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Litmos

Litmos by CallidusCloud is an online learning management solution that helps HR professionals apply a consistent and measurable learning path to their workforce. The solution is cloud-based and allows employees to access courses and... Read More
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Torch LMS

Torch LMS is a cloud-based, best-of-breed learning management system (LMS). It's best suited for businesses and nonprofit organizations with over 500 employees that are looking to manage, track and deliver training to employees or... Read More
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eSSential LMS

eSSential LMS is a learning management system designed for large and midsize businesses. The system can be deployed on-premise and through a cloud-based software-as-a-service platform. Both deployment methods include access to eSSential... Read More
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Docebo LMS

Docebo has provided LMS software to power training programs for employees, partners, and customers since 2005.  Docebo serves over 1100 companies worldwide in various industries including software, technology, retail, consulting,... Read More
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ePath Learning ASAP

ePath Learning ASAP is a cloud-based learning management tool that helps organizations manage their training processes and monitor employee performance. The learning management system provides trainers with the ability to administer... Read More
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Blackboard Learn

Blackboard Learn is an interactive learning management system (LMS) suitable for higher-education universities, K-12 schools, government and military programs, as well as large businesses in a variety of industries worldwide. The... Read More
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PlayerLync

PlayerLync is a cloud-based learning management system (LMS) designed for employee training. The solution is suitable for companies of all sizes and offers content creation tools, multimedia capabilities and performance analysis. On-premise... Read More
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LatitudeLearning

LatitudeLearning is a cloud-based learning management system (LMS). It is suitable for businesses of all sizes, across a variety of industries. LatitudeLearning includes modules for message editing, competency management, assessment... Read More
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Travitor

Travitor is a cloud-based learning management system (LMS) that can help businesses of any size and in any industry streamline employee training. The platform is accessible from Mac and Windows computers, as well as Android and iOS... Read More
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Halogen Talent Space

Halogen TalentSpace is a modular strategic talent management solution suitable for midsize and enterprise businesses. The integrated suite offers comprehensive tools to streamline talent management activities, including recruiting,... Read More
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Inquisiq R4

Created by ICS Learning Group, Inquisiq R4 is a learning management system that was first released in 2003. Over the past decade, the team at ICS Learning Group has focused on developing the software based on advances in the market... Read More
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TalentLMS

TalentLMS offers a comprehensive Web-based learning management system (LMS) with functionality for course authoring, user testing, extended enterprise, e-commerce and more to ease the burden of teaching and training administration... Read More
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eFrontPro

eFrontPro is a strong Learning and Talent Development Platform that helps you supercharge your training and make your talent thrive! Along with certification management, content authoring functionality and social learning capabilities,... Read More
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Schoology

Schoology is a cloud-based learning management solution specializing in curriculum management, course instruction and system-wide resource sharing and collaboration. Users can upload course content and assignments into the database... Read More
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GyrusAim

GyrusAim is an on-premise or Web-based learning management system (LMS) built for small businesses and organizations in a variety of industries, including health care, manufacturing, banking, technology and more. The platform supports... Read More
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Mindflash

Mindflash is a cloud-based training platform with over 1,000 customers; including Complete Nutrition, Dyson, Uber, and AMC Health. The system offers customer, partner and employee training. With Mindflash, users can create courses,... Read More
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Thought Industries

Thought Industries offers a cloud-based Learning Business Platform designed to suit the needs of varying business sizes across multiple industries. All of the frontend learning experiences are customizable to be adapted for businesses... Read More
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Edsby

Edsby’s best-of-breed learning management system (LMS) is designed specifically for K-12 school districts. In addition to district-wide LMS functionality, it includes data aggregation and advanced analytics capabilities. Edsby provides... Read More
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SchoolKeep

SchoolKeep is a cloud-based learning management platform that helps companies direct their internal, customer, and channel partner training processes. SchoolKeep’s online course creation feature allows users to develop self-paced... Read More
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CourseGenius

CourseGenius is a cloud-based online training solution that enables users to create interactive courses, which can be sold, delivered and tracked. It is suitable for businesses of all sizes and can be used to train employees and sell... Read More
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Administrate

Administrate is a cloud-based learning management system (LMS) designed for businesses of all sizes. Key features include learning management, SCORM compliance, mobile learning and certification management. Administrate features a... Read More
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Accord LMS

Accord LMS supports online courses, instructor-led training, certification and compliance management, gamification, and more. HTML5 content authoring, webinars, eCommerce and HRIS synchronization are fully integrated. Drag-and-drop... Read More
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DigitalChalk

DigitalChalk is Learning Management Software that is centralized and has regulatory and compliance tools built in. The system offers mobile learning and SCORM compliance. With the platform users can track student progress and incorporate... Read More
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PiiQ by Cornerstone

PiiQ by Cornerstone, formerly Cornerstone Growth Edition, is a cloud-based employee performance and learning management system that helps businesses to streamline their employee performance review process and prioritize learning for... Read More
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Saba

Saba provides companies across the globe with a cloud-based learning and talent management application designed to drive employee engagement, elevate skills and improve business productivity. Saba provides traditional talent management... Read More
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PeopleFluent LMS

