LMS Review: Cornerstone OnDemand

LMS Review Cornerstone on Demand

See More Vendors in our LMS Directory

All vendors and former vendors know Cornerstone OnDemand. Winning 100+ deals a quarter, they make every competing vendor shake and quake.  They have feet on the street everywhere. They have solutions for every industry, every language, every company size and every business problem.  Actually, vendors, you all should just go home and stop playing.  Cornerstone, you win.

I joke…but only a little.

For all of you non-vendors, Cornerstone OnDemand is a leading global provider of a comprehensive learning and talent management solution delivered as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). The talent management solution consists of recruiting, learning, performance, social, compensation and succession modules.  Cornerstone currently empowers over 14 million users across 191 countries and in 41 languages.

They are one of the only talent providers, if not the only,  that has never taken their eye off the extended enterprise LMS market.

Having lost so many times to Cornerstone over the years, I thought it was only fair that I spend double the time on this review, find some holes and restore some modicum of competition to the industry.  What I found, was a great extended enterprise LMS and company I remembered competing against.  

Cornerstone supports extended enterprise initiatives with deep social, certification, reporting, ecommerce, globalization and audience management features.   It’s easy to deploy, use and maintain.  They are the first company we reviewed that provide solutions for all five types of extended enterprise including corporate, association, ecommerce, academic and public sector solutions.  There is a lot of resources, case studies and videos cataloged below on their extended enterprise successes.

In terms of gaps, probably the biggest I noted is that they don’t have gamification functionality which is a really wanted extended enterprise feature set.  The mobile applications also needs to be built out to equal other systems I’ve reviewed.

My Assessment —  They have earned the right to be included in just about any extended enterprise or talent management opportunity anywhere in the world.  My biggest concern with Cornerstone would be just getting lost in the crowd with so many new customers.


Cornerstone OnDemand Extended Enterprise Vitals

LMS Name:  Cornerstone Learning Cloud

Website: cornerstoneondemand.com/

Twitter: @CornerstoneInc

Contact Information: cornerstoneondemand.com/contact-us

Extended Enterprise Ready:  Yes

Types of Extended Enterprise Expertise Learning Supported:

  • Channel
  • Customer
  • eCommerce
  • Association
  • Volunteers


  • Integrated talent suite build organically is arguably best in the world
  • Very easy and defined path to expand your Cornerstone solution to the channel
  • Modern, mobile, social, powerful and easy to use

Licensing and Certification Features:

  • Sophisticated tiered certification and recertification
  • Custom certification
  • Forms management
  • Compliance management
  • Standard and custom reports
  • Management dashboard views
  • Show certification status by partner type

Adaptive Learning Features:

  • Controlled access to catalog and content

eCommerce Features: 

  • Anonymous course browsing
  • Self registration
  • Shopping cart
  • Payment processing
  • Transaction management
  • Tiered training catalogs (fee vs. free)
  • Purchase any type of training

Social Collaboration Features: 

  • Universal profile for each learner including photos, skills, resume and profile information
  • Activity streams for people, places and projects
  • Groups, communities and forums
  • Engagements and connections
  • Blogs and & social content
  • Product innovation communities
  • Rate and share ideas across audiences

Mobile Features:  

  • Mobile app for smartphones and tablets
  • Deliver mobile enabled eLearning, transcripts, social networks and OJT
  • Disconnected learning with sync to LMS

Gamification Features:  None found.

Globalization Features: 

  • 41 language localizations
  • Offices in Santa Monica, Auckland, Hong Kong, London, Mumbai, Munich, Madrid, Paris, Rome, Sydney, Tel Aviv and Tokyo.


  • 100% Cloud LMS delivered only as a software as a service (SaaS)


  • Open architecture
  • Integrate Cornerstone with billing systems, compensation management systems, customer resource management databases, sales tracking systems and customer service database


  • Over 100 standard reports
  • Custom report creation tool using any field and filter
  • Scheduled reports
  • Print and export to multiple data formats
  • Personalized dashboards

Links to Case Studies on Extended Enterprise Learning:

  • American Bankers Association:  Using Cornerstone, ABA delivers 150,000 courses per month to learners in 3400 member banks
  • DocuSign testimonial video on how they use Cornerstone to train tens of thousands of clients of their solutions
  • Pearson video highlighting their director of learning technology speaking about the extended enterprise initiative with Cornerstone On Demand
  • MetroPCS video showing how Cornerstone is helping MetroPCS drive sales by educating their 5000+ independent authorized dealer locations

Position Papers or Videos on Extended Enterprise Learning: 

Links to Online Demos of LMS:

Extended Enterprise In the News –2014: None Found

See More Vendors in our LMS Directory

Need Proven LMS Selection Guidance?

