Celebrate the Best: Our 2023 Learning Systems Awards
This is my favorite time of year. That’s because this is when we take time to recognize extended enterprise learning systems vendors who stand out from the rest. These awards have been a tradition for us since 2015, but the process has become much more than just a simple list-making exercise. It’s actually one of the most important ways I stay ahead of the many dynamic trends that define the learning tech landscape.
Tracking the action isn’t easy. All year long, I steep myself in the marketplace – paying special attention to vendors with breakthrough business models, noteworthy technologies, stellar services and other meaningful differentiators.
Since keeping up with technology change is my full-time job, I welcome briefings and demonstrations from vendors anytime. But during our annual awards selection process, these activities take center stage.
As always, selecting the 2023 learning systems awards winners was intense. Over the past two months, I’ve learned more than I could have imagined about nearly 100 of the most innovative learning solutions available.
I analyzed detailed entries from every vendor and independently reviewed their products. Then to verify my analysis, I walked through one-hour business briefings and product demonstrations with each company.
After becoming much more deeply familiar with so many exceptional solutions, selecting only 40 winners has been agonizing. But it was well worth the effort.
Top Takeaways From the 2023 Learning Systems Awards
Here are my top takeaways from this year’s analysis:
- Artificial intelligence is a massive trend
That’s no surprise since AI is reaching every corner of the software world. But what is staggering is how rapidly vendors are inventing and introducing AI-driven capabilities. Smaller and newer vendors are using AI to close the gap and differentiate themselves from established players. Meanwhile, larger vendors are using their might to redefine all aspects of their solutions.
- Two types of solution categories are emerging
1) “Specialty” learning platforms focused on one or more highly specific use cases (by industry or vertical market).
2) “All-purpose” LMS solutions that address most extended enterprise use cases, but may not be as effective as specialists at serving a specific need.
- Services are on the rise
Increasingly, vendors are offering managed administration, content development, marketing, analytics and other services that complement their solutions, enable their clients and differentiate their brands.
Types of Solutions Included In Our 2023 Learning Systems Awards
We’re open to any vendor that serves commercial and extended enterprise learning market segments. This includes:
- Customer education
- Partner, channel, franchise or gig worker training
- Employee learning
- Extended enterprise learning (employee training, plus any combination of customer, partner or contractor education)
- Content as a business (associations, training companies, or subject matter experts)
We welcome submissions from any type of learning solution vendor, including:
- Learning management systems (LMS)
- Learning experience platforms (LXP)
- Mobile learning apps
- Microlearning and adaptive learning systems
- Training resource management systems
- Learning analytics platforms
- Content authoring systems
- Sales enablement
- Video learning systems
- And more…
2023 Learning Systems Awards Selection Criteria
With so many learning solutions, it’s impossible to review them all. That’s why we developed a rigorous nomination process to identify the best and weed out the rest. To be considered, every vendor must complete an in-depth 92-question capability survey and conduct an optional 60-minute executive briefing and demonstration with me.
In addition to weighing a vendor’s functional, technical, service and support capabilities, we consider several other important subjective criteria. For example:
- Have they participated in a Talented Learning-led LMS buying opportunity?
When we help organizations select learning systems, we naturally evaluate vendors at a much deeper level during the purchasing and deployment process.
- Are they members in good standing of the vendor community?
When vendors drop the ball with customers, we hear about it. We make note of those instances and track them over time.
- Do they contribute to industry thought leadership?
Many vendors strive to educate the market with content that drives the whole industry forward. We pay attention to those who invest in this kind of outreach.
- Do they demonstrate extended enterprise domain expertise?
How deeply does a vendor focus on the unique needs of external (non-employee) audiences – customers, partners, gig workers, association members or other external audiences?
2023 Learning Systems Awards Categories
This year, we’re recognizing 40 solutions in three categories:
- Top 15 All-Purpose Learning Systems
- Top 15 Specialty Learning Systems
- Top 10 “Watchlist” Learning Systems
Top 15 All-Purpose Learning Systems
All-purpose learning systems can be used effectively in a broad range of use cases, industries and locations. These vendors strive to maximize their total addressable market.
