Published On: February 29, 2024By
LMS Shortlisting Tool - PREVIEW - RightFit Solution Grid - Talented Learning 2024

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People often ask me which LMS is best. I understand why. But if you want to find or replace a learning system, that’s probably the wrong question. With hundreds of great business-oriented solutions available today, it’s more important to focus on which LMS is best for you. Every organization has its own unique set of business, functional, technical and service requirements. Together, these factors should lead you to the best solution for your needs. That’s where an LMS shortlisting tool can help.

Every learning system combines functionality and services that appeal to specific types of buyers. When a solution matches a buyer’s requirements, it’s likely to be the start of a successful relationship. But if the stars don’t align, both sides can get stuck in a rocky, frustrating relationship that isn’t likely to last.

Who can help you prevent an unwanted mismatch? We can. Introducing a shortlisting tool like no other. And it’s based on all-new data.

About the RightFit Grid Shortlisting Tool

The RightFit Grid is our exclusive visual representation of 50 diverse, high-quality, award-winning learning systems. This free, 2-by-2 interactive matrix maps similar learning solutions by common characteristics — including ideal client scenarios — so you can see at-a-glance which solutions most closely align with a buyer’s goals, use case, budget and service needs.

“Successful learning system buyers spend their limited time efficiently. Rather than trying to identify and qualify a large pool of potentially viable options, they focus on evaluating a limited set of highly qualified solutions.”

The RightFit Solution Grid shows all types of buyers which vendors make the most sense for them, as well as those that do not. This streamlines the earliest stages of the selection process, so buyers can invest their limited time wisely. It also dramatically increases the odds of a successful match.

How This Shortlisting Tool Helps LMS Buyers

Many software analysts publish industry maps that emphasize a “most desirable” position or quadrant. This is typically located high and to the right on the grid. Not us.

In contrast, our model is designed with pragmatic decision-making in mind. It is based on the knowledge that every featured vendor is a high-quality choice. They serve stellar clients, they regularly interact with our analysts, and each offers a solution that is a perfect fit for a subset (big or small) of the market.

On the RightFit Grid, all four quadrants are desirable — but the “best” location depends on the buyer. Here’s why it works as a shortlisting tool. This grid maps vendors along two core dimensions:

  • Breadth of Purpose: Some vendors try to do it all, while others specialize by use case, industry, region or innovation leadership. To represent this on the horizontal X-axis, we position vendors along a continuum, from all-purpose use (on the left) to highly specialized use (on the right).
  • Complexity/Cost/Scalability: Some vendors offer significant professional services help and expertise. Others provide none, so they tend to cost much less. To represent this visually along the vertical Y-axis, we map vendors from simple, low-service, low-cost, regional vendor solutions (on the bottom) to sophisticated, high-capability, higher-cost, global vendors (on the top).

The resulting matrix features four unique quadrants that help buyers categorize and compare vendors based on their product differentiation and clients’ common characteristics. Finally, within each quadrant, similar vendors are also positioned relative to one another, in terms of their breadth of purpose, complexity, cost and scalability.

How can you identify the quadrant that best fits your organization? Download the free grid and keep reading. You’ll instantly see a cluster of independently researched solutions to consider…


Download the 2024 RightFit Grid LMS Shortlisting Tool Now

How to Navigate This Shortlisting Tool

Each quadrant in the RightFit Grid is profiled below, including vendor and buyer characteristics for each category:

  • “Powerhouse” solutions
  • “Contender” solutions
  • “Luminary” solutions
  • “Innovator” solutions

To learn more about any vendor on the grid, just click on the logo to visit the company profile in our Learning Systems Directory, where you’ll find reviews, demos, case studies and more. Feel free to browse as much as you like to understand the strengths of vendors that interest you. Both the RightFit Grid and our Learning Systems Directory are freely available to all.



RightFit Grid LMS Shortlisting Tool - Powerhouse vendors

Powerhouse learning systems are all-purpose LMSs, best for medium-to-large global organizations with complex requirements and training workflow that supports any combination of employees, customers or partners. When migrating from another solution(s), these choices require significant support services from the vendor.

POWERHOUSE Vendor Characteristics

  • Use Case Support: Employee, Customer, Partner, Association, Training Business, in any combination.
  • Learning System Type: Primarily LMSs (Learning Management Systems).
  • Feature Strength: Broad, diverse and deep set of features that can be configured differently for different groups.
  • Integration Strength: Medium-high, high.
  • Cost: Medium to high. Often multiple modules to license.
  • Scalability: From North America only to true global delivery.
  • Implementation Approach: Full-service implementation. Third-party implementations only at the high-end.
  • Services Provided: Growing selection of related services, including content development, third-party content, managed administration and advisory services.
  • Administrator Support: Varies, from Monday-Friday to 24/7. Includes multi-language support on high-end.
  • Learner Support: Primarily online help, bots.

POWERHOUSE Buyer Characteristics

  • Buying Experience: Strong. Typically working with a 3rd- or 4th-generation LMS.
  • Buying Point: Anywhere. HR, training, marketing, customer support/service or product groups.
  • Use Cases: 50% employee, 25% pure customer or partner, 25% blended audiences.
  • Flexibility: Low to medium. Often business processes are complex, historically embedded and difficult to change. The LMS needs to adapt.
  • Learner Support: Typically provided by internal IT help desk.
  • Appetite for Risk: Low.
  • Price Sensitivity: Medium.



