The Top Docebo Alternatives: An LMS Comparison of Docebo vs Acorn
If you’re here because you’re trying to find the right learning management system (LMS) to provide strategic and streamlined employee training, then you’re in the right place. And we’d like to shout out the Docebo team, because they’ve built a great solution for employee training.
So, what makes Docebo and Acorn LMS different then?
Both are cloud-based solutions with a strong portfolio of clients, but there are some not-so-subtle differences in features, functionality and product roadmaps when you start to look closer.
What is Docebo?
Docebo is a Software-as-a-Service company. Their main product is cloud-based learning management system Docebo Learn.
Who is Docebo best for?
Docebo Learn is best for those looking for an online learning platform for corporate training, with the opportunity to scale the system in future through integrations.
Top Docebo alternatives
There are several high profile options for Docebo alternatives in the online training market. You may even have heard of a few:
- Absorb LMS
- SAP Litmos
- Blackboard Learn
- Accord LMS
- Cornerstone Learning
- Adobe Captivate Prime
- Acorn LMS.
How are these alternatives similar to Docebo?
Many of these options are designed to support two specific use cases, employee training programs and higher education. Most share a common strength: Creating interactive courses for eLearning. This makes them solid choices if you’re looking for a learning management platform that transfers face-to-face learning to a virtual environment.
However, if you’re looking for something with a little more power, we’d recommend taking a closer look at Docebo vs Acorn.
What is Acorn LMS?
Acorn is a cloud-based learning management system developed by Software-as-a-Service company Pursuit Technology.
Who is Acorn best for?
Incorporating HR, workforce planning and L&D technology, Acorn is designed for those respective business leaders to prove strategic L&D impact.
What is the main difference between Docebo and Acorn?
The reason we wanted to focus on Docebo vs Acorn above all other Docebo alternatives is because of the mindset behind these two learning management tools.
Docebo looks at internal and external training management. It is designed to streamline enterprise L&D and achieve learning outcomes, specifically through the creation and delivery of learning programs on a cloud-based solution.
Acorn, while also a highly secure cloud platform, looks at the learning process as a whole differently. We see capabilities at the heart of organisational success, which means they should be at the heart of L&D, too. That’s why Acorn LMS incorporates a HR technology stack of workforce planning, capability frameworks, and learning management, experience and analytics to prove strategic L&D impact.
Need more technical info? We’ll unpack it for you.
Enterprise & Government
eCommerce & Extended Enterprise
|Pricing ||Starting from $900 per |
month for 300 active users
Quotes on request
$400 flat rate under 100 users
$3.50 per user up to 500
$3 per user up to 1500
Custom quotes on request
|Key features||Suite of integrations |
Modular & branded app
Capability learning pathways
Proprietary real-time reporting & analytics
Administrator managed multi-tenancy
Help desk, knowledge base
& live chat
|Dedicated account manager |
Phone, chat, ticket & email
|Ease of use |
Expected learning curve
for new features
|Easy to navigate |
Docebo vs Acorn: Features
The key features of a learning management system are rarely where the buck stop. You’ll need to consider some of the peripheral elements of its functionality to get a clear picture of feasibility.
Docebo offers a white-labelled, intuitive interface with drag-and-drop widgets to allow administrators to create a personalised feel for users and cohorts.
Its baseline features and functionality include:
- Course management
- Role permissions and management
- Live and virtual ILT
- Gamification tools
- Multiple portals and domains
- Branches and Groups for organisation structures
- Language localisation
- Learning plans
- Extended enterprise
Docebo does market an AI engine, but reviews chock this up to keyword categorisation for content searching. However, users can select content of interest and be recommended content through the Marketplace, a catalogue of commoditised content. And alongside their modular mobile app, you can actually pay an additional fee to build your own branded app that would live in the respective app stores.
On the flip side, there are some hitches in functionality. Docebo’s max video size is 800mb—which essentially limits the videos you can use and create. And while there is a Question Bank for quizzes, there isn’t a central activity bank for other kinds of learning objects. Reviews also note there is a learning curve with some of the more advanced functionality and integrations, and getting your app live can be a long and tedious process.
As Acorn is designed with L&D and HR leaders in mind, we incorporate functionality that better enables their everyday tasks.
- User profile management
- Live learning management
- Course management
- Activities & activity bank
- Automated workflows
- Capability mapping
- Capability development plans
- Reporting & analytics
- Self registration
- Developer functionality.
While Docebo admin can toggle between the Admin and Learner views, Acorn administrators can impersonate specific users to view their dashboards and help self-rectify issues. There is also customisable reporting dashboard that gives an overview of additional data such as most and least popular content. The user-specific My Learning dashboard shows learners their progress to date, completions, badges and achievements capability development plan and upcoming training sessions, as well as recommending content based on previous completions and allowing them to bookmark content of interest to complete at a later date.
Docebo vs Acorn: Integrations
Integrations are important for enhancing the functionality and depth of insight in your learning management system. However, sometimes integrations are simply dressed up features—meaning the LMS itself probably isn’t that useful without them.
