Friday, 9 July 2010

Bb merger frenzy

Bb - ellumninate- Wimba - become one!

Blackboard (VLE)  announced this week a pair of acquisitions in the “synchronous learning and collaboration” software business - Elluminate Inc. and Wimba Inc. - for a combined $116 million in cash. 

The provider of enterprise software for the education market said the two companies combined provide services to more than 2,600 institutions in the K-12, higher education and professional education markets.

Wow, this is big news.  But is it good news or bad news?  That of course depends on your stance.  If you have Elluminate or Wimba already, could you be facing the support debacle that transpired after Blackboard took over WebCT a few years ago.   Not good, and I think Bb are stil suffering the fall out from that poorly managed merger.  Let's hope they've learned their lesson?

So where does that leave Bb now? In a very strong position I'd say. My take on it is that the corporate and education sectors  are using VLE's much less given the rise of web 2.0 apps and of course the rise of Moodle giant slayer. This fall in their bread and butter market and the impending explosion of live webinars would have certainly dented share dividends.  Corporate training budges are being routinely decimated in this economic climate, which now makes it a neccessity to use webinars (Connect Pro, Dimdim, Wimba and Elluminate, etc) to train many staff with them leaving their home or office. Mi££ions can be saved.

Of course those just wanting  Elluminate or Wimba as a stand alone product may face a price rise? Or those who need them to plug into other VLEs may be thwarted in the future - by being forced into using Bb just to get Ellumniate or Wimba? Who knows? Or will one of these tools go to leave just the best from Wimba & Elluminate, that would not be such a bad thing?

Uncertain times, but definitely a bold and visionary move by Bb to keep it's market share by investing in synchronous technology - now we (well most) have the bandwidth to exploit these tools.

BTW,  if you need an alternative webinar tool like , visit my page on all things webinars.


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