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LMS Vendors: The Complete Guide to Choosing The Right One For Your Business

LMS vendors

If you’re trying to train your employees online, you’re probably looking for a platform to set up a training course.

Somewhere secure where you can track what your employees are doing, and they can work on their own time, earning certificates and badges and passing tests and quizzes.

It sounds like you could use LMS software.

Both fortunately and unfortunately for you, when it comes to LMS vendors, you’ve got a lot of options.

When trying to pick the right LMS vendor for your business, there are a number of factors to consider before you make a decision.

What is LMS Used For?

An LMS (meaning learning management system) is a learning software application used for educational purposes, typically having to do with a person’s schooling or job/career. The focus of this guide will be LMSs for businesses. Learning management system vendors have a variety of different features to make course creation and tracking easier and course completion more interactive.

LMSs can typically be used for mandatory education or for something an employee is interested in learning more about. Courses created using LMSs are great because oftentimes, they can be completed remotely, and typically workers can complete them on their own time.

These platforms can be used for a variety of different types of education on the job, whether remotely or in-person, including

  • Onboarding
  • Employee training
  • Retaining employee knowledge
  • Training partners and customers
  • Compliance and regulation training
  • Pursuing more education
  • Training on new products/information/methods

Onboarding

When an employee is starting a new job, he/she is sure to have a lot of training to do. Health and safety training, workplace harassment courses, workplace certifications, specialized job training … etc. Often these types of onboarding courses are done as online modules. LMSs can be used to easily create online modules for new employees to complete.

Employee Training

Whether it’s for onboarding (as discussed above), for a promotion, because employees seem to be struggling, or for any other reason, LMS vendors are often used for employee training. The benefits of using an LMS are that courses can be designed so an employee can complete them during his/her own time. If he/she has a few minutes before lunch, at the end of the day, or waiting for feedback, he/she can work on a course created through an LMS.

Retaining Employee Knowledge

LMSs can be used to help keep employees up to date on their knowledge. Whether employees are struggling to retain their job knowledge or an employer is just trying to keep his/her employees’ wits sharp, an LMS can be used. The software can typically be used to create modules with interactive elements like tests and quizzes to really help ensure employee knowledge is being retained.

Training Partners and Customers

Just like training isn’t just for employees, neither are LMS-generated training courses. Business owners, salespeople, etc. looking to train partners and customers on a certain product, topic, or industry-standard can consider creating a training course or module or hosting a virtual classroom event, webinar, or video conference based on an LMS.

Compliance and Regulation Training

Compliance and regulation training probably comes to mind right away when you think about work training. The dreaded health and safety and work harassment courses mentioned in onboarding, plus any other industry or job-specific compliance and regulation training you need, can be created and delivered using an LMS system. 

Pursuing More Education

If an employee is looking to expand his/her knowledge, he/she will be able to find online courses that have been created using an LMS. Maybe these courses will be found through work, but he/she can probably find some on his/her own, as well. Again, LMSs can be a great way to take courses that can be done on your own time. Rather than taking a night class, you can go through an LMS course at your own pace.

Training on New Products/Information/Methods

Whether it’s for employees, partners, customers, managers, or whoever else, LMS software is a great way to train a large group of people on a new product, new information, or new methods. They’ll be able to go through the training on their own time, and the creator of the course will be able to track their progress – see who’s actually completing the course and who’s not, or you can host a virtual event through your LMS.

Typical LMS Features

LMS features

When looking at LMSs, there are features that different LMS vendors will uniquely have, but there’s also a variety of typical features. These features can be considered standard with learning management system companies, and most if not all you’ll look at will include them.

Some of these typical LMS platform features  are:

  • Course creation, management, and delivery
  • Gamification
  • Reporting and analytics
  • Integrations
  • Virtual classrooms and webinars
  • Responsive on mobile
  • SCORM compliance

Course Creation, Management, and Delivery

With an LMS, you should be able to create, manage, and deliver your own courses. You should be able to create and customize a course to have the exact content you want or need to teach, manage the courses you create, and deliver them to your employees or others who’ll be completing them. This, really, is at the core of what an LMS is for in terms of training employees.

Gamification

Gamification is adding elements of games to something that is not a game (like online educational courses, for instance) to encourage participation. This can help make LMS courses much more interactive and potentially even fun for those completing them. Gamification can include points, leaderboards, badges, certificates, checklists, meaningful stories, graphs, avatars, and teammates, among other things.

A good LMS will have gamification, which will create a more stimulating learning course for those completing it.

Reporting and Analytics

Another standard feature of an LMS is reporting and analytics. This means you should be able to access data based on your courses and who’s completing them. Tracking should be included in this, so you can see how many people are taking your courses, how far along they are, etc. Reports could include monthly, weekly, etc., data are given to you.