Here are this category’s 2023 Learning Systems Awards winners (in alphabetical order):
Absorb LMS – See the full profile | review | demo | case studies
Absorb LMS empowers organizations to efficiently deliver and manage their training programs for employees, customers, partners, members and content-as-a-business. This AI-infused solution offers a top-notch learner interface, content authoring, adaptive delivery, custom reporting and analytics, as well as advanced ability to embed learning in proprietary software applications.
Brainier – See the full profile | review | demo | insights | case studies
The Brainier LMS is a market leader in manufacturing, distribution, business services and financial industries. This is a wholly owned subsidiary of employee and customer engagement and loyalty powerhouse, BI Worldwide. This gives them strategic access to global, tier-one training programs. The Brainier LMS solution outperforms with advanced automation, audience segmentation, learning UI, content authoring and analytics, as well as superior customer support.
CD2 Learning – See the full profile | review | demo | insights | case studies
The CD2 Learning LMS is designed for medium-sized businesses, corporations and non-profit organizations. Their all-purpose solution is equally effective with employee, customer and member learning initiatives. CD2’s claim to fame is an advanced automation engine, integrated content authoring, social learning, gamification, ecommerce and personalization, as well as outstanding customer service and outsourcing capabilities in administration and custom content development.
CYPHER LEARNING – See the full profile | review | demo | insights | case studies
CYPHER LEARNING is disrupting the all-purpose LMS industry with smarts, strength and style. Some of their many strengths include an AI authoring tool that reduces content development time by 80%, as well as a powerful automation engine, 1000+ integrations, instructor-focused capabilities, gamification, social learning, globalization and a solid learner experience design.
D2L – See the full profile | review | demo | insights | case studies
D2L recently launched D2L for Business, an all-in-one corporate learning solution aimed at helping companies optimize their return on investment in learning and talent. The solution combines D2L’s LMS, LXP, authoring tools and skills library in an elegant user interface that provides seamless access to skill-mapped content from a network of top education providers. In addition to strong support for instructor-led training, cohort training and learner analytics, D2L delivers robust content development, instructional design, skills and analytics services, as well as managed administrative services and support.
DigitalChalk – See the full profile | demo | case studies
DigitalChalk by Sciolytix is an all-purpose LMS designed to support employee, extended enterprise and content-as-a-business applications. Key differentiators include continuing education management, interactive video, immersive simulations, ecommerce, social learning, gamification, assessments, ease of implementation and exceptional customer support.
Docebo – See the full profile | review | insights | case studies
Docebo is the fastest-growing all-purpose learning system in the world, with an ever-growing annual reccurring revenue of almost $140 million, 30,000,000 active annual users and 3500 global clients. Their all-purpose solution includes LMS, LXP, AI authoring tool, analytics, content marketplace, ROI calculator and remote content components. Key competitive differentiators include Docebo’s speed of innovation, administrative automation engine, breadth of no-code integrations, adaptive learning, content support, federal government offering, remote content and growing complementary services.
Gyrus Systems – See the full profile | review | demo | insights
Gyrus Systems has quietly built a deep and highly configurable LMS solution ideal for employee learning, compliance and performance management in small and medium business environments, as well local, state and federal agencies. This solution’s strengths include ease of use, low total cost of ownership, skill and competencies support, audience segmentation, AI-assisted administration, as well as support for niche government requirements such as SF-182 and EHRI integration.
Intellum – See the full profile | review
Intellum is a highly competitive all-purpose LMS designed to support any combination of employees, customers or partners learners, but with a strong emphasis on external learners. This mature, proven solution provides advanced AI-driven tools that help organizations create and deliver highly personalized and adaptive skills-based learning content.
iSpring – See the full profile
iSpring LMS is a comprehensive learning management system designed for businesses and educational institutions that need to manage and deliver online training and elearning content. Competitive differentiators include iSpring’s user-friendly interface, extensive authoring capabilities, robust reporting and analytics, and seamless integration with the platform’s learning authoring tools. This provides a holistic solution for elearning content creation and delivery.
