Each night, I stand out looking at the night sky, seeing all the stars. I always see a couple of planets, which I have no idea who they are, so I just guess – Mars is always there. I openly admit, I am waiting though for something else to appear. An anomaly, that shouldn’t be there or be seen. In my time here, at my desert oasis, I have seen a couple of “what is that?” objects. I want to tell everyone what I just saw, but as any good fellow, tell a few friends, who nod in approval or disbelief.
I see a lot of learning systems in any given year. Each of them, declaring themselves as a “star”, as a shining representative of outstanding learning or training or some combo of the two. Nobody has mentioned their system as a planet, but I am waiting for the day, when a vendor who has nothing to lose, compares another vendor to Pluto (RIP) and themselves to Earth.
When I look at the stars, just as I look at learning systems, I see some that truly do shine, but seem light years away from others seeing them as what they could be, just as of now, not yet there, a flicker if you will.
Part of this has to do with the lack of awareness. I mean, there has always been speculation of a Planet X in our solar system, waiting to be found.
I believe there are plenty of learning systems out there, waiting to be found. Some have been already, but not to the extent of say, quite many others.
Docebo, started out by offering their system as open source. When I saw them the first time, way way ago, I knew this was a system that was going somewhere. A vendor to watch. Litmos? Started by three people in New Zealand, and equally a system to watch, which I did all those years ago, when most people were focused on players such as SumTotal. Growth Engineering who I saw as this unique Gamification system, that nobody seemed to notice. How about eLogic? Or Absorb who I first saw back in 2009.
In the last few years, Learn Amp, showed up on my radar, and overall were under the radar for many folks – a system that was going to go places (they will). Schoox, caught my eye, a couple of years back and I said to myself, this vendor has the potential to be big (I still believe that).
At one point, nobody was looking.
As we enter 2022, it is time to discover the systems that as of today, will be the ones I will be keeping my eyes on. They are not in my top 10, because clearly they are discovered and thus doing or will be doing well.
Rather, they are the vendors who perhaps you have heard of or haven’t, depending on how well they market themselves and to whom and where.
With more businesses/companies entering in the learning system space, then leaving it, there is no doubt there will be a few that will appear that are intriguing to me but are not yet available.
Here though are the systems that I see now.
Think of finding an Exoplanet without a telescope. Total Yowsa moment.
- Biz Skills – My total YOWSA system with extra wowowowowos there. First system to 100% map skill/skills to all their content (that comes with the system), ahead of time. This simplifies a process in such a way, that anyone – remember the 20%, could take off running with the system. Additional features exist of course, including a nice UI/UX. The moment I saw it, I knew right away, this is going to be special.
- Eurekos – 100% focused on the customer education/partner training/B2B/B2C space – including associations. Super rich system with a lot of capabilities. Skills capabilities – a whole suite of them, will be coming this year. Flexible and one of the most affordable platforms on the customer ed segment.
- Rockstar Learning Platform – This is a system in progress that continues to amaze me. In 2021 they launched, and by the end of the year, cracked my Top 20. You just don’t do that, but here they are. UI/UX on the learner side is slick, admin side is solid. Suite similarity exists here.
- KREDO – I’m glad they kiboshed the whole micro-learning platform spin, because while every system can accept micro (including KREDO), it limited I think what the system really can do. The system includes numerous nextgen features including AI. The UI/UX for learners is nice, and the admin side another solid. I am looking for stronger metrics in 2022 and wanting to see where they can go from here. It’s going to be a great ride.
- Odilo – They pitch themselves as an ecosystem or something like that, which to me, is a bad angle. This is because they are really a learning suite with a rich library of content (the largest and most in the industry, sorry Degreed), with some of the biggest named publishers and thus authors out there. The learner UI/UX is outstanding, but they have this Learning Experience area, which is dated, and befuddling. The admin side is okay and needs an improvement. This system oozes potential, the question is whether or not it will get there. I think it can, with just a tweak or two. BTW, their pricing model with the content is “all you can eat” – which means, you buy a subscription and get access to every publisher, content in the system. The downside to Odilo – very expensive. Ideal for employees, especially for personal and professional development.
Hello – Hubble?
These are systems I am watching closely to see if they can get over the hump. They are worthy of eyeballs and exploration.