Integrations

An LMS vendor can be rather impractical if it can’t integrate with any of your other apps so information can be translated across platforms. LMS vendors know this, so LMSs, typically have integrations with other web applications, programs, etc., so that you can have a connected and cohesive training experience. Different learning management system companies will be compatible with different applications.

Tovuti, for instance, is connected with Zapier, so it can be integrated with 2000+ popular web applications.

Virtual Classrooms and Webinars

A virtual classroom essentially allows a trainer/teacher and employees/students to interact in real-time through video conferencing, presentations, whiteboard screens, etc. Webinars are a part of this, being seminars that are presented online. Virtual classrooms and webinars can be an important part of eLearning, as they allow students and teachers to interact with each other directly. 

Responsive on Mobile

Almost half of the people that use eLearning tools on their phones finish courses faster, and that includes courses made using LMS companies. Cell phones have become an important part of online learning. It’s standard for LMSs to be responsive on mobile, which means that they will adjust to fit the user’s phone screen so that it looks good and is functional.

SCORM Compliance

SCORM compliance means an LMS complies with the standard for developing content for online learning, which is SCORM. SCORM stands for Shareable Content Object and Reference Model. Shareable Content Object means that the content can be shared across multiple platforms, and Reference Model refers to SCORM being a framework. This may sound simple, but the criteria to ensure something is SCORM compliant is fairly detailed.

7 Benefits of Leading LMS Companies

benefits of LMS companies

There are many benefits of using leading LMS companies, both for the organizations using them, and their employees.

Benefits for Organizations

Some benefits of LMS vendors for organizations are

  1. Cost efficiency
  2. Workers don’t need to take time away from tasks
  3. Customizable
  4. Trackable

Cost Efficiency

Using an LMS will be cost-efficient for companies, even though most LMS companies are associated with a price. But, it’ll be one cost (potentially paid monthly, annually, etc) for a place to create and host all your courses, rather than several costs to hire trainers, speakers, etc to train your employees. Not to mention the funds you won’t lose on employees needing to take time away from their tasks to complete the training, any travel costs associated with them going to the training, etc. In fact, IBM made $30 back in productivity for each dollar it spent on eLearning. 

Workers Don’t Need to Take Time Away from Tasks

As mentioned above, with LMS courses, your employees won’t need to take time from their tasks to complete their training. They can complete their courses on their own time and do their job on the company’s time. With LMS training, the office’s productivity doesn’t have to stop so that employees can learn a new product, skill, or any of the many other things your employees may need to be trained on.

Customizable

With an LMS, you can customize the content and how the content is packaged for your employees. Do it up in your branding, add different elements depending on the content you’re teaching, include badges and certificates for completion … the list goes on. Customization allows you to create the best courses possible for training your employees.

Trackable

One of the problems with in-person training is that one instructor cannot tell how well the employees are absorbing the knowledge. Because you can track your employees taking your courses in an LMS, that’s less of an issue. In fact, 96% of learning management systems provided users say it positively impacted this. You should be able to see how many people are taking your course, how far along they are, etc. Plus, with some of the gamification aspects of LMSs, you can also track your employees through things like badges, certificates, and leaderboards.

Benefits for Employees

Some benefits of LMS vendors for employees are

  1. Convenient
  2. Interactive
  3. Different ways of learning

Convenient

Oftentimes, courses created using LMS companies are more convenient for employees. They can work on the course on their own time, for as long as they choose, wherever they are (with an internet connection). This makes courses much easier for employees to fit into their days, rather than having to take time off from their usual job tasks to take part in the training. 90% of employees are in favor of this. 

Interactive

As discussed with gamification, courses created using LMS vendors can be more interactive for employees. They can include games, competitions, quizzes, tests, true or false questions, readings, videos, etc. Essentially, courses created using LMS vendors encourage participation and aid employees in absorbing the material by using interactive materials.

Different Ways of Learning

Due to the nature of how customizable LMS vendors are, they can cater to different ways of learning. The more ways a person learns something, the more connections the brain makes, the better. There are webinars and virtual classrooms for those who do best in settings where they’re spoken to or can discuss things. Courses themselves cater to those who prefer to read to learn, but they can have customizable aspects, like videos, diagrams, pictures, and all the interactive elements mentioned above.

Key Considerations in Selecting an LMS Provider

LMS provider selection criteria

There are so many LMS providers out there, so when you’re choosing yours, you’ll want to make sure you make the right choice. To do that, there are a number of key things you’ll want to take into consideration, including

  1. What’s the cost?
  2. Is it user-friendly?
  3. Does it have the features you need?
  4. Does it have the integrations you need?

