Looking for a New LMS for Articulate

Howdy!

I work for a small (~25 employee) non-profit organization that trains around 600-700 active students at a time.  We currently run Taleo (from Oracle), but are considering moving to a new LMS with better pricing options and customer service.

I have gone and done some preliminary research on many of the LMS available, but honestly, I'm in over my head!  This is the first time I'm having to deal with the back-end of an LMS, and I'm new to instructional design as well.  Add to this the pervasiveness of old information (so much stuff is still out there from pre-2012), and you can easily see my dilemma.

I've looked at Moodle and Edmondo a little more in-depth, and I don't think they're quite what we need.  As a small company, we'll need something that will be easy to transition over to, provide hosting, track our students' progress, and allow us to customize or "brand" the client-side.

Also, several sites have suggested they would provide a quote if asked, but I was wondering if you guys had any knowledge on a ballpark cost? 

Thanks in advance!

32 Replies
Christine Hendrickson

Welcome to E-Learning Heroes, Frank!

There are a lot of posts on this topic, though some of them may not be very recent, they may help you get a good idea about which LMS is good for you. 

Here are some threads you might want to check out:

Which LMS do you use and why?

Need help with LMS decision....is Moodle that great?

I'm sure you'll be able to get a lot of feedback from the community on your question. However, you might also want to make a post over in the Building Better Courses section of the forums, if you haven't already. This will make your question more visible to the community and may help you get more feedback from other Heroes. 

I understand that you want to choose the best option. One thing you may want to do is try Articulate Online and see if it works for you. You don't have to purchase the service right away. There's currently a 30 day free trial for Articulate Online. Just go to the product page and click on "Try Free". Hopefully this will give you a better idea of how the service functions and you'll be able to find out if it suits your needs. 

Good luck in your decision and welcome again to the community!

Christine

Erik Lord

Capterra is a decent place to start - they list a lot and, though I'm sure payments influence higher placement (as in all online advertising these days), there are user reviews which can say a lot...

http://www.capterra.com/learning-management-system-software?srchid=1005106&pos=3

LMS products can cover such a huge range of features, it's a good idea to get a sense of what you really need to do...

Some LMS products have better reporting features than others.

Better customer support.

Better 'social media' features.

Better talent management.

Built-in authoring tools.

Variety of SCORM/xAPI support.

and so on...

For a decent, mid-range LMS with great pricing, check out Inquisiq:

http://www.inquisiq.com

the pricing sheet is on the website.

Good luck!
Erik

Madeline Goepp

Hi Frank,

There are a lot of LMSs out there and each offer different features.  It's important to make a list of the features you need and like and prioritize them.  From what it sounds like, you are looking for an LMS that is:

  • Good for a small company (and may be scalable).
  • Has good reporting.
  • Pricing is decent and maybe even has pricing for non-profits.
  • Good and fast support (you may need to think about what this means to you).
  • Supports SCORM.
  • Something you can customize to fit your brand.

From these requirements, I would suggest evaluating Litmos.  It sounds as though cost may be important to you and for 25 users without the non-profit pricing you are looking at $99/ month.

Good luck in finding an LMS!

Russell Fong

Thank you everyone for being so helpful!

@Christine:  I will definitely make a post over there - I was unsure as to where this post should go.  As for the other LMS threads, I had found them and used them to get started, but there's so much information!  I was hoping to find more specific answers to my company's individual problems.  I'll go post there, and try to be more specific!

@Erik:  I'll keep all that in mind!  Thanks for the Capterra link - I like the compare feature!

@Madeline:  You've definitely highlighted some of our desires.  What's a little confusing about our situation is that we're using this LMS to train external clients - that is, we provide training to foster parents in the state.  As a result, though we only have about 25 people, we're responsible for the training of around 600 active students at a given time (with just below 2,000 unique students all-time).  The LMS has to be able to be administered by myself, but easy enough to pass along to another person in the event of my absence, which provides unique difficulties in that I'm probably the most tech-saavy person in our company.  The client-side, being used by parents at hugely variant degrees of technical capability, must also be easy to use.  This is where "good" technical support comes into play - currently, Oracle is slow, and when something

The biggest thing is, of course, tracking - as a non-profit, the tracking statistics are what we use to prove our own viability.  The more customizable the reports, and the more we can see or the more we can manipulate them into appropriate reports, the better. 

