Bridge vs Absorb LMS: Which Platform Offers the Better Unified L&D Experience?

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Take the next step in your search for the perfect learning management system by discovering the differences between Bridge and Absorb LMS.

Finding the learning platform that ticks all your organization’s boxes isn’t easy. There are plenty to choose from, and they’re not all created equal—but comparing different systems can be a time-consuming task. 

That’s why we’ve put together this overview of Bridge and Absorb LMS, complete with an at-a-glance table detailing the major features, pricing, and services that each platform has to offer.

Let’s dive into the details and discover the key characteristics that could make all the difference for your organization’s unique set of needs.

Bridge’s automated learning pathways and course chunking capabilities make administration a breeze.

Bridge Versus Absorb LMS: Overview

Bridge is an intuitive all-in-one talent management platform that brings together learning management, performance management, upskilling, analytics, and employee engagement capabilities into a single, seamless L&D infrastructure.

 

Absorb LMS describes itself as an enterprise LMS that offers an engaging experience for learners and an effective experience for administrators.

What Is Bridge?

Bridge is a consolidated LMS and performance platform that houses everything you need for effective employee development under a single roof.

The fact that Bridge is beautifully simple is the number one reason why we have felt so comfortable with our adoption.

Brewer Science

Bridge Learn

Bridge’s LMS is built around ease of use for learners and admins alike. The platform makes it easy for employees to achieve their development goals by ensuring that the user experience—from single sign-on logins to AI-powered learning recommendations—is straightforward and rewarding. Similarly, Bridge’s automated learning pathways and course chunking capabilities make administration a breeze. 

With Bridge Learn, users can generate and deliver key L&D processes including:

Bridge Perform

Bridge’s performance management system can be purchased as a standalone solution or as part of Bridge’s all-in-one platform, unifying Bridge Perform and Bridge Learn to create a seamless L&D ecosystem.

With Bridge Perform, users can closely align development initiatives with performance outcomes through a range of capabilities including:

  • A variety of continuous feedback types, including skills, recognition, and start-stop-continue feedback
  • Performance reviews
  • Goal setting and goal alignment
  • Templated one-on-one meetings with frameworks for shared agendas, topics, tasks, and goals

What we found when looking at employee development solutions is that some were very good at learning, some were very good at performance, and some were very good at engagement, but Bridge was the only one that did all three well

Adwise

Bridge's Key Product Features

As a cohesive talent management platform, Bridge offers an array of features and tools that encompass every aspect of L&D, from initial course creation to the performance and development improvements that learners work toward.

Bridge’s performance management system is thoroughly enmeshed with its LMS, to the extent that users of the combined platform won’t be aware that it comprises two separate products.

1) Top-Tier Analytics Built In as Standard

The full capabilities of Bridge’s customizable reporting and analytics feature are always included for every customer. 

 

Its dashboard visualizes key learning and performance data through highly interpretable graphs and charts, and Bridge takes the administrative effort out of report distribution by delivering automated updates to key stakeholders. 

 

Users can also connect Bridge Analytics to their business intelligence tools to enlarge the scope of their insights and make decisions driven by in-depth data.

 

Feature highlights:

  • Learner usage and course completion metrics
  • Automated reporting updates
  • 1:1 frequency and goal alignment tracking
  • Scoring breakdowns for quizzes and assessments

2) Seamless Performance Management for Holistic L&D

Bridge’s performance management system is thoroughly enmeshed with its LMS, to the extent that users of the combined platform won’t be aware that it comprises two separate products.

 

Bridge Perform comes equipped with a range of performance-enhancing features—and, when consolidated with Bridge Learn, allows organizations to supplement their employee training by monitoring and enhancing the ways that learning intersects with performance outcomes.

 

Feature highlights:

  • Employee profiles and achievement timelines
  • Org chart and company directory

What Bridge has is a consistency of experience, which is a real big trump card.

Alsco

3) AI-Powered Upskilling, Reskilling, and Skills Mapping

Skills Plus is an AI-fuelled skills platform that proactively suggests learning content. Using a database of over 30,000 up-to-date and trending skills, Skills Plus recognizes the skills needs associated with each employee’s industry-specific job title. If an employee doesn’t have a skill that Skills Plus recognizes as essential, the platform can point them in the direction of relevant learning.

