I've used a variety of learning management systems (LMS) over the years including Blackboard, Moodle, scormLMS, Canvas, Success-Factors, custom LMSs, and Absorb LMS. All of these had their place. Some were geared toward academics and schools (Blackboard, Moodle, and Canvas). Others were for huge enterprises (Success-Factors). While others were great to test your E-Learning modules on-line (scormLMS). So what do you do if you have a small organization with under a hundred employees and not enough server space or talent on hand to customize an open-sourced program like Moodle. If that's the case, you turn to the cloud. Software-as-a-service (SAAS) has now become a way of doing business for individuals and small organizations. You can save money and time on resources while reaping the benefits of frequent or constant updates to the software.
Absorb LMS is a purely cloud-based application. It's a SAAS that lets you customize the front pages of your LMS, the landing or welcome page perse while giving you a hybridized version of LMS Administrator controls. You see the secret behind every LMS is that somebody, either you as the administrator or someone else working behind the scenes with the SAAS has to upload your content (E-Learning modules, Job-Aids, Videos, Presentations, etc.). So with Absorb, you get a fairly well-featured LMS, but with the benefit of having someone else go through the pains of uploading your content. After having to do the full admin tasks behind the scenes of an LMS, I can say that having someone else do it is quite an appreciable service.
Overall, Absorb is a good LMS for small and large organizations that want to save money on resources and overhead. Your trainers can also function as the LMS "admins". My only complaint about Absorb is that it has decent reporting tools. After years of working as an LMS admin, it seems that reports are an after thought with most LMS developers. Yet, sooner or later someone up your chain of command will want to know the value of the LMS and that's where good reporting tools come in handy. I can gladly say that the folks at Absorb listened to customer requests for better reporting and they delivered.
1. Ease of use - it's in the cloud.
2. Simplified admin functions
3. Decent reporting tools.
4. Customized landing page.
1. Responses from Absorb can be slow.
2. Customer service isn't the best.
3. Can suffer from service outages.
We have saved a very significant amount of time and money switching from Cornerstone to Absorb. And we have gained features, ease of use, faster time to market. As a company that puts customer service above all else, Absorb is our learning engine helping us deliver on that promise to our customers. We have grown our eLearning use by 300% since switching to Absorb mainly because it is very easy for our customers and we can get more content to market faster.
In no particular order, but all equally important:
- Social media and marketing integration is easy to setup and use
- Dashboards and reports are the fastest and easiest I have seen; reporting highly customizable with just a few mouse clicks
- Rapid deployment and migration; thousands of users, tens of thousands of records were migrated off of Cornerstone and fully functional in less than 60 days - a record!
- Customized look and feel matching our corporate site was ready in one week!
- Super easy for end users to get to training quickly
- Saved over 50% in costs from Cornerstone and saving more everyday in reduced administration costs
- Sales and support friendly and quick to help
- Wide range of content support and did not have to rebuild a single training report
- Flexible API offering unmatched integrations
- SSO and Shopping cart easy to implement and works right the first time
AbsorbLMS does one thing only, and does it right - manage my training. It's not bloated with features and functions I don't need. The administration is easy to learn and quite intuitive/flexible. It just works...and works great.
After six months of use, I have not come across a "least" like for Absorb. I would like to see more customization options for lower layer pages, but I cannot say this is an "issue" as I am still exploring the many possibilities offered by Absorb. For once, I have an LMS that I have not outgrown, I am still playing catch-up!
(note: this review is based on our experience using Absorb 4).
At ARRIS, Absorb powers ARRIS Academy, our centralized location for all things training serving both internal employees as well as external customers. The platform has performed very well, maintaining consistent up time and performance while serving the diverse needs of our organization. Using the eCommerce integration and curricula, we have successfully launched certification programs so that customers and employees can demonstrate their proficiency in our products and thus demonstrate a marketable skill. We have also utilized the curricula feature to easily mass-enroll our employees in mandatory trainings; based on this success, we are exploring other forms of automated enrollments, particularly for onboarding new employees. Working with Absorb has been a great experience. Overall, the customer service is top notch. The team has worked with us to provide SSO and learner import solutions which not only reduces the overhead in Admin time but it also provides a more seamless user experience.