LearnUpon – See the full profile | review
LearnUpon is a complete all-purpose LMS designed to support multiple audiences – customers and partners, as well as employees. LearnUpon is a highly functional, affordable extended enterprise solution that excels in portal management, content creation, learner engagement, AI powered learning and analytics. This platform integrates well with other cloud SaaS applications, including ecommerce, SSO and CRM platforms.
Litmos – See the full profile | insights
Litmos offers a comprehensive all-purpose LMS solution designed for businesses and organizations of all sizes that serve both employees and external audiences. Litmos stands out through its user-friendly interface, manager role innovations, robust analytics, scalable design, video content and data-driven analytics.
Neovation – See the full profile
Neovation is a learning system and service provider with an all-purpose LMS (SmarterU) and gamified microlearning platform (OtterLearn) that work together to support high-end learner experiences. Strengths include role management, portal design, gamified content creator, spaced-repetition learning reinforcement, AI proctoring and grading, as well as the ability to develop a knowledge base. Managed administrative services and content development are just some of their many service offerings.
Schoox – See the full profile | review | demo | insights
A specialist in complex compliance, regulatory and distributed organizational learning, Schoox is a powerful and very popular global LMS. This platform stands out for its organization and group management capabilities, extensive application integrations, built-in performance management, content curation, ROI impact tools, goals management, badging and social learning functionality.
WorkRamp – See the full profile | review
WorkRamp is an all-purpose LMS solution targeting mid-market employee and extended enterprise learning audiences. Originally a sales enablement platform, WorkRamp provides mature sales pitch challenges and deep Salesforce integration. Other key differentiators are AI-powered collaborative authoring, Chrome Extension LMS search outside of the LMS, centralized content management, external user interface design, learning paths and gamification.
Top 15 Specialty Learning Systems
Specialty learning systems vendors choose to focus on only one or two use cases, industries or locations, and they support these niche needs exceptionally well. Often, these are innovation leaders who put all their horsepower into new features, integrations and services that differentiate their offering and help them gain dominance in a well-defined (sometimes) pond.
Here are this category’s 2023 Learning Systems Awards winners (in alphabetical order):
Administrate – See the full profile | review | demo | insights | case studies
Administrate is a high-end training resource management solution that excels at using AI and advanced integration to automate all types of manual administration activities associated with high-volume ILT scheduling, resource planning and learning plan execution. The Administrate solution unlocks serious ROI in the world’s largest training organizations in a way that standard LMSs can’t touch.
aNewSpring – See the full profile | review
The aNewSpring learning platform is purpose-built to meet the demanding needs of training companies. Their LMS and integrated authoring tool work in concert to provide a learner experience that combines adaptive learning, coaching, social capabilities and learning reinforcement. This helps training companies develop and deliver next-level content products.
Attensi – See the full profile
Attensi is a global leader in gamified simulation training that blends behavioral science, technical modeling and advanced insights technology to deliver immersive experiences in a safe learning environment. This specialty learning platform combines advanced 3D modeling based on the concepts of active training and spaced repetition. Sitting alongside or on top of an organization’s core LMS, Attensi solutions are found in more than 140 countries and in more than 50 languages.
Authentic Learning Labs – See the full profile | review | insights
Authentic Learning Labs is an expert in API-centric learning delivery, with a suite that includes an LXP, an assessment engine and powerful data visualization tools. More importantly, Authentic employs experts who work as learning “SWAT” teams to provide rapid integration and analytic services that solve specialized problems that large training companies, associations and customer education organizations face.
Blue Sky eLearn – See the full profile | review
The Blue Sky eLearn Path LMS supports the entire conference/event lifecycle with branded event portals, ad networks, registration, attendance, session recording, materials management and complex continuing education credential management – all in an easy and coordinated manner. The LMS is designed to create and deploy content easily and efficiently via a well-designed user interface.
