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Monday, November 05, 2007

Kevin Oakes on the Rise and Fall of the LMS

Sitting in a fun presentation by Kevin Oakes at DevLearn on the Rise and Fall of the LMS. He pointed back to entry of various players in the market and particularly the enterprise vendors as opposed to pure-play vendors from articles five years ago. See:

In terms of "The Fall" his main point was that LMS will lose out to broader spectrum solutions - particularly Talent Management / Human Capital Management. Part of the rationale for this argument is that the LMS market is not ever going to be "huge" - meaning the market leaders are $100M companies and they likely can't grow much beyond that. So, how can you get big? You go broader.

And when you go look at the LMS providers, they don't call themselves an LMS anymore:
  • SumTotal is a global provider of talent and learning management solutions.
  • Saba is the premier global provider of strategic human capital management (HCM) software and services.
  • Plateau is a leading provider of talent management software, content and services designed to increase workforce productivity and drive business success.
  • is the worldwide leader in on-demand workforce development and productivity.
  • GeoLearning is the leading provider of Managed Learning Services and on-demand learning and performance technology.
  • KnowledgePlanet is a leading provider of performance-based learning solutions and services that drive business alignment, operational efficiencies and competitive advantage through workforce and talent development.
These descriptions clearly indicate they are going after the talent management marketplace.

His bottom line ...
  • LMS is falling
  • HR software and LMS are moving towards becoming talent management.
Oh, and we need to watch out for losing software aimed at our needs.


Anonymous said...

I actually think Kevin is wrong on this score. While it is true that LMS vendors were all moving toward talent management at one point, I think some of us have started to realize that the real play is in Web 2.0, community, and social networking, and particularly in blending the informal with the formal. By going after talent management, all you do is take the 20% of the learning people do formally and organize it around talent. What about the other 80% (informal learning)? Talent management is really a subset of community and social networking. As is LMS and learning. This is the future for any of the vendors who hope to survive.

Tony Karrer said...

David - great seeing you briefly at DevLearn.

I am very curious to see what vendors start to do around web 2.0 and community solutions.

wslashjack said...

Here is another perspective...purely a business perspective, I believe.

First of all, let me say that we are a six person company. We don't always have the heft for a larger company to consider us as a vendor...and so, we tend to see the world through small business eyes.

With those eyes, we see suppliers like Saba or as Titanics. My examples for this are too long for this space...but see my next blog entry at w/Mindshare. I think you will enjoy the read (and I promise to write it yet today).