In my first year at ARRIS, we have rapidly grown in our reliance of Absorb, turning it into a company-wide hub of training needs. As such, we have experienced a lot of 'growing pains' as we discover the limitations of the current version of the platform. In particular, the reporting capabilities leaves a lot to be desired. There's no way to run a report on courses which also includes sub categories. In addition, a report on employees and their training records cannot be produced on a single page; one has to click within each employee to see what she/he has done.
Admin permissions is another area that is lacking. In order for somebody to create courses intended for a specific audience, he/she has to have the ability to affect all courses. It would be ideal to grant only very specific permissions for given category and also prevent he/she from performing specific actions for a given course. These are just a few of things that contribute to a lower score in ease of use as it does make the job of an admin more difficult than it needs to be.
As good as customer service has been, there have been times where there have been lengthy gaps between emails or phone calls and our delayed upgrade to Absorb 5 which brings down the score a bit. We are excited to see what the capabilities are of Absorb 5; we hope for many enhancements that improve the experience for all users.
We have been using Absorb LMS for 4+ years. The product is excellent and the Absorb team is very cooperative in working with us to customize the LMS for our unique needs. It has evolved into a collaborative partnership, rather than a typical vendor-client relationship. We have users around the world, and the user-side LMS has proven to be stable and easy to use. The admin-side has a wide range of features, and it is relatively easy for people to learn the basics. We use the LMS to deliver classroom courses, e-learning and bundles. We have established special access roles for instructors which has streamlined operations. Absorb is releasing a major upgrade which we are testing. The upgrade adds great features, and we are eager to migrate to the new version.
We provide our clients with very specific project tracking and reporting functions that have become part of our competitive advantage. These functions go beyond the capabilities of the Absorb LMS and the needs of typical LMS users. We have had to develop customized modules that import data from the LMS.
It allows us to engage our community through eLearning by showing courses, webinars and lesson relevant to our field of work. It allows us to keep our learners engaged, connected and kept current with ideas and best practices. It allows us the opportunity to represent ourselves as experts in out field.
Creating and development course content in a straight-forward and simple manner. Enjoy making quick edits and updates to published courses. Ease of importing courses from various types of APIs. Support staff is very attentive and helpful with students and system issues. Administrator back end is very flexible and easy to use. Enjoy using the "impersonate" feature, which can identify problems quickly. Like that the framework of Absorb is still under development, which allows for new innovations, looking for ways to improve and stay relevant.
Reporting features still need a bit of development to allow for more control and options for what should be saved in the report export document. Giving more options for data being displayed by a student transcript. Some features of pulling data from the metrics can be a bit tricky.
had it for 3 years. our requirements were basic - no hr integration, no e-commerce, short term users, few courses. yet when we were faced with their sudden requirement for us to move/"upgrade" to their new system that contained functional and design continuity problems from the system version we were using, we were told that our problems would not be fixed due to the fact that not enough other customers had "voted" for the same issues to be fixed. that was a dealbreaker. :(
easy startup, easy to use (provided everything is working properly)
Software is AS-IS product. Difficulty getting help with system problems - first tool for them is interpersonal pleasantry, and email with article links to something that may or may not be addressing the reported problem. If there is not an easy out-of-the box solution (addressed by the link they send you by email), it will take many interactions and possibly a video screener of your problem before your issue is investigated. Individual learner issues are typically not investigated.
We introduced Absorb ten months ago and have been able to centralize/track a lot of internal and external learning for staff. These are exciting times and there is so much more to learn!
My favourite feature is the people behind the software and their willingness to provide meaningful/practical answers for each question I ask. There really are no silly questions and that is most reassuring for novel LMS users!
I had no prior experience with this type of technology so it's been quite the learning curve for me and my organization. Thanks to Team Absorb's reliable customer service, I'm still learning something new each day!