- G-Cube – This system is functionality blast here. I was surprised how much – features and capabilities exist in this system. The Learner UI is solid, albeit a bit basic IMO. The admin side needs a revamp. And metrics needs a major booster. Still, they caught my eye.
- Skills-Base – This is 100% focused on skills metrics/analytical data. Thus it is not really about loading your content or adding it (which you can do). The UI/UX has improved, from the first time I saw them in early 2021, to mid-year to the end of the year. They are ideal as an add-on to an existing learning system, whose metrics are uh, a bit lacking, BUT they can go standalone. They are closest to YOWSA, from the standpoint of skills measurement perspective.
- Valamis – They are doing far better with marketing, and while I think their recent acquisition of a system focused on employees seems odd (and implies a direction/strategy), they are still a system to definitely watch. They are a learning suite, that plays strongly in the customer education market. The system has a lot of capabilities, but still needs a tad more to get them over the hump. I love the ability to skin the mobile app to match your brand (a must in the customer education/learning segment), and their willingness to tweak up the system a bit more than others. The pricing tends to skew a tad higher than my preference. I just like this system. Potential is an understatement.
- Kokm – I had them on my radar in 2019 and continue to observe. On the skills side of the house, they are in the middle of the road, which considering most vendors are still at infant stage, that is a definite plus. And they have a lot on their roadmap for 2022. Functionality wise, they lack a mobile app (possible in 2022), and machine learning are the big lacks. Administration and learning environment wise, very solid.
- Juno Journey – Could they be the next YOWSA? Possibly. They definitely can compete today against Schoox, Degreed, EdCast TXP (as their system also is in the TXP space). The UI on the learner side isn’t for everyone, it is definitely different, but the admin side is nice and refreshing. The Interests option I like, especially since everyone is focusing on skills, even though interests and skills are usually different. What is holding them back, I believe are advanced metrics, some tweaks on the learner side (some parts are better than others – UX wise), and a couple of tweaks on the admin side.
Just Right Category
Any of the following below, are close to bouncing into the other two categories, they are just right, albeit, with a few tweaks needed, so not completely a habitable zone, but then again, who says every alien planet needs the zone to have, well, extraterrestrials. I mean, do the Greys really look like they live on a planet like Earth? I rest my case.
- enabley – I bet when you look at this list, you are going to see a slight trend that I see with systems around their UI/UX and differences then what you usually see. enabley is another system I like, worthy of a few eyeballs, whose UI/UX and approach is definitely not for everyone. It’s a solid system, that comes with quite a bit, but not enough to get them into the YOWSA category. The learner UI intrigues me and with some bits here and there, they have something. Still, habitable for your end-users, more so I think on the employee side.
- Learningbank – I like to of them as a system with potential that goes beyond it, if they can just wrap around a few areas to tweak, enhance and include a few NexGen features. There is a willingness here, that is clear, and they have clients, some well-known at that, but it is as though they are just a bit here and they need to get there. It is like having a rocket ship that can get you to the moon, when you want it to go to Mars. I believe they can get there, and that is why they are on this list.
- Studytube – Definitely a tad of the different side. Some parts are basic, not in a bad way, some are more evolved. The budget angle for learning is nice, and I like how they did their social with clearly a UI/UX variance that you rarely see in any learning system. The metrics are just so-so, and they still need some NexGen functionality. Totally in the habitable zone.
I’ve seen seven UFO/UAP in my lifetime. My father and uncle swore they saw a UFO land in the desert (El Paso, TX) back in the 70s. If you talk to folks, many will tell you about their experience, if they saw a UFO/UAP.
What they all seem to have in common, is that they weren’t expecting to see anything. That they were just looking up, gazing out when something caught their eyes. They weren’t watching for it. They weren’t focusing on a specific solar system or star.
In one way that is what is being shown to you. Learning Systems that you weren’t expecting to see. Some that shine very bright, others that can’t be what they seem.
These systems above are the systems that caught my eye.
Worthy of exploration.
Your opening line reminded me of nights in Arizona. In the desert. Right now the stars are obscured here by clouds and snowfall. Looking forward to being able to get back to where you are. Hopefully you’ll see Udutu coming up over that horizon with all the changes we have made in recent months. Enjoyed your post as always, and especially that strong image of the night sky.
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