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ANGEL + BB : 

Where do we stand? ANGEL + BB

The Details : 

The Details Blackboard Inc. acquires ANGEL Learning for $95 million in cash and stock (bizjournals.com) Could enable Blackboard to win over Angel clients and to improve its customer service while adding more teaching tools (insidehighered.com) Combined company expects to have 5,800 schools, government agencies and corporate customers (bizjournals.com) BB plans to continue to sell Angel products for now. Down the road, the best features of Angel will be folded into Blackboard software (chronicle.com)

Blackboard’s Background: Pricing : 

Blackboard’s Background: Pricing After acquiring Web-CT in 2005, Blackboard’s pricing increased. “Our contract renewals went up, I don’t remember the percentage but I remember it hurt.” (Schuldt, KCC) “…no matter how much they promised us that they would do all they could when we were dealing with their mess (application failures, 66 pages of known bugs and massive other issues) after the WebCT buyout, the company NEVER produced solutions. We were continually forced to come up with our own solutions and workarounds.” (Cindy Sandhagen) “Pricing went from dirt cheap (when it was still a UBC product) to reasonable when it went corporate to 10x that when it was corp-for-profit and then a bigger jump when BB bought it...” (Steve Jensen) “The two companies say that the new prices for their course-management systems reflect the growing complexity of their products. – in regard to the Web-CT acquisition” (chronicle.com)

Blackboard’s Background: Support - UNCC : 

Blackboard’s Background: Support - UNCC Promises to support Web-CT products post merge. “The merger definitely had a negative impact for UNC Charlotte, as well as for other universities nationwide. Blackboard assured us that they would continue development and support for the Vista product; however, many former Web CT employees left the company, resulting in former Blackboard employees providing very limited, unsatisfactory support for a product they knew very little about.”

Support cont: Support - UNCC : 

Support cont: Support - UNCC “Several factors contributed to the difficulties we have experienced. The largest factor was the merger between WebCT and Blackboard, which came at a critical time when WebCT was still working through the “bugs” in their first releases of WebCT Vista and still attempting to develop a strong foundation and upgrade path for this “enterprise-level” system.” (bbvista.uncc.edu)

Support cont. : 

Support cont. “Lack of consistent or functioning integration with Notre Dame’s Student Information System continues to be a major complaint (Sungard Banner). This issue has not been successfully resolved as repeatedly promised by Blackboard Corporation after they merged with the WebCT company and acquired its WebCT product offerings in early 2006.” (UND, 2008) “BlackCT support did everything from pawning off various levels of support specialists who were looking into it, fixing it or going to follow-up with me to pointing a finger at the publisher, the textbook rep, our network, our server admins, our teachers and students, our bookstore rather than looking in the mirror and actually troubleshooting it for me to solve it.” (Ryan Schrenk)

Blackboard’s Background: Corporate : 

Blackboard’s Background: Corporate “Blackboard doesn’t seem to trade in good will, but in cold hard cash… [their] business model is migrating away from sis-integration out of the box and towards customized service engagements.” “…feature requests are also service engagements for customizations, but each customization then gets to be charged any number of times to any number of institutions instead of being adopted into the code base.” (LauraGekeler.com)

Blackboard’s Background: Corporate : 

Blackboard’s Background: Corporate “Blackboard Inc. went to federal court to sue the United States Patent and Trademark Office, seeking to overturn a recent decision concerning Blackboard’s controversial patent on course-management software.” (Chronicle.com)

Open/Community Source : 

Open/Community Source “While many CIOs were focused on the fallout from Blackboard's absorption of WebCT, other experts on technology in academe said that the real shift going on is away from corporate provided course management altogether.” (insidehighered.com)

Options (after Angel starts to die) : 

Options (after Angel starts to die) Stick with BBorg Desire2Learn (currently going at it with BB) Moodle + 3rd party host solution Moodlerooms.com Sakai + 3rd party host solution rSmart.com Longsight.com eCollege/Pearson Epsilen

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