I also appreciate how many ways there are to customize the software for organizations of any size. We're relatively small (under 1,000 learners) but we have some unique features in our reporting structure. I was able to work with Team Absorb to build some behaviours/rules into our LMS that reflect our set-up and match the information coming in the nightly imports from our HRIS.
Right now, about 98% of supervisor approval requests make it to the supervisor but it would be awesome if 100% of the requests made it through.
Absorb is a solid LMS and a great solution compared to any alternative we examined from a cost/benefit perspective. Things that are cons are more than made up for by the pure breadth of functionality available for the price, and they're very very good at taking customer feedback and making improvements to their product. I'd be comfortable recommending them to any business looking to start up a new LMS or replace an aging in-house system.
Nice interface and excellent feature set - great coupon tool, course bundles, shopping cart functionality, multi-module courses, lesson plans, forced pre-requisites, monitoring and reporting (SCORM and AICC), scheduling tool, assessments and surveys, discussion boards, linking resources to courses, multi-tiered and customizeable user/admin management, certificates, waitlist management, and customizeable automated email notifications. Integrates with our web-based training platform (Adobe Connect), supports both self-paced and instructor-led courses, responsive to customer requests, able to go from zero to fully-functional LMS in a matter of days. Great value.
Can be a bit clunky and non-intuitive, difficult to set up and classes as individual objects (each course requires the set-up of a separate instance, even if you want a 1:1 ratio between setup and delivery), finance-based reporting (and reporting in general, actually) is just OK (but getting better), Flash interface that requires pop-ups is a recurring complaint, needs better user account flexibility (i.e. ability for users to manage their information, change their password, etc.) and security (everything is stored/visible in clear text).
Thanks for the review! As of 2013 Flash and popups are gone with the new HTML5 interface. We have also added additional security options as well as learner password management. We're looking forward to your continued feedback!
Absorb is so powerful and easy to use. The company itself is great to work with. Their customer service staff is so nice and friendly, and the project manager and account manager I worked with helped me every step of the way. The interface is gorgeous and importing your learners is a snap. I love that Absorb has built-in quizzes that I can create in seconds. I also love that I was able to work with Absorb's designers to customize the branding for our company. Creating certification programs and badges was easy. You can upload or link to practically any type of media. Customized reports can quickly be generated. Grouping learners into categories to deploy specific training is also painless. You can create contest, polls and gamify the learning experience. Ultimately, Absorb is fast, easy, gorgeous and even if you're a staff of one or two (like me) you can easily manage hundreds of learners and dozens of online courses. I love Absorb!
Fantastic customer support
Easy to use design
Quick import of new learners
Easily upload any type of multimedia
Customizable interface for branding
Out of the box solution at a reasonable price point
No extra IT or web developer support required
It would be great to:
- Quickly switch between Admin and Learner to see a course
- Create a "test" user who can take courses over and over again just to test functionality without having to enroll, un-enroll and then re-enroll
- Show and disable the contest feature (without having customer support perform this function)
Speed of delivery of content to customers and users and with the ease of user mgmt, the amount of time I am spent managing the system is kept to a minimum.
The ease of adding courses, content and attaching relevant material to this cannot be overlooked and for me is easily just one of the items most enjoyed. The built in workflow allows me to take my video production and related documents and attach them to a course that can be distributed to my users in a matter of minutes.
Nothing really stands out as a negative. One area for improvement would be exporting reports - It would be nice to be able to customize the look and feel of reports in the tool before exporting, and it is a minor issue as a lot of this can be done via the Excel export anyway.
Blatant's Absorb Anywhere platform is the perfect solution for those companies needing to take their training and education programs to the next level. But to do so in a way that's reflective of the brand and conscientious of relationships with users. Blatant has clearly leveraged their experience with academic learning enivornments to address the opportunity to immerse sales associates at retail in the brand story, creating ambassadors ready to sell. And they accomplish this with one of the brightest teams of people with which I've ever worked.
Oakley moved from a custom-built application to a proven LMS platform in 2009 to address the growing opportunity to train Sales Associates on how to sell our products. We were interested in a brand-right tool to drive sales, and Blatant helped us to easily adapt their system to meet our unique needs. Being a global company, Absorb Anywhere allows us to distribute system administration responsibilities across regions for a truly localized experience. The team at Blatant continues to roll out new features that are highly applicable to our users.
