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Key Differentiators of Absorb LMS and blatant^

March 13, 2013 1 comment

No one really knows how many learning management systems currently exist. Some research firms and analysts place the number as high as 500 and includes commercial systems, open source applications, and custom built, in-house platforms.

The large number of available systems is both comforting (a system that meets your most important needs is almost certainly available) and overwhelming (faced with so many choices, finding that system can be tough.)

To help make your search easier, here are what we believe to be the key differentiators of Absorb LMS and blatant^:

  • Absorb LMS doesn’t look like other learning management systems. That’s because we place a huge emphasis on design, usability, and brand projection:

basic_skin_sample_4b

  • Absorb LMS delivers learning content to people on any device that can interpret HTML 5. This includes conventional desktop and laptop computers, tablets such as iPads, and popular phones.
  • Most Web sites designed for traditional computers simply shrink down the interface to fit the smaller screens of tablets and phones. Absorb LMS is different. The site adapts to the device being used to create a better experience for the learner. Here’s how the same Absorb LMS portal displays on different devices:
Absorb LMS viewed on a traditional computer.

Absorb LMS viewed on a traditional computer.

The same Absorb LMS learning portal viewed on an iPad

The same Absorb LMS learning portal viewed on an iPad

The same Absorb LMS portal viewed on an iPhone

The same Absorb LMS portal viewed on an iPhone

  • The administrative features of Absorb LMS are designed to make management of learning initiatives very easy. In fact, the entire learning workflow can be automated, from the learner’s registration in the system, enrolment in courses, generation of progress reports, certification, and beyond.

AbsorbLMS-Automation

  • The system is particularly strong at providing different learning content to different learners. So, if you want to make a curriculum available to, say, a group of people located in a specific city who do a certain type of work, it will take you less than one minute to set this up.
  • Most LMS vendors, of course, say that they have a great system. Boasting isn’t our style but we will say that we’ve won 13 major industry awards for excellence since 2008. We also get really great reviews from our customers, which means the world to us.
  • About two or three new clients per week select Absorb LMS and 95 per cent of clients stay with us each year, not because they have to but because they want to.
  • Absorb LMS isn’t the least expensive learning management system; after all, there are free open-source systems you can try. But when you factor in the time, effort, and cost related to configuring other systems and using them to run your learning initiatives, we think we provide good value. (One of our clients, COLA, recently switched from a `free’ open source platform to Absorb LMS and saved a pile of cash. You can read all about it here.)
  • We try to stay focused on creating a great learning management system rather than attempting to be everything to everyone:
    • We’ve resisted the trend to become a talent management suite. Absorb LMS doesn’t have a recruiting module, a succession planning module, etc. But, you can integrate Absorb LMS with those types of applications by using APIs we’ve created. A full 40 per cent of our customers integrate Absorb LMS with other enterprise applications.
    • We’ve also resisted the trend to build social network capabilities into the system. We think Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and other platforms are pretty awesome and like you, we use them every day. So, rather than recreating those technologies (which would take our time away from building a great LMS) we’d rather leverage popular platforms by making them available to learners as resources integrated into their dashboards.
  • Absorb LMS contains a built-in shopping cart, so if you’re planning to sell courses, either now or in the future, that will be a breeze.
The Absorb LMS shopping cart

The Absorb LMS shopping cart

  • If you come to us and say you like our system a lot but could we please create new features just for you, we might say no. It’s not that we don’t want to help you out. But, we’ve been doing this long enough to know that having a lot of highly customized implementations can be a nightmare for both our clients and for us when the time comes to upgrade to new versions. We prefer a single, super-stable codebase everyone uses that’s highly configurable, with features turned on or off as needed. (If, however, you have an idea for a great new feature we should include in our roadmap, we’d love to hear about it.)
  • We’re very proud of the culture at blatant^. Jerks don’t remain here long. This means morale is high and when you contact us, you’ll be served by happy, talented people who will be calm and professional. If you visit our office, you can even challenge members of our team to an Xbox game. (You might want to practice a bit before.)
gamesroom

The Xbox games room at blatant^

  • If during your evaluation of Absorb LMS, we get a sense that we aren’t a good fit for what you want to do, we’ll let you know. We promise. It’s more important for us to get new customers we can make happy than to get new customers who will be miserable trying to use our technology to do things it wasn’t designed to do.

