Expanding Our SaaS Footprint in APAC

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The global public cloud services market according to Gartner is tipped to grow 17.3% in 2019, reaching a total of $206.2 billion.  That is a significant leap from $175.8 billion this year and as competition intensifies Asia-Pacific is emerging as a leader in this fast-growing market.

Much of this growth can be attributed to the increased adoption of SaaS, with cloud-based IT services now becoming the norm in most sectors, including higher education.  Institutions are embracing the cloud as a business strategy, not simply a technical tactic, with the conversation among decision-makers shifting from “Why do I need to migrate?” to “How fast can I migrate?”.

Blackboard is no stranger to this scenario, our SaaS footprint in the region is rapidly expanding.  Over the past two years we have been delivering an open and balanced SaaS solution to institutions in Australia, Singapore, China and just this week we announced the deployment of the same innovation to the South Korean market.

As institutions move towards SaaS, their focus is transitioning to building seamless, dynamic and agile strategies.  With this in mind, what does a Blackboard SaaS LMS mean for institutions in the APAC region?

Strength in the Architecture

A cloud-based LMS should grow with the institution; there are many benefits to be gained in a solution that auto-scales on-demand where the application automatically adjusts capacity to maintain steady and predictable performance.  The key is building that resilience into the architecture with business continuity, high redundancy and high scalability, Blackboard has achieved this with our SaaS deployment for Learn.

With SaaS application and data stored in the cloud, risks involved in conventional infrastructural failures that lead to data loss are drastically reduced, a headache most institutions try to avoid.  A benefit of Blackboard’s SaaS model is the ability to deliver maintenance, updates, and fixes to production faster than ever before.  The cloud platform easily scales during periods of high usage with the result being zero impact to an institution’s faculty and students during these updates.

Trust in the Security

A SaaS deployment needs to be highly secure, it’s that confidence clients expect.  Blackboard’s partnership with Amazon Web Services (AWS) allows us to leverage their inherent security.  As one of the largest and most certified cloud providers in the world, they operate in a highly secure environment, so much so, government tenders in the region are now mandating AWS as a requirement.

With cloud-based solutions like SaaS increasing in prevalence, we’re starting to see regulators and auditors view IT governance standards more seriously.  As standards become more stringent, institutions are becoming more aware of the requirements set upon them, and in turn, have an expectation of SaaS providers to meet these standards within their solutions.

Blackboard has worked diligently with global certification bodies and governments to ensure our SaaS solution meets the standards. Blackboard has been awarded the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) certification, a US government-wide program that provides a standardized approach to security assessment, authorisation, and continuous monitoring for cloud products and services.  Locally, Blackboard is progressing with the Multi-Tier Cloud Security (MTCS) Singapore Standard (SS) 584, the world’s first cloud security standard that covers multiple tiers of cloud securityand we arewell underway in complying with the global ISO 27001 Information Security Management Standard.

The Future Is the Ultra Experience

Learn with the Ultra experience is redefining what an LMS can be.  It is the same Blackboard Learn institutions already know and love, delivered on a modern cloud-based platform via our SaaS deployment. Institutions access all the benefits of a cloud architecture combined with the power of the Original experience that is already familiar to faculty and students from Blackboard Learn 9.1.

We are really excited about the new deployment in South Korea: it is yet another example of Blackboard’s commitment to drive innovation and it enables us to bring our cloud-based solutions to even more institutions across the region.