LMS and top vendors

What to look for when selecting or implementing learning management systems?

Learning management systems can be powerful tools for e-learning but they have had some resistance to adopting them. Why?


Only 24% of LMS buyers are satisfied with their purchase
25% of LMS buyers are dissatisfied with their learning management system
About 25% of all LMS buyers plan to switch vendors
At first glance these numbers can be disconcerting however...

For those Learning Management System (LMS) customers who are satisfied with their training software investment, they are planning to increase this investment in subsequent years. Some customers plan to roll out their LMS's program to other divisions of the their operations. Remember, since LMS's are mainly web-based, you can easily implement them across time zones and geographical regions.

Learning Management Systems: Finding Your Way Through the Maze

Our research, available to Bersin & Associates  shows that $1.8 to $1.9B will be spent globally on learning management systems in 2013. And with more than 500 providers in the market, only five of them (Cornerstone OnDemand, Oracle, SAP, Saba and SumTotal) have more than 4 percent market share.

According to Bersin & Associates, a Deloitte company (2009), “The six largest LMS product companies constitute approximately
50% of the market.” The report does not specify which six these are but the largest
vendors in the corporate market are
 SumTotal (including GeoLearning)
 Saba
 Meridian
 Outstart (now owned by Kenexa/IBM)
 Plateau (purchased by SuccessFactors which was then purchased by SAP)
 Learn.com (purchased by Taleo which was then purchased by Oracle in Feb.

Do you need to license the LMS and host it on your own servers, or is it alright for it to be hosted by the LMS company?

There are benefits and drawbacks to both approaches.

Benefits of licensed

You own the software, and likely won’t have to pay re-occurring fees for anything but maintenance (if you choose to get it).
You control the security - if security is a big issue for you, licensing the software might be better than a hosted solution because you can control access to the LMS (through a corporate firewall, etc).
Benefits of hosted

Usually less expensive - If you outright buy the software you will likely be faced with a bigger upfront cost.
Don’t have to manage the servers  -
Updates are usually included for free – If you own your own server you may or may not be entitled to free upgrades.    If you are on a hosted solution you most likely are always on the most up to date version of the software.