What do you like best?
Lots of recent polls show that companies don't like their learning management system. The reason is that most LMS's are too complex, steep learning curve, not very flexible, often they have too many features that are not used. Absorb LMS has a good balance between just-enough functionality and easy of use. Keeps delivery costs low. Through a competitive bid analysis, we found Absorb to be about 25% of the cost of leading systems (e.g. Cornerstone, Saba, SumTotal, etc.). Much of this is because of the simplicity of the system. We added it to our shortlist because of their alliance with TinCan. We wanted to use it to track use of informal (non-scored) learning content. Works great. Nice mobile deployment. The primary interface is designed to play equally well on desktop and mobile, rather than use a completely separate interface for mobile. Very helpful. Finally, we needed multiple branded user interfaces. Worked well. Very good built-in e-commerce engine (great for companies that sell content)
What do you dislike?
There is no/minimal interface for creating branded interface. Requires deep technical experience or having the vendor do it for them. The company doesn't offer a built-in social learning module (like several other LMS vendors do). They designed it to work with third party social tools (good or bad, depending on how you want to use social learning). One of our needs was to have learner/end users be able to add user-generated content to the system. We had to explore a workaround to give learners limited admin capability to pull this off. Again, it is NOT an integrated talent management system. It is a pure LMS. For us that was great because we weren't looking for a talent management solution. So, this isn't a dislike, just a comment that may help others choose wisely.
Recommendations to others considering the product
I would recommend Absorb for any organization selling content (good internal e-commerce engine, but can also be configured to work with third-party commerce engines), good for groups that simply want to provide learning (elearning, classroom, virtual classroom, mobile, digital resources, etc.); but aren't trying to build out an entire integrated talent management infrastructure (learning and performance). If you already have a talent management/HR solution and just want to focus on the learning side (and pass data back and forth) it would work well also. Especially good to add to your shortlist if you have budgetary constraints. Very powerful for a low-cost solution. Great cost-to-value ratio.
What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?
Sharing association learning content with members. We provide core training as a value-add included in membership dues, but also sell subscriptions for additional content libraries and resources. We provide branded interfaces for our association members so that their learning portal matches their own brand (not generic for the association). Our members very much like having branded content, flexibility to manage their own learning portal, and simplicity of using the system. For us, we lowered operational cost tremendously and have more options for creating content and adding third party content from our partner and providers of eLearning course libraries.