Math, as I am sure you already know, not only are there better tools that do just about all of those things, most are free. Therefore, sidekicks as you call them add little value and should not be mentioned with regards to the cost of licensing and maintenance. If they are part of it, take them all away and drop the prices in half; offer them a la cart. Buying Lectora for those extra’s is like buying a car because its stereo has Apple Play.
What I’d like to hear/see in v18:
Fix any and all bugs
Add every feature that Storyline 3 has that is missing from Lectora Inspire
Add at least two new major features
Make all the other “would be nice” changes that have been requested over the years (asset names, etc.)
We were told that the acquisition of Trivantis by StoneCalibre would be good for Lectora. So far I’m not seeing it. What I am seeing is what happened with ToolBook when they were bought by SkillSoft.
Want sidekick alternatives?
ReviewLink – Use a test server with the actual LMS that runs on production. Then you’ll be sure your work will run correctly on the LMS it will live on. Use a simple pdf form for reviewers to submit comments/changes. Yes, ReviewLink is convenient but it doesn’t guarantee compatibility as well as the actual LMS would.
Snagit – Windows snipping tool
Camtasia – VLC or any other free screen recorder
BranchTrack – If/Then statements
Elearning Brothers – Google (or your favorite search engine) or a camera for images and some programming knowledge for their learning modules. This may be the only asset worth adding for e-learning authors who do not want to learn whats behind the scenes or who do not want to make sure images they find in a search are royalty free. By the way, it is simple to buy accounts without a rapid authoring app.
It would probably be a good marketing idea if Trivantis/StoneCalibre sent out a private poll to its users.