Steve Goldberg's Analyst Perspectives

SumTotal Systems’ Learning Management Product Excels in TCO/ROI

Posted by Steve Goldberg on Aug 5, 2020 6:00:00 AM

Here are some insights on SumTotal Systems drawn from our latest Value Index research, which provides a balanced perspective of Learning Management Systems (LMS) vendors and products that’s rooted in an understanding of business drivers and needs. Our continuous research and analysis of the market for business applications and technologies guide our comprehensive approach to this Value Index on Learning Management Systems 2020. Organizations can use it to evaluate existing suppliers and potential new technology partners; applying it can shorten the cycle time for an RFP. This approach not only reduces cost and time but also minimizes the risk of making a decision that is bad for the business. Using the Value Index will enable your organization to Ventana_Research_Value_Index_LMS_logo_2020achieve the levels of efficiency and effectiveness needed to optimize learning management.

We evaluated SumTotal and 11 other vendors in seven categories, five product-related (adaptability, capability, manageability, reliability and usability) and two concerning the vendor (TCO/ROI and vendor validation). To arrive at the Value Index rating for a given vendor, we weighted each of the seven categories to reflect its relative importance in an RFP process, with the weightings based on data derived from our benchmark research on LMS.

SumTotal Systems ranks 10th in this Value Index on LMS. The company originated with the merger of two LMS providers, Docent and Click2learn.  

The vendor’s highest scores are in the TCO/ROI category due to an extensive repertoire of business case and ROI support tools. The company also provides ample customer references.

The vendor’s lowest scores are in Adaptability; SumTotal emphasized batch-mode flat file interfacing until its recent 19.1 release, which offers a Ventana_Research_Value_Index_LMS_2020_Sumtotal_200501modern web services approach as the primary means of interoperating with third-party products. Performance would be stronger in the Validation category with more robust signs of market momentum and ongoing investment.

While the company has added and enhanced many features over the last 15 years and has redesigned and improved an outdated UX, it still has room for growth. The product would improve with real-time social collaboration capabilities, authoring tools, assessments and better adaptive learning functionality.

The vendor has announced improvements since the Value Index published. In June, SumTotal launched a new app marketplace, which includes applications developed by SumTotal, third parties, customers and content partners.

This research-based index is the most comprehensive assessment of the value of learning management systems (LMS) software in the industry. You can learn more about our Value Index as an effective vendor selection and RFI/RFP tool here and participating vendors can learn more about how to use the Value Index here.

Steve Goldberg

Topics: Human Capital Management, Learning Management, Workforce Management

Steve Goldberg

Written by Steve Goldberg

Steve is responsible for the Human Capital Management (HCM) research and advisory services practice. He guides HR and business leaders in leveraging their workforce for competitive advantage. He guides HCM technology vendors on the market of buyers and where their applications and technology can have maximum impact. Steve's uniquely diverse HCM experience spans over 30 years, including HR process and HCM systems practitioner leadership roles, heading up product strategy for one of the most respected HCM application vendors, and operating his own global advisory practice. His expertise areas of coverage include HRMS, Talent Management and Workforce Management, with specialized focus on recruiting, learning, performance, compensation and payroll. Prior to joining Ventana Research, Steve worked as a corporate VP in HR at UBS/Swiss Bank Corporation and Huizenga Holdings, product strategy leader at PeopleSoft and Unicru, and was also VP and Research Director at Bersin & Associates. Over 35,000 HR professionals and business executives have been informed by one of Steve's presentations on HCM, or have read his published work. Steve holds an MBA in Human Resource Management from University of Buffalo School of Management and a BBA in Industrial Psychology from The City University of New York.