BbWorld Commerce ’08 is now history. I hope you were in Phoenix to participate and learn from peers and members of the Blackboard Team. This annual event has been gathering steam and this year was the best ever.
Holding this event in Phoenix has the great advantage of enabling over 100 members of the Blackboard Team to interact directly with clients, face-to-face. The result is better relationships and improved communication.
For me, seeing Blackboard Team members attend client presentations is as exciting as seeing clients attend Blackboard presentations. We have a chance to learn what is happening on campuses and see how our product is being used to help deliver services to students. Dialog often begins during a session and continues in the casual events where people gather to sit and eat and laugh. For a few days we all share a unique educational experience that has tremendous long-term benefits to both Blackboard and all campus partners.
Our experience in 2007 helped the Blackboard Commerce Management Team drive development and content for the 2008 event. The introductions of Blackboard Video Surveillance and the Blackboard Connect-ED product were major hits at this year’s event. The buzz on the trade show floor and in sessions was all about these new solutions, as well as thoughts about public-facing video content and the work on Blackboard’s next-generation transaction solution. Client support and feedback for existing product development tracks were very encouraging and will yield even more in terms of meaningful solutions over the next 12 months.
We sincerely appreciate your willingness to share your ideas and campus-based experiences. We are committed to making this happen as frequently as possible. The President’s Advisory Committee (PAC) is now one year old and represents one example of this commitment. The current members are Kathy Ragan, Jeanine Brooks, Mary Goff, Brenda Hovden, John Beckwith, Patrick Bolwahnn and Jerry Swarts. Each member participates actively with Russ Carlson and the Commerce Management Team. Among the host of topics discussed at multiple times during the year are:
- Product direction feedback
- Campus issues of concern to clients
- User conference content review
For BbWorld Commerce ’09 we will be looking for several interested clients to fill four vacant positions on the PAC. There will be a more formal announcement of this, but if you have interest now, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Special thanks to the PAC members, all of the 2008 presenters, and the BbWorld Commerce Logistics Committee, led by Kristy Bonanno, for delivering a great educational experience.