Some Secrets Hurt

Following is a recent blog from Josh Coates, CEO of Instructure.   In this blog, Josh personally challenges Michael Chasen, CEO of Blackboard and John Baker, CEO of Desire2Learn.  Josh makes a case for what needs to happen in higher ed to make LMS applications more secure.

Check out his blog and share your thoughts and comments with our edu1world members on what Josh has to say about Blackboard and Desire2Learn concerning  open security audit...

Is Blackboard Security an Issue?

According to a blog posted today, "millions of student exams, tests and data exposed".
Darren Pauli writes that Blackboard's Learn product contains "holes that allow students to change grades and download unpublished exams whilst allowing criminals to steal personal information".  The blog, published in Australia, reports that Blackboard initially ignored customer complaints before releasing a statement.

While the blog was published last nig...

Financial Investigator Slams Blackboard

In an article published on Monday, the Financial Investigator is very critical of "Mr. Chasen's Two Companies".

The author indicates that the Blackboard is made up of the company that "is" and the company that the external world sees.  Reportedly, Michael Chasen will walk away with a $30 million dollar "nest egg" if the acquisition goes through.

Among other things, the blog accuses the software maker of potential improper actions with fede...

Blackboard Acquisition - Analysis of License Numbers

Analysis of public license data indicates loss of at least 150 LMS clients per year

Update:  Reposted due to display problems on site.

In part 1 of my posts on the Blackboard acquisition, I laid out the key facts and assumptions - what we know and what we think we know.  In part 2, I argued that Blackboard is picking up only a negligible amount of new Learn clients.  In this post, I present the case that Blackboard is losing hundreds of LMS customers each year based on publicly-available license data and third-party analysis . . .


Blackboard Acquisition - What Does It Mean, Pt 1

As anyone involved in Educational Technology is aware, Blackboard has entered into agreement with Providence Equity Partners, a private equity firm, thus ending months of speculation.  In this post, I will summarize what we know, what we think we know, and what is the public position of the players involved.  In subsequent post(s) I will add my thoughts and commentary.

What we know, with a fair amount of accuracy...


It's a Deal! Blackboard Acquired

BANGALORE (Reuters) - Education software company Blackboard Inc (BBBB.O) said it would be bought by private equity firm Providence Equity Partners for $1.64 billion in cash.

On Thursday, Reuters reported that the two parties were nearing a deal.

The $45 a share offer is at about a 4 percent premium to Blackboard's Thursday close of $43.39.

Providence will also assume about $130 million of Blackboard's debt.

(Reporting by Sayantani Ghosh in Bangalore; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier) Reuters  Article

Link to PRNewswire article>

Vicki T. Tambellini

The Tambellini Group, LLC


Blackboard Acquisition Likely to be Announced Tomorrow

According to Reuters, a deal is likely to be announced tomorrow.  Sources close to the company report that debt financing is being provided by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley and Deutsche Bank. 

While it seems certain that Blackboard will be acquired by Providence Equity Partners, the implications for customers are not as clear.

Providence Equity Partners is an investor in a number of high technology firms providing solutions to the education market.  An acquisition by Providence Equity Partners could implicate a change in direction for several key administration solution providers including SunGard Higher Education and others.

We'll keep you posted!


Blackboard: The Fat Lady Might Not Come Out To Sing

There has been a lot of speculation about whether Blackboard will be acquired, and recently all the talk is based on Providence Equity Partners being the only suitor remaining.  We have been telling our customers for some time that the LMS market is going to change significantly, and I believe the Blackboard acquisition or non-acquisition will be a catalyst for future change - this deal matters to customers whether you are on Blackboard or not.

. . . Well, this deal might not happen based on today's updates from Kayla Tausche at CNBC. . . Update included

Anupreeta Das of WSJ reports SunGard Investor is in "exclusive talks" to buy Blackboard

According to a story published just minutes ago, all but Providence Equity Partners have dropped out of negotiations with Blackboard.

In part, the article reads, "Buyout firm Providence Equity Partners is in exclusive talks to buy educational software company Blackboard."

The firm, Providence Equity Partners, holds a stake in SunGard, Hulu and others.  Providence Equity Partners is part of the group of investors that purchased SunGard in 2005. 

As a result of a number of confidentiality agreements, I am unable to comment or provide any opinion on this matter.  Sorry members!  I can only publish what's public information.


Vicki Tambellini

The Tambellini Group


Bloomberg Reports that Providence Equity Partners Inc. is in the lead to buy Blackboard

Speculation continues as writers Serena Saitto and Cristina Alesci publish a report stating that "Providence Equity Partners Inc. is in the lead to buy Blackboard Inc., a maker of online educational courseware, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.

The writers continue with information regarding other potential bids.  The company is not commenting.

As one of our readers pointed out earlier today, Providence Equity Partners, Inc. participated in the LBO of SunGard in 2005. 

Vicki Tambellini

The Tambellini Group