You can integrate Docebo’s learning management system with a number of proprietary products:
- Shape, a microlearning creation tool
- Content, a pre-built content catalogue
- Learning Impact, a suite of learning surveys
- Learning Analytics, their reporting and analytics plugin
- Flow, a pop-up tool that allows users to access Docebo while in other platforms
- Coach & Share, a social learning extension.
However, while these tools help you create and share learning materials, they limit you. As an example, Docebo Shape is not a true content authoring tool—it only lets you create short form content. Their Content catalogue is also pre-bundled, so you can’t choose the courses or third party content providers you’d like.
As Docebo works well for external training and eCommerce, their third-party integrations include:
- Google Analytics.
Another catch is that to integrate with many third party tools, you’ll need some of Docebo’s integrations. Tools like Salesforce, Zendesk, Oracle and SugarCRM require the Learning Analytics integration.
Acorn’s selection of integrations enhance your technology stack and ensure easier migration and validation of people and learning data.
- Productivity suites: Microsoft 365 and G Suite
- Third party content providers: LinkedIn Learning and Go1
- HRIS: SuccessFactors and Workday
- Video conferencing tools: Zoom and Webex
- CRM platforms: Salesforce and HubSpot
- CSM platforms: Intercom and Gainsight
- Authoring tools: Adobe Captivate and Elucidat
- Assessment tools: ExamSoft and Kahoot
- Proctoring tools: Integrity Advocate and Mettl
- Language translation services: AWS translator and G11N
- Social media: Facebook and Hootsuite
- LRS: Rustici and SCORM Cloud
- Digital learning environment: Pearson MyLab
- eCommerce: Stripe and Square.
You can add any onto your subscription for $1000 or under, within a go-live of eight weeks. We also don’t want you to be locked into paying for something that you don’t use, so if at any point you realise an Acorn integration isn’t serving your needs as hoped, you can get a full refund on it.
These integrations are facilitated via the following integration types:
Docebo vs Acorn: Support
Support is often the number one reason many organisations switch vendors, so it pays to read customer testimonies before taking the purchase plunge. Keep an eye out for product or feature releases. Both Docebo and Acorn follow roadmaps, though reviews say Docebo’s can be rushed and doesn’t always factor in client needs or suggestions.
Docebo’s support comes in the following modes:
- Help desk
- Knowledge base
- Live chat
- Docebo University, their community hub.
You can access an Account Manager, though reviews vary between saying support is quick and effective and issues take a long time to be fixed. Docebo is also more hands-off than most during implementation, with no training for onboarding clients—which contributes to that learning curve with features and functionality.
Acorn offers phone, email and ticket support with a 30 minute or less response time. Clients can also access the Acorn Help Centre which includes community discussion forums, FAQs, training videos, patch notes and a thread for feature suggestions.
On top of that, all clients are assigned a Client Success Manager (regardless of size) with whom they can have face-to-face or face-to-screen meetings at an interval of their choosing. You’ll also get two on-site training sessions pre- and post- launch. Further training can be afforded for a fee.
Not to mention, we offer full technical support through a Product Manager and in-house SSO subject matter expert.
Docebo vs Acorn: Pricing
Harsh truth when it comes to pricing: If a vendor doesn’t provide it upfront, it’s likely not as inclusive as you’d hope.
Docebo doesn’t make their pricing easy to find. Their pricing page is simply a form requiring you to contact them.
They could say in this situation it is to ensure you get the most competitive pricing available that is tailored to your needs. But we all know what that is code for as buyers. External sites show Docebo can start at $900/month for 300 active users (up to $2500/month for large organisations), so really you can hypothesise that their lack of pricing transparency is a conscious decision to make you work harder for the basic information you need.
Qualifying them as a potential vendor is also harder when you can’t easily ascertain if they fit your budget. And that’s before you even get to all the add-ons that actually make Docebo a platform you can use to validate L&D spending.
Acorn’s pricing can be viewed on our website here. A The breakdown is as follows:
- Under 100 users: $400 flat rate/per month
- 101 – 500 users: $3.50 per user/per month
- 501 – 1500 users: $3 per user/per month.
We include a calculator that helps you to see a more approximate charge per month, up to 1500 users. Over 1500 users, and our Customer Success team will work with you to create a more custom pricing plan for your needs.
Implementation requires a one-off fee but includes two training sessions and data migration.
Key takeaways: What’s the best option for your organisation?
If you’re looking for an LMS to grow into, both Docebo and Acorn can serve your needs.
The alternatives to Docebo out there lack some of the functionality that Docebo has, putting it ahead of competitors. It’s a solid platform for training employees and reporting on performance and learning engagement within the system, though many of the features that provide this insight are on top of your subscription. This means Docebo may be more costly in the long run. And that means you’ll need to get a separate budget to approve those when you need them.
While Acorn requires you to give up some control of the LMS backend, it offers more baseline functionality and integrations designed to help you prove L&D ROI through capability and skill development. That’s included within your subscription fee, too, as is training and support with technical elements such as SSO—which Docebo requires you to set up yourself. We can even advise you on instructional module design, making Acorn the better choice for teams with limited technical staff.
Ultimately, the choice of Docebo alternatives comes down to if you need a learning management system to deliver learning outcomes or an LMS that can solve business pain points and deliver ROI within today’s budget.
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