Okay, promotional items are complete. Thank you..
If you were like me, you skipped your prom. Oh, wait, wrong example. I meant you attended some homecoming like event or a fair where two folks or at least one is recognized as the “King” or “Queen” or “Ms. Frito Pie.”
The anticipation at these events are palpable. After all, it is the best time to truck on over and avoid the lines in the refreshment area.
Well, there aren’t any refreshment areas here, but rather, the top three LMSs in 2017 for the following categories
Each of them are in the Top 50 2017 LMS Report where you will get a listing of specific features. Many of which provide details.
For the vendors who win, I say well done. For those who think they should be in the top three, I say..nothing.
Sometimes silence makes the most sense. As one of the greatest movie lines was said (via Valley Girl – masterpiece), “It isn’t always the most popular one.” (I’m paraphrasing here. But you get the gist)
Top three for Mobile
Key factors. To be in consideration ,the following was required
- Native apps – A peeve of mine are vendors who say folks do not need a native app, because the system is in the cloud or SaaS based. Okay, in that case, why do you have all those apps with your Android, iOS or Kindle devices? Especially ones with Office 365. Unless your pad is under 1500 sq feet, test out your wireless signal and get back to me.
Go to Australia where the broadband is horrific. Bounce on over to the UK and gaze at the wonderment of places whose net is advertised at 50mb and you are thrilled (not really) at 2mbs. Wait. Go to various places in the states and marvel at yuck. Ever tried to get a connection at a place in your town and the supposed LTE speed or 4G is one or zero bars? Rest my case.
- On-Off synch app (not one for your desktop like some lameo player) – See the above. And data plans are not cheap by the way. Plus, there are plenty of people who are not hanging around in the workplace taking courses/content and so forth. Been to a retail location? Even if people are hourly, many retail locations are poor when it comes to speed, even broadband (if the company can afford it).
- Feature sets within the app beyond just viewing/taking courses, content and/or assessments. Basics here folks. You have some type of video cool functionality? Separate mobile apps for various features, i.e. one for social, one for ABC and yada. Maybe you have a voice assistant in the app or a digital signature capability, etc.
- UI/UX is nice. I see many apps who are poor in the UX for learners. Buggy or dated.
Couldn’t care less if you are mobile responsive, because, wait for it.. every vendor says they are. And most are at some level. One other note – the new buzz word is Mobile First! If you do not have all the above, your not mobile first. Your just mobile.
#1 Unicorn LMS – Minds-I, their newest app is the best one I’ve seen on the market. Can use it as a standalone, too.
#2 Digits Glo – Keep an eye on them. I do.
#3 Tie between Agylia and ExpertusOne. The former includes multiple configurable channels, QR code scanning, custom branding; the latter has it all including geolocation and voice assistant (think Siri like) for courses. Oh, and they plan to go even further with Siri like capabilities throughout the whole app this year.
Want to know more (not just for these, but the 43 other vendors too)- specific details, features, etc. – It is all in the Top 50 2017 LMS Report.
Oh, and all the features, specifics for the other topics too – including video, social, gamification, compliance/regulatory, course standards, anyticals, reporting, screen shots, 2017 roadmap, pricing models and so on… Lots there. Trust me, it will be the only guide you need to find your next LMS.
Top three in Social
Listen. I’ll be Frank. Wait, that isn’t me. I’m Craig. Anyway, the issue I have always had regarding social in LMSs and their subsets is that it isn’t nothing original. Profiles – boring. Wall like stream – jeez, no one has ever done that. And I could go on. There has to be more. You want to get the younger generation using your social, then engagement is just one piece of it – and it better use a wide variety of things that is new and unique.
On the admin side, I’m a believer that reports now should, wait must, include ones for social, mobile, gamification and video. eLogic Learning #1, has all of it. FYI. One of the few vendors who do.
A lot of vendors are doing way better with social. In fact, a chunk of the Top 50 are hitting on all cylinders, but these are the top three.
I should note that a feature that I see as new are “Social Playlists”. Got to have it in 2017. If it can be interfaced – synch with your on/off synch native app, even better.
Who has it? Docebo (5), Create (7), G-Cube WIZDOM (top 20), TalentLMS (top 30), Persona Learning (Top 30), Cornerstone (Top 30), Braincert (Top 40), Fuse Universal (Top 40).
#1 Agylia – Very nice.
#2 LMS365 ELEARNINGFORCE – Has it all. Nuff said.
