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LMS Review: Litmos

LMS Review - Litmos - Learning tech analyst John Leh looks at pros and cons of Litmos LMS

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The Litmos LMS is a modern, pure cloud-based LMS designed for small and medium organizations with straightforward learning management technology needs.  Its mobile responsive design is built to support employee,  extended enterprise and nonprofit learning with a clean user interface and a carefully chosen set of essential options.  This LMS can support large businesses with tens of thousands of learners, however, it may be too limiting for complex, large-scale implementations that serve vastly different audiences.  (For this review, we evaluated the Pro version and not the Salesforce nor Training Ops version of Litmos.)

litmos logoAnyone can sign-up for a 14-day Litmos free trial — no credit card required.  Because this system is so easy to use, I figured it out in no time.  There is an adequate help area with useful articles covering most of the functionality.  Litmos also integrates a “WalkMe” onboarding utility that helps LMS administrators sequentially move through common tasks to learn how they work.  Learners should have no problem using this LMS.  In addition, the pricing is affordable compared to other cloud LMSs.

Litmos is designed for delivery of online learning content in all formats.  Creating courses and training plans is easy. The admin interface makes it self-explanatory to create content with built-in tools or by importing existing content files.  For example, you can import digital files such as SCORM, xAPI (they still call it by the old “Tin Can” name), videos, Microsoft Word, PDFs and Adobe documents.  You can combine these with LMS-generated content such as assessments, surveys, OJT assignments, HTML pages or instructor-led events to create courses and learning paths.

The compliance management capabilities in Litmos are sufficient for most needs.  Admins can assign courses as “mandatory” with floating or fixed due dates, recertification workflow, as well as ongoing notifications for learners.  Courses can be assigned to users or teams of users, or placed in a catalog with categories and subcategories, or placed in an external catalog for sale, or shared through direct and “deep” links.

Watch John Leh's video review of Litmos LMS now

WATCH JOHN LEH’S VIDEO REVIEW OF LITMOS LMS NOW!

The Litmos LMS includes 24 interface languages that you can configure site-wide and at the user level.  As a monoglot, I can’t tell if the localizations are machine generated, human translated or both.  Localized content is managed as standalone content elements.  In other words, if a course has six language localizations, you would need to create six unique courses that are not interrelated.  This means Litmos LMS is a viable solution for regional, one-language implementations.  Reporting and dashboards are efficient, with coherent visual representation of data.  These tools are preconfigured so you can easily drill down into information about individual and team users, courses, modules and paths.

Strengths

Strengths of Litmos LMS include:

  • Ease of use, simplicity
  • Mobile responsive design for all users/roles
  • Pricing is lower than industry average
  • Online content creation, reuse and management
  • Premium Salesforce integration version
  • An advanced Training Ops product for organizations that run training as a business
  • Productized integrations, with about 20 third-party applications, including Webex, GotoWebinar, Salesforce, Shopify, Dropbox, ADP and MailChimp
  • Reporting and dashboards for admin and end-user learners

Weaknesses

There’s room for improvement in several areas:

  • The workflow and configurations for each of the “Litmos Integration” options could be enhanced and integrated more seamlessly into the broader admin interface.  For example, I had to hunt for the ability to add an instructor and facility — and finally found it under the ILT integration listing.  I recommend updating the core “Account” editing tabs with activated modules, rather than tucking them a level down
  • Lack of consistent breadcrumb navigation links on every page of the application mean administrators are likely to lose their way when moving through sub-level pages
  • Many features are not available in the free trial — including custom fields, video assessments and ability to set recommended courses. I recommend access to all core capabilities and potential third-party integrations.  If buyers need these items, they will want to test them during the free trial
  • Requires additional configurability for learner dashboard, homepage and external course-for-sale pages

My Overall Assessment

The Litmos LMS is a simple, cloud-based, mobile-friendly LMS meant for quick, self-service setup.  It is an affordable way to address common learning management scenarios.  This is a great option for small and medium-sized businesses or larger organizations with homogeneous user populations and straightforward learning management needs.  With its productized third-party integrations, Litmos can be configured for each organization’s unique needs and extended with single sign-on (SSO), ecommerce, support desk, virtual classroom, cloud storage and social features.  With 4 million active users, this LMS is mature, proven, secure and continuingly evolving to address market requirements.

See the Video LMS Review

Want to see the Litmos LMS in action?  Watch my video demo + review now!