Thank you all for your responses!

Madeline Goepp

It makes since that you are looking for something easy for a "non-techy" and with great support.  In my option, this should be available for every LMS but unfortunately, it's not. 

As for your questions about SaaS....

With non-SaaS companies you are looking to host the software yourself.  This means when you start you will need to purchase licences and servers.  And once things are up and running, you will then need to maintain the servers and update the software which will add an additional cost.

When looking at SaaS software, the maintenance and servers are handled for you which allows you to forget about all the technical stuff and focus on using the software.

Funny enough, I just wrote a blog post on this subject yesterday:  Why Train in the Cloud. Hope that helps.

John Jamison

Though the key thing is to make sure you have your clear goals and needs and use that as the final guide, I highly recommend taking a look at the SimplyDigi Learning Management System.  I've been a user for the past 5 or 6 years and have been very pleased with the system, and even more pleased with the support!

For full transparency, I did decide to become a SimplyDigi reseller about a year ago, but that's just because it's the first platform I've used in 20 years I felt I could stand behind.

http://www.simplydigi.com

John Jamison

john@imagilearning.com

Susan Morin

Hi Frank,

Looking for a new LMS can be daunting, ``you don`t know what you don`t know``.  I can appreciate being overwhelmed.

You may want to take a look at Absorb LMS.  This is a full featured LMS at a mid range cost.  What separates Absorb apart from the pack would be it`s ease of use for both the learner and the administrator.  This will take a great deal of pressure off you as the main admin.  

It`s also:

Intuitive, with automated management of all aspects of online, classroom & external training

Brandable to your corporate look and gee

HTML5 interface built for your diverse workforce and their preferred learning device

You can go to www.omniplex.biz and www.absorblms.com and visit our blogs.  There is a great deal of information to help you through your LMS search regardless what product you end up with.

I hope this helps out a little.

Sincerely,

Susan

Rene R

Shanna,

I had brief exposure to SumTotal in 2013. During that time, I also had access to a different LMS. Storyline 1 courses I uploaded to the other LMS would hang for several seconds on question slides and then not complete consistently, but the same courses would play and complete beautifully in SumTotal. So with regard to Storyline 1 compatibility and their 2013 instance, I give it a thumbs up. 

joe smith

I feel for anyone going through the process of finding a new LMS.  It's a miserable job.  I've had two of the worst LMSs on the planet.  I spent two years with the last one which almost destroyed my business.  But I'm happy to say the third time around has been a charm.  I found a LMS provider who provided a totally customized LMS solution for me and it's working beautifully.  I couldn't be happier.   I can now focus on growing my business instead of dealing with LMS-created problems every day. 

I'd seriously check out these folks if you're in the market for a new LMS.  Here's their website:  http://www.kmilearning.com/

If you contact them you'll probably end up talking with Greg.  He has a technical background so he's very knowledgeable about their system.  And tell him you'd like to take a look at the new website that was just launched for Steven S.  I'd love for you to see what they did for me. 

And if you end up working with them, Michael will head up the development of your project.  He was able to deal with every hurdle I threw at him and his team.  All of the other big LMS companies were scared off when I started talking about some of my requirements. 

If you have any questions about my experience with them I'd be happy to talk.  Just touch base with me.  And I'd love to show off my new site that they built!

Thanks, 

Steven S.

 

 

 

 

 

Michael Wojciechowski

This is a reply to a fairly dated question but perhaps someone will find it useful.  We've created a fully white label LMS based on a content management system.  It can be customized to be as simple or as complex as one wishes - we would love to help and be an alternative to other LMS providers out there.  If you're interested, I can personally guide anyone interested through a demo of the platform.  Get in touch :)