#3 Tie eLogic Learning and Create LMS – Lots going on here for both in 2017. The former has expansive robustness coming in late Q1, and Create is rolling out their enhanced feature sets in March 0f 2017. And as noted earlier, eLogic has all those sweet reports too.
Top three in Gamification
Having a reward center is a must, built-in badge library a no brainier. Bonuses for comparing individual to individual, manager and/or teams to manager and/or teams, game based learning with games includes, hence game based learning and social tied to gamification. Actually, if you have all that, you are in top tier of gamification. Go beyond it, and well, you earned your elite spot.
#1 Growth Engineering – Was there any doubt? Has all the above and more. Ties social engagement too.
#2 Axonify – So close to #1. Love the games too. Golf one is fun!
#3 Spoke – If every one did what these folks are doing, the gamification would be a better place to be. Sadly, that isn’t the case.
Top three in Video
I’m not going to say Video Killed the Radio Star, because well, I just did and secondly, anyone who watched MTV back in the 80’s knows this was the first video they played. I saw it on the debut of day one of MTV, did you?
Video Power-ups include video streaming, P2P video, mobile video uploads which can include the filters someone has on the video already, video analytical data (beyond the basics – how many times, how long, who watched it) and video reports. The trend right now is you are either embracing video or you are not.
Quite a few vendors in the Top 50 are in embrace mode and are missing just one (either P2P, auto conversion to SCORM 1.2 or some other type of conversion for detailed analytical data or mobile reporting, for example)
#1 Unicorn LMS – The video streaming is in their mobile apps, not in the system itself – I suspect that will soon come (i.e. in 2017). But everything else is there and oh yeah, video strength in Minds-I is something to be reckoned with.
#2 Create LMS – Analytical data is showing up in March release, other than that, everything else is there. And more.
#3 Workday Learning – Video is one of its strengths, in the system and mobile. Pitches a “Netflix” like experience on home screen. To use or acquire the Workday Learning module, you must either have Workday HCM or plan to have Workday HCM (i.e. footprint).
Top three in Enterprise, Top three in B2B/B2C
Enterprise, you must have a very robust system, e-commerce is not needed, unless you have a training or L&D entity that charges other business units for various training and/or learning for online learning. And yeah, there are companies that do.
Enterprise BTW is 10,000 or more employees, although in recent years some vendors are lowering the number significantly.
For B2B/B2C – Many of the vendors in the Top 50 LMS Report are solid in e-commerce, if not strong. Lots to choose from.
E-commerce is a requirement. Better make it robust. This includes subscription bundles, and product items – heck, maybe I want to sell a coffee cup, with “Online learning rules.”
Virtual Wallet is a cool feature to have, but not a “must”, VAT (again, a nice piece – I mean who knows where someone is located), and e-commerce reports are a definite need. If you can purchase via your mobile app – hello, my m-commerce friend.
Surprisingly, lots of vendors haven’t utilized the last piece in a way that makes sense – i.e. digital signature on mobile too.
Oh, and in the LMS space as a whole, it seems everyone is pitching for business in Enterprise. B2B/B2C not as strong as you might think. Me? I’d go latter between the two. For employees? SMB. (500-5,000, albeit some folks list SMB as 500-2,500).
One other item, as a vendor, you can be strong in enterprise and B2B/B2C, just as you can be outstanding for employees, customers or both. There are though systems that are employee focused only, and yes, ones that are B2B/B2C only.
#1 eLogic Learning – Strong is an understatement.
#2 ExpertusOne – Again, super sized. Without having to order fries.
#3 Axonify – For employees. Designed for employees. Perfect for employees.
B2B/B2C (some vendors refer to it as “extended enterprise” – I’m not one of them. This is because I do not believe the term applies to today’s SaaS world.)
#1 eLogic Learning – There is a reason they are number one. This is just one of the reasons.
#2 Docebo – Two features including subscription bundle are coming in 2017, but a added plus is the Shopify app.
#3 ExpertusOne – Very strong on e-commerce side.
Bonus note: Seeing an uptick in the number of vendors adding a Shopify app. Smart move.
There they are. All wonderful. All shiny. All special.
From social to mobile. Video to gamification.
Along the way, Enterprise and B2B/B2C too.
The LMS world is changing before our eyes.
For the better.
Due to business travel in the UK, next post will be on March 1 from London. Then the following post will be March 13th. On the 7th and 8th, I’ll be at a VR/AR conference in London and will be posting about cool products in my Linkedin group, E-Learning 24/7 on a nightly basis. Be sure to check it out.