The Top TalentLMS Alternatives: An LMS Comparison of TalentLMS 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 TalentLMS team, because they’ve built a great solution for employee training.
So, what makes TalentLMS 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 TalentLMS?
TalentLMS is a cloud-based learning management system.
Who is TalentLMS for?
As a Software-as-a-Service platform, TalentLMS is best for enterprises who want to handle the learning management aspects of the LMS and leave system development and maintenance to the vendor.
What is Acorn LMS?
Acorn LMS is a cloud-based learning management system that incorporates HR and workforce planning capabilities.
Who is Acorn LMS for?
Acorn is designed for HR, L&D and workforce planning leaders to prove strategic impact from online training programs.
What is the big point of difference between Acorn and TalentLMS?
The most telling difference is in our goals.
For those who are looking for a simple, easy-to-use online learning platform, TalentLMS is a great pick with many features and integrations you’ll find across the eLearning board. And we’d like to give a nod to the TalentLMS team, because they’ve built a solid product for delivering eLearning courses.
The Acorn team sees the number purpose of L&D as developing employee capabilities to achieve organisational goals. Acorn incorporates a HR technology stack to provide HR, L&D and workforce planning leaders with the data needed to prove strategic impact. Alongside eLearning, Acorn acts as a platform for supporting onboarding and offboarding, talent and performance management, workforce planning, and professional development.
Need a little more technical info? We unpack it for you below.
TalentLMS vs Acorn: Features
There’s a bit of overlap in TalentLMS and Acorn’s features, but a few points of difference.
TalentLMS sticks to a more-is-less approach to space and colour, but relies more on text—which ultimately eats up a little more of that prime screen real estate as the screen size gets smaller.
However, reviews note that it’s easy and intuitive to create courses within the learning management system, and TalentLMS does utilise a responsive design for different screens.
TalentLMS is designed for easy content management with simple and quick creation of online courses, especially for employee training and corporate training. Many of its features enable admin to create highly interactive courses, too.
- User profile management
- Certification & compliance management
- Multi-language support
- Learning paths
- Multi-tenancy functionality, called Branches
- Custom reporting.
However, while many of these features are offered as unlimited, some like Branches depend on your choice of subscription plan.
Acorn’s user interface combines a healthy mix of visual context and enough white space to ensure a responsive design across devices, so users can learn anywhere, anytime, and on the device of their choice.
Within Acorn, there’s also logical movement from page to page, and dashboards that cater to each user role.
- The customisable reporting dashboard shows the most recent learning and engagement metrics for admin
- Users can filter the content catalogue by category, tag capability, capability set and capability proficiency level
- The homepage is tailored to present individualised user information based on cohort or tenancy.
This intuitive nature ensures there’s no steep learning curve for users, and much of Acorn’s suite of features is optimised for admin looking to support HR and workforce planning activities.
- User profile management
- Live learning management
- Course management
- Activities & activity bank
- Automated workflows
- Capability mapping
- Capability development plans
- Reporting & analytics
- Self registration
- Developer functionality.
TalentLMS vs Acorn: Integrations
We know a great benefit of the virtual learning environment is the access to external subject matter experts and automation of manual processes that integrations provide.
TalentLMS integrates with Amazon CloudFront, which essentially ensures smoother, faster downloading of large files. Then there’s:
- G Suite
- Outlook Calendar
Compared to many TalentLMS alternatives, you’ll need Zapier to integrate TalentLMS with popular third party applications like Gmail, Slack and Mailchimp. While it supports SCORM, xAPI and CMI5, TalentLMS also doesn’t integrate with a course authoring tool. It’s also lacking an LRS.
TalentLMS does have anti-spam and restricted domain permissions as well as Single Sign On (SSO), but no IP blockers.
Integrations are part and parcel of the Acorn ecosystem, particularly with existing internal systems (such as HRIS and payroll) such as SuccessFactors, Workday, ADP and Aurion. You’ll also be able to access:
- Productivity suites Microsoft 365 and G Suite
- Third party content providers LinkedIn Learning and Go1
- Video conferencing tools Zoom and Webex
- CRM platforms such as Salesforce and HubSpot
- CSM platforms like Intercom and Gainsight
- Authoring tools like Adobe Captivate and Elucidat
- Assessment tools ExamSoft and Kahoot
- Proctoring tools Integrity Advocate and Mettl
- Language translation services AWS translator and G11N.