RightFit Grid LMS Shortlisting Tool - Contender vendors

Contenders are all-purpose LMSs, best for small-to-medium organizations with more localized operations and straightforward requirements for training any combination of employees, customers, or partners. These implementations require minimal vendor support beyond access to the solution, online help and support.

CONTENDER Vendor Characteristics

  • Use Case Support: Employee, Customer, Partner, Association, Training Business, in any combination.
  • Learning System Type: Primarily LMSs (Learning Management Systems).
  • Feature Strength: Broad, but often less deep. Functionality leans heavily toward employee needs vs. external audiences. Gaps in true global capabilities.
  • Integration Strength: Medium to high.
  • Cost: Low to medium. Usually one price for the entire suite, with few or no incremental modules.
  • Scalability: Global from North America, but few global services or locations. Help and documentation typically in English.
  • Implementation Approach: Self-service to light-touch, assisted setup services.
  • Services Provided: Third-party content.
  • Administrator Support: Ranges from Monday-Friday to 24/7.
  • Learner Support: Mainly online help, bots.

CONTENDER Buyer Characteristics

  • Buying Experience: Low. Typically, working with 1st- or 2nd-generation LMS.
  • Buying Point: Anywhere. HR, training, marketing, customer support/service or product groups.
  • Use Cases: 70% employee, 15% pure customer or partner, 15% blended audiences.
  • Flexibility: Medium to high. Few or no existing standards, so open to staying within the bounds of what the LMS can do.
  • Learner Support: Typically provided by internal IT help desk.
  • Appetite for Risk: Low.
  • Price Sensitivity: High. Cost is often the final determining factor.



RightFit Grid LMS Shortlisting Tool - Luminary vendors

Luminary solutions are specialty learning systems, best for medium-to-large  pure-play scenarios. Focused on customer, partner/channel, or content-as-a-business training organizations with complex, mission-critical, global requirements and a need for vendor expertise, guidance, and support.

LUMINARY Vendor Characteristics

  • Use Case Support: Specialist in customer, partner, content-as-a-business, association, special projects.
  • Learning System Type: LMS, LXP, TMS, sales, video, mobile app.
  • Feature Strength: Narrow, but extraordinary depth in the area of focus.
  • Integration Strength: Medium to high.
  • Cost: Medium to high, but results are tied to revenue/business growth.
  • Scalability: Varies. Best are fully global.
  • Implementation Approach: Full-service.
  • Services Provided: Advisory capabilities in use case strategy, content creation, analytics, managed administration.
  • Administrator Support: Ranges from Monday-Friday to 24/7.
  • Learner Support: Online help, bots, live learner chat or phone support.

LUMINARY Buyer Characteristics

  • Buying Experience: Medium to high. Typically working with a 2nd or 3rd learning system.
  • Buying Point: Customer support, customer services, channel sales, member education, executive level.
  • Use Cases: 85% pure customer, partner, content as a business and 15% customer-facing employees.
  • Flexibility: High. Open to changing business processes to succeed. All efforts focus on the business.
  • Learner Support: Reliant on vendor to provide.
  • Appetite for Risk: Medium to high. Leveraging learning as a competitive differentiator and open to creative innovation
  • Price Sensitivity: Low. Usually thrilled to pay for success. Focused on value.



RightFit Grid LMS Shortlisting Tool - Innovator vendors

Innovator solutions are specialist learning systems vendors with a better mousetrap or who are innovating in ways others have not tried. Innovators are often startups looking to hit it big.

INNOVATOR Vendor Characteristics

  • Use Case Support: Unique concepts or approaches that augment any solution or the learner experience for any audience type(s).
  • Learning System Type: AI simulators, turnkey industry solutions, mobile apps, microlearning, learning experience, AR/VR.
  • Feature Strength: Narrow, often shallow, but different from anything available in traditional systems.
  • Integration Strength: Low to medium.
  • Cost: Low.
  • Scalability: Low to medium.
  • Implementation Approach: Self-service or light touch.
  • Services Provided: Whatever is needed to ensure that customers become success stories.
  • Administrator Support: Monday-Friday, working hours.
  • Learner Support: Online help, bots.

INNOVATOR Buyer Characteristics

  • Buying Experience: Low. Typically the organization’s 1st learning solution.
  • Buying Point: Individuals, HR/training, often new to learning systems.
  • Use Cases: Non-profit, NGO, association, community learning, small business.
  • Flexibility: High. Open to new methods to effect change required.
  • Learner Support: Reliant on vendor to provide.
  • Appetite for Risk: Medium-high. Rolling dice on a new approach, but typically not investing heavily.
  • Price Sensitivity: High. Accepting higher risk to work with solutions that aren’t yet proven. Cost is the tradeoff.


Which learning solutions are best for your needs? Find out now…

Download the 2024 RightFit Grid LMS Shortlisting Tool


Need More Than a Shortlisting Tool to Find Your Next LMS?

Make the most of your time and budget. Submit the form below to schedule an introductory consultation with our Lead Analyst, John Leh and learn how to put this shortlisting tool to work for your organization:

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About the Author: John Leh

John Leh is Founder, CEO and Lead Analyst at Talented Learning and the Talented Learning Center. John is a fiercely independent consultant, blogger, podcaster, speaker and educator who helps organizations select and implement learning technology strategies, primarily for extended enterprise applications. His advice is based upon more than 25+years of learning-tech industry experience, serving as a trusted LMS selection and sales adviser to hundreds of learning organizations with a total technology spend of more than $100+ million and growing. John would love to connect with you on Twitter or on LinkedIn.

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