Bell816_1One of the greatest benefits of working with Blackboard’s Marketing Team is the opportunity to play a major part in the development and execution of the upcoming BbWorld.  I am very proud to say we have made some awesome progress on the list of requests many good clients have willingly shared with me over the past couple of years. Things like having a dedicated hotel for Commerce Suite clients, with meeting space, nice lounge and ample room to gather and catch up on industry gossip, training opportunities, great peer sessions, listening sessions with Bb Executives and a half day discussion on Universal Edition should give everyone a good measure of education. 

I am thrilled with the keynote speakers.  Malcolm Gladwell is dynamic and inspirational. His books are current best sellers and must-reads.  Our industry friend, Jeff Staples, will also be taking some time to keep us up-to-date on the ID marketplace.  Also, as a special session, we have asked Doug Olson from Tulane to come and tell us about his recovery efforts in the wake of Katrina.  We can all learn form Doug’s experience.  The entire list of presentations is simply great. The Commerce Suite reception on Tuesday and party aboard the carrier, USS Midway, will be the perfect fun ending to busy days chocked full of great learning experiences.

UNIX clients, I want to call your attention to a very special event.  The half day workshop focused on the Universal Edition (UE) is really a must for anyone needing a serious, in-depth conversation about moving towards this newest Transaction System product.  Participants will see a demonstration of the features and functionality available on the Transaction System – Universal Edition. The Blackboard Product Development Team will provide an extensive review of the Transaction System – Universal Edition and how it compares to current implementations of the Transaction System – UNIX Edition. Plenty of time will be available for questions and discussion.  To sign up for this event go to and click on Sponsored Workshop.

This is all great but my favorite part of this event is what we are calling the "Blackboard Connected Campus."  This past Wednesday morning I had the opportunity to tour this new experience for the tradeshow world.  I can’t wait to show it to everyone.  It is very cool and does the job of showing the value of how services are enhanced through a comprehensive Commerce Suite Deployment.  This 20 x 50 display will be located in the middle of the trade show floor.  It is a representation of a campus and shows visitors how services are delivered using Bb technology.  We expect this will draw the interest of all Bb customers.  You will enjoy the display and have a good time participating in the activities within. You may even win something! There may be a short line waiting to get in but we promise to keep you entertained!

I hope to see everyone in San Diego.

Tom Bell
Vice President, Commerce Industry Relations

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