PeopleFluent LMS is a web-based learning management system best suited for midsize and large organizations. It features content management, skills and compliance management, social learning, reports and e-commerce. PeopleFluent LMS... Read More
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ExpertusONE

ExpertusONE is a learning management system catered to large global enterprises with more than 5,000 employees. It is cloud-based and suited organizations in all types of industries. ExpertusONE has mobile learning apps for learners... Read More
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Canvas

Canvas from Instructure is a cloud-based learning management system (LMS) suitable for K-12 and higher education institutes. Canvas is a scalable LMS platform that can be used to serve education facilities all sizes, ranging from individual... Read More
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SkyPrep

SkyPrep is a Web-based learning management system that offers training administrators a platform for creating, managing and selling training courses. Through features like custom branding, automated learner enrollment and flexible... Read More
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BlueVolt

BlueVolt is a cloud-based learning management solution that’s designed for channel-driven businesses like manufacturing and distribution in the electrical, plumbing, HVAC and construction industries. Companies are able deliver,... Read More
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HealthcareSource NetLearning

Designed exclusively for the healthcare industry, HealthcareSource provides a talent management platform with a variety of features, including applicant tracking, onboarding, learning management, performance management, and more. HealthcareSource's... Read More
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Schoox

Schoox is a social eLearning solution that makes it easy for companies to deliver employee training, development, and certification the way today’s generation wants it – on their phone, from anywhere and in a social setting. Available... Read More
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Prosperity LMS

Ziiva's suite of Prosperity software systems is designed to help businesses exceed their employee training goals. Since 1998, Ziiva has worked with companies both large and small to achieve exceptional learning management. Prosperity... Read More
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SyberWorks Training Center

Syberworks is a complete Learning Management System that provides an intuitive and feature-rich solution for small to mid-size businesses, especially those involved in medical products, manufacturing, and pharmaceuticals. With Syberworks,... Read More
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Bridge

Bridge is a web-based Learning Management Solution and Employee Engagement Platform that can meet the needs of companies in any vertical. It grants learners and course creators accessibility to content from mobile devices through... Read More
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Custom Learning Portal

Custom Learning Portal is a learning management system (LMS) solution offered by Mindquest Learning that allows users to customize the front end of their learning system while pairing with MindQuest Learning’s Totara LMS for its... Read More
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ComplianceWire

ComplianceWire is an integrated, cloud-based Learning Management System (LMS) that currently serves over 400 companies worldwide. The software was designed as a workforce training solution that meets both the compliance and performance... Read More
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Wisetail LMS

Wisetail LMS is a cloud-based learning management system (LMS) that helps users prepare training materials, course content and demo videos for employees and other students. The solution provides a built-in course-authoring tool for... Read More
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Asentia

Asentia is a cloud-based learning management system (LMS) that is designed specifically with the needs of a modern blended learning program in mind. Midsize businesses and large enterprises that need to balance e-learning with traditional... Read More
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Motivis Learning

Motivis Learning is a cloud-based learning management system (LMS) designed to support skills or competency based educational models in additional to course based models. Motivis Learning is suitable for K-12 schools and higher education... Read More
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Elan by Brainier

Elan, by Brainier, is a learning management system developed for companies of all sizes. Businesses in hospitality, insurance, banking, consulting, training, property management, real estate, telecommunications and various other industries... Read More
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Kannu

Kannu is a cloud-based learning management system (LMS) suitable for large and midsize educational institutions teaching K-12 and higher education material. It offers media galleries and messaging features and is designed to work on... Read More
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UpAbility

UpAbility is a learning management system (LMS) specializing in live-event streaming and recording. Other key features include content management and member engagement, as well as e-commerce. The solution is best suited for associations... Read More
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LearningZen

LearningZen is a cloud-based online training system for businesses in any industry. Admin users can track employee progress, pending courses and certifications, system usage and exceptions. Employees can register for classes, send... Read More
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Infor HCM

Infor CloudSuite HCM is a suite of human resources applications with several deployment options. Applications in the core suite include benefits management, absence and time entry, budgeting, employee safety, talent acquisition, onboarding,... Read More
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SAP SuccessFactors

SAP SuccessFactors business software provides organizations with an integrated suite of features to manage their workforce. The solution offers tools for both enterprise organizations and small businesses. It's cloud-based, so the... Read More
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TOPYX

TOPYX is a learning management system (LMS) that features social learning tools that make the most of the increasingly critical online learning environment. It provides organizations with access to a collaborative, flexible solution... Read More
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SmartTeam

Used by more than 300,000 professionals, SmartTeam's is an online training solution for small to midsize businesses that helps team members get the training they need.  The software's Learning and Performance Engine is a new take... Read More
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Exponential Impact

Exponential Impact is a learning and compliance management system. In addition to standard LMS functionality, the platform provides controls for FDA Part 11 & ISO compliancy, including content version control, comprehensive auditing... Read More
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PeopleMatter

PeopleMatter is a cloud-based talent and workforce management solution built for restaurants, hospitality, retail and service-industry companies. The solution enables businesses to manage critical aspects of the employee lifecycle... Read More
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Buyer's Guide

If you’re in the market for a cloud-based learning management system (LMS) which is accessible from any Web-enabled device, you’re not alone. A survey conducted by Capterra in 2015 found that 87 percent of LMS users rely on a cloud-based system.

