New to LMS – Seeking advice for a small company

Hey all,

My workplace is looking to transition into using an LMS for training. We're a tech startup turned small company that has a lot of specialized knowledge that will need to be made into custom training modules. Right now, the majority of our training materials is trapped in 100-slide powerpoint presentations.

We have a couple of employees with an education background working on this project who are excited to start making methodologically sound training materials to put into an LMS. But first, we need to decide on a set of tools to go with. So I'm trying to answer the following two questions:

1. What is the right LMS?

Most of my research has been spent looking at Moodle. It looks like a good option, but we do have some budget, so if it's worth the money for a paid option, that would be preferred. I'm not exactly sure what you get for the paid option besides getting to use their cloud storage.

What we're looking for:

a. We don't want to use the cloud. We want everything contained within our own servers.

b. We'd like for it to be able to connect to SharePoint.

c. We'd like to be able to customize it as much as possible (i.e. use our logos / colors / fonts).

2. How to produce content?

Right now I'm pretty lost trying to figure out how best to produce content for an LMS. We have a ton of specialized knowledge that we want to put into advanced learning modules. I imagine that will take an authoring tool that can export to SCORM or integrate into TinCan Api. (I would just do it all in Adobe Animate if Flash wasn't dying.) Am I way off base here?

So my questions here are: Is an authoring tool really necessary? What do you really get for the money? Is there a cheap or free one that can make advanced learning modules, integrating things like videos, interactive graphics, gamification, etc?

Thanks in advance for any direction you all can give!

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