It’s been just over two weeks since we announced our planned acquisition by Blackboard. At the risk of over-communicating a bit in these early weeks I thought it might be helpful for me to share a few additional remarks with the ANGEL community.
First, let me share an attempt at gathering the summary reaction to the news. I’ve now had the benefit of some hundreds of questions from across the ANGEL community from our open mic sessions at the ANGEL User Conference (AUC) to individual client meetings. In general, I’m hearing a tone of “very cautious optimism.”
You’ve appreciated the explicit acknowledgement of mistakes made and lessons learned from the Blackboard WebCT merger. Our commitment to maintaining a strong support organization in Indianapolis, our affirmation that contracts and pricing practices will be honored, and our immediate clarification of a new product roadmap have responded to your largest concerns. Now it’s time to deliver on our promises not to let our combination disrupt the positive experience you’ve had with our products. There are numerous colleagues of mine rolling up their sleeves in both Indianapolis and Washington DC to ensure that this is exactly what happens next.
Second, let me share an update on the deal itself. It’s now been completed formally and the two companies are now operating as a single entity. You may continue to see press about the deal and observe additional filings that we’ll make as a public company. One in particular that will occur today will be our voluntary submission of documents about the deal with the Department of Justice (DOJ). While this deal did not require DOJ approval, the DOJ has asked us to provide some updated information about competition in the educational technology market and how this deal affects it. We respect the DOJ’s mission and are working on a voluntary basis to provide them with the information they have requested. We are confident that we’re in compliance with all applicable regulations and do not anticipate any disruptions to the client experience during this process.
Third, you will be receiving a follow-up email from me in the next few days formally inviting your participation in the Blackboard Community and in particular the opportunity to attend BbWorld this July free of charge. We were excited to receive such a positive reception to the announcement at AUC and will be sending you more info shortly. I’ll reinforce in particular that technical staff interested in learning more about the “openness” of Blackboard NG should make best efforts to attend. A follow up email with instructions on how to take advantage of our offer of free registration will be emailed to you shortly. Until then you may review details here:
I hope to see many of you there.