Looking for a learning platform that truly fits your organization’s needs?  We’re here to help!  Submit the form below to schedule a free preliminary consultation at your convenience.

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.

About John Leh (242 Articles)
John Leh is 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 at@JohnLeh or on LinkedIn.

12 Comments on LMS Review: Cornerstone OnDemand

  1. Simply wish to say your article is as amazing.
    The clarity in your post is simply excellent andd i can assuke you’re an expert
    onn this subject. Fine with your permission allow me to grab your RSS feed to
    keep updated with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please carry on the
    rewarding work.

  2. Melinda Baskin // January 30, 2015 at 9:51 pm // Reply

    The company I work for has just completed an implementation of Cornerstone that took 6 months rather than the 1 month Cornerstone promoted as one of the reasons to purchase this solution. Indeed, none of the promises they made during the sales cycle have born out to be true. It is clunky, manual, has tax calculation issues, the navigation is terrible. It is terribly buggy and a highly immature product. I started reaching out to my contacts in the business that purchased the solution. I have not received any positive feedback at all. In fact, one company is suing Cornerstone currently because of their inability to deliver on their promises. The Cornerstone sales people are terrific at selling but the product simply fails to deliver.

    • Melinda hit the nail on the head!!

    • mdieterle // May 11, 2015 at 5:28 pm // Reply

      Melinda, we are running into similar limitations right now. I’d love to connect and find out how you are addressing your situation. Feel free to reach out via my Twitter ID above.

    • Hi Melinda.
      We are in the process of evaluating learning management systems one of which is CSOD. We have been entertaining the idea of signing on with CSOD based on their system demos and recommendations from Gartner. However, this is the second time within a week that I am hearing negative comments about CSOD’s support during and post implementation.
      I am very interested in hearing more and would like the opportunity to speak with those willing to discuss this further. Unfortunately, I am new to this site and don’t know to provide my contact information without having to post it publically.

  3. Hi,
    Do you know who that customer is that is suing CSOD? Also Melinda, would you be willing to chat with me for 5 minutes? I am evaluating CSOD and ofcourse they set me up with all positive references so far. I am so glad I found this!

  4. I’m currently trying to customise the design of a Cornerstone implementation for a client. From that point of view the system is terribly dated and clunky. There’s no provision for responsive layouts, which is a major oversight. I feel like I’m back in 1998.

  5. We are also evaluating CSOD and would be interested in learning more about your experiences. mdieterle I will reach out to you via twitter if that is okay.

  6. Looking at your profile John, it appears you have a wealth of experience in this area of LMS comparisons. If anybody has some positive commentary to support John’s experience, I’d love to hear it.

  7. My former employer migrated to Cornerstone four years ago. I liken their product to being a customer of a cable company: once you are up and running, as long as nothing breaks or you don’t need to change anything, the LMS itself is pretty good. However, if you need service, RUN AWAY. From our front-line client rep to our salesperson, CSOD staff either gave us the runaround or were totally unresponsive. There were times I literally could not get anyone to answer a question. Time and again, we were steered to the global support center (marginally helpful) or to the online knowledge base or user groups. Reps also kept “office hours,” which were a joke – log into a conference call and stand in line hoping to get your turn to ask a question before office hours ended. The most abysmal customer service I have ever encountered. It’s a shame, as their product was generally good, with a nice, customizable interface and solid reporting capabilities. I called it the “DIY LMS.” If we had not had a team member who was a pretty good self-taught IT geek, we would have been dead in the water. On balance, NOT recommended.

  8. Paul Marangoni // October 30, 2018 at 4:14 pm // Reply

    CSOD is the biggest piece of you-know-what. They make bold claims up front, but fail to deliver. The software is already antiquated and clearly running on a super buggy codebase. Stay away if you know what’s good for you.

    If you need a solution of only mild complexity, Cornerstone will leave you screaming at the top of your lungs. Their salespeople LIE, and their implementation people have no clue.

6 Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Top 10 Hi-Tech Extended Enterprise Case Studies | Talented Learning
  2. Five Types of 2014 LMSs - Talented Learning
  3. A Cloud LMS By Any Other Name - Talented Learning
  4. Cornerstone Learning Management System For Professional Enterprise, Home & Online Applications - Financesonline.com
  5. 15 LMS Vendors - 15 Channel LMS Case Studies - Talented Learning
  6. The Hidden Cost of Qualifying LMS Vendors - Talented Learning

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.