Eurekos – See the full profile | review | demo | insights | case studies
Eurekos provides a full-featured, highly configurable LMS designed for global customer and partner education. They are the European market leader in customer education, but also have an impressive global customer footprint. Strengths include organizational management, integration, configuration, learner experience, globalization, large event management, content authoring, adaptive learning and analytics.
Learnie – See the full profile | review |demo
Learnie is a mobile community microlearning platform. It is used by companies with disengaged, deskless or frontline workers to create engagement in the training process. They also offer prebuilt content to onboard new hires as part of the framework.
LearningCart – See the full profile | review | demo | case studies
LearningCart makes it easy and inexpensive for organizations to promote and sell learning content in any format – successfully. Some key differentiators include B2C/B2B e-commerce, storefront builder, an integrated content management system, affiliate tracking, free trials, webhooks, Zapier integration, ecommerce reporting and a highly useful Google Search Console and Analytics integration.
MyQuest – See the full profile | review | insights
MyQuest is an integrated LMS, authoring, coaching and AI-powered performance support application that aims to improve the enjoyment and efficacy of online learning. Solving the passivity problem of much online content, MyQuest challenges learners to complete gamified missions that include coaching, reflection, meaningful activities and regular reinforcement until they develop and demonstrate measurable habits.
NetExam – See the full profile | review | demo | insights | case studies
NetExam has perfected the science of channel, partner and customer training. This platform shines in many areas, including CRM/PRM integration, partner management, partner levels, gamification, contests, OJT assignments, mobile apps, ILT training management and social learning – just to name a few.
Platcore – See the full profile | review
PlatCore enables organizations to deliver increased value, reduce costs, and minimize regulatory and compliance risk through learning applications that extend the ServiceNow platform. Because Platcore is the first and only approved ServiceNow LMS solution, they are extremely competitive against traditional LMS players in the ServiceNow client base of 7000+ global clients.
Skilljar – See the full profile | review | insights
Skilljar has been a leader in the customer education space for more than a decade. Originally focused on serving tech companies, Skilljar has expanded its target market reach to other industries, as well. Key differentiators include integration with a broad spectrum of CRM, marketing automation, customer experience and SSO applications, as well as solid organization management and B2B features.
The Learning Network – See the full profile
The Learning Network is a relatively new organization that has acquired complementary learning technology products and combined them into a new offering. Their Performance LMS is designed to meet manufacturers’ complex needs to onboard, train and certify channel partners, dealers and franchises.
Thought Industries – See the full profile | review | insights | case studies
Thought Industries is a complete enterprise-grade learning system built specifically for customer education, content as a business and channel partner education. This powerful solution enables headless LMS scenarios and seamlessly combines LMS, CMS, CRM and content authoring tools. It also includes world-class B2B2B ecommerce capabilities that meet the needs of even the most complex large-scale training companies.
Training Orchestra – See the full profile | review | demo | insights
Training Orchestra develops and delivers a training resource management system that supports high-volume, global ILT and VILT training businesses. Training Orchestra helps automate training administration, session creation, instructor assignment, resource allocation, sales cycle planning, reporting and financial analysis.
Top 10 Learning Systems “Watchlist”
Some of the hottest innovations come from smaller, newer or recently merged solutions. I’ve met dozens and dozens of such vendors while researching the 2023 Learning Systems Awards. We identified 11 that really stand out and deserve your attention. (I couldn’t hold the line at only 10.) Keep a watchful eye on these rising stars!
Here are this category’s 2023 Learning Systems Awards winners (in alphabetical order):
5app – See the full profile | review
5app provides a specialty learning solution designed for training companies and corporate SMB. This low total cost of ownership solution simplifies learning management and just-in-time content delivery. Additionally, it serves as a corporate communications hub, combining multi-step email marketing campaign technology with learner communications. They also provide an in-app mechanism to track and prove program impact.
Bigger Brains – See the full profile | review
You may know Bigger Brains from the engaging library of off-the-shelf content available from Go1, OpenSesame and others. However, they also recently launched a very targeted vertical LMS solution that integrates content for the IT service industry.