 

From an administrative standpoint, Skills Plus doesn’t just take the hard work out of skills mapping—it also automatically tags learning with relevant skills, informing its own recommendations and making it easy for learners to identify the content they need.

 

Unlike some AI recommendation functionalities, Skills Plus doesn’t just make reactive recommendations based on learner behavior. Instead, it proactively understands employee skills needs and recommends targeted training that allows employees to close their skills gaps and realize their ambitions.

 

Feature highlights:

  • Title-based skills recommendations
  • Automated skills tagging
  • Ability to connect learners with mentors
  • Ability to foster skills communities

I have used many LMS systems and Bridge is the best experience for users and admins. It's easy to use, simple to understand, and has a logical user interface.

Discovery Communications

4) Content Creation for a Cohesive Learning Infrastructure

Bridge’s native authoring tool was built with ease of use in mind: it allows non-learning design specialists to create and distribute content in no time at all. But for a more powerful and feature-rich alternative, Bridge also offers an advanced authoring tool called Gomo.

 

Gomo is a cloud-based authoring solution that doesn’t require downloads, updates, or specialized software. It’s also a powerful and densely packed tool capable of producing highly engaging and interactive content that you can publish straight to Bridge at the push of a button. Assessments, drag-and-drop elements like video, and fully responsive design are all at Gomo users’ fingertips.

 

On top of its range of authoring capabilities, Bridge also offers video capture, creation, editing, and cataloging with Bridge Advanced Video (BAV). Perfect for rounding off your suite of content creation options, BAV comes with a wealth of ways to keep your learners engaged—including video trimming, time-stamped commenting, auto-captioning, and more.

 

Feature highlights:

  • Fully responsive design
  • One-click content delivery
  • Preset and custom theme options
  • Multi-language support

When it came to adding courses for our customers, implementation was very easy. Pulling resources from one location to another can be achieved with the click of a button.

Cint

5) Off-the-Shelf Content to Help Users Hit the Ground Running

In addition to its array of content creation options, Bridge also ensures that any content you own can be loaded into its LMS. Plus, Bridge has a number of content partners, including Affirmity and GP Strategies, which each offer off-the-shelf content packages, allowing new users to take full advantage of their LMS from the outset.

 

On top of Bridge’s own list of content providers, the platform has several integration options available for users looking to retain their own pre-existing content providers.

 

Feature highlights:

  • Soft skills training included with every Bridge subscription
  • DE&I content built by diversity, equity, and inclusion specialists at Affirmity
  • Compliance training material from Safety Now
  • Fully customizable content packages available in partnership with GP Strategies

The Benefits of Using Bridge

Given the wide-ranging and cohesive nature of Bridge as a talent management platform, its benefits are commensurately varied. They include:

  • An intuitive experience for users and administrators
  • Scalability supported by a wide array of integrations
  • Tools to enhance employee engagement
  • Comprehensive customer support
  • Rapid implementation
With Bridge, customers gain access to experienced implementation consultants. As a result, you can have Bridge up and running in as little as four to six weeks: significantly quicker than many LMSs.

1) An Instantly Intuitive User and Admin Experience

Bridge’s modern and familiar interface makes it easy to use and administer—even if you have no prior experience with LMSs. When you consolidate learning and performance management in Bridge, the two products (alongside further options like Skills Plus and Bridge Advanced Video) gel so completely that they appear and act as a single product.

 

There’s a similar story of simplicity to be told from the administrative side. Bridge is easy to administrate with the help of:

  • Automation features across the Bridge suite, including analytics updates, skills tagging for learning courses, and for learning pathways
  • One-click publishing from both Bridge’s native and advanced authoring tools
  • Easy-to-interpret analytics dashboards that make data instantly legible and actionable

The world has changed, and in order to maintain employees you have to show more of an interest in the whole person, and not just the task that’s at hand. I think it ties in well with Bridge because Bridge is a simple interface and makes it a little bit more dynamic and interesting for you to cater to different groups.

Southern Glazer’s

2) Straightforward Scaling and Endless Integration Options

Bridge’s broad array of capabilities is reflected in the flexibility it brings to its plans and pricing. The platform is equally capable of serving small, midmarket, and enterprise organizations starting with as few as 120 employees—and scaling as required.

