AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS, December 18 /CNW/ - Blackboard Inc. (NASDAQ:
BBBB), a leading provider of enterprise technology to the education community,
today announces that Blackboard has signed a major three year nation-wide
e-Learning expansion agreement with SURFdiensten and SLBdiensten in The
Netherlands. SURFdiensten facilitates the use of ICT in higher education and
research, while SLBdiensten provides licenses for vocational, adult education,
and secondary education. Over a million students in The Netherlands and
Belgium currently access Blackboard's software.
The existing agreement originally dates from 1999 and allows higher,
vocational and secondary education institutions in The Netherlands and Belgium
access to the Blackboard Learning System(TM) and Blackboard Community
System(TM). The new contract extends the current agreement into 2010 and
allows continuity for enterprise e-Learning software in The Netherlands and
Belgium. It shows mutual commitment between Blackboard, SURFdiensten and
SLBdiensten for this market.
The new contract offers education institutes the option to take advantage
of new Blackboard web services, including the SafeAssign(TM) plagiarism
detection and deterrence services and Scholar(R) social bookmarking services.
SafeAssign empowers academics and students to protect the originality of work,
as well as creating an opportunity to educate students on the importance of
proper attribution and citation. Scholar provides an innovative way for users
to connect with researchers studying similar topics at institutions around the
world, allowing professors, students, and other academics to store and share
online bookmarks related to their areas of study and interest.
Jan Bakker, Managing Director of SURFdiensten, said, "Signing this
contract with Blackboard is key for the huge installed base of Blackboard
users in Dutch and Belgian higher education. We expect the solutions that
Blackboard offers will satisfy not only our existing needs, but also the
future demands of students and faculty of our member institutions."
Charles Stork, Director of SLBdiensten, said, "We are very pleased with
this renewal. This gives existing Blackboard users in vocational and secondary
education in The Netherlands the opportunity to use Blackboard for three more
years. We believe Blackboard will provide our member institutions a
high-quality learning environment."
"We are delighted that we have expanded our agreement with SURFdiensten
and SLBdiensten," says Michael Chasen, President and CEO of Blackboard. "Since
our inception, our clients and partners in The Netherlands and Belgium have
been valuable contributors to our product and corporate strategies. With this
expanded relationship, we expect to work even more closely with education
leaders in The Netherlands and Belgium."
About SURF and SURFdiensten
SURF is the collaborative organisation for higher education and research
institutes in The Netherlands, aimed at breakthrough innovations in ICT. SURF
Foundation was founded in 1987 by the joint universities. At present SURF
represents over sixty institutions and is active in many international
collaborative platforms such as JISC, TERENA and GLIF. SURFdiensten is the
organisation for licenses for higher education and research that facilitates
the use of ICT, offering software, content, ICT services and hardware at
unique prices and conditions.
About SLB Diensten
Founded in 1992, SLBdiensten is intermediary between vocational, adult,
and secondary education institutions and software, courseware & hardware
suppliers. SLBdiensten's good negotiating position and broad product
assortment have made SLBdiensten the leading supplier for vocational, adult,
and secondary education institutions.
About Blackboard Inc.
Blackboard Inc. (NASDAQ: BBBB) is a leading provider of enterprise
software applications and related services to the education industry. Founded
in 1997, Blackboard enables educational innovations everywhere by connecting
people and technology. Millions of people use Blackboard everyday at academic
institutions around the globe, including colleges, universities, K-12 schools
and other education providers, as well as textbook publishers and
student-focused merchants that serve education providers and their students.
Blackboard is headquartered in Washington, D.C., with offices in North
America, Europe, Australia and Asia.
Educate. Innovate. Everywhere.(TM)
Any statements in this press release about future expectations, plans and
prospects for Blackboard and other statements containing the words "believes,"
"anticipates," "plans," "expects," "will," and similar expressions, constitute
forward-looking statements within the meaning of The Private Securities
Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results may differ materially from those
indicated by such forward-looking statements as a result of various important
factors, including the factors discussed in the "Risk Factors" section of our
Form 10-Q filed on November 8, 2007 with the SEC. In addition, the
forward-looking statements included in this press release represent the
Company's views as of December 17, 2007. The Company anticipates that
subsequent events and developments will cause the Company's views to change.
However, while the Company may elect to update these forward-looking
statements at some point in the future, the Company specifically disclaims any
obligation to do so. These forward-looking statements should not be relied
upon as representing the Company's views as of any date subsequent to December
For further information:
For further information: Public Relations Lead, Blackboard: Blackboard
Inc. Brian Cooley, +1 202-463-4860 email@example.com or Media Contact,
Say Communications/ EuroPR Group: Louise Stewart-Muir, +44 20 8971 6417