Cadmium – See full profiles for EthosCE LMS and ElevateLMS
Focused squarely on the continuing education market, Cadmium’s vision is to break down internal education silos and provide end-to-end support for all aspects of learning and education, including event and seminar management, online learning, virtual learning, video content management and more. Cadmium offers two, fairly recently acquired, independent LMS solutions for different target audiences: Cadmium Elevate LMS enables associations of all types and Cadmium EthosCE LMS specializes in continuing medical education of all types.
Course Container – See the full profile | review | demo | insights
Course Container is an affordable specialty learning system that helps organizations effectively run their online content in their customers’ LMS solutions while retaining licensing restrictions, including detailed user reporting and the ability to easily update content centrally. Course Container can be used to augment any LMS without integration.
Growth Engineering – See the full profile | review | demo
Growth Engineering produces a white-label mobile app, an LMS and an authoring tool – all working together to create and deploy gamified learning experiences. Some differentiating features of this platform include the ability to manage learning streaks, stage knowledge challenges among learners, and even offer team vs. team knowledge wars, complete with ongoing progress reports and rewards for the winners.
JollyDeck – See the full profile | review
JollyDeck LMS is a specialty solution designed to streamline and enhance corporate training and development. It empowers organizations to create, deliver, and track engaging online courses and training programs. This vendor prioritizes user engagement and offers gamification elements that make learning experiences enjoyable and effective.
Interflexion – See the full profile | review
Interflexion is a specialty learning system that helps designers create advanced role-play simulations, using AI to create rubrics, grade learning assignments and provide constructive feedback. Interflexion can be used to augment most LMS solutions and enhance instructional content solutions.
LemonadeLXP – See the full profile | review
LemonadeLXP provides a turnkey business solution for small and medium-sized banks in the U.S. to improve performance and accelerate client adoption of a bank’s digital products and channels. This solution includes an LMS, a complete SMB banking skill and competency model, training plans for common banking roles, links to relevant online content and excellent measurement capabilities. Plus, all of this is backed by hands-on services from people with technical and financial expertise.
LMS Portals – See the full profile | review | demo
LMS Portals is a specialty LMS startup, focused on empowering consultancies with an easy-to-use, affordable learning solution for their clients. Key strengths include the ability to spin up a new client portal, brand, provision content and users in minutes, rather than days or weeks.
Tenneo – See the full profile | review
Formerly known as G-cube, Tenneo is an employee-focused LMS that is the third most popular LMS in India. Strengths include learner experience, skills, Microsoft Teams integration, “ask an expert” functionality, federated search, departmental leaderboards and compliance management.
Tesseract Learning – See the full profile | review
Tesseract’s KREDO LMS is an SMB-focused specialty learning system designed to help organizations quickly and easily author, publish and deploy learning content. Strengths include an automation engine, ILT management, competency framework and a built-in authoring tool loaded with 50+ well-designed content and gamified templates.
That’s the Top 40 list! Congratulations again, to all the winners of our 2023 Learning Systems Awards. In a complex landscape of more than 1000 all-purpose and specialist solutions, you’re the best of the best. We look forward to seeing more innovative ideas from you and other vendors in the future.
If you’re a learning system buyer, I hope this information is useful. And if you’re a learning system vendor that isn’t included here, I hope you’ll submit your solution for next year’s awards.
Thanks for reading!
Talented Learning 2023 Learning Systems Market Report
Want to learn more details about last year’s Learning Systems Awards winners and related trends? Check out our Commercial Learning Systems Market Report – Now available at a 50% discount!
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- Compare and contrast key trends among the 2022 Top 40 Learning Systems Award winners
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- Consider the value of specialist solutions vs. all-purpose platforms
- Rank best vendors in various use cases
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Vendors: Do You Belong on Our 2024 List? Enter Now for Next Year’s Awards!
It’s never too soon to introduce your solution to us! We meet new vendors every day. And rather than waiting until next year to accept submissions, we’re opening up the call for entries immediately.
This gives you more time to prepare and participate. It also gives us more time to learn all about your business, product and customers. To start the FREE entry process, submit the form below:
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