As one of more than 100 full-time professionals on the Blackboard Managed Hosting team, I’m proud of the fact that we are supporting educational successes everywhere in truly remarkable ways. Our team provides services and technology that ensure the overall stability, reliability, availability and scalability of the Blackboard application platforms so that millions of users around the world don’t have to worry about whether or not their Blackboard software will be available and ready, wherever they happen to be. But we’re always pushing ourselves to do more.
In simple terms, Blackboard Managed Hosting is now hosting more clients in our datacenters than ever before—over 500 and counting. As a result, not a day goes by that we don’t remind ourselves that students are accessing online learning tools through at least one Blackboard Managed Hosting datacenter every hour of every day. Whether studying the latest advancements in vocational procedures in South America, collaborating with classmates in Japan, downloading lecture notes in North America or taking an online exam in Europe, learners expect and deserve the best software and support, and we are keenly aware of this.
Our clients are also doing more with their Blackboard implementations; and they’re setting peak records in terms of data transfer rates, numbers of users, and sizes of their databases and content storage, among other things. We now have datacenters in five locations on three continents. And we’ve spent more time and resources preparing for this busy back-to-school period in August and now September than ever. As a result, the majority of our hosted clients have told us that they’ve had one of the smoothest beginnings of the semester experiences than ever before. To me, that’s the most satisfying feedback we can receive.
We’re also doing more to communicate with our hosting clients and provide easy access to updates and further information. Let me tell you about just four ways we’re doing that:
1) First of all, several of us on the Managed Hosting team started posting here to these community blogs. I wish we had time to post more often, but I’m really glad clients have joined in. Ira Strauss, a 25-year veteran in the education field recently posted about his work at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. You can find all our past entries by using the “Search the Blogs” tool in the left-side navigation column—just search the term “Managed Hosting.” If you’d like to post here about your hosting experience and share with the community tips, tricks and the best practices you’ve learned, please let us know at ManagedHosting@blackboard.com.
2) Earlier this year we also published the inaugural issue of the Managed Hosting Newsletter, and we’ll put out the next issue by year’s end. We specialize in hosting, not marketing, so I’ll admit that creating it was no easy task, as any reader who’s started up a newsletter for your campus community, school or organization probably knows well.
3) We also created the Blackboard Managed Hosting Client Wiki on Behind the Blackboard this year. This interactive archive contains a lot of useful information on Managed Hosting, including our services brief, security and related documentation, an FAQ document, announcements and more.
4) Finally, we created a Managed Hosting Information Portal to enable our hosting clients to get the daily status of all our Managed Hosting datacenters around the world.
I hope you’ll read the materials and visit the sites I’ve linked to, because I really want you to see for yourself just some of the things we on the Blackboard Managed Hosting team are doing more of every day to continually improve the quality of your hosting experience.