A Complete Guide to Buying the Right LMS – Part 1

Disclaimer: The author of this post has an experience of working on SaaS Learning Management Systems. Although she has been as fair as she could, we think you, our readers, should know of this fact before going forward

Admin, The Qustn Cafe

You would not wear a night gown to an official meeting, right? Similarly, I’m guessing you probably wouldn’t wear a business suit for sleeping in (at least, not on purpose). Both a business suit and a night dress do best when used for the right occasion and environment. It is that simple – the right kind of clothes for the right occassion. If this is so simple to understand,


Then why is it acceptable to us to use an academic LMS in a corporate environment?

You need to find the best fit for your organization’s unique situation when looking for a learning management system – a platform that accommodates your challenges and requirements.

This blog is an attempt to provide a bird’s eye view of a few of the largest learning management systems made for the corporate audience, to help reduce your confusion in case you’re looking to buy one.

1. Skillsoft

The content resource of Skillsoft is unparalleled. Founded in 1998, Skillsoft is well known in the learning space mainly for their library on training courses and certification programs that can be picked up by Industry experts as it is. Skillsoft’s learning management system is a cloud based solution which is very well integrated with their content library, but at the same time lets you deploy your own content as well.


Customers: Current customers are Nokia, Suncorp and Siemens, Hitachi.

USP: Skillsoft was designed as an eLearning platform and then was made accessible on tablets and smartphones. It has got its social learning elements right – profiles, comments, peer to peer course recommendations etc. – if that’s what you are looking for – and they are fully integrated with its massive content library.

The Good: It is simple and easy to use, thus reducing the time of your actual deployment, especially for someone with little technical know how. For a trainer, integration with Skillsoft means getting your hands on a wealth of already existing content/courses and trainings that can be deployed at the click of a button without having to move your butt.

The Not So Good: The simplicity of the portal makes it suffer from being not very configurable or customizable as per the enterprise needs. Thus it might not meet complex needs of a corporate training environment, since it lacks in a few key features required by most of the big organizations like multiple admin access, presentations deployment, detailed analytics and tracking etc.

Cost: Skillsoft LMS is always coupled as an addition to various certification/training offerings. Users are asked to pay for extra functionalities separately, mainly things like reporting, hosting etc. To get started, you would need to touch base with their sales team and get the process rolling, since the purchase cannot directly happen from the website. In terms of costing, it comes out on the lower end of spectrum.

Go For It, If: You are looking for rich content and a pre-built course base, and not at a lot of customization.

Explore Capabiliti’s Learning Management System here

2. Docebo

Docebo has been designed to be delivered in SaaS, as an ecosystem of features and modules that can be enabled or disabled per customer requirements. Also with its mobile app, Docebo delivers learning at the point of need and on-demand via all devices including mobile and tablet.


Customers: Clients like Accenture, Coca Cola, Thomson Reuters and Autodesk are part of the 30k+ international customers.

Stand out features: The LMS features strong deployment flexibility – hosted on premise, or SaaS. It claims to have seamless integration with existing in house platforms of various enterprises, which is always an added advantage if you are a big organization.

Pros: The configurability and comprehensiveness meets the needs of even the most complex organizational structures. You can set up and enable multiple organizations within different silos and assign different secured URL’s to each. Along with which, you can create a network of admin and sub-admins that manage different silos differently.

Cons: The interface is streamlined to make course and user management easier. It does, however, require a lot of getting-used-to make the best use of it. Too many features and configurations might end up making you spending a lot of time browsing and checking out features than getting your training out live. There is limited documentation to get you started but you can receive a free personalized walk-through from their team on demand.

Cost: Docebo starts at $5/user/year for 50 and less active users, and goes down to $0.5/user/year for 20,000 and more active users. All in all, Docebo deserves your consideration if you’re on the lookout for a reliable and feature-rich e-learning system. The pricing is reasonably competitive and the round-the-clock online support service far outweighs the cost. Despite its complexity and scope, it is priced lower than several significant competitors. That said, it is ideal for larger organizations.

Go For It, If: You are looking for a feature rich, DIY platform

See how a large telecom operator trained 13k frontline users in 15 days at 1/5th the cost, using the right LMS.

3. Cornerstone OnDemand

Cornerstone OnDemand’s learning product is their web-based LMS. Like Docebo, Cornerstone OnDemand’s LMS in meant to be integrated with complete Talent Management System, providing an end-to-end solution for all HR needs with solution being offered for recruitment, onboarding, connect, and related analytics.


Customers: Neiman Marcus, TGI Friday’s, Virgin Media. Cornerstone OnDemand also offers a version for small business called CSB Learning.

Stand out features: Learning cloud has an exhaustive feature list along with a content library of over 30K+ courses. It supports instructor-led training, social collaboration tools, certification, compliance and course authoring.

Pros: The SaaS architecture makes deployment fast and relatively easy, especially for people without a tech background. The platform is highly configurable, making it an ideal solution for big organizations wanting to customize things as per their needs. Deep integration with the entire talent management suite could help companies in centralizing their processes and have it all on one platform.

Cons: The UI has been stamped as outdated and difficult-to-navigate, but an update this year might have changed that (some recent reviews do suggest the same). Moreover, no major customization is possible (apart from white-labeling). Things like integration with present LMS comes with added hassles. They are also working around providing local resources for implementation and support

Cost: Cornerstone does not offer any pre-made packages for any of its services including learning or any onsite purchase options. One has to go through their customer support. It is by no means the cheapest. It’s more middle segment as far as enterprise LMS pricing is concerned.

Go For It, If: You are looking for an end to end talent management suite for all your HR needs. Best for Big corporates.

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