1.  What’s the Cost?

When looking at LMS providers, you want to make sure you’re getting the best deal you can. Different LMSs will have different payment plans. There are even a variety of free learning management system providers, although they may have limited services in comparison to ones that have an associated cost.

Make sure you understand exactly what’s being offered and how much it’s going to cost you before you make a decision on which to use.

2. Is It User-Friendly?

When choosing an LMS, you want to make sure it’ll be easy on the administration side to create and keep track of courses and students’ progress, but also on the students’ side. Will the courses be easy for the students to work through (from a function standpoint – the content is up to the administrators)?

Basically, you need to know how user-friendly it will be for you on the administration end, creating and administering courses, and on the students’ end, using the software to complete courses. 88% of organizations that have switched their LMS vendors have done so because they didn’t have a good user experience. 

Different LMS vendors will have different ways of helping you understand the ease of use of the services and whether or not it’s right for you. For instance, Tovuti offers a demo, so you can get an overview of exactly how to use its numerous features.

3.  Does It Have the Features You Need?

Although LMSs do offer standard features, as previously listed, different LMS vendors will also have unique features. When choosing an LMS, you’ll want to ensure that it has all the features you need.

You’ll also want to make sure you aren’t paying for a variety of features you have no use for. So, it can be beneficial to make sure there aren’t a plethora of extra features you don’t need or would be impractical for you to use, too.

4. Does It Have the Integrations You Need?

When you’re thinking about what LMS vendor to choose, it’s important to consider what integrations it has. We mentioned above that integrations are a common feature of LMSs. However, different LMS vendors will have different integrations.

Keep in mind when looking at LMS vendors what apps you already have that you need to be able to integrate with your LMS … and whether that’s an option with the ones you’re considering.

Top 7 Learning Management System Vendors

If you’re still unsure of what makes learning management system vendors right for you and your business, we’ve rounded up 7 of the top LMS providers in a top 7 LMS vendor list so you can see what they’ve got.

Tovuti

Source 

There may be some bias here, but Tovuti is undeniably a great LMS. It’s a flexible and scalable LMS vendor that offers a comprehensive offering of services, including on the user and administration front. Everything you need to create great courses can be done through the application. And if you’re struggling, you can reach out to Tovuti’s excellent customer service team.

Consideration

Explanation

What’s the cost?

To be given pricing, you’ll need to submit your first name, last name, email, and phone number.

Is it user-friendly?

Yes! And even if you’re struggling with setting it up, or using the interface, Tovuti offers a free demo (available before purchasing) and 4 1-hour coaching sessions in the first 30 days of purchasing. 

Does it have the features you need?

Tovuti has a lot of features, just a few including

  • Built-in Course Authoring
  • Course Management
  • Virtual Classrooms and Meetings
  • Blended Learning
  • Responsive on Mobile
  • SCORM Compliance
  • Notifications

Does it have the integrations you need?

Tovuti is connected with Zapier, allowing it to be integrated with 2000+ popular web applications


Coassemble

Source 

With Coassemble, it’s all about that content. The LMS vendor states it focuses on your ability to create great content to drive growth in your company. But, it doesn’t focus on eCommerce, which is only available through integrations. 

Consideration

Explanation

What’s the cost?

Coassemble starts at $49/month for a starter plan and jumps to $499 for a pro plan, but you can also purchase a premium plan (you’ll need to talk to sales to discuss the price)

Is It user-friendly?

It offers a free trial, free consultation, and support options to test it out and to get help if you’re struggling with using the platform. Once you’ve purchased it, you’ll also have access to a live chat

Does it have the features you need?

Coassemble does offer a variety of features, some of which include:

  • Lesson Screen Templates
  • Branding
  • Workplace Customization
  • Reporting and Analytics

Does it have the integrations you need?

There are a number of integrations available through Zapier. 

 

TalentLMS

Source 

TalentLMS claims to focus on ease of use with set-up being simple, and ready-made courses being available. It doesn’t offer live chat, but you can still contact its support team via email for support.

Consideration

Explanation

What’s the cost?

TalentLMS’s plans start at free and go to $429 for a premium plan. There’s also a custom plan option

Is It user-friendly?

TalentLMS prides itself on its easy set-up. There’s also a help center that includes articles on how to use different aspects of the platform

Does it have the features you need?

TalentLMS does offer a variety of features including

  • Content-friendly
  • Customizable
  • Surveys Engine
  • Gamification
  • eCommerce

Does it have the integrations you need?

You can integrate certain apps with TalentLMS, some of which include:

  • Google Analytics
  • Zendesk chat
  • API
  • BambooHR
  • WordPress

 

ProProfs

Source 

ProProfs states it has a mission to last 100 years, which means it focuses on great customer support and providing a great LMS, with 24/7 support and gamification features like flashcards, quizzes, and brain games.

