Accelerating Our Efforts to Drive the Next Wave of EdTech Innovation

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You may have seen our announcement that we agreed to sell our Open LMS business to Learning Technologies Group (LTG). This strategic transaction enables us to accelerate our efforts to drive the next wave of EdTech innovation via our platform with Learn Ultra at its core and sets the stage for us to deliver a dynamic and personalized experience, fueled by data, to advance learning.

LTG approached Blackboard a few months ago to explore the possibility of buying our Open LMS business. Through our discussions with LTG, it became clear that this opportunity made sense for our clients, employees and our business.  By selling our Open LMS business, both companies will be hyper-focused on fully serving their respective clients and making a difference in the lives of the students.  We thank our Open LMS clients for their partnership and our Open LMS employee team for their many contributions to Blackboard.

This step in our journey reflects the success we’ve had in migrating clients to Learn SaaS and Ultra, our next-generation Learning Management System (LMS), and our unwavering commitment to support and migrate the balance of our client base over time. Over the last few years, we’ve been laser-focused on moving clients to the cloud, delivering innovation within existing products and through new technologies, and simplifying our business as we move towards being a fully SaaS business. Here are a few highlights of the tremendous progress we’ve made:

  • Clients are finding a better experience. We have 733 clients on Learn SaaS – more than any other version of Learn – and the momentum to move to the cloud continues, plus 259 clients around the world are now using Learn Ultra
  • Blackboard Data, launched this past July, is now used by more than 200 clients enabling better insights
  • Students are turning to us to make learning simpler and more effective – the Blackboard app has been downloaded nearly 16 million times
  • Blackboard Ally is enabling content accessibility and universal design for about 6 million students around the world
  • We issued over 1,400 certifications to academic staff and faculty through our Digital Teaching & Learning Series

Our most complex days are behind us.  We are now more focused than ever on driving innovation in our key business areas of teaching and learning, K-12 community engagement, and student success.

In other industries like entertainment, retail, and healthcare, we’ve already seen an explosion in the use of data aggregation, machine learning, and other technologies to gain insights that then drive a personalized experience.  Blackboard is the only EdTech company in the world poised to make that same impact in education while maintaining appropriate data privacy. With our portfolio of products architected to work together seamlessly and underpinned by a data platform, we are leading the development of solutions that provide a more dynamic and personalized experience for students that will ultimately improve student success.

I’m excited by what’s ahead for education and appreciate the continued partnership of our clients. Together, we can create a smarter learning environment that benefits students and institutions around the world. I’m looking forward to sharing more at BbWorld 2020, our annual users conference, taking place July 28-30 in Orlando, Florida. I hope you will join us!