I want you to close your eyes and think back to nearly a year ago—July 2011 to be precise—when we here at Blackboard Collaborate unveiled our brand new web conferencing platform.  Based on feedback from then Elluminate and Wimba customers, the new platform improved upon the best of both products.  Most notably, our new product’s redesigned user experience made simple things easy and advanced things possible. To this day, Blackboard Collaborate™ web conferencing exceeds Elluminate Live! and Wimba Classroom because it features a new-and-improved user interface, an object-oriented whiteboard that makes sessions more interactive and is interoperable with Blackboard IM, multi-point video that follows the speaker, and tabbed, private, and supervised chat.

While many schools jumped at the chance to upgrade from their legacy products to our new web conferencing capabilities, some have remained reluctant for a variety of reasons. Some schools had other technology initiatives that took priority while others were simply happy with their existing products.  So, while there’s no pressure to upgrade to Blackboard Collaborate web conferencing immediately, we think that this summer would be a perfect time for schools to start the upgrade process.

After all, this summer we’ll unveil our planned Blackboard Collaborate 12 web conferencing, with audio echo reduction, mobility, and more!  And although Elluminate Live! V10 customers won’t have to upgrade until the second half of 2013 and Wimba Classrooms don’t need to upgrade until 2015, we encourage them both to consider upgrading to take advantages of our latest release.

Most importantly, it’s easy and smooth to upgrade—or so say our customers. For example, Cheryl Thompson, Instructional Specialist/IVN Scheduler at the North Dakota University System, said in this YouTube video, “I conducted training for a small group of people who are going to use Collaborate 11 for a statewide meeting.  After the training, one of the ladies said, ‘We should have one of those Staples ‘easy’ buttons for this.’”

Upgrading to Blackboard Collaborate 12 is THAT easy!

To learn more, you can do one of two things (or, even better, both).

First, attend an informational webinar to learn about the current highlights of Blackboard Collaborate and to see what’s coming. This presentation discusses the advantages of Blackboard Collaborate, the ease of the upgrading, and what steps you can take to ensure a smooth transition.

Second, attend our annual user conference, the Blackboard Collaborate Connections Summit 2012 in New Orleans this July 9-11, 2012 to earn about our new products and listen to sessions and panels from customers who have already upgraded from Elluminate Live! and Wimba Classroom to Blackboard Collaborate web conferencing.

Happy upgrading!

Matt

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