March 13, 2013
Key Differentiators of Absorb LMS and blatant^
No one really knows how many learning management systems currently exist. Some research firms and analysts place the number as high as 500 and includes commercial systems, open source applications, and custom built, in-house platforms. The large number of available systems is both comforting (a system that meets your most important needs is almost certainly available) and overwhelming (faced with so many choices, finding that system can be tough.) To help make your search easier, here are what we believe to be the key differentiators of Absorb LMS and blatant^:
- Absorb LMS doesn’t look like other learning management systems. That’s because we place a huge emphasis on design, usability, and brand projection:
- Absorb LMS delivers learning content to people on any device that can interpret HTML 5. This includes conventional desktop and laptop computers, tablets such as iPads, and popular phones.
- Most Web sites designed for traditional computers simply shrink down the interface to fit the smaller screens of tablets and phones. Absorb LMS is different. The site adapts to the device being used to create a better experience for the learner. Here's how the same Absorb LMS portal displays on different devices:
- The administrative features of Absorb LMS are designed to make management of learning initiatives very easy. In fact, the entire learning workflow can be automated, from the learner’s registration in the system, enrolment in courses, generation of progress reports, certification, and beyond.
- The system is particularly strong at providing different learning content to different learners. So, if you want to make a curriculum available to, say, a group of people located in a specific city who do a certain type of work, it will take you less than one minute to set this up.
- Most LMS vendors, of course, say that they have a great system. Boasting isn’t our style but we will say that we’ve won 13 major industry awards for excellence since 2008. We also get really great reviews from our customers, which means the world to us.
- About two or three new clients per week select Absorb LMS and 95 per cent of clients stay with us each year, not because they have to but because they want to.
- Absorb LMS isn't the least expensive learning management system; after all, there are free open-source systems you can try. But when you factor in the time, effort, and cost related to configuring other systems and using them to run your learning initiatives, we think we provide good value. (One of our clients, COLA, recently switched from a `free’ open source platform to Absorb LMS and saved a pile of cash. You can read all about it here.)
- We try to stay focused on creating a great learning management system rather than attempting to be everything to everyone:
- We’ve resisted the trend to become a talent management suite. Absorb LMS doesn’t have a recruiting module, a succession planning module, etc. But, you can integrate Absorb LMS with those types of applications by using APIs we’ve created. A full 40 per cent of our customers integrate Absorb LMS with other enterprise applications.
- We’ve also resisted the trend to build social network capabilities into the system. We think Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and other platforms are pretty awesome and like you, we use them every day. So, rather than recreating those technologies (which would take our time away from building a great LMS) we’d rather leverage popular platforms by making them available to learners as resources integrated into their dashboards.
- Absorb LMS contains a built-in shopping cart, so if you're planning to sell courses, either now or in the future, that will be a breeze.
- If you come to us and say you like our system a lot but could we please create new features just for you, we might say no. It’s not that we don’t want to help you out. But, we’ve been doing this long enough to know that having a lot of highly customized implementations can be a nightmare for both our clients and for us when the time comes to upgrade to new versions. We prefer a single, super-stable codebase everyone uses that’s highly configurable, with features turned on or off as needed. (If, however, you have an idea for a great new feature we should include in our roadmap, we’d love to hear about it.)
- We’re very proud of the culture at blatant^. Jerks don’t remain here long. This means morale is high and when you contact us, you’ll be served by happy, talented people who will be calm and professional. If you visit our office, you can even challenge members of our team to an Xbox game. (You might want to practice a bit before.)
- If during your evaluation of Absorb LMS, we get a sense that we aren’t a good fit for what you want to do, we’ll let you know. We promise. It's more important for us to get new customers we can make happy than to get new customers who will be miserable trying to use our technology to do things it wasn't designed to do.
- Supports mobile learning initiatives
- Is easy to use, both for learners and administrators
- That can be designed to project strongly your organization's brand and culture
- That you can use to sell courses
- That can be easily integrated with other enterprise applications