E-learning: 12 Learning Management Systems 2019 in comparison

E-learning is fully in trend – especially in professional development. But the content that is to be conveyed needs a good infrastructural framework. Much of the learning success depends on it. Learning Management Systems (LMS) provide such a basic framework for learning content. contentmanager.de has compared 12 commercial providers on the basis of over 100 criteria. 

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Marketing managers know this feeling: Innovations happen at breathtaking speed and the more you deal with a sub-area, the clearer it becomes how much more you could actually deal with it. There are always new tools, formats and channels for which knowledge, practice and skills are needed. Above all, however, the question arises: How do I share the knowledge within the team, how do I make it usable for everyone, and how do I avoid dependence on internal islands of experts?

The reassuring thing is that all departments are facing exactly the same challenge. For some, the pressure to act is already higher, for others it is yet lower. But the challenge will reach all departments. The continuous learning of new knowledge and the management of existing knowledge will continue to grow in importance as a success factor for companies. E-learning offerings are increasingly taking the place of traditional – and indeed quite sensible and successful – classroom training by external or internal coaches. This is because they offer numerous convincing advantages: it does not matter where the learner takes up the offer, it does not matter when the learner takes up the offer and it does not matter at what learning speed the learner takes up the offer. These advantages not only save resources on the provider side, but also have a positive effect on learning success. What does such an LMS look like in action? With the SoftSkillCircle and the Content Marketing Masterplan you will find two application examples from our company. 

12 providers in the market overview Learning Management Systems by marketingandtech.com

In addition to the quality of the content, the way in which the learning content is presented and conveyed is particularly important for the success of e-learning. After all, learning should be as easy as possible and fun. This is where Learning Management Systems (LMS) come into play. They form the basic framework within which the content is presented. There are many providers, but with significant differences in functionality and focus. To help you identify the ideal provider for your requirements, we have compared the following 12 commercial providers for you in a market overview:

The Academy LMS

Cornerstone Learning Suite



Coursepath LMS

Easy LMS

Talent LMS

Abara LMS



iSpring Learn

Talentsoft LMS

16 categories and over 100 criteria test LMS solutions in detail

Every company has very different requirements for a learning management system, depending on the task and size. Therefore, it is helpful to look at the specifics, features and functions of the LMS in as much detail as possible.  We have divided these into 16 different categories in the market overview.

General information about the LMS solution providers: In this category, we asked for basic data about the provider itself. Do you want to go with a large, established provider with extensive market experience, or perhaps a more flexible, small and possibly specialized provider? Is it important for you that the provider comes from Europe and perhaps even has an office in Germany?

Languages of the user interface: Especially for internationally operating companies with locations in several countries, the languages in which the user interface is available can be a decisive factor when deciding on a provider.

Basic features of the LMS: In this category we go into the basics of the LMS. Is it a SaaS solution? Can the LMS be branded with your own branding? Is there an APP for the learner? The question of whether the LMS can be operated on its own server and under its own domain is also highlighted here. Good to know that almost all providers, offer almost all of these basics.

Login/registration: The login process of an LMS must be simple. Can learners register themselves or must they be created and invited by the administrator? These and other questions are asked in this category.

Payment options: Not of great importance for in-house applications, but even more so for commercial providers of external learning offerings is the question of which payment options and functions the LMS offers. Can an online store be connected, for example, or is a store function perhaps even included in the LMS itself? The question of the possible use of promotion and discount codes also plays a role in this category. Here, there are major differences in the functional scope of the individual systems.

Learning environment: This category takes a closer look at the learning environment, i.e. the front end for the learner. Most functions are covered by almost all LMSs, for example, that the content is also available for download or that the learner receives his learning progress and the most important information about his content via a dashboard.

Testing environment: In addition to the provision of content, a key component of learning management systems is the testing of what has been learned. What features the LMS have available for this were reviewed in this category. The options around certification for the learner were also queried here.

Notifications – messages – communication: Learning should be fun. But of course, sometimes – especially with extensive learning content that is to be learned over a longer period of time – a little nudge is needed to stick with it and remind the learner of new or outstanding content.

Administrator environment: Just as important as the environment for the learner is the area for administrators. Here we asked, for example, whether there is role-based access control, whether learning paths can be created according to roles, or whether it is possible to upload courses from third-party providers. The question about SCORM support (Sharable Content Object Reference Model) was also asked here.

Gamification: learning is more fun with an incentive or gamification approach. For example, which providers have integrated the ability to earn awards and badges with learning progress into their LMS? Is there a point system that motivates the learner?

Event management: Learning content is often delivered in the form of live or automated webinars. Therefore, features around the management of such “events” play a role in the decision-making process for an LMS. For example, is there a calendar function?

Interfaces and integration: Every new system has to fit into the company’s tool landscape. Therefore, interfaces and integration options are also an important element for LMSs. For example, is there an interface to Go2meeting or Salesforce? Can social media channels such as Facebook or Twitter be integrated?

Reporting & Controlling: On the one hand, learning should of course be fun, but it should also be effective. For this reason, controlling and reporting functions should naturally also be part of the functional scope of an LMS. In this category, the included features were queried, for example, to what extent supervisors can view the learning success of their employees and whether automated reports can be sent.

Legal criteria: The GDPR does not stop at LMSs, but other legal issues must also be taken into account when selecting suitable software.

Additional services from the tool provider: As easy as the solutions may be to use for the learner in the end, a lot of effort can sometimes be involved in implementing and adapting the system to the learner’s own tasks. It’s good if the provider can help here with additional support services. We asked the providers in this category about the scope of these services.

Price approach of the solution: Price is not everything, but of course it plays an important role. A distinction must be made between regular costs and those that are incurred once – such as for the initial setup. Another important factor is the minimum contract term and the time required for implementation.

Download the LMS 2019 market overview

Our market overview is primarily intended to give interested parties and potential users a first impression of commercial LMS solutions. We hope to provide you with a solid overview of the market overview, which you can download here:

By clicking on the download button, you agree that your company e-mail address and your company name may be used by marketingandtech.com (Digital Diamant GmbH) for advertising purposes, also by e-mail, and for market and opinion research. With your consent, you will also automatically receive the marketingandtech.com newsletter. The declaration can be revoked at any time via a link in every e-mail.


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