So, the bottom line is that if you’re looking for a powerful, award-winning learning management system that:

  • Supports mobile learning initiatives
  • Is easy to use, both for learners and administrators
  • That can be designed to project strongly your organization’s brand and culture
  • That you can use to sell courses
  • That can be easily integrated with other enterprise applications

…then we might be a good fit for you. If your needs are significantly different, it might be best to exclude us and continue your search.  With so many systems available, you don’t need to settle for a learning management system that does not do the most important things you need it to do.

Video: Increase Learner Engagement with the Absorb LMS Mercury Module

February 28, 2013 Leave a comment

We’ve just published a new video to our Absorb LMS YouTube channel that provides an overview of the new `Mercury‘ module. The Mercury module is a special add-on to Absorb LMS that contains features specifically aimed at increasing learner engagement. These features include:

  • Billboards
  • Polls
  • Contests
  • News items
  • Twitter feed
  • and more

In a nutshell, the Absorb LMS Mercury Module can turn your Absorb LMS portal into a pretty effective Intranet, giving the learners access to anything they need to do their work and increase their skills. It will all make sense if you take four minutes and twenty-eight seconds to watch this:

February 20: Absorb LMS Tips and Tricks

February 19, 2013 Leave a comment

Finger with string: Some rights reserved by mwoodard/FlickrREMINDER: 

Join Absorb LMS team members for a fast-paced presentation of their favorite Absorb LMS tips and tricks.

Whether you’re an Absorb LMS customer, use a different learning management system, or are considering acquiring your first LMS, this session will likely give you with ideas on how you can optimize the management of your learning initiatives to provide a rewarding experience for your learners.

Register here: https://www4.gotomeeting.com/register/608906591

Absorb LMS: Zero to Mobile Learning in as Little as Four Weeks

February 13, 2013 Leave a comment

Absorb LMS on an iPadYear after year after year, organizations report that they are in the `planning phase’ of providing mobile learning to their workforce. Spinning wheels without getting anywhere in a persistent planning phase often reflects:

  • An understanding that the initiative is important
  • Complete confusion about how to get it done

You can now cross the `Implement Mobile Learning’ task off your To Do list.

`Ninja’ is the top secret code name for the latest version of Absorb LMS, the multi-award-winning learning management system from blatant^. Absorb LMS Ninja is an innovative and responsive HTML 5-based design that adapts dynamically to any device, be it a traditional desktop or laptop computer, popular tablets such as iPads, or phones.

Lucky for us, this Ninja uses its power for good, not evil.

Find out more about how Absorb LMS can have you delivering mobile learning to your learners in as little as four weeks. Downloading this fact sheet Schedule a demonstration today.

Introducing the Absorb LMS YouTube Channel: No Funny Cat Videos but Pretty Cool Regardless

February 1, 2013 Leave a comment

We launched our official Absorb LMS YouTube channel this week. So far, it contains about a dozen short videos. We’ll be adding more regularly. Help us get more views than PSY’s Gangnam Style by checking out the videos, subscribing to the channel, and sharing the clips with your friends. Also, management says that if we get a million “likes” on any of these videos, we can get a puppy.

Here’s a video of the new HTML 5, iPad- and iPhone-friendly version of Absorb LMS, code named `Ninja.’

VIDEO: Overview of the New Mobile Learning-Friendly Absorb LMS Shopping Cart

January 11, 2013 Leave a comment

We’ve just this month launched the new HTML 5 version of Absorb LMS, code named `Ninja.’  You can now use Absorb LMS to support all learning initiatives including mobile learning implementations where learners access content on popular devices such as iPads, iPhones and android devices.

This new version of Absorb LMS contains a completely new shopping cart. Here’s a video overview.

Absorb LMS Wins Another Gold Award

January 3, 2013 Leave a comment

GoldExcellenceInTechnology-2012We’re pleased to announce that Absorb LMS has just been awarded a Gold Brandon Hall Excellence in Technology Award in the Best Advance in Learning Management Technology for Small- and Medium-Sized Businesses category.

The entry submitted by blatant^ provided an overview of the newly launched, iPad- and iPhone-friendly, HTML 5 version of Absorb LMS, code named `Ninja.’

