Bill Ballhaus: Celebrating 2019 and Shifting our Focus to the Future


As 2019 comes to a close, I wanted to take a moment to thank our clients around the world for their continued partnership. Together, we’re making great strides in advancing education through the power of technology, and I’m really proud of the positive impact we’re having on students’ lives.

The year-end is also a time that I like to pause and reflect on the progress we’re making as a company. This past year was a real turning point for Blackboard, as we took steps to simplify our business and focus on our core – teaching and learning. That simplification put us on strong financial footing and gave us the capacity to focus on driving innovation. And while there are signs in the market of instability among some of our competitors, I’m happy to share that Blackboard’s business is strong. We’re deeply committed to education, as we have been for more than two decades, and we’re excited about what’s ahead.

Today at Blackboard, our global team is celebrating our 2019 success. Check out their thoughts and reflections on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn with the hashtag #BbElevate.

Here are just a few milestones that make me proud:

  • We have 673 clients on Learn SaaS – more than any other version – and the momentum to move to the cloud continues, and 213 clients around the world are now using Learn Ultra, our next-generation LMS
  • Blackboard Data, launched in July, is now being used by 146 clients
  • The Blackboard app has been downloaded 15 million times
  • Blackboard Ally has enabled content accessibility and universal design for about 6 million students around the world
  • Blackboard Chatbot, powered by Ivy.AI, launched in October to optimize the student experience on campus
  • We issued over 1,000 certifications to academic staff and faculty through our Digital Teaching & Learning Series
  • More than 300 new clients joined the Blackboard global community this year

With the start of the new decade, I believe a new chapter is unfolding for Blackboard. Learning is our passion, and we are deeply committed to working with you, side-by-side, to take on your challenges for the long run.

Our sights are set on the future, and we’re laser-focused on driving innovation to benefit your institution, faculty, and students. We believe that together, we can create a smarter learning environment that reflects the best of what education can offer. Our “Galaxy of Learning” theme for BbWorld 2020 fits perfectly with our future focus, and I can’t wait to share our new innovations and developments with you at BbWorld and throughout the coming year. In the meantime, on behalf of the Blackboard team, I wish you a happy and healthy holiday season, and as always, I thank you for your continued partnership.