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

MATRIX vs. Absorb LMS

Introduction

MATRIX is a learning management system (LMS) for use by businesses, corporations, and other organizations. MATRIX helps companies manage all training activities, such as creating and delivering training content, evaluating employee performance, training clients and partners, and selling online courses. MATRIX is a product of CYPHER LEARNING, a company that specializes in providing learning platforms for organizations around the world.

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 learners, 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.

Many features can be enabled and disabled to suit your company’s needs. MATRIX offers native mobile apps for iOS, Android, and Windows.

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 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 must 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 24/5.

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 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, self-paced, and micro learning), content authoring, integrated e-commerce functionality, graphical course catalog, beautiful module layouts, gamification, automation, learning paths, drip content, adaptive learning, compliance, ad-hoc reporting, a customizable portal, web conferencing, collaboration tools, mastery and learning outcomes, resources catalog, and more.

MATRIX integrates with a wide variety of systems, including G Suite, Google Drive, Calendars (iCal), PayPal, Stripe, Authorize.net, Salesforce, Zapier, xAPI, Office 365, OneDrive, GoToMeeting, GoToTraining, Zoom, WebEx, and Skype for Business.

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, 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:

User Interface

  • Customizable visitor portal
  • Graphical dashboards
  • Graphical resources catalog
  • Customizable welcome pages
  • Windows mobile app
  • Branded mobile apps
  • Support for more than 40 languages
  • Automatic language translation of messages and forum posts

Content

  • Built-in authoring tool
  • Gamification
  • Badges
  • Automation
  • Content sync
  • Micro learning
  • Adaptive learning
  • Drip content
  • Compliance
  • Waitlists
  • Certificates of completion
  • Prerequisite certificates
  • Mastery and learning outcomes
  • Course ratings and reviews

Assessment and analytics

  • Assessment types such as essays, discussion, team, debates, etc.
  • Personalized assessments
  • Custom reports
  • Scheduled reports
  • Attendance tools

Collaboration

  • Wikis
  • Forums
  • Chat
  • Social networking
  • Teams
  • Organizations
  • Blogs
  • Activity feeds

E-commerce

  • Support for bundles
  • Support for digital media
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Flexible coupon codes

Integrations

  • Integration with your own email server
  • Integration with 1,000+ apps via Zapier
  • Salesforce
  • Office 365
  • OneDrive
  • GoToMeeting
  • GoToTraining
  • Zoom
  • WebEx
  • Skype for Business
  • Equella integration
  • LTI, QTI and CCF standards
  • MailChimp
  • Panopto
  • CometChat
  • PayPal Payments Pro
  • Authorize.net
  • PayUbiz
  • PayU Latam
  • Stripe

Other

  • Resell under your own brand
  • Archiving learners
  • Trash can for restoring deleted items
  • Learner help desk
  • Manager and teaching assistant account types
  • Terms and conditions
  • SEO features

MATRIX Course catalog

Cost

MATRIX plans range from $149/month (yearly billing) for 20 active learners, to $2,699/month for 3,500 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.

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

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

MATRIX Course page

Summary

This presents a comparison of the most important features between MATRIX and Absorb LMS.

MATRIX is an LMS for managing all e-learning activities such as delivering training, tracking employee performance, and selling online courses.

MATRIX is more attractive, easier to use, and has a bigger feature set than Absorb LMS. If you require additional information on MATRIX, please contact us.

Disclaimer

This comparison paper was written in April 2018 based on publicly available documentation on both vendors' 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.