We have seen no downside to partnering with Blatant on this opportunity. It's important to work with a vendor that you trust, and Blatant is definitely invested in the success of this project. As they continue to grow and expand their operations, we'll look forward to enhancements to the system that will improve our relationship with loyal users.
Ease of course creation
Recently improved search page
Options for badges and certificates
Course and resource replication easy
Organization of Course and Resource folders is only alphabetical order
No way to create groups through a CSV upload
Enrollment and Resource availability rules limited for some items (i.e. can't exclude departments in enrollments)
In my last company, I was the product manager for an online training business. We used the Absorb LMS to deploy our hosted users. The product provided the flexibility we needed to roll out with different models and curricula for different customers. It also provided the administrative flexibility we needed for a large customer base. Finally, the reporting enabled us to get the information we needed for ourselves and for the training admins in our customers.
Absorb, as a vendor, was a pleasure to work with. They always made an effort to consider and address our needs and were pleasant and professional to deal with.
The company is smaller. This has the advantage of being agile, but that comes with a limitation on resources. They just couldn't do everything, and when they got engaged in a major release, you could feel the limited resources being taxed.
All-in-all, I have enjoyed using Absorb. It has a pretty robust feature set and a very easy to use interface. When we run into bugs, Absorb sometimes takes quite a long time to resolve the issues. They will not give you an ETA for fixes either. It has some issues with playing video on iOS10 devices. I like how it handles most content and I really like how it modularizes courses.
Ease of use. Everything is easy to find and the options make sense.
When bugs are introduced, they don't always get fixed very quickly.
The Absorb team was always professional. Through the vendor selection process, implementation, to post-implementation support, I've found the Absorb team to be helpful, knowledgeable, and straightforward. The software is robust and functional. We got everything we were looking for.
I would definitely recommend this product. It effectively delivers content and courses, it's totally brand-able, and it's easy to use from the user and admin's perspectives.
Clean interface. It's navigable and easy-to-use.
We had a little hiccup with uploading hundreds of users who were all in different departments. It required us to upload a spreadsheet per department (about 12) instead of uploading one spreadsheet and having the system parse the groups. I think this is a fairly rare circumstance though (either you are a small group and it doesn't matter or you are a big group and you have an API). Added an extra 2 hours of work - not a big deal. Otherwise the user-upload interface is very effective.
LMS is a system that allows consistency within a large organization, which can be difficult to do. It is very easy for the learners to navigate and to keep track of courses they have taken in the past. It is almost like a digital filing cabinet for the learners!
The administrative functions are not easy to navigate. While the actions of adding/managing courses are repetitive, there are obvious things that would make it less complicated and more efficient. Time is of the essence these days and there are steps that are unnecessary in several of the processes. If adjustments could be made to make the administrative functions more user-friendly, my likelihood to recommend would increase.
The admin features, while limited, are easy to learn and use.
The reporting and metrics provided by the base system are seriously lacking. In addition, their response time on support tickets when their is a bug in their system can take months or even years to correct with only a standard response that "development is investigating."
Absorb was the first LMS that I worked with that fully supported HTML5. The interface was beautiful from a learner perspective and could be fully branded to your company. It was intuitive and supported all of the training types that we created and purchased. The company was easy to work with and provided support for our needs.
The backend/admin portal was separate from the user portal. Meaning, it was based on different technology (flash at the time), was actually hosted on a different part of the system and did not seem as unified as other systems I have worked with. It was still very functional, but left some to be desired.
I have been so pleased with the Absorb LMS and Team that I had a second company I work with also use the Absorb LMS. They continue to add new features that make sense and are always trying to improve the LMS for the user and the administrators. Using Absorb has enabled us to expand our training business - both classroom and online - by making us more efficient internally and delivering a better service to our customers.
