• Introduction
  • User interface
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Cost
  • Summary

MATRIX vs. Absorb LMS

Introduction

MATRIX is a world-class, award-winning LMS for use by businesses. The platform is known for its easy-to-use and beautiful user interface, comprehensive set of innovative features, and pricing that provides great value for money.

MATRIX is a product of CYPHER LEARNING, which also provides a similar LMS for use by schools and universities called NEO. Both NEO and MATRIX are used by over 20,000 organizations, support 40+ languages, and have millions of users.

Absorb LMS is a cloud-hosted learning management system for medium and large-sized businesses.

MATRIX Business portal

User interface

The MATRIX interface is a modern, responsive design that looks sharp and automatically adjusts based on the type of device. It provides attractive tile-based dashboards for students, instructors and administrators, a graphical course catalog, as well as simple pop-out navigation. It provides rich content authoring as well as a visually attractive way to create and organize module material.

The Absorb LMS interface uses a tile-based design that is customizable, but quite simple. It lacks many graphical elements, it doesn’t show the progress through the course, and it doesn’t provide quick access to important course areas. Absorb also doesn’t provide a graphical course catalog, which is very important for training companies that sell online courses. Also, while some options are included when acquiring a license, important elements such as header graphics, polls, newsfeeds and a login screen are only available by purchasing a monthly subscription add-on called the Mercury Module.

Clients also have to pay an additional fee for custom branding, such as logo and color scheme and the platform does not have its own course authoring tool. Instead, they can either import content or opt for third party tools, which might cause compatibility issues. Absorb LMS has a responsive interface but no native apps to date.

MATRIX Learner dashboard

Ease of use

MATRIX is very intuitive and easy to use. In addition, it includes an online help center, with videos, getting started guides, and searchable help content. MATRIX also has a rapid response support forum where staff members typically respond to questions within 15-30 minutes during business hours.

Absorb LMS is easy to use, offering tutorials, training and a help center. Customer support is available through a forum, live support, email support 24/7, and during regular support by phone during business hours.

MATRIX Help center

Features

MATRIX provides the range of functionality you'd expect in a modern LMS, such as support for courses (instructor led, blended, and self-paced), integrated e-commerce functionality, graphical course catalog, beautiful module layouts, gamification, rules engine, learning paths, drip content, a customizable portal, web conferencing, collaboration tools, curricula and proficiencies, resources catalog, and more.

MATRIX integrates with a wide variety of systems, including G Suite, Google Drive, Calendars (iCal), Turnitin, PayPal, Stripe, Authorize.net, Salesforce, Zapier, xAPI, Single sign-on with Office 365, OneDrive, GoToMeeting, Zoom, and WebEx. We support industry standards such as SCORM, Common Cartridge Format, LTI, Equella, QTI, LDAP, and SMTP/POP3.

Absorb LMS offers a smaller feature set which can be a disadvantage for clients that require support for more advanced assessment and collaboration options.

For example, the assessment tools are limited to quizzes and polls. Collaboration is also limited to comments and messages, without the possibility of connecting learners through friendship requests, live chat, forums or integration with web conferencing tools such as Zoom.us or WebEx. In addition, there is no built-in authoring tool for course creation.

Most importantly, learner engagement features such as gamification, newsfeeds and additional portal customization options are only available by purchasing the Mercury Module and are not part of the standard plan.

The reporting system offers general reports such as assessment and learner progress. By paying an extra monthly subscription fee, users can access the Business Intelligence module, which is an add-on that offers ad hoc reporting.

Here is a list of some of the features included with MATRIX that are not supported by Absorb LMS:

  • Social networking
  • Assessment types such as essays, discussion, team, debates, etc.
  • Drip Content
  • Forums
  • Live chat
  • Mobile apps
  • Modern avatar library
  • Built-in authoring tool
  • Support for more than 40 languages, including right to left Arabic/Hebrew writing
  • Integration with payment gateways PayUbiz and PayU Latam
  • Integration with 400+ apps via Zapier
  • Integration with web conferencing tools such as Zoom.us, GoToMeeting, and WebEx
  • Compliance
  • Badges builder

MATRIX Course catalog

Cost

MATRIX plans range from $499/month (monthly billing) for 500 active learners, to $13,199/month for 20,000 active learners. There is a discount for yearly billing. There are no setup fees, cancellation fees, storage fees, bandwidth fees, support fees, or other hidden costs.

Absorb LMS basic package starts at around $400 per month and can reach approximately $1,200/month for 500 users.

Plus, there are additional costs such as a one-time setup fee and subscription to add-ons. The Mercury Module for example is around $440/month.

MATRIX Course page

Summary

MATRIX with a rich set of features that are very useful for businesses and make it easy to deliver online training to your employees and clients. Compared to Absorb LMS, the platform offers more features such as e-commerce, customization options, branding, collaboration tools and gamification at a lower price.

This presents a comparison of the most important features of MATRIX and Absorb LMS. If you require additional information on MATRIX, please contact us.

Disclaimer

This comparison paper was written in November 2017 based on publicly available documentation on both vendor's sites. It was prepared as a guide and is not intended to be exhaustive. The comparison information is for guidance only and does not constitute any contractual representation, warranty or obligation on our part. Liability for errors, omissions or consequential loss is expressly disclaimed.

Since pricing and features can change rapidly, we do not represent that this information is up-to-date, and we encourage you to get the latest information directly from the vendor's web site. If you find any information in this comparison guide to be inaccurate, please contact us with details and we will correct the information within 72hrs.