Build vs. Buy: Observations from Choosing the "Right" LMS

March 20, 2024


One of our clients, a group of reputed doctors dedicated to preparing other doctors for prestigious exams such as FRCS and MRCS, was on the lookout for a Learning Management System (LMS). The ask was for a platform that allowed whitelabeling, CPD point allocation based on lecture attendance, and secure access to non-downloadable files among other typical requirements. The journey of selecting the perfect LMS took us through extensive research, evaluation of the short-listed platforms, rigorous testing, and a full-circle back to the Build vs. Buy argument.

Exploration and Shortlisting

First, we narrowed down around 10-12 LMS platforms. Each was then scrutinised for features aligning with our client needs. Thinkific and TalentLMS emerged as top contenders, offering promising features while addressing our specific requirements.

Here’s is our analysis:

Testing and Decision-making

Testing with real scenarios ensued, leading to the selection of TalentLMS over Thinkific due to its restriction on file downloads and the appealing user interface of TalentLMS. However, deeper scrutiny revealed significant drawbacks:

1. Structural Limitations: TalentLMS's three-level folder structure fell short of our client’s hierarchy requirement.

2. File Size Restrictions: The platform's 600 MB video upload limit hindered large sized course videos.

3. Meeting Constraints: Instructors were restricted to hosting only one meeting at a time.

4. CPD Point Allocation: Absence of a feature to allocate CPD points based on lecture attendance. 

5. Complex Navigation: The platform's course structure demanded a complex understanding, necessitating demo classes for students.

6. Meeting Integration: While integrating with ZOOM, Microsoft Teams, and GoToMeeting, the absence of Google Meet integration limited our flexibility in scheduling meetings.

Despite TalentLMS's positive attributes and widespread usage for other brands, these limitations posed critical hindrances for our client’s requirements. Consequently, the decision was made to venture into creating a bespoke platform to ensure an LMS that truly enabled smooth operation for our client.

The Road to Customization

Choosing the path of customization was fueled by the client’s commitment to delivering an unparalleled learning experience. It means heading to the drawing board to design an LMS that aligns seamlessly with their vision, encompassing whitelabeling, intuitive structure, flexible meeting options, CPD point allocation, and more.


The 'Build vs. Buy' is not an uncommon dilemma. Within certain contexts, retaining a coherent strategy will point to the build route to create things unique to the business. It is not only going to benefit the end-user in a tangible way but will also help a business stand out from their competition.

While a few existing platforms serve varied needs efficiently, the intricate requirements of our client pointed us in the direction of a personalized solution. We are looking at creating an LMS that will make the journey of aspiring doctors preparing for their examinations smoother and give them a unique and intuitive approach to learning that is in-line with the client’s vision.