We've been using the Absorb LMS for over 3 years so we've seen it continue to evolve into a tremendous tool. We run classroom courses and offer online courses globally, so ease of use is critical. That's why we went with Absorb in the first place and their new user interface is another huge step in providing users with the best possible experience. We really consider the Absorb team to be like partners in helping us use the LMS to make our business grow by providing a better learning experience to our users. They have worked with us to develop special types of tests and surveys that are critical to our business.
For our needs, which are probably unique, the reporting is not sufficient. So we had to build a reporting tool that uses the data from the LMS. However, the Absorb Team was really great in working with us to set up the daily data exports.
As always the help desk staff at absorb are great at answering and mitigating questions that I have. Keep up the good work.
Both the front end and back end are easy to use and navigate.
How a person can only be attached to one department with one email address.
After searching for over 6 months, our organization (research institute at a University) happily landed on Absorb. We use it for about 300 internal employees, and around 100-200 external clients.
It is fantastic. The learner interface is intuitive and smooth: we recently held a workshop with 80 participants from 38 different countries (many languages, a range of backgrounds in technology), and everyone easily navigated through the system to the content.
For company use, the data Absorb gathers feeds directly into our professional development and performance review cycles. Also, we integrated the sign-on with our internal ADFS server, so the users' credentials pull from pre-existing systems.
Support is super responsive and thorough; every ticket I've submitted they've addressed right away and resolved most.
The downsides of the product: not many. The 'tiles' on the home page are extremely useful, and I wish it were easier to make custom tiles on our own, but anything custom has to be made by Absorb support (example: link to an external site; changing the look/logo on a tile). Reports from assessments or exams take a little getting used to, as well as a few quirks around course structures or limitations. But none of the drawbacks are insurmountable.
Overall: I'm a huge fan of Absorb, and would highly recommend it for anyone in the 200-1000 employee range.
I worked for a fast-growing startup that needed a full-featured LMS, hosted, and didn't cost an arm-and-a-leg. Absorb LMS fit that bill and then some. I was super-impressed with the ease of use of their interface and the intuitive nature of their setup and processes. It also helped that they had tight integration with Adobe Connect, which was our preferred platform for web conferences. I strongly recommend them to anyone looking to implement a new LMS, or to replace an old, clunky, hard-to-use one. (And there are a lot of those out there...)
Intuitive, slick interfaces on both the front and back end. Easy to use and administer. User experience was fantastic. Highly responsive team addressing any concerns or issues.
Any cons that we ran into were dealt with in short order, and we were a relatively small client! Great customer support made this a dream process.
I was a novice LMS administrator. They worked with me and helped me set up my framework. They were very responsive, helpful and courteous. They never made me feel like I was asking a silly question. It's a very stable hosted website. My company has been with them since 2012. There has been no significant down times in that entire time. It is flexible, supportive, and helpful.
Some of the reporting did not do what I needed it to do. It was initially hard to set up correctly. Though that could be my user error, it still seemed a little cumbersome. They are migrating their customers to a significant upgrade right now. I can't wait to use the single sign on version they previewed for me.
The built in workflow allows me to create a course that can be distributed to my users in a matter of minutes. Easily upload any type of multimedia, its UX and UI. is magnific. can access all function very easily whether you are a student, an instructor or an admin. keep a running list of enrolled and completed courses
The calendar could be better.. need more integration with other comercials calendars, Requires deep technical experience for Customize this system, does not allow to create a data repository per student in a simple way, it is not an integrated talent management system. Reporting features, they need to improve them a lot, . The administrative functions are dificult to navigate and there are steps that are unnecessary in several of the processes.
My company has been using Absorb 4 since 2012, and we've been mostly happy with the functionality and ease of use. The learner interface is very intuitive. Only downside for our institution was the inability to "hide" completed courses from the My Courses list. That has been fixed in Absorb 5, which is very good news. Administrators find the Admin interface fairly easy to use, but again we're excited about seeing the changes that come with Absorb 5.
Mobile friendly, good search capabilities, customizable with branding
Most of the cons for us were because we had an installed instance instead of cloud hosted. Updates were hard to process and therefore we were always multiple versions behind. These issues should be resolved with being hosted, since updates are pushed out automatically.