Elearning Market Update (June 2007)

This month we decided to focus on developments in the elearning authoring tools market. There have been a number of new tool releases and some key decisions in the elearning tools market.

There is no shortage of options for organisations looking to purchase elearning authoring tools. With each passing month there are new tools and probably more importantly new developments with existing tools.

The wide range of tools can make decision making difficult and time consuming. The UK major telecoms provider BT wanted a new rapid elearning authoring tool to improve the speed of production, make their content more engaging and, vitally, to ensure quality and compliance to standards. A key standard for BT is to ensure all new content meets accessibility standards for disabled people (W3C-AA).

The BT Learning & Development team shortlisted and evaluated 16 different authoring tools. This is a major time commitment for any organisation.

In the case of BT the authoring tool that best met their requirements was the collaborative authoring system from Atlantic Link (Content Point, Capture Point and Knowledge Point). This software provides an integrated suite of tools for creating, managing, and tracking learning content. This is just the latest company to select Atlantic Link who are clearly one of the market leaders in this space.

If you have large software projects to undertake we would strongly recommend that you look at online collabortaive tools such as Atlantic Link and Mohive. Mohive has been selected by large organisations such as the BBC and PepsiCo to manage their collaborative elearning developments.

We have also seen a number of smaller organisations select Outstart Trainer, a well respected tool. Trainer has hundreds of flexible templates and drag-and-drop authoring to help speed up development. Guinness Trust recently chose Perform, a rapid elearning tool from Jenison to develop their own elearning content. The most used desktop tool that we come across for systems training continues to be Captivate. See our separate review of the latest version of Captivate 2.

The leading player and most innovative player in the desktop space in our view continues to be Articulate. Articulate has recently been named a Finalist today in the Most Innovative Company category in The 2007 American Business Awards.

Articulate has also been named by the Association of Support Professionals (ASP) as having one of The Ten Best Web Support Sites for 2007. The ASP is an international membership organisation for customer support managers and professionals. We would strongly concur with this view. We have found the Articulate support services to be first class.

SumTotal also released ToolBook Instructor 9 this month. We have to admit to not having seen this tool yet but SumTotal calim that ToolBook Instructor 9 gives authors a way to easily develop and deploy effective elearning content for their talent management initiatives.

Finally, Giunti continues to expand. Having recently entered the North American, South American and Spanish markets, Giunti has expanded its international presence even further by establishing an office in Frankfurt, Germany and specifically targeting the German speaking markets for LCMSs. In addition, Giunti Labs has launched a German version of its learn eXact LCMS platform, as well as launching the Giunti Labs' German website.

We are always pleased to give you a free independent view on elearning authoring tools just contact us.