I just moved into a new role at Blackboard, working with clients on the awesome Empower Programs
we have developed to get clients heavily involved in our design and development process. In the last month of 2011, I was lucky enough to work with over 100 Blackboard clients
, partners and developers
as we kicked off our Beta Programs in preparation for the release of our newest software Blackboard Learn Release 9.1, Service Pack 8.
These beta programs are important because they allow us to get feedback on the client’s upgrade experience, test the quality of the installer, as well as help developers and partners test out their building blocks
with the new release – allowing us to help them resolve any issues prior to general availability of the software.
It is exciting for clients because they get a sneak peak at what is coming. They can do some early testing, get a jump on planning their upgrades, and share some of the cool new features with users. I know beta programs are normal in the software industry, but for me this has been a great kick off to the New Year – particularly because I get a front row seat to the power of Blackboard’s user community and the camaraderie that is a part of our beta programs. Within our beta programs I see clients sharing experiences, reacting to the new software, and helping each other with tips and ideas. Not to mention the incredibly dedicated Blackboard engineers and support staff jumping in with their knowledge. Cool stuff.
I want to say thank you to all Blackboard clients, partners and developers involved in the beta programs for Service Pack 8. I know it takes time and energy on their part but it makes a big difference to the quality of the software now and in the future. If you are interested in joining our beta programs in the future or want to get involved in other programs that influence how Blackboard software is built your first step is to join the Blackboard Ideas Exchange – signing up is easy just visit our website www.blackboard.com/bie