It has been an exciting couple of months globally as Blackboard is steadfastly racing a course towards the Cloud and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions.

We have been messaging to our client base about key benefits of SaaS which are:

– Continuous features/fix releases for “agile” response to address fluid market needs, paired with these features/fix releases being delivered seamlessly (in other words, without any downtime required) around the clock.
– Blackboard’s much anticipated new User-Interface (UI) Learn product – now named “Learn 2015” – will initially be only available in the Cloud as a SaaS solution (for more information on this new Blackboard’s solutions roadmap – please contact your local Blackboard account representative).

Of course, this Cloud or SaaS path is not new to Blackboard. Some of Blackboard’s other products have been leading the way as Cloud-based services for a number of years – Collaborate, Connect, and Mosaic to name a few.

Blackboard’s private cloud service (a.k.a. Managed Hosting service) has been serving over 1,300 clients around the world in multiple datacenter locations since 1999, as well. The latest new location to serve Blackboard’s Asia-Pacific client base was launched in August 2014 in Singapore with much interest. Within six months of its launch, the Singapore datacenter is already hosting a handful of clients’ Learn production environments to assure high-performance and 24/7 availability of Learn to support tens of thousands of active learners.

As self-hosting Learn clients (i.e. those clients that have purchased the Learn software and have been running in their own datacenter/IT facilities) consider the changing landscape and the solutions roadmap of Blackboard, I like to share that 2015 is the time to seriously consider the possibility of moving into Blackboard’s private cloud. Why? If the vision and direction of Blackboard is to reimagine education and to focus on learner centricity, then moving the institution’s current state and version of Blackboard Learn into the Blackboard private cloud now, will assure the institution the most seamless transition to this direction. With guaranteed optimal performance, and the smoothest change management; from the current Learn self-hosting to private cloud Learn as is in the current version to upgrade/update and transition to the new Learn 2015 in the cloud when it is ready – all handled by the same team running the cloud services. You can leave the worrying to us. As you grow, we scale.

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