Consideration

Consideration

Explanation

What’s the cost?

Other than a mention of starting at $0, there are no plans or price lists on the website, but you can contact via live chat, support, or the email form

Is It user-friendly?

Aside from the support, ProProfs also has a blog with how-tos, and you can schedule a demo

Does it have the features you need?

ProProfs does offer a variety of features, some of which include:

  • Training Maker
  • Knowledge Base
  • Survey Maker
  • Brain Games
  • Flashcards

Does it have the integrations you need?

This platform does include integrations, including:

  • MailChimp
  • Sugar CRM
  • Salesforce
  • TribeHR
  • Wordpress

 

 SAP Litmos

Source 

SAP Litmos is a corporate LMS vendor with great features like built-in content authoring, serious security, and robust reporting. Big companies like YouTube, IBM, and Fitbit have turned to it as their LMS of choice. Not too shabby. 

Consideration

Explanation

What’s the cost?

If you’re interested in SAP Litmos, you can request a quote

Is It user-friendly?

It offers a live demo and a free trial, plus 24/7 support if you’re still struggling

Does it have the features you need?

Litmos offers a variety of features, including

  • Online Course Builder
  • eCommerce
  • Instructor-led Training
  • Video Assessments
  • Customized Learning Paths

Does it have the integrations you need?

This platform does include integrations, some of which are:

  • BambooHr
  • DocuSign
  • DropBox
  • MailChimp
  • Salesforce

Docebo

Source 

Docebo’s AI-based learning suite offers a variety of different layered features so you can create courses to train your employees. It’s the choice of the likes of Walmart, Amazon Web Services, and Heineken. 

Consideration

Explanation

What’s the cost?

If you’re interested in Docebo, you can request a custom quote

Is It user-friendly?

With Docebo, you can schedule a demo or start a free trial before you purchase to see how the platform works for you

Does it have the features you need?

Docebo includes many different products and features, some of the top which include:

  • eCommerce
  • Extended Enterprise
  • Mobile Learning
  • Social Learning
  • SCORM, AICC, xAPI

Does it have the integrations you need?

The platform does include integrations, some of which are:

  • ADP Workforce Now
  • BambooHR
  • Confluence
  • Dropbox
  • Eventbrite

  

Absorb LMS

Source 

Absorb LMS is a corporate LMS vendor it claims is designed to be scalable with your business. This platform is also dedicated to giving great customer support. Absorb LMS is the LMS Sony, Johnson & Johnson, and Gap use. 

Consideration

Explanation

What’s the cost?

If you’re interested in Absorb LMS, you can get pricing depending on your number of learners

Is It user-friendly?

You can try before you buy with a demo or a free trial, and if you’re needing help with setup, course creation, management, or delivery, you can access the Help Desk, or contact support

Does it have the features you need?

Absorb LMS has a wide variety of features, some of which include:

  • Smart Administration
  • eCommerce
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Content Libraries
  • eSignatures

Does it have the integrations you need?

There are a number of integrations available with Absorb LMS, some of which include:

  • Zoom
  • Salesforce
  • ADP
  • BambooHR
  • Webex

 

FAQ

How much does an LMS cost?

The cost of an LMS will depend on the LMS vendor – some are even free, although their features are typically limited. If you want to learn more about Tovuti’s pricing, you can fill out your contact information to get the prices

What is the best LMS for corporations & businesses?

Of course, we’re going to have to say Tovuti. We may be biased, but Tovuti offers a variety of incredible features to create a platform where you can create courses as comprehensive as you need them, with analytics to track its success and your students’ progress. 

How to set up LMS?

How you set up an LMS will be individual to the LMS, although the LMS vendor should have some form of support to help you. Tovuti, for instance, offers 4 coaching sessions of 1 hour in the first 30 days.

Summary

When looking for an LMS vendor, there are a number of factors to consider, like what you need the software for, what the cost, usability, available features, and integrations are. 

But the top 7 learning management system vendors we’d recommend are

  1. Tovuti
  2. Coassemble
  3. TalentLMS
  4. ProProfs
  5. SAP Litmos
  6. Docebo
  7. Absorb LMS

If you’re interested in checking out Tovuti, watch a demo!

 

Author:
Tyson Chaplin

Tyson Chaplin earned his Master of Educational Technology degree from Boise State University in 2014. He also earned a graduate certificate in Technology Integration and holds teaching certificates in online teaching, special education, and history.

Tyson is an Idaho native who is passionate about technology and how it can help all people learn and better themselves. He has worked in both public and private sectors. Tyson enjoys cooking and traveling with his wife, Malia, and restores vintage video game systems in his free time.

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