 


Litmos LMS Vitals

Company:  CallidusCloud
Product:  Litmos LMS
Product Type:  Learning Management System

Founded 2007

4140 Dublin Boulevard #400
Dublin, CA
USA

sales@litmos.com

http://www.litmos.com
http://www.litmos.com/blog/

Litmos Product Video

Company Overview

Litmos says:  “You are in safe hands. Litmos by CallidusCloud is the fastest growing learning technology company in the world, supporting more than 4 million users in 130+ countries and 24 languages. Litmos prides itself on a customer-centric approach and continual innovation in the marketplace. Headquartered in Silicon Valley and backed by public company CallidusCloud (NASDAQ: CALD), Litmos is still run with the nimbleness of a start-up. Litmos is focused on executing on its customers’ vision that learning technologies should be able to be used, consumed and deployed by anyone in the organization and on any device. Litmos’ leadership team has a combined 140 years experience across the technology and learning domains.”

Target Learning Scenarios

  • Small-to-medium businesses with basic employee compliance training
  • Channel and partner learning
  • Customer learning
  • Non-profits

Setup and Configuration

  • No-cost self-setup and configuration
  • Helpful built-in onboarding app via WalkMe

License Model/Cost

  • Free 14-day trial signup provides easy immediate access. (However, Litmos forces trial users to log-out daily. I recommend hat Litmos keep trial users logged in for the full 14 days or provide an easy way to edit the forced log-out default.)
  • Licensing: “active user” or “unique login” where any trainer or trainee who signs in at least once during a billing period is counted as “active” for the 30 day period
  • Pricing: $3/active user/month (up to 500 users) and $2/user month (501 to 1000 users).  Need to talk to a salesperson for higher volume pricing
  • For the Saleforce.com CRM integration, there is a premium of $2/user/month. This provides role hierarchy sync, new user provisioning, SFI mobile integration, and training assignment automation with Salesforce accounts/contacts
  • For the premium “Training Ops” application (meant for hardcore, global training-as-a-business scenarios) pricing starts at $2500/month.  We did not evaluate Litmos Training Ops for this review

Hosting and Deployment Options

Feature Highlights

Compliance

  • Must complete courses by fixed date or X-days from assignment
  • For successful course completions, ability to set the number of days “in compliance”
  • Ability to move recertification course assignments to a student’s “to do” list
  • Managers can recommend and approve training for learners
  • Course-level notifications — reminders/escalations
  • Administrative upload of certificate template and ability to define fields displayed on the certificate
  • Premium Litmos integration feature automates course assignment based on configurable rules, but can’t be evaluated in free trial

Content Creation

With Litmos, administrators can author basic content directly within the LMS or use proprietary third-party authoring tools in any combination.  Observed capabilities:

  • Can upload files and then assemble into courses.  Supports multiple formats — avi, wmv, mpg, mov, flv, m4v, ppt, pptx, pdf, mp3, zip, doc, or swf
  • Support for SCORM 1.2, 2004, AICC, xAPI
  • Can upload documents from Box, DropBox or local drives
  • Slick feature — Ability to select modules from any other course and drop them into an existing course and then “save as,” “link” or “mirror.”  Link provides ability for consolidated reporting on the module in any course. Mirror provides separate reporting.  This functionality is another good example of how an LMS can help save time by automating training tasks
  • Can create OJT assignments, tests, surveys, links, live sessions, pages — and then embed modules from directly within the course management page

eCommerce

Although Litmos LMS makes it possible to sell training content, it has very lightweight ecommerce capabilities.  It supports the concept of externally available courses, course pricing, checkout and payment clearing through Paypal and Payment Express Gateways.  The application is extensible though, with a productized Shopify integration.  This provides more robust ecommerce features such as storefront, promotions and subscriptions.  And for heavy-duty training-as-a-business applications, such as global channel and ecommerce learning, Litmos offers a premium product called Training Ops that is outside the scope of this review.

  • Paypal or Payment Express Gateway productized integration
  • Ability to sell in up to 8 currencies including USD, AUD, CAD, EUR, GBP, NZD, ZAR and SEK
  • Ability to designate which courses are available externally for sale.  There is a basic external page that lists courses/training offerings
  • Easy admin access to a “direct link URL,” for communication outside the LMS and direct access to specified piece of content
  • Nice feature: An “Ecommerce Listing Widget” that lets you copy HTML “embed” code for external course listings and easily add it to any external website or blog

Continuing Education

  • No support for CEU management

Gamification

  • Overarching ability for learners to accumulate points upon completion of a learning course or path
  • Library of monochromatic badges, available in any color, lets admins create custom achievements
  • Leaderboard is an on/off toggle with no configuration; assume it displays either accumulated points or badges

