For a few years starting in 2009, it seemed one of the best ways to raise VC funds or corporate internal investment was to say “we can beat Blackboard with a new cloud-based platform”. Witness Coursekit / Lore, Instructure / Canvas, OpenClass, LoudCloud Systems, Helix, and even more recently MOOC platforms. There were many articles written as these new systems entered the market, but what if we look back and ask whether the LMS market has actually changed recently? The picture that emerges is one of surprising resiliency by the established LMS providers.

In fact, I would argue that in the past eight years (at least in North America) the only new system that has fully established itself in the LMS market is Canvas. Note that I have combined WebCT and ANGEL within the Blackboard umbrella, but even these systems established themselves more than a decade ago.

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