 

The platform also offers a wide array of integration options with a variety of popular content providers, workflow tools, HRISs, and authentication solutions. In fact, Bridge allows users to integrate with over 1,000 external applications thanks to its leveraging of:

  • Open APIs
  • Learning Tools Interoperability
  • Webhooks

Bridge offers scalability without significant additional costs. We can easily onboard new hires, update training content, and expand training programs as our agency grows. We’ve seen a 50% decrease in administrative overhead.

Tom De Haas, Learning and Development Manager at Adwise

3) Rapid Implementation for Effective Time to Value

With Bridge, customers gain access to experienced implementation consultants. As a result, you can have Bridge up and running in as little as four to six weeks: significantly quicker than many LMSs.

 

The sooner your new LMS is implemented, the sooner you can start to realize the returns that accompany a solid learning culture backed by a top-class infrastructure.

It felt like I had launched Bridge in days versus weeks with other LMSs.

Portland Trail Blazers

4) Enhance Engagement With a Comprehensive L&D Toolkit

Bridge’s learning, performance, upskilling, content creation, and mobile app features are complemented by its employee engagement software.

 

With Bridge’s engagement surveys, you can supplement the data supplied by your analytics tool with information on employee opinions and morale. Plus, you’ll give your people a voice and a means of expression. The feature includes:

  • Straightforward survey authoring
  • Smart groups
  • Sentiment analysis

5) 24/7/365 Technical Support

Bridge offers a range of support options for customers to not only receive technical help but also to remain up to date with the latest releases. With Bridge, you can expect:

  • Live training
  • Product roadmaps for upcoming releases

Bridge has a clean, easy-to-navigate UI. Customer support is excellent, and we have found the team at Bridge to be great partners for us. Using the system as an admin is easy and intuitive.

Villanova

What Is Absorb LMS?

Absorb LMS is a learning-centric enterprise LMS with a self-professed focus on learning experiences and administration.

Absorb LMS’s Key Product Features

While Absorb LMS doesn’t offer the same all-in-one scope and functionality as Bridge’s combined LMS and performance platform, it does offer several learning features. These include:

1) Curated Content

Like Bridge, Absorb LMS offers off-the-shelf courses from a range of eLearning content providers, including a selection of its own microlearning content.

2) LMS Administration

Absorb LMS describes itself as a capable platform when it comes to administration. The organization cites its reporting features and integration capabilities as key factors for enabling administrators to navigate day-to-day activities.

3) Mobile App

Absorb LMS offers mobile functionality. Like Bridge’s mobile app, Absorb’s app allows learners to access content on the go, online or offline.

The Benefits of Using Absorb LMS

Absorb LMS may be a good fit for you if you’re interested in:

  • A checklist functionality for record-keeping purposes
  • Sampling a library of microlearning content
  • Tiered analytics capabilities

When Absorb LMS Isn’t a Good Fit

As you search for the right LMS, it’s equally important to think about drawbacks. For example:

  • Unlike Bridge, Absorb LMS doesn’t support performance management that operates seamlessly alongside your learning infrastructure
  • Bridge provides more rapid onboarding that significantly reduces time to value
  • Absorb LMS doesn’t have access to Bridge’s wide-ranging L&D expertise that draws from a family of learning technology organizations

Comparing Bridge and Absorb LMS Features at a Glance

When two systems have a wide array of capabilities, it’s worth taking a side-by-side approach to uncover those all-important distinctions. Take a look:

Bridge Absorb LMS: The Takeaway

Bridge and Absorb LMS are both feature-rich options packed with possibilities, and any decision needs to be made following careful consideration of your organization’s unique requirements.

 

If you’re looking for a fully holistic L&D environment that covers every aspect of the talent journey, Bridge is ready to support you and your learners. 

 

Request a demo or experience the power and variety of Bridge for yourself.

Chris Coffman

Chris Coffman

Chris is VP Product for Bridge. Prior to joining Bridge in 2019, Chris led Product Management, Project Management, and UX for Rosetta Stone’s global language-learning business. Chris has over a decade of experience leading and coaching product teams. He began his career in venture capital and consulting, in the Silicon Valley and in Europe. Chris holds a BA from Dartmouth College and an MBA from the University of Washington.

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