Acorn vs Absorb LMS: An LMS Comparison

In the realm of learning management system offerings, you’ve found your way to Acorn LMS and Absorb LMS. Both are cloud-based solutions, and Absorb LMS is a great learning management system—but interestingly enough, that’s where we start to diverge.

So, just what makes Acorn and Absorb LMS different?

The real distinction is in our guiding principles.

Absorb LMS is a standalone online learning solution for midsize businesses to enterprises. Other facets of eLearning, such as learner experience and engagement, advanced analytics and workflows, are extraneous options that can be infused with the LMS.

On the other hand, learning & development is just one branch of the Acorn ecosystem. We focus on a holistic view of the organisation, utilising eLearning alongside LXP, CRM, eCommerce and strategic workforce planning capabilities to affect positive change in the workplace.

We’re also not splitting our focus across countries or markets: we’ve got a very clear idea of who, what and, most importantly, where we’re servicing. Absorb LMS is spread across 29 countries, which may mean local or even national familiarity is sacrificed in favour of achieving global goals. Because Acorn is based in Australia, we’re on top of all national security and cyber requirements.

Need a little more clarity? Read on, we’ve hit all the major points of comparison below.

User interface

A sole focus on learning means the Absorb LMS interface has been designed for learners. Which, well, it should be—but we know most of our clients don’t have a lot of time to spend learning a new system, so the Acorn UI treats both learners and admin as end users. Acorn is a holistic talent and performance management system as much as an LMS, so the admin interface is just as intuitive as the learners’. Both UIs are whitelabelled, so you can create a familiar environment branded to your organisational identity.

Features & integrations

Some Absorb LMS warranties are implied (and a little harder to have serviced, diagnosed or fixed) and many features which are standard within Acorn aren’t included with Absorb LMS. This includes surveys (an invaluable metric for user engagement), leaderboards (a motivating function of gamification), and customisable widgets (that can provide callouts, reminders or promotions to users).

At Acorn, we don’t consider innovation an extra cost to you. Acorn’s advanced reporting capabilities and learning experience platform (LXP) ensure performance, talent and employee management data are easily tracked and utilised in internal human capital systems, allowing personalised learning pathways to be created for individual learners. Learning pathways are available through their standalone LXP, Absorb Infuse, that can be integrated with the LMS.

Tech support

Absorb LMS support is available via phone, email and ticket, with an abundance of self-service training resources including white papers and blogs. However, the level of support you receive depends on the price you want to pay: a dedicated Client Success Manager is only accessible to those who pay for the most expensive support package—and they’re HQ is based in Canada, though they’ve got an office in Sydney.

You can’t opt in or out of Acorn support (we simply won’t let go) and you’re not left waiting for a community to vote for a fix or having to pay added fees for tech support. The Australian-based Acorn support team comprises a Client Relationship Manager, Product Manager, and the combined expertise of our software engineers and developers—and full support is available no matter the size of your organisation. In the instance you’re looking for a DIY fix, the Acorn Wiki is a comprehensive source of knowledge, troubleshooting and upcoming patches to the system.


Acorn’s niche focus allows us to include features, support and development beneficial to our clients in their monthly fee. Absorb charges for integrations like Single Sign On and RESTful API that we include as standard (as they technically are industry standards) and as well as more hands on support. You’ll also find their pricing models are a little pricier than most LMS providers, because the minimum number of users Absorb will ask you to onboard is 500.

See why businesses love AcornLMS

In our short eight years, we’ve retained 100% of our near 100 clients—and their collective 1 million users—because we take the time to ensure Acorn is the best fit for them.

Acorn is a multi-tenant, cloud-based LMS, designed with the future of your organisation in mind. The intuitive platform provides eLearning opportunities throughout recruitment and onboarding to continual professional development and can be seamlessly integrated with any existing HR and payroll systems.

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.

Book a demo to see how Acorn can match up to your needs.

Bonus: Take home

Here’s a closer look at some of the finer points of difference between Acorn and Absorb.

Comparison between acorn and Absorb LMS

Book a call with the team at Acorn today and let’s build the best LMS for you, together. We’ve maintained a 100% retention rate since launching thanks to our incredible platform, great customer service and people-focused approach. So get in touch with one of our eLearning experts for a free discussion about how we can help you truly unlock the potential of your employees.

Experience Acorn for yourself

At Acorn, we’ve designed a system that supports organisations looking to invest in their most valuable asset – their employees. We take the time to learn about our one million (and counting) users to ensure our intuitive LMS is the right fit for them. Get in touch with one of our eLearning experts to chat about how Acorn can help achieve your goals.