But just because something’s popular doesn’t necessarily mean it’s right for you and your organization. That’s why we’ve created this buyer’s guide to help you understand everything you need to know about cloud-based LMS software.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

What Is Cloud LMS Software?
What Type of Online LMS Buyer Are You?
Pros and Cons of a Cloud-Based LMS
How Much Does Cloud LMS Software Cost?
Common Features of an Online LMS

What Is Cloud LMS Software?

If knowledge is power, then consider LMS software to be the electrical grid that delivers that power to your business or school. These systems allow managers, trainers and teachers to administer more flexible digital e-learning courses through computers or smartphones, using premade or self-created teaching materials.

With an LMS, you can test learner knowledge with customized assessments, track worker certifications, measure learner engagement and more.

Courses in LearnUpon LMS

Courses in LearnUpon LMS

Cloud LMS software, also called Web-based or SaaS (software-as-a-service) LMS software, is software deployed through a Web browser. Unlike on-premise systems, which users host and maintain on their own servers, cloud platforms are hosted and maintained by the software vendor.

Buyers pay a subscription fee—typically monthly or annually—to access cloud-based LMS software. As long as you have a web-enabled device and an Internet connection, you can access your account from anywhere in the world.

Cloud-based products are popular for a few common reasons. First, the subscription pricing that typically accompanies a cloud product offers lower up-front costs to buyers (though that subscription fee does recurr monthly or annually, depending on the contract). Second, because the software is hosted online or "in the cloud," remote access is a breeze. And finally, software updates are pushed out automatically (whereas with an on-premise system, buyers typically have to manually install upgrades themselves).

However, organizations with a large or resource-rich IT department sometimes prefer on-premise solutions so that they can manage the software on their own servers. Additionally, for some businesses, the larger up-front and smaller recurring costs may be appealing. (Either way, the cost of on-premise and cloud-based systems tends to converge over the life of the software.)

What Type of Online LMS Buyer Are You?

Buyers of cloud-based LMS software typically fall into one of two categories:

Education professionals. Schools and universities are increasingly relying on cloud-based LMS platforms to deliver lessons and assignments to students. If you’re considering cloud-based LMS software for your school, some features to look out for include:

  • Social learning functionality, such as class forums and student blogs to increase engagement
  • Responsive design to cater your courses to varying screen sizes on tablets and phones

Corporate trainers. Within the corporate sphere, cloud-based LMSs allow trainers to develop their workforce and also get external groups such as channel partners or customers up to speed.

If you’re a buyer in this category, look for extended enterprise functionality that allows for custom branding to tailor the e-learning experience to different learner audiences, while gamification features such as badges and leaderboards can increase course participation.

Some corporate LMSs also offer integrated content authoring, but there are standalone tools for this as well.

Pros and Cons of a Cloud-Based LMS

Having a cloud-based LMS carries a number of benefits over an on-premise system, but also some drawbacks:

ProsCons
Reduced IT costs

Because the software is hosted on the vendor’s servers, there is no need for buyers to pay for their own servers or IT staff to maintain them. This can be a huge cost-saving measure, especially for small organizations.
Lack of customization

Though cloud systems have some options to customize the solution to individual needs, these pale in comparison to tailored on-premise platforms that can look vastly different from client to client, and which better integrate with proprietary solutions.
Added flexibility

Cloud-based LMS software accessible through a web browser means your learners can choose where and when they can take their e-learning courses, instead of being forced to use the software during operating hours at one location.
Connectivity dependency

If your users have a stable internet connection, your cloud-based LMS is good to go. But if that connection is weak and unstable, or you experience an outage, you won’t be able to access the system. On-premise systems don’t need an internet connection.

How Much Does Cloud LMS Software Cost?

Cloud LMS software is typically priced on a per-user basis, meaning your monthly or annual fee depends on how many users you have in the system. This price can vary widely from $5/user for small organizations to $0.50/user for large ones.

A common misconception is that cloud-based software is cheaper than on-premise options. Although the upfront cost for cloud-based software is certainly less, the cost of both types of systems ends up being around the same over time when you factor in recurring expenses. You can test this out for yourself using our own Total Cost of Ownership Calculator.

Example on-premise vs. SaaS software cost

Example on-premise vs. SaaS software cost

Common Features of an Online LMS

The most common features of LMS software are found universally in both on-premise and cloud-based solutions. These include:

Learning management The core functionality of any LMS helps educational or business organizations create, store, organize and administer learning materials.
Certification / compliance management Tracks and manages compliance training, as well as certification programs that some industries may require for performing certain jobs.
Virtual classrooms
Facilitates live, remote training sessions, typically led via video.
Proficiency reporting / testing Facilitates the administration of tests to gauge users' learning of the course material. Allows for reporting of test scores to identify proficiencies or gaps in learning.
Content authoring Allows users to create or "author" their own course content, which is in turn delivered through the LMS.