It’s been 3 months since I last blogged and a little over 6 months since the merger – I can’t believe it. Time has flown by! In that time we have been busy merging two competitors into Blackboard and executing on the priorities I outlined after the merger:
- Customer experience – Ensuring that our customers continue to have the exceptional client experience that Elluminate and Wimba have always provided.
- United team – Bringing Elluminate, Wimba and Blackboard teams together into a single, cohesive unit so we can carry that high standard of client care forward.
- Product Roadmap – Creating a vision for how our collective solutions come together to help you better engage students to improve outcomes and save time while trimming cost.
Let me share a few recent developments:
It is very important to me that our customers continue to have a positive experience with our products and our company. As we evolve the integration of our business, we do so while helping to ensure that our customer experience is not negatively impacted; rather we hope that the integration enhances customers’ experiences. Organizationally, we have integrated our support, hosting and services organizations to streamline the delivery of service to our customers. We continue every day to examine every process that touches our customers, while looking for ways to improve.
The results so far are encouraging. Our customer satisfaction ratings are high, customers are renewing our products at a fast rate, and we have greatly grown the business for both product lines in the months since the merger
In addition to ensuring a positive customer experience, it is important for us to partner with our customers as we develop solutions to meet their needs. To that end, we have created a combined Product Advisory Council (PAC). Both Wimba and Elluminate had very strong and open partnerships with customers to get continual feedback about products and services. We launched our combined PAC in December and have been having meetings with about 80 of our closest customers every two weeks.
In addition, we announced our user conference, “Connections Summit 2011”. Our goal for this event is to build upon the success of the Wimba user conference from years past to provide you with a forum for networking and idea sharing. I am personally excited to hear how our customers are using Blackboard Collaborate to achieve their institutional goals and I am looking forward to attending many sessions. The deadline to submit proposals is March 11th so submit today via Connections. For inspiration, check out some archived presentations from 2010 here.
When I last blogged, I was still not completely comfortable saying “Maurice from Blackboard Collaborate.” Now, it feels natural. Our team has really come together as one organization. The first indication of our unification occurred when members of the team, regardless of whether they came from Blackboard, Elluminate or Wimba, joined together to make fun of my pastel colored shirts! J
I am so proud of our team. They found common ground and have been executing to perfection since the merger. Combining the three entities – Blackboard, Elluminate and Wimba resulted in a team with the most extensive knowledge about educational needs and how we can meet those needs through collaborative technologies.
At Educause, we announced Project Gemini (http://www.blackboard.com/sites/collaborate/index.html), which will bring together the best of Elluminate and Wimba. Our development teams have been hard at work and so has the Product Advisory Council. The feedback we have received has been extremely positive and we are on schedule for a mid-year delivery. I’d like to thank our customers for their time and input; together we are transforming education with new ways to collaborate and learn.
Looking ahead, I am excited to share the details around Project Gemini and all the other facets of our business. Other Blackboard Collaborate team members, as well as some customers, will join me on this blog to give you a flavor of how we’ve gone about building Project Gemini.
So, lots more to come in the months ahead. Stay tuned and as always reach out to me if you have any feedback at Maurice.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Statements regarding our product development initiatives, including new products and future product upgrades, updates or enhancements represent our current intentions, but may be modified, delayed or abandoned without prior notice and there is no assurance that such offering, upgrades, updates or functionality will become available unless and until they have been made generally available to our customers