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Conquering the Competition

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Presentation on theme: "Conquering the Competition"— Presentation transcript:

1 Conquering the Competition
Competition: What does the competitive landscape look like? Why We Win: To describe why we win—our strengths.

2 Blackboard Learn SWOT Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities Threats
Proven market-leader offering longevity in clients’ investments Client perception around user experience & workflows Multiple platforms for cross-selling & Greenfield accounts in K-12 and ProEd Upgrading clients to most recent version of technology & perceptions from older versions Available technologies meet changing needs of institutions Client perception around addressing quality & support needs Expanding/growing existing implementations Lack of adoption at some institutions Blackboard competes in a vibrant marketplace, with many other vendors seeking to earn the business of schools in the markets we serve. This SWOT provides a high-level view of where some of Blackboard’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats lie. Starting with Strengths, Blackboard is a long-standing software vendor. Our technology has stood the test of time. We are a stable, reliable vendor. We also have the deepest capabilities & product set, meaning that our current products can meet the current & changing needs of institutions and their various disciplines. We do have some weaknesses that we’re working to improve. Part of being a long-time vendor that serves many clients is that our interfaces sometimes become a bit outdated. This is the case with some parts of Learn. We have also struggled at times supporting the high volume of clients that we serve, and making sure we get the quality of our product right. We have significant opportunities in emerging markets like K-12 and ProEd, as well as less mature international markets. We also have the opportunity to selling additional products to our current use base, which is substantial. Finally, we do have some threats we must confront. One is with our installed, enterprise software model, which requires clients to upgrade to newer versions -- this can be a challenge. Some institutions have low adoption, making the perceived value of their investment in Learn seem poor, and also making it easier to switch to another vendor.

3 Traditional Market Players
Instructure Canvas Strong: User Experience, Price/Packaging, Cloud Weak: Depth, Content, Plagiarism Desire2Learn (D2L) Strong: Portfolio, Adaptive, Consortium Weak: Plagiarism, Program Assessment Moodle Strong: Depth, Customization, Price/Packaging Weak: User Experience, Community, Plagiarism, Program Assessment More specifically, in terms of the competing vendors we see most frequently (across all Learn markets), let’s talk about Instructure, Desire to Learn, and Moodle. Instructure is the newest player in the market, and they’ve made some inroads into our client base. Their strengths are around a simple user experience, and a simple pricing & packaging model that is all inclusive. They are also a cloud-based solution, which can help them keep their costs down and improve support, but can also pose challenges around change management. Their weaknesses are around the depth of their solution, poor content management, and no built-in plagiarism detection for assessments (which is a significant expense). Desire to Learn, or D2L, is a long-standing competitor of Blackboard Learn, and has a similar technology profile: they’re an enterprise software solution, and they have multiple products that are licensed separately, but like us, they position themselves as a platform. D2L is especially strong in the areas of Portfolio and Adaptive Learning (allowing instructors to create personalized experiences for students based on performance or behavior). They also do well with consortia because of certain administrative capabilities designed to support these models. Moodle has also been around for a long time, and is different from all the other vendors because it’s an open source solution. This means that it has no software license fee. However, the reality is that if a school chooses Moodle, they need to staff themselves to support and manage Moodle effectively. Because it’s an open-source solution, there are many features to support many divergent needs. This is also something of a downside because the community can’t be controlled directly, which can be difficulty if a school’s needs are out of alignment with the community’s direction. Moodle’s user experience is probably the most cumbersome of all the vendors. Moodle, like D2L and Canvas, lack plagiarism detection and program assessment capabilities that are on par with what Blackboard has to offer. With respect to mobile, both Canvas and D2L offer grading within their mobile app. Mobile grading within Mobile Learn is still in design and development at Blackboard.

4 Competitive Position – Feature Deep Dive
1-5 rating (1 is worst, 5 is best), Green is substantial win for Bb, Red is substantial loss Area Learn Canvas D2L Course content (Creation & Display of files, video, audio) 4 Communication (Announcements, Calendar, Messages, Chat, Notifications) Interactive Tools (Discussions, Blogs, Wikis, Journals) 3 Synchronous (Screen sharing, Chat, not including Collaborate) 2 Grading & Grade Book Plagiarism Detection 5 Group & Peer work Course Assessment (Tests, Assignments, Surveys, Rubrics, Goals) User Experience / Workflow Mobile (Mobile App & Responsive) Adaptive / Personalized System Administration (Users, courses, hierarchy, themes, etc.) Enterprise Integration Customization & Configuration Portal Portfolio Learning Object Sharing / Reuse 1 Social Learning Enterprise Content Management (xpLor + Content Management) Here is a much more detailed look at specific areas of functionality and a self-assessment of where we think we stand in relation to Canvas and Desire to Learn. I won’t go through all the rows, but provide this simply as reference and a starting point for a deeper investigation into the similarities and differences between the various traditional players.

