamlined than anything else. 

Uses an algorithm for its recommending of courses. The knock though is that for at least right now, you (learner) has to complete the course to score higher, if you will. 

Thus folks who do not complete the courses (which is really want WBT was designed for) to not score as high as the completed, which then skews the numbers.  Spoke says they plan to change that, but if you are fine with it for now, then this is a slick solution.

This solution is not for everyone.  But if you like micro-burst systems, then you should definitely like them.

#9  IMC – AG

I scream for IMC.  So the song goes. What it doesn’t? Well, it should.  First and foremost this is a system for the 10,000 plus “internal employee” crowd and the external B2B/B2C folks.

Very strong in compliance/regulatory. Feature rich, just like a nice sundae! UI continues to improve each year.   Multi-tenant (included at no additional charge), so for extended enterprise folks – you are all set.

Ease of use is good, admin side on UI wise is solid. UX (user experience) strong.  Mobile is nice. 

They skin the mobile app to your colors/logo – which is very, very cool (and not common at all in the space).

#8  LearnUpon

Once upon a time, there was this little vendor from Ireland.  Starting out so small, they ran into a leprechaun without a pot of gold. He said, “earn it”, and that is what they are doing.

One of the “buy now, go live now” systems, that offers a lot for a low price point, even at 1,000 users. If you want all the features, you want at least their “Gold” package.

Every year, LearnUpon continues to increase their feature set.  A minor minus for me, is that they charge extra for children (with multi-tenant). 

It is rare in this day and age in the industry, so from a B2B angle, best to ask first if you want that route, before you dive in.  This is a very easy to use LMS which continues to go up the rankings, every year. 

Take that Leprechaun!

#7 Frog

The #1 K-12 system on the market today. Ideally suited for K-6, although nowadays it could easily work in middle school/intermediate/junior high.

Gamification? Check! Fun UI for kids? Check.  Easy for teachers to use? Super check. Student and Parent portals? Check.  Games kids can play? Check. Frog app store? Check.

Mobile?  Check.  Integration with Google Apps, Office 365 and SIS? Ribbet, err Check!

Doesn’t get a lot of attention across the pond (as in US pond), but hopefully this will change that.  I’ve always liked Frog, and there is a reason why.

It’s fun. 

#6 Docebo (prounounced: Doh-Chea-Bo)

If you buy the report, you will find out that at some point this quarter, they will be going to module based solution, with Docebo Learn as the LMS.  To find out the other modules – you need to buy the report.

That said, this is still a system that offers the “buy now, go live now” for its standard edition.  The enterprise edition is not.  You get it all – apps, etc. with the Enterprise edition. 

The solution is extremely slick with the marketplace built into the system – so when you buy a course for example, it is the “click” and whalla it is in the LMS.  Same with the apps – again Enterprise, you get it all.

I’ve always liked the system.  #1 this year in SMB.

Did you know?

That virtually every vendor in the LMS space includes skinning/branding at no charge?  Yes, there are exceptions, but if a vendor says, “hey we are the only ones”, you can retort back – “No, no you are not.”

Now back to the rankings.

#5 Pathgather

I mentioned earlier in the article about another micro-burst learning platform that stands out. Well, here they are. 

At number five, this solution combines the micro learning angle (short courses – ideal) with content curation, gamification and social.  The content curation piece is a big piece, but make no mistake, this is a learning platform that delivers on multiple wavelengths.

The first time I saw this system, I knew it had potential but was just missing a few of this and that.  Well, this and that has been resolved and this now packs a whallop. 

As with any micro-burst system, the analytics are streamlined and the solution isn’t for everyone. But if you are curious about micro courses, content and seeing what else is out there, Pathgather is a good place to begin.

#4 SkillsServe

Okay, as you know there are only a couple of LMSs out there, whose built in authoring tool is worthy of any standalone.  SkillsServe is one such LMS.  Secondly, this system is strong – I mean strong.  Feature rich is an understatement.  Compliance/Regulatory is wonderful.

