As a part of our Blackboard family, the health and safety of your education community is important to all of us at Blackboard. I know it is a stressful time for you and your teams as you make contingency preparations to ensure that you can keep instruction going during the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) global pandemic. We are here for you as we all work together during this challenging time. In the past week alone, the number of users online has doubled every day, and we are working diligently in our efforts to keep up with this unprecedented surge in use.
Like you, our teams are closely monitoring the fast-evolving situation. We are working hard to maintain continuity of service across all of our products. We have ramped up our proactive response and readiness activities. Cross-functional response teams have been activated, ensuring we have the appropriate measures and staffing in place to address changing conditions. This includes our support function and operations globally.
What are we doing to help prepare as more schools move to fully online?
I would like to share some steps that we have taken to ensure our technologies can meet the increased demand as schools and institutions like yours weigh the options of taking your classes fully online.
Dedicated Additional Resources
We have dedicated additional resources from our engineering and development operations teams, across all of our products, to monitor our infrastructure. Our teams meet regularly to review how the system is responding to the increased demand and can quickly respond if a need arises.
We are proactively engaging with clients to understand their anticipated usage needs in two-week intervals to improve our own processes and readiness. These two-way conversations help us plan so that we can be more proactive with changes to our capacity.
Scaling to Meet Demand
Our cloud-based technologies, including Blackboard Learn and Blackboard Collaborate, allow us to scale in times of heavy usage to the maximum extent possible. We are working with our partner, AWS, to make sure we have solid plans in place to meet the increased demand. Self-hosted and managed-hosted clients can reach out to our Support Team for assistance for their specific needs.
We are all in this together as an education community. I am proud to be working with some of the most passionate people in the business and we are here to serve you. We want to hear from you – it makes us better – so please reach out to your Blackboard representative to start a conversation. To help you prepare, we encourage you to visit and bookmark the Scaling to Meet the Needs of a Changing Environment section on our website — there you will find solutions, resources, and tools to help you quickly transition and deliver quality teaching and online learning.