5 K12 LMS Competitive Landscape Continuum
K12 LMS Competitive Landscape Continuum Classroom Communication Platform Framework for Teaching & Learning Teacher/Class Pages Needs: One-way Communication Simple teacher presence off school website Limited interactive student engagement & assessment Light LMS Needs: Two-Way Communication Student Engagement Assessment Blended Learning Enterprise LMS Needs: Robust Assessment Online & Blended Learning Institutional Control, Implementation & Analysis Teacher Page T & L Enhanced Class Page Social Learning Focused Basic Toolset Comprehensive Toolset The Players    Blackboard Learn ANGEL D2L Moodlerooms (Joule) Moodle Instructure Canvas* Blackboard Engage Pearson / SIS LMS Optional Add-Ons Schoolnet Haiku* BrainHoney* Edmodo* Edsby CourseSites Amplify (Tablet + Content) Schoology* K12 LMS Competitive Landscape Continuum However, in K12, we often find ourselves competing with non-traditional LMS competitors as well. Essentially, as you move from the far left to the far right in this continuum, the more fully featured the LMS solution. In addition to traditional competitors we see some competition from some light LMS solutions like Schoology, Edmodo, Haiku, and BrainHoney as well. These competitors, and Canvas, are proactively marketed directly to K12 classroom teachers and provide an easy option to move from organic teacher adoption to a school/district solution. Schoology and Edmodo, like Canvas, offer mobile apps as well. Each offers a very low barrier to entry for classroom teacher with easy shift to school/district solution. This works particularly well in K12 as many schools/districts lack vision or direction with respect to online and blended learning at this stage. Removing all barriers to entry for teachers, teachers can select free options, influence their peers to do the same, and adoption grows naturally. The school or district can easily move this organic teacher use to full district/school solution. With a complex mix of true LMSs, LMS light, and enhanced teacher webpages, we still often compete with traditional LMS competitors like Canvas and D2L, but we find ourselves competing with others in this mix as well. * See notes

6 Technology Adoption Continuum
Syllabus Announcements File uploads Content Editor YouTube SlideShare Flickr NBC Learn xpLor Crowd-sourced content Wikis Blogs Journals Discussions Social Learning Tools Video Everywhere Assessments Item Analysis Rubrics Standards Retention Center Grade Center Build Curate Engage Assess To differentiate Blackboard Learn from Canvas and other light LMS players in the market, it helps to focus on meeting the ever evolving long term needs of the district. When districts begin to implement blended learning, many teachers fall on the left hand side of the continuum, only leveraging basic tasks within the LMS.  But very quickly, teachers become much more comfortable with integrating the technology within the teaching and learning process, and begin moving further and further to the right needing more powerful tools and options. To ensure a district’s ever evolving needs are met when it is truly implementing blended or online learning, districts need a simple and intuitive, yet powerful and comprehensive teaching and learning platform that can meet their needs over time (not just the most pressing needs right now). That solution is Blackboard Learn.

7 Objection Handling

8 Objection Handling Myth: Learn is old and hard to use Truth:
Blackboard’s UI has undergone a massive change in the past few years. Our emphasis on social learning, cloud based content sharing, instructor efficiencies, and mobile UX over the last few years have pushed us farther and faster than we've ever been before.  We work with hundreds of schools and thousands of institutions when developing releases.  Myth: Learn is old and hard to use Truth: People that see our newest versions of Blackboard are almost universally amazed at how beautiful and innovative it is. Our emphasis on social learning, cloud based content sharing, and teacher and student efficiencies over the last few years have pushed us farther and faster than we've ever been before.  From a user interface standpoint we stand up to any other platform, and have made strides to surpass any of the newer players in the space like Instructure or Schoology. Additionally, we understand that mobile access is where the market is heading, our mobile app is designed with this in mind.

9 Objection Handling Myth: Learn costs too much Truth:
Blackboard works with clients to ensure that we are providing an affordable option for their institution. Blackboard provides a solid platform with ongoing R&D, core technology support, professional management and support resources. Myth: Learn costs too much Truth: Blackboard works with our clients to ensure that we are providing an affordable option for their institution. We have created a new Blackboard Learn bundle with competitive pricing designed specifically for the K12 market. Also, you get what you pay for. Comprehensive teaching and learning tools require an investment in the same manner as the business related tools, like communications, financial and student information.  They would never put the core work at risk for the cheaper alternative. If you want a solid technology platform that will provide you with stability and innovation now and in the future, you need to look at the investment you are making. Blackboard provides a solid platform with ongoing R&D, core technology support, professional management and support resources aligned with a family of technologies that blend together to meet the broad picture of teaching and learning in the digital age.

10 Objection Handling Myth: Blackboard Needs a Better Support Team Truth:
Blackboard Support has focused on closure rates and rapid resolution in the past few years. Blackboard has the largest user community, providing a valuable channel for support. Blackboard has made great strides in terms of improving support over the last for years. For example, - 1 day close: 66% improvement 3 day close: 55% improvement 7 day close 38% improvement

11 Objection Handling Myth: Open Source is free Truth:
Open Source requires you to have a robust technical staff who is willing to manage all aspects of the LMS You also have to rely on the community for new features and enhancements, which is somewhat unpredictable. Myth: Open Source is free Truth: Free does not equal better. Unless you have a robust technical staff who is willing to manage all aspects of the LMS, open source is not for you. You also have to rely on the community for new features and enhancements, which is somewhat unpredictable. Additional, most community contributors for open source development are institutions of Higher Education who do not understand or care about the unique needs of K12 districts and schools. By choosing to go with Blackboard, you are allowing us to manage the technology so you can focus on what’s really important, the teaching and learning.

12 Objection Handling Myth: We don’t need all the functionality Bb Learn provides Truth: Districts needs change & evolve over time Teachers comfort with technology and depth of use grows over time Myth: We don’t need all the functionality Bb Learn provides Truth: Blackboard Learn can address many district challenges such as blended & online learning, community engagement, professional development, curriculum management, and educational continuity. Nearly every district that implements Blackboard Learn does so with a single point of focus, but then their usages expands to many areas like these over time. Blackboard can meet your needs today, but grow with you as well as your needs change. With respect to teachers, teachers do begin by first using the most basic functionality of the LMS, but quickly gain comfort with technology and their depth of use grows over time as they truly integrate the power of the LMS into teaching and learning. Blackboard Learn provides a system that can easily meet your needs now, and that you will not outgrown in short order as your district’s and teacher’s needs grow, evolve, and change.

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