Plus, being Australian-based and hosted means we understand the ins and outs of digital security. We’re all over the big ticket items (e.g. IRAP assessment) and the systemic requirements (like IP blockers and SSO), including offering SSO set up with our in-house expert. Acorn also supports LTI standards.
Talent LMS vs Acorn: Support
This is the big ticket item. It’s not just about answering tickets, but how accessible technical support is.
TalentLMS support is ticket-based, with additional Saturday morning support across US time zones. They don’t offer phone support as it would be at an added cost to them, as they have publicly admitted on their blog.
A dedicated account manager and live chat are only available with a premium plan (see pricing below). However, you’ll have access to a knowledge base and online community, with free email support at all times.
24/5 support is available to our clients via phone, email, ticket and face-to-face meetings at the frequency of their choosing.
All clients, regardless of size, are assigned a Client Success Manager. You’ll also have access to our Help Centre, which includes a community discussion forums, FAQs, training videos, patch notes and a feature suggestion page.
Onboarding clients will get two on-premise training sessions as part of their one-time implementation fee. The first session is held before launch and the second post-launch to answer any follow up questions. Further training can be scheduled for a fee at any time.
Talent LMS vs Acorn: Pricing
Transparency of pricing is a big deal with enterprise software. It represents the vendor’s sales model, meaning that if you can’t see their pricing publicly, they’re gating features to make more profit. Harsh, but true.
TalentLMS is one of few LMS providers who make their pricing publicly available. You can also pay monthly or annually, with a discount for annual billing. Custom plans for enterprises can be quoted.
Pricing plans come under two categories, Standard and Active.
Standard plans have hard limits on number of users but inactive users can be deactivated to allow for a new user. There’s a free option, though only for a total of five users and 10 courses. The most expensive Standard plan caps out at 1000 users for $459 per month.
Active plans allow for a certain number of active users, with pricing based on the number of unique users that log into the learning management system. Active plans start at $149 a month for 40 active users.
It’s worth noting that amongst TalentLMS alternatives, TalentLMS themselves offer a larger range of pricing plans. However, a range of pricing plans usually means that certain features are only accessible at a higher price point. For TalentLMS, the following are only on offer starting from mid-range plans:
- A Success Manager
- SSO support
- Branches and number of Branches
- Domain customisation
- Custom reports
- Live chat support
Access to their ready-made course library, TalentLibrary, also boosts the total cost of your plan regardless of tier.
While TalentLMS says they charge per user, their pricing plans all start at fixed number of users. Acorn pricing is charged monthly per user in three groups, giving you more flexibility on your number of users.
- Under 100 users: $400 flat rate
- Up to 500: $3.50 per user
- Up to 1500: $3 per user.
More personalised plans can be created for over 1500 users.
Acorn’s pricing may seem cheap compared to other LMS alternatives. Implementation, as an example, is always a low one-off fee. But our pricing also includes cyber security, a 30-minute reply time from a real Customer Success Manager, and strict monthly system enhancements. We believe our products and services are so exceptional you’ll never use another LMS again, and our 100% retention rate allows us to keep fees like implementation down.
Acorn’s pricing is available to view here with a calculator for an instant quote.
Alongside a dedicated Customer Success Manager and Product Manager, our support team are always on hand to ensure each of Acorn’s features function to achieve your specific learning goals.
Key takeaways: Which is right for your organisation?
TalentLMS focuses more on the aspects around employee training, such as:
- Virtual classrooms
- Social learning
- Content management
- Mobile learning through their app
- Blended learning functionality.
It also gives you the ability to sell online courses and other learning materials as part of extended enterprise. All in all, TalentLMS is a solid choice for straight employee training.
At Acorn, we take a different approach to employee training. We don’t just offer you the functionality to deliver courses and track progress—you’ll find that our features centre on improving employee performance to meet business outcomes and prove strategic L&D impact.
Our Capability feature also allows HR, L&D and workforce planning leaders to upload or create capability frameworks within Acorn, map content to capabilities and build capability developments plans for learners. Proficiency levels can also be assigned to capabilities for a more nuanced and talent-related learning experience.
That’s not to say that Acorn can’t be used by those who are looking to provide solid online learning. Acorn offers everything from elements of a social learning platform to integrations with eCommerce tools to sell courses.
As with all learning management system comparisons, the choice here comes down to the problems LMS is solving for you. Both are Software-as-a-Service products but with different features, functionality and outcomes for users.
Bonus: Take home
Here’s a closer look at some of the finer points of difference between Acorn and TalentLMS.
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