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LoD Viewpoints August 2005

SumTotal and Pathlore: The LMS Consolidation Story Continues
The July Viewpoints argued that consolidation in the LMS market was both inevitable and—in the long term—good news for customers needing a smaller set of more reliable products to choose from. SumTotal's agreement to acquire Pathlore shows that consolidation activity is still strong, even after SumTotal formed from Docent and Click2Learn and after Saba's acquisition of THINQ. For today at least, SumTotal and Saba look to be in strong positions as specialist LMS vendors and are able to compete effectively against larger rivals like Oracle and IBM, which must balance their LMS businesses against wider opportunities. Although consolidation will improve product and service quality in the long run, it causes a number of short-term headaches for customers, many of whom face a platform switch. Recent LMS research also indicates that vendors have some way to go before they can live up to the expectations of customers demanding large, enterprise-wide solutions.