According to Brandon Hall Group:

The entries were evaluated by a panel of independent senior industry experts, Brandon Hall Group Senior Analysts and Executive Leadership based upon the following criteria:

Product: What was the product’s breakthrough innovation?
Unique differentiators: What makes the product unique and how does it differ from any competing products?
Value proposition: What problem does the product solve and/or what need does this product address?
Measurable results: What are the benefits customers can expect to experience as a result of using this product?

This brings the number of Awards and accolades won by blatant^ to twelve:

2012: Gold Brandon Hall Excellence in Technology Award for Best Advance in Learning Management Technology for Small- and Medium-Sized Businesses
2012: Named one of  TrainingIndustry.com’s Top 20 Learning Portal Companies
2012: Bronze Brandon Hall Excellence in Technology Award for Learning Management Technology for the SMARTLAB LMS
2012: Bronze Brandon Hall Excellence in Technology Award for Best Advance in Learning Management Technology
2011: Awarded LMS Industry “Innovator” ranking in LMS Vendor Landscapes report by research firm McLean & Company
2011: Selected as Top 20 LMS Vendor by TrainingIndustry.Com
2011: Gold Brandon Hall Excellence Award for Best Advance in Learning Management Technology for Global Training
2010: Silver Brandon Hall Excellence for Best Advance in Learning Management Technology for External Training
2010: Selected as Top 20 LMS Vendor by TrainingIndustry.Com
2009: Gold Brandon Hall Excellence Award for Best Advance in Learning Management Technology for Small and Medium Sized Businesses
2009: Bronze Brandon Hall Excellence Award for Best Advance in Learning Management Technology for External Training
2008: Silver Brandon Hall Excellence Award for Best Custom Content

Welcome to the New Absorb LMS Customers We Can’t Name (and Those Below That We Can!)

November 8, 2012 Leave a comment

As is typical, a number of our new clients have asked that we not announce them publicly on this Blog and on our Web site’s client list. These customers include:

  • Departments in large organizations that already have an `official’ learning management system (LMS) that doesn’t do what the department needs. These departments need to keep their use of Absorb LMS below the radar.
  • Commercial training providers that wish to keep their use of Absorb LMS a secret and competitive advantage.
  • One major well-known global retailer—who’s name you would recognize, and it’s totally killing us not to name who it is—that has a policy of not allowing suppliers to name them as a client until they have worked together for one full year. Fair enough.

We welcome these unnamed clients.

The following organizations, which span a multitude of industries, HAVE, however, given us the green light to let the world know they’ve become Absorb LMS customers. We’re thrilled to welcome them.

AgLeader Technology —For almost two decades, Ag Leader has been a leader and driving force behind precision agriculture innovation, making farming more efficient and profitable. Find out more at http://www.agleader.com

Barium Springs—Founded in 1891, Barium Springs, a non-profit organization, provides family services to residents of North Carolina. Find out more at http://bariumsprings.org

Brewsters Brewing Company & Restaurant—Brewsters Brewing Company & Restaurant brews a wide variety of ales and lagers and has restaurants located in the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan. Find out more at http://brewsters.ca

Cobham Tactical Communications and Surveillance—Cobham Tactical Communications and Surveillance is a world leader in security, sharing, and communicating situational awareness in challenging environments, from urban environments to the digital battlefield. Find out more at http://www.cobham.com/about-cobham/aerospace-and-security/about-us/tactical-communications-and-surveillance.aspx

Dole Fresh Vegetables—Dole Fresh Vegetables, Inc., a subsidiary of Dole Food Company Inc., produces and markets fresh fruits, vegetables, and flowers. It also offers packaged foods, such as salads, as well as frozen fruits. Find out more at http://www.dole.com

EMRlogic Logic Systems—EMRlogic, founded in 2005, is dedicated to providing practice management and electronic health records application software products to ophthalmologists and optometrists. Find out more at http://www.emrlogic.com

ERMC—ERMC is a multi-discipline, facilities services company headquartered in Chattanooga, Tennessee. ERMC currently serves a wide variety of industries such as retail shopping centers, food processing, aviation, manufacturing, transportation, and commercial office and property management. Find out more at http://ermc2.com

Gran Tierra— Gran Tierra Energy Inc. is an international oil and gas exploration and production company headquartered in Calgary, Canada. Find out more at http://www.grantierra.com

Mortgage Research Center, Veteran’s United—Veterans United Home Loans is the United State’s largest provider of VA Loans — dedicated to making the American dream of homeownership a reality for those who so bravely served. Find out more at http://www.veteransunited.com

