4 Top-Rated Extended Enterprise LMS Platforms for SMBs

By: on October 13, 2016

Learning management systems (LMSs) can be incredibly valuable tools internally—to enhance student learning if you’re a school, or more effectively train employees if you’re a business.

Some companies, however, require an LMS that extends beyond the four walls of their organization. You may need a system that can teach customers how to use one of your more complicated products or bring a new affiliate partner up to speed.

In these situations, you need an extended enterprise LMS: a software platform designed to not only handle your internal training needs, but your external ones as well.

Unfortunately, finding the right extended enterprise LMS for your organization is easier said than done. Many vendors don’t cater their systems to external audiences. For those that do, it can be difficult to tell which platforms will best serve your end users.

We’re here to help. Using Software Advice reviews data and Gartner’s Market Guide for Corporate Learning Suites (available for Gartner clients), below we highlight four highly rated extended enterprise LMS platforms that you should consider for your SMB.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

Accord LMS
Cornerstone Learning

Accord LMS

Average rating: 4.7 out of five stars

Customer size: A majority of Accord LMS customers have between 500 and 5,000 employees, but sizes can range from 100 up to 20,000.

System overview: It is a fully customizable system with the flexibility to serve the training needs of small businesses or multinational enterprises. Administrators can tailor the color, branding and layout of their courses within the system, then drag-and-drop them into various folders and groups for different end users and training purposes.

The platform also supports a wide variety of e-learning and media formats, including web assets and podcasts.

Extended enterprise highlights: Available as a cloud-based or on-premise solution, Accord LMS offers users the ability to train external parties using basic videos and presentations or more engaging assessments and games.

Training content can be managed by one admin user or delegated to multiple team members. The platform also integrates with popular web conferencing platforms to enable instructor-led training.

What users say:

“I have not had any issues, even after several software upgrades. Year after year, we have experienced smooth content upload with no issues in functionality for the user. The reporting function is easy to use and very accurate with essentially no time lag.”

Edgar Gutierrez, The Access Group

“The ability to customize the look and feel of the client interface is great. Our customer base has grown, and Accord LMS scales very nicely.”

Mark Taylor, Catalyst Learning Company

Team folders in Accord LMS


Average rating: 4.7 out of five stars

Customer size: The majority of Bridge customers have between 500 and 2,500 employees, but sizes range from fewer than 100 employees up to 25,000 employees.

System overview: Launched in 2015, Instructure’s Bridge is a cloud-based, corporate-focused LMS solution. It provides multidevice accessibility and customized reporting to measure course success and identify learning gaps.

Administrators can use Bridge’s course authoring tools to create proprietary training courses or take advantage of pre-developed courses found in the Bridge Marketplace.

Extended enterprise highlights: Bridge allows users to create separate localized, branded websites for each external audience that needs training (e.g., you can have one site for channel partners and another for customers).

You can also integrate Bridge with your CRM to track customer interactions and send out simple surveys to get feedback on course improvements.

What users say:

“We don’t use it for corporate training, but rather to train our customers on the use of our software. We love the simplicity of the interface and the ease of use. Bridge is very intuitive.”

Giovanna Cruz, MakeMusic Inc.

“Bridge has been a joy to work with. From the sales force to the implementation team, everyone is very helpful, extremely knowledgeable, and dedicated to your LMS success. They deliver a level of service I would not have expected with such a value.”

Austin Bradley, WME/IMG

Reporting in Bridge

Cornerstone Learning

Average rating: 4.1 out of five stars

Customer size: Most Cornerstone Learning customers have between 1,000 and 10,000 employees, but sizes range from fewer than 100 employees up to 75,000 employees.

System overview: Available on a standalone basis or as part of the larger Cornerstone OnDemand talent management suite, Cornerstone Learning offers a centralized LMS to deliver e-learning courses, instructor-led training, exams, certifications and more.

Social learning functionality gives more power to learners, who can take advantage of collaborative tools such as forums and social feeds to share knowledge.

Extended enterprise highlights: Course libraries include search functionality and a variety of filters (e.g., by subject, content type, course rating) so external learners can find the training they want.

Cornerstone Learning also supports e-commerce, if you wish to post courses for sale, along with purchase analytics to identify potential revenue streams.

What users say:

“Our old system didn’t have the capabilities Cornerstone seems to offer. Already, we can see how much better our LMS will be because of the detailed way managers, admins, learners etc. can be set up to manage their groups.”

Nancy Edwards, Bassett Furniture

“The end-user experience is really good. Our end-users have been very pleased with how clean and organized it is and how easy it is to find everything.”

Jeremy Smith, NORDAM

E-commerce in Cornerstone Learning


Average rating: 4.5 out of five stars

Customer size: A majority of Litmos customers have between 100 and 2,500 employees, but sizes can range from fewer than 50 up to 75,000.

System overview: Litmos debuted as a cloud-based LMS in 2007. It offers a wide array of functionality that includes course building tools, e-commerce capabilities, certification tracking, gamification, survey and feedback tools and more.

Customized reports and dashboards provide training insight, while a built-in notification system handles messaging and reminder needs.

Extended enterprise highlights: Litmos offers a number of built-in integrations with content management systems such as Dropbox and Box.com for course materials, online payment systems such as Shopify for e-commerce needs and CRM systems such as Salesforce to track customer interactions.

You can assign courses to external partners and customize their learning path for them or set up self-registration to allow users to take whichever courses they prefer.

What users say:

“The user interface is well thought out and easy to navigate on both the account side and client side. The reports are detailed and cover everything we need from usage reports, to quiz grades, user completion and more. It is very easy to sell courses uploaded to Litmos LMS due to their integration with Shopify.”

Brandon Muzny, Energy Training Resources

“It is insanely adaptable without being difficult to learn how to use. I can upload any type of learning without needing help.”

Chris Maynard, U.S. Space and Rocket Center

Course list in Litmos

Still not decided? Head to our LMS software page to filter products by price, ratings, company size and more. You can then fill out this short form detailing what you require in a system, and we’ll send a shortlist of the best fit products to you absolutely free.

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Find the Perfect Extended Enterprise LMS for Your SMB