There are over 80,000 professional associations in the U.S. alone. Each of these organizations is involved in providing education opportunities as a member benefit or incremental revenue stream. Historically, the association content medium was live presentations at annual trade shows or physical books, but over the last five years, due to the emergence of the cloud and SaaS business model, virtual classrooms, online learning and mobile learning ecommerce has exploded.
The foundation of the association training business is the Learning Management System (LMS). Not a traditional employee LMS, but an association LMS. The two are very different and associations waste a lot of time evaluating the former. Employee LMSs are geared towards compliance and HR issues, but association LMSs are about making money.
Associations’ training for business focus requires enhanced LMS professional services and functionality to attract and engage learners, sell content, manage complex continuing education and uniquely integrate into the association technological and business process ecosystem. To learn more about the LMS features associations really need to drive content revenue, watch our on-demand “Top 10 Features of Association LMS” webinar now.
Top 10 Association LMS Solutions in the World
We’ve reviewed 100 LMSs in the last two years and at least 20 LMSs focus on association learning. We think they are all good but somebody needs to win. In additional to outstanding functional capabilities, to be on this list an LMS vendor needs to make the majority of revenue from associations and have great client case studies on their website. In alphabetical order, here are our picks for the Top 10 Associations LMS Solutions in the World:
Blue Sky Broadcast — Blue Sky Broadcast is a pure association LMS that provides LMS combined with event services. Associations need great content and an optimal source are member subject matter experts that present sessions at association tradeshows. Blue Sky provides heavy-duty services to capture educational content from live or virtual settings, then manage, sell and deliver that content to a global audience through the learning platform.
Classroom 24/7 — Relative newcomers, Classroom 24/7 brings a new definition of the LMS acronym — a learning marketing system. Love it. These guys are serious about the business of associations. They offer an assessment service to evaluate an association’s content assets, staff capability, market viability of their content and creates an action plan to take them from 0 to 100 with their modern, powerful continuing education, ecommerce enabled LMS.
Digitec Interactive — Digitec has been providing professional and trade associations and nonprofits technology for 25 years. They just released a complete SaaS, mobile responsive rewrite of their application in the cloud that enables associations of all sizes to get in the LMS game. Digitec has a strong production and content development arm that can produce gamified mobile content, simulations, video and more.
EthosCE— EthosCE rocks the healthcare association world. If you are a healthcare association managing CME or CPE and want deep and proven experience and expertise to guide you, EthoseCE is perfect. 90% or more of their clients are in healthcare resulting in healthcare specific capabilities and workflow you just don’t find anywhere else including mobile support for doctors’ ground rounds, vouchers and PARS and CE Monitor integrations.
Peach New Media (now Abila) — Freestone, the LMS from Peach New Media (now Abila), is a pure, full-feature association LMS that offers specialized solutions for CLE, CPE and CME. They have an integrated webcast tool that has cool (and audit defensible) “checkpoint” features to ensure learners are actually earning their CE credit and learner engagement features such as integrated Twitter conversations, view materials, take notes, polls and surveys. They also have strong AMS integrations with their own NetForum AMS and virtually every other AMS for single sign-on, catalog, ecommerce and reporting established workflows.
tessello — Out of the U.K, tessello is marching to the beat of their own drummer. Employing xAPI, they focus on the 70:20:10 model of learning which asserts that 90% of learning is informal and social and only 10% is formal. Their LMS enables learners to document experiential learning experiences and engage in meaningful social learning experiences. These types of features enable associations to support the evolving performance improvement requirements of the ACCME and AICPA documenting on-the-job performance for credits.
TOPYX –The TOPYX (pronounced topix) LMS has a unique business model in the industry. They offer annual flat rate price ranging from $22,500-$50,000/year (based on optional functional and support options) for unlimited learners, admins and bandwidth making them an economical choice for many associations. Their LMS is full featured with xAPI, mobile and social features and there are no implementation fees.
WBT Systems — Dublin based WBT Systems has been around a long time supporting associations and they are the association feature powerhouse. Designed to support the most complex association deployments, WBT is modern with a mobile response LMS, sophisticated ecommerce, AMS integration, accreditation body integration, complex CE management, dozens of language localizations and integrated social/gamified features. When associations are really serious, have complex requirements and even a tiny % of failure is not an option, WBT Systems rises to the top.
WebCourseworks — Associations and nonprofits have unique needs and WebCourseworks tailors custom solutions to meet them. With LMS, course development and managed services, they provide holistic solutions to grow non-dues association revenue. Their user-centric LMS has powerful association features to manage complex continuing education, AMS integration and social learning.
YM Learning — Your Membership AMS acquired the Digital Ignite LMS in early 2015 and integrated them into the YM suite of products and services providing a broad association solution that helps grow membership and revenue. The LMS is fully mobile responsive, engaging and easy for learners to learn. Social, global and highly scalable, YM Learning is designed to manage and sell continuing education in the medical, legal, finance and most any other industry. Advanced psychometric reporting and reporting analytics in general is a strength of the solution.
Learn How to Choose Effective Learning Technology
There are 600 LMS vendors in the world and the majority provide specialist solutions based on industry, region and business application of the LMS. Serious LMS buyers prefer specialists rather than “one-size-fits-all” general solutions. At Talented Learning, we have been studying the LMS market full-time for two years and have been grouping, rating and stack ranking LMS vendors by target market. Learn more about how to pick an LMS that fits your organization’s unique needs in this on-demand webinar: “How to Pick an LMS for Your Association.”
Are You Shopping for an LMS for Your Association?
Are you shopping for a new or replacement LMS for your association? Talented Learning can help. We are LMS selection consultants and can help you define your requirements and get to the right solution quickly and cost effectively. Please fill out the form below to contact us for a complimentary consultation call.