The 20 most popular LMS solutions


I was taken with the infographic produced by Capterra listing the 20 most popular LMS solutions.

The Inforgraphic looks at the numbers of customers, numbers of users and gives an on-line score….a measure of the number of social media followers by product.

So what does this infographic say:

A little bit is mixed up in terms of markets…is our first reaction, and it is important to compare Apples with Apples.

This analysis mixed corporate and education users by including Moodle (which in fairness operates in both markets) and pure corporate offers such as Cornerstone and pure education offers such as Schoology or Edmodo.

In this infographic Moodle is classified as purely an academic market product, which is not strictly true, and Totara  gets no mentions… it included in the Moodle offer, or not yet in the top 20 LMS list.

So what observations can we make, well the most startling observations are the ratios between users and customers…….it would be interesting to know the actual figures used for all vendors, but in an earlier blog we published we looked at the Moodle usage levels stating “Over 1.2 million teachers and over 57 million users have used the Moodle VLE in some way or another, in 218 countries and at 66,000 or more actual sites.”

This infographic indicates Moodle now has 68,000 sites and 60 million users, while Edmodo has 100,000 sites but only 10 million users.

So we can conclude that a lot of schools see classroom collaboration in learning is the next big thing….the Edmodo user numbers and Collaborize Classroom customer numbers certainly tell us this, and it is to be hoped that there will be a marked growth in users to reflect the impressive customer bases developed.

Schoology similarly shares this high customers low users ratio. This product positions itself firmly as an LMS, and offers to integrate into Moodle. Instructure who offer the Canvas products to HE and K12 appears to have a more favourable user – customer ratio, as does Sakai, these products have much greater exposure to HE and are positioned as LMS for the delivery of learning.

Both Edmodo and Collaborize provide their basic applications for free, and would then appear to offer added value services and support packages….the Free-Prium model.

Moodle by contrast has been an open source community led project, with no master vendors. This was both its strength and weakness, but a number of innovative vendors such as our friends at Webanywhere have developed very comprehensive support packages for Moodle, again as we pointed out previously which allows for the continuation and flexibility of the open source solution with robust SLAs.

Indeed it is interesting to note that Blackboard, that sit at number three in this list now offer comprehensive Moodle support services, as we noted in a previous blog.

This model appears to be more successful than the Free-Prium model to date, and with Sakai offering a similar approach to Moodle also enjoying a solid ratio of users to customers.

Docebo, an open source LMS focused on the corporate market has delivered an impressive number of customers, and could claim to be vying for market leader in the corporate LMS market. Fact….Docebo is used in the HE (University market as well).

Docebo is hugely popular in Europe, and while unlike Sum Total the overall Corporate LMS market leader (no doubts here) Docebo is making solid progress in developing a strong user base, but it is not free, indeed it has a similar pricing structure to the Totara distribution of Moodle.

Does this indicate that we shall see a similar level of uptake of Totara, as the infographic indicates that the Docebo pricing model has proven acceptable in the corporate market.

So, low and no cost of ownership, Free-Prium and SaaS/cloud based solutions have been very successful in gaining customers, but not always users……in the anticipated ratio of users to customers!

However, we anticipate these ratios to change and expect to see marked accelerations in the numbers of learners (users) engaging with LMS in both education and the corporate market, and having a solid install base is no doubt vital to achieving that. A lot of investors money is also no doubt riding on these Free-Prium models in particular!

Are these all really LMS’s?

The progress made by Edmodo is indeed impressive, but we struggle to classify the product as an LMS, while it is great in a classroom, it would certainly not trouble the corporate market in our view. And nor is it intended to.

What is impressive about these products is the focus on collaboration in learning. Maybe the corporate LMS vendors could learn a little from this product….and as Elliot Masie pointed out on a call with the industry….collaboration learning is the next big thing….not social, collaboration….which is more attuned and less threatening to the corporate mindset!

We will leave the analysis of the role Social media plays till another time…..take a look at the



The Top 20 Most Popular LMS Software Solutions

© 2012 Capterra, Inc.