It’s that time of the year, when research firms, industry firms, Fred your mailman and Judy the person who nags you each day you come into your office, announces their best of the best awards.

And I’m along with them. Well, sort of for authoring tools.  For the whole whammy of LMSs, the list has been out for nearly 12 months (for 2016). You can still buy the 2016 Top 50 LMS Report (BTW).

Let’s move on to 2017…

The report is being built as we speak, with a release for purchase on Jan. 30, 2017. 

The Top 50 2017 report promises to be even better with new categories, new design and new cool capabilities. 

Before jumping into the particulars of what the report will cover and all that other interesting stuff, I was reading last night of an ice cream shop somewhere in South America that has produced over 900 varietes.  At any given day, at least 64 are available. Flavors include Sardines in Rum, Beer, Hamburger and Cheese, and black beans. 

I note this, not because the first flavor sounds like a new diet fad, but because of the overall number of 900 plus.

I bet that if someone told you that there was an ice cream place with 900 varieties, you would think that is impossible.  I mean, 31 sure, but 64 or 900? 

The same could be said for the LMS (and all its subsets) industry.  I track 1,225 systems around the world.  

Some vendors have multiple systems, but generally speaking it is usually one to one, i.e. one vendor and one system.  Open source systems are included, but not “customized shops or botique firms from customized Moodle per se that you pay”.

In the 2017 report, the number of vendors explored was 1,000.   This was decided upon much earlier than the latest new tracking counts, which is how the 1,000 was the number to be based.  Still that is 1,000 systems around the world.

I’ve gone thru my criteria before and the approach including weights and points based on a whole slew of categories including learning evironment, mobile, social, administration, reporting, learner functionality, capabilities of the system, technological infrastructure, training/support, overall service, forward thinking and adaptability.  Horizontals and Verticals were equally considered as was target audience(s) and size.

Top 50 2017 Report – What you can expect to see

I wanted to really go out of the box for the 2017 report, especially when it came to that “personalization experience”.   

How?  By offering a customized version of the Top 50 report based on a selection of criteria you choose including “range estimate of pricing”. 

Upon making your selections, a customized Top 50 report will be viewable on your screen, listing all the vendors in the Top 50 that match with that criteria.  All of their information, ranking, etc. is in the report. Then you either view or download to save as a PDF.

The nuances

First off, when you purchase the report, you will be sent to a site to download the whole report (in a zip file due to size).   You also receive an e-mail notification of purchase and a download link, for those who do not wish to go immediately and download.  

Then, within 24 hours, you will receive a second e-mail with an unique username and password, which will allow you to access The Craig Weiss Group Top 50 2017 LMS Report site.   It is in this site, you will be able to create a custom report of the Top 50 LMSs for 2017.

Here are just a few options (there are more).

You can choose (as many or as few as you want) by

  • Vertical (Manufacturing, Non-Profit, Association, Retail, Hospitality, Technology (HW/SW), Life Sciences, Healthcare, Consumer Goods, Government, Other)
  • Features (Over two dozen including analyticals – example graphs)
  • Mobile specific options
  • Social specific options
  • The Craig Factor (basically it is using my learning card – you will see one for each vendor, and the points alloted based on six areas – high level – ex: administration, learning environment, UI/UX, tech/security, Feature sets, out of the box approach). 
  • Audience Type (Internal (employees), Internal B2B (employees incl. biz units, etc. within the company), B2B/B2C (external, i.e. clients, customers, etc.), Both Internal and External
  • Number of users (a range of users i.e. learners to choose from).   Offers a nice wide number range.  Plus here is the super duper kicker,  if you select the number of users category, select the number of users you are projecting, then the estimate range pricing option is useable (initially it is greyed out) and whalla – pick the estimated range of pricing and see those vendors that hit that category on top of everything else you selected.

Now that is what I call personalization.  If you decide not to select the number of users, that is okay, no problem you will still get a customized Top 50 LMS Report, however, you will not be able to see or select range estimate option.

Oh, and you can access the customized Top 50 LMS report site via your favorite mobile device too (or three, yuck yuck).

What Does The Report list 

The Top 50 LMSs for 2017.  Includes subsets of the LMS space.  Vendors are from all over the world. 