Has a CPD mobile app, which is rare. Matches all my learning environment, administrator, manager and instructor requirements.  I love that the learner can have a “favorites” option, so they can focus on the areas they go back to time, after time.

A learner dashboard kicks off the system. At admin side finishes it up. #1 in Financial Services.  If you are not in the FS side of the house, no worries – take a look, there is a lot here. A lot.

If you are seeking support for your learners, they are in the small percentile that offer it (extra fee).

I’ve never heard them say not, it is not possible to any request. 

Did you know?

That “buy now, go live now” which prefer folks to use their credit card, are on the upswing. There are vendors who are offering this version (edition) as lite, compared to their more robust offering. 

Now to the Final Three.

#3 eLogic Learning

If they just had a few feature sets already live (they are rolling out this year), they could easily have gone to number one.  91 enhancements in 2015.  Not bug fixes, not issue fixes – enhancements including new feature sets.

#1 in mid-size. #1 in Association market.

Seeking an xAPI, LRS? They have it.  Need an extended enterprise? Got it.  Want a registration pricing model for your B2B/B2C or employees who enter once in a blue moon? Yep, they got it.

Want an extremely robust that continues to excel?  Here it is.  And now with a totally new UI, that really delivers. 

Support and training is outstanding.  They offer a setup option which includes 120 courses and a custom course they will build for you.   Oh and two licenses to dominKnow, a top tier SaaS authoring tool. 

Lastly, and here is the monster of it all:  first vendor to offer learner-centric model (which I stated in my E-Learning 2020 presentation at ATD – uh, the model that is). 

It is the first key step to having a PLE (A LMS within an LMS, whereas the LMS is your learner – as in a Personal Learning Environment).

You can’t get much more individualized than that.

#2 Growth Engineering

I’m going to get this out of the way quick – this is a full robust LMS with gamification wrapped around it. #1 in Retail.  #1 in Gamification.  Continuance of #1 in NextGen.

Whenever I hear people say to me, we can’t go with them, they are not a brand name (oh, they say this regarding others in the top ten too), I want to scream back, “Well, I guess you are still using Yahoo as your primary search engine.”

Somebody had to be the first to use “Droid”. The first to buy an iPod. The first to use Google. The first to buy Vizio.  The first to drive a Tesla and so on.

Getting back to Growth, they are another vendor whose authoring tool could be a standalone (they actually offer it for those who want it that way).  Seeking PM features – it is in their LMS.  Their e-commerce is tied into Stripe. 

You can’t tell though – it is all nicely integrated, and Stripe has all the features you need with e-commerce.  I like that Stripe offers m-commerce too – you can attach this thing to your mobile phone and whalla a Point of Sales Solution, so that is a cool addition.

Growth has mobile apps, but admitted they were unhappy with how they looked and running, so they are doing a complete overhaul.  Expect the new versions to roll-out by end of Q2 (at the latest).  They will have on/off synch.

#1 ExpertusOne

Back to #1.  A complete LMS.  A true ecosystem.  The system can recommend courses based on what someone has taken/is taking/or has completed.  Mobile – oh, wow. Let’s see: on/off snych, geolocation (perfect for OJT and ILT), manager and instructor features within their app. Native apps for iOS and Android.

Voice commands for some of their mobile features.  First vendor to do so. 

They do offer a coaching/ask an expert feature, which is one of newer features to hit in 2016.

They are adding a new competencies/skills component in Q3 2016, which I do wish was earlier.  That said, skills capabilities do exist within the system.  Compliance is quite good. A fully extensive solution that I could write a lot of information on (and it is in the report!).

The administration side is very strong and includes a home dashboard.

The UI is wonderful, modern and easy to use.  #1 in Enterprise.  #1 in Manufacturing.

Support and training is outstanding.

Bottom Line

There it is.. Your Top 10 LMSs for 2016.  Want to know more?  Gain even more insight, more info than possible?  Buy the Report today!