SumTotal Learning Management System Review

SumTotal Systems is a Florida-based software provider who serves both businesses and government agencies. The company has been around since 1985, so they have a pretty length history in the tech industry. The SumTotal family has grown over the years through acquisitions and mergers which brought Asymetrix, Click2Learn and Docent into the fold.

Is SumTotal the LMS Solution You Have Been Searching For?

SumTotal’s take on eLearning comes in two sizes. Maestro is the company’s software for small to medium sized businesses and organizations while Enterprise offers a solution that is tailored to the big boys. Some of the company’s most well-known Enterprise level customers include Pfizer, Air Canada and Walmart. Is Maestro really the miracle that SumTotal claims it is?

SumTotal LMS Features

SumTotal’s LMS products offer features that cater to a wide range of businesses. Each tool included is built for efficiency, speed and convenience. The features list is even more enticing because SumTotal offers two products, each designed for a different organization size.

Rapid Deployment and Best Practice Templates

To help streamline the implementation process, SumTotal offers a few convenient features based around deployment and setup. Pre-defined best practice templates are made available and are based on customer feedback from years in the industry. On-demand deployment packages are also offered so new customers don’t have to wait a long time to start using their learning management system. On-demand deployment packages start at around $6,500.

A Domain for Every Audience

Users who cater to different audiences will appreciate the multiple domain options that come with SumTotal’s LMS. Users can create a seamless experience that gives each audience exactly what they need. Users can create learning tools for individual customers, partners, consultants or even sales channels. Information can also be tracked by audience.

Context-Aware Solution with Integrated Content

SumTotal made news as the first to deliver a “context-aware talent solution.” This new addition allows businesses to centralize the most relevant and recent content and make it accessible in a place that employees and others can easily find it. This eliminates the need for employees to spend days away from work while attending an off-site training course. This change was made through a partnership with Skillsoft in 2013 and is listed as Enterprise Talent and SMB bundles.

Convenient Reports that are 100% Share-able

Reporting is a necessary evil for most businesses. SumTotal LMS provides convenient reporting tools that feature advanced settings and helpful dashboards. Rather than put together reports as they are needed, the user can establish their own custom library of reports. The library can be instantly shared with managers and others so everyone has access to the same reports. The system also allows users to set up a schedule so each report will be compiled then delivered by email to the necessary individuals.

How User Friendly is SumTotal LMS?

SumTotal offers many features, but some users find the execution to be lacking. Some claim that the interface isn’t intuitive and that certain functions are unchangeable, which makes them clunky and unhelpful. The interface included with the Enterprise version was also considered too complex. SumTotal rolled out an Enterprise UI update last year that was supposed to address the complexity issue. While the update helped in some ways, it still isn’t quite as user friendly as some of its strongest competitors.

SumTotal LMS Mobile Options

SumTotal provides mobile access, which is great news for smartphone users. Mobile devices can be used to access content and course related tools. The service works with most mobile devices so both Apple and Android users should have no trouble logging in to SumTotal’s LMS while away from home, work or the classroom.

Will SumTotal LMS Live Up to Your Organization’s Expectations?

SumTotal LMS offers a list of interesting features, however some users may be put off by the interface complaints. Newcomers and those who are not tech savvy may want to try one of the more user friendly eLearning solutions that are available. On the other hand, SumTotal’s LMS offers two different products based on size so larger organizations know they are getting features and functionality designed for a more demanding, higher capacity operation.

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