Globalization

  • Timezone support for users
  • Localized interface, set in the user profile, can be displayed in the following languages:
    • English
    • Spanish
    • French (Canada)
    • French (France)
    • Chinese (Traditional)
    • Chinese (Simplified)
    • Czech
    • German
    • Japanese
    • Korean
    • Hebrew
    • Hindi
    • Danish
    • Hungarian
    • Italian
    • Dutch
    • Norwegian
    • Polish
    • Portuguese
    • Portuguese (Brazil)
    • Russian
    • Slovak
    • Swedish
    • Telugu
  • Did not find any way to manage localized versions of the same piece of content.  Each localized piece of content needs to be created and managed separately

Instructor-Led Training Management

  • Schedule each instance, individually
  • Set seat limit and simple waitlist
  • Manage ILT and virtual sessions within the same workflow. For webinar, just choose “classroom type”
  • Very basic — admins need to enter a location and instructor but this must be manually entered.  No built-in directory of locations, facilities or instructors
  • Establish seat limit for each classroom module
  • Instructor tools to manage simple waitlist and attendance tracking

Integration

  • Productized integration is a strength of the application and approximate twenty 3rd application supported including WordPress, Drupal, Freshbooks, ZenDesk, Dropbox, Box, Google Drive, ServiceNow, Tribe HR, ADP, BambooHR, WebEx, GotoMeeting,
  • Open API and developer guide for technical buyers (but not open to free trial evaluation)
  • SSO including social, SAML, ADFS and SHA-256

Mobile

  • Mobile responsive interface can be used on any device with no download
  • Salesforce mobile integration (did not test)

Domains and Other Organization Grouping

  • Ability to upload a spreadsheet of users for bulk import up to 5000 users.  I downloaded the template and contains a few dozen possible fields.
  • Ability to create teams and brands.  Brands are a way to manage distinct audiences like the extended enterprise proving for unique logos and notifications.  Teams are more of an employee based feature.
  • Basic role management functionality whereby five core roles (account owner, admin, test admin, team leader and learner) have access/no access to five key functions (manage people, manage teams, manage courses, access reports and access courses)

Reporting

  • Nice reporting and dashboards
  • Many predetermined views with drill-down capabilities
  • Integrated with Google Analytics. Contains good out-of-box login, device, geographic and other usage reports
  • No custom or ad-hoc reports

Skills and Competencies

  • No skills and competencies support

Social Learning Functionality

  • Basic discussion board capability at the course level
  • System-wide messaging — primarily for admin push communications
  • Social media integration for sharing content externally on social channels

User Interface

  • Basic logo, color and URL branding configuration
  • Several admin locations where Litmos provides an option to save and open another record immediately.  This saves a click or two and a few seconds of screen refresh time, for example, when adding teams or groups.  Nice user-focused touch.
  • Basic internal messaging system
  • Good visual dashboards for admins and end-learners
  • Learner UI — choose one of two pre-set layout options
  • “Litmos Integrations” admin workflow needs improvement

Virtual Classroom

  • Ability to classify a session as “virtual,” but the only actual workflow comes from integrations
  • Out-of-box integrations with GotoTraining and WebEx.  Virtual integrations include:
    • Create sessions automatically
    • Ability to create a link to sessions is available automatically to learners
    • Launch virtual tool as an instructor or as a learner
    • One-click button creates virtual session reports — roll call and time spent for each learner

 

Thanks for reading!

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About Talented Learning LMS Reviews

Talented Learning LMS Reviews provide initial screening of vendors for extended enterprise suitability.  Vendors share lots of information on their websites — feature lists, video demos, case studies, position papers, press releases, free trials and more.  We review and analyze all of this information to determine a vendor’s mission, assess the platform’s strengths and weaknesses, and determine how effectively it serves extended enterprise learning needs.

As always, at Talented Learning, we’re not about making sweeping predictions or judging vendors.  Instead, we document the realities of today’s LMS landscape, and how learning technology is actually adding value.  We have only one goal — to help clients find appropriate LMS vendors based on their unique business requirements.

John Leh
About John Leh (161 Articles)
John Leh is CEO and Lead Analyst at Talented Learning, LLC. Named among the “Top 20 Global Elearning Movers and Shakers” in 2018 and 2017, John is a fiercely independent LMS selection consultant, blogger and podcaster who helps organizations develop and implement learning technology strategies – primarily for extended enterprise applications. His advice is based on more than 20 years of industry experience, serving as a trusted LMS selection and sales adviser to more than 100 learning organizations with a total technology spend of more than $65 million. You can connect with John on Twitter at @JohnLeh or on LinkedIn.

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