Who can you expect to see (I’m just going to provide a small list here, so not every vendor in the Top 50 is listed below)

  • eLogic Learning, ExpertusOne, Unicorn Training, Growth Engineering
  • Docebo, Axonify, Administrate, SumTotal, Cornerstone on Demand,
  • Spoke by Unboxed Technology, Service Rocket, Saba, LearnUpon
  • Workday Learning, Kallidus and many many more

This is just a sample of areas (no particular order)

  • Company name, Point of contact, website, email, social media, phone number, number of clients, number of individual users, up to top three verticals
  • Setup fees and what is included in that setup fee
  • How do they define pricing.  Do they offer a registration pricing model?
  • Implementation time frame and what is their process
  • Product Roadmap for 2017
  • Feature details on learner capabilities, administrator fuctionality, social, mobile, gamification, compliance/regulatory, skill sets, total experience of the system, integrations
  • Technical, security and privacy details.  Curious to know which vendor is in alignment with the new version of the EU Safe Harbor Act, you will find out.  Wonder who is using Amazon as their server host?  You will find out – okay, plenty do.
  • Apps – Who has multiple apps? Google Play, iTunes, Window Store, Kindle store?  Where you aware that one vendor has a social specific app, another for learning items such as courses, assessments, etc. and then one more that adds a video component within – oh and all of it synched back to their LMS?  Well, if not, don’t fret, because in the report you will!
  • Thinking a Different Way –  There are vendors today who are thinking of learning in unusual ways and thus, their approach may not fit the circles and squares as we say.  You will see who they are, and what makes them unique.  For example, two vendors have added a game experience within their own system, beyond just gamification.  Another vendor uses “containers” which consist of multiple items such as courses, content, videos, ILT and so forth.   
  • Training/Support – Has all the wonderful stuff that makes or breaks a system including close ratio of support tickets.

What you are getting is a report that goes beyond the standard fare and provides you with extensive specific details that get to the heart of the matter.  

Plus, all of it, the entire report is based on 100% independency, fair and honest, with no quid pro quo here.  I hate that, and I NEVER play that game.  

Report will include the Top three in each vertical, audience (Small Business, SMB, Mid-Size, Enterprise,  B2B/B2C  (B2B sometimes is referred to as extended enterprise, but I prefer to say the universal B2B), social, gamification, mobile, NextGen, Deep learning, User experience (learner and admin).

Executive summary?  Yeah it is in there.

Graphs?  Absolutely.  See some really cool data points on a graph like thing, then another multiple line like thing and another graph thing.   In other words, yeah, you get visuals.

Learning Cards for each vendor.  Share them with your fellow report buyers. See if you can get the elusive Craig Weiss card.  Sure to be a value add in years to come!

Pricing Discount –  Optional for vendors, but some have offered a discount if you end up buying their system, as a result of the report. 

An extra way of saying thank you.  And again, there is not a quid pro quo here or any money coming my way, affiliate or otherwise.  I hate that trash, so you won’t ever, ever, ever find it with anything I do.   The vendor decides on this choice, if they say it says “YES”, if not, then it says “NO”.  

About me page – Every report should have one. About me that is. Ha ha, kidding.  But I do have an “about me page”.  

The Price of the Report

$599 USD for the printed top 50 LMS 2017 report and ACCESS to the customized Top 50 LMS Report, which is part of the whole thing.  You do not pay any additional fees or costs to use the customized area to customize your Top 50 2017 LMS Report.

Buy two reports and I will toss in a piece of wet grass found on the hills of my backyard. Yes, it will be wet. I will spray water on it. 

Availability – Goes Live for Purchase on Jan. 30th.  

Oh and I will be offering a very cool social discount (more soon), which explains how you can get a $100 off the price of the report.  Regardless, the report goes live on Jan. 30th, 2017.

Education and Higher Education Folks

This year’s report will NOT list any vendors in the K-12 or higher education space.  I decided to focus the report on the business side of the house, whereas I do place Government, non-profit and association in there.

But don’t fret all you HE and K-12 fans, because their will be a special blog post identifying the top 10 systems for education.   This post will occur later this month.  

Vendors include Instructure Canvas, Schoology, DB Primary, Frog Education, Blackboard

Bottom Line

There isn’t anything better than when someone comes up to me, or emails me or connects with me via social media and says how much they loved the report and found it very useful.  

That is what drives me to make the following year’s report with more information and capabilities.

This one is going to break the mold.

And shatter the hidden walls of information that are visible only when tallking first rather than exploring.

Explore no more with the one report that will put you onto the right path

Whether it is for Sardines in Rum ice cream

Or that perfect and ideal LMS.

E-Learning 24/7