Newhall Klein, Inc. —Since 1989, Newhall Klein has produced design and marketing solutions that have helped their business partners successfully build and reinforce their market positions. Find out more at http://www.newhallklein.com

Nova Medical Centers—Nova Medical Centers is the fastest growing 100% occupational medicine service provider in the industry. Find out more at https://www.n-o-v-a.com

Openbet—OpenBet is the market leader in providing software for the betting and online gaming industry. Find out more at http://www.openbet.com

Our365—Our365 and its divisions encourage expectant mothers through pregnancy and through beautiful photography capture those special days of anticipation, then meet these new mothers at the hospital to take the newborn’s first portrait. Find out more at http://www.our365.com

Palantir Solutions—Palantir Solutions is a leading, global provider of Integrated, Dynamic Planning Software and Services to upstream oil and gas companies. Find out more at http://www.palantirsolutions.com

Rockfish Learning Management (Stormwater USA)—Stormwater USA was created to provide industry professionals with an accessible stormwater training program to meet the growing demand for NPDES training. Find out more at http://www.stormwaterusa.com

Synapsii, LLC—Synapsii is a Women’s Business Enterprise founded in 2012. The company is currently working with medical practices, focusing on education delivered to patients at the appropriate time in their care continuum, by leveraging the latest in technology. Find out more at http://www.synapsii.com/

TXI— TXI is a leading supplier of cement, aggregate and ready-mix concrete building materials. Find out more at http://www.txi.com/

Xcel Testing Solutions LLC— Over 25 million students have successfully passed standardized assessment exams by utilizing Excel Testing Solutions research-based learning approach. Find out more at http://xceltesting.com

How One Organization Abandoned a Free Open Source Learning Management System and Saved a Pile of Cash

October 30, 2012 1 comment

Shredding money (Some rights reserved by Tax Credits on Flickr)COLA is a physician-directed organization whose purpose is to promote excellence in laboratory medicine and patient care through a program of voluntary education, consultation, and certification. With approximately 7500 global customers, COLA is the world’s largest laboratory accreditation organization.

About seven years ago, COLA decided that deploying a learning management system (LMS) would provide the company with much needed flexibility with the delivery of their online learning programs, while simultaneously offering them increased efficiencies and cost savings.

COLA decided that it could best achieve its goals by implementing a popular open-source LMS solution with the help of third-party consultants and developers. The belief was that a free LMS solution could be configured to meet all of their business requirements at a much lower cost than a commercial-off-the-shelf system, even when factoring in the consulting costs associated with having the system built to their specifications.

Things didn`t work out as expected. The longer the free open source LMS was in place, the more money, time, and people were required to try and make the system run properly. At one point, COLA was spending an additional $500-$1,000 per week on LMS maintenance, and, that figure did not even include expenses related to internal staff time.

The good news is that COLA’s management didn’t sit idly watching the bleeding. They abandoned the open source LMS, selected a system that better matched their requirements, and even won an industry Award for their learning initiative.

Read what went wrong in their open source LMS implementation and how COLA turned a bad situation into an award-winning success story.

October 24: Absorb LMS Tips and Tricks

October 3, 2012 Leave a comment

We’re doing something completely different for our next Webinar. Gone are the PowerPoint slides replaced with live demonstrations of some of the most powerful but perhaps lesser known Absorb LMS features.

Join Blatant Media team members, Donna Gernhaelder, Don Landry, Dan Medakovic, and Richard Nantel for a fast-paced presentation demonstrating:

  • Post enrollment triggers
  • Scheduling and emailing reports
  • Deep links to courses
  • Capturing learner profile data using a survey
  • Creating and using Smart Departments
  • Adding YouTube videos to courses
  • Tracking learner progress in a curriculum

And much much more.

Whether you’re an Absorb LMS customer, use a different learning management system, or are considering acquiring your first LMS, this session will likely give you ideas on how you can optimize the management of your learning initiatives to provide a rewarding experience for your learners.

Donna Gernhaelder
Don Landry
Dan Medakovic
Richard Nantel
Donna Gernhaelder
Don Landry
Dan Medakovic
Richard Nantel
October 24, 2012
Absorb LMS Tips and Tricks

11:00 AM – 12:00 PM MT (GMT-7)

Enroll