Blackboard, the Washington D.C.-based education technology company, is having success with its Software-as-a-Servuce platform for online courses and training, recently announcing 500 institutions and organizations are using Blackboard Learn.
The growth is coming in a short time span. In a press release, Blackboard said that over the past five months the number of institutions that moved to the company’s SaaS platform has increased by more than 25%. Launching the platform in China and South Korea is driving a lot of the growth.
With Blackboard Learn, Blackboard said it can continuously add new features to the platform, release zero downtime updates and quickly deliver fixes. It also enables customers to deploy its Ulta next generation user interface of Blackboard Learn. That has an easy to use design and lets students and teachers streamline workflows and provides access to personalized information. Blackboard said more than 155 clients are now using Ultra.
“We're seeing growing interest in the SaaS deployment as clients recognize that they can seamlessly make the transition without causing disruption to students or teachers," said Blackboard Chairman, CEO and President Bill Ballhaus said in a press release earlier in January. "We have also nearly doubled the number of clients who are implementing the new Ultra experience, a clear example of the growing momentum Ultra is having around the world, thanks to an increasing number of functionalities and unmatched flexibility that allow institutions to further adapt the LMS to their specific needs." Some of the features customers get with Blackboard learn include a way to organize and present content, the ability to analyze the quality of assessment questions, batch editing to save time and group creation for course activities.
The strong showing out of Blackboard Learn comes as companies of all sizes are embracing Software as a Service platforms. Realizing that moving processes to the cloud can save them time and money they have been embracing an a la carte menu of SaaS services. Learning lends itself easily to the cloud, providing students with the ability to learn when they are free. With the SaaS platform seeing strong traction the company said that in 2019 and beyond it will continue to focus its investments and resources on its edtech platform to expand the number of offerings. Its portfolio also includes cloud services for collaborative learning, content accessibility, plagiarism detection, and data analytics. In a nod to its tech prowess, Blackboard is joining other technology-focused companies that are moving their headquarters to Northern Virginia. Blackboard, which was based in Washington D.C., is combining its existing D.C. and Reston, Virginia offices into one new office in Northern Virginia's tech corridor.