DALLAS — Oct. 9, 2006 — Blackboard Inc. (NASDAQ: BBBB) and SAP AG (NYSE: SAP) today announced a global agreement to accelerate innovation of business processes for higher education institutions. By leveraging the SAP NetWeaver® platform as the foundation to create interoperability between administrative and academic technology, teachers, students and administrators will regularly have access to the most up-to-date information they need to enhance the learning experience and improve administrative efficiency. Facilitated by Web services made possible with enterprise service-oriented architecture (SOA), this offering will enable real-time business processing between applications from Blackboard and SAP. The announcement was made at EDUCAUSE 2006, being held in Dallas, Tex., October 9–12.
SAP NetWeaver will connect the SAP Campus Management application, part of the SAP for Higher Education & Research (SAP for HE&R) solution portfolio that supports student records at hundreds of academic institutions, and the Blackboard Academic Suite™ e-Learning platforms that are used by millions of students and teachers around the world. Blackboard and SAP are implementing this service-oriented architecture to help institutions deploy integrated end-to-end processes faster and with a lower cost of maintenance–even across different applications.
“The SAP suite serves the core business needs of the university–and Blackboard serves the core academic needs,” said Fred Siff, vice president and chief information officer, University of Cincinnati and member of the Blackboard Merger Advisory Council and the SAP Higher Education and Research Advisory Council. “Bringing these critical systems into more integrated alignment represents the commitment to meeting customer needs and innovative thinking that distinguishes both companies as industry leaders. This partnership will help bring a more comprehensive suite of integrated technologies to higher education customers faster and more efficiently.”
“Thousands of universities and colleges rely on technology for both administrative and academic functions,” said Michael Chasen, president and CEO of Blackboard. “There is a growing demand to integrate these systems, and this partnership offers clients even greater return on investment from the technologies they rely on every day. In addition to convenience, the SAP–Blackboard integration will equip campus leaders with the ability to better track and manage student and institutional data and outcomes, moving them further down the path of 21st century learning.”
The new offering is available for higher education institutions through the Blackboard Global Services organization. All Blackboard Academic Suite and SAP clients worldwide are eligible for this infrastructure integration.
“Leveraging the power of SAP NetWeaver and an enterprise service-oriented architecture, this partnership combines the best of breed in administrative and e-Learning technology targeted at higher education customers,” said Harald Pitz, vice president, Higher Education Business Unit, SAP AG. “By integrating SAP Campus Management with Blackboard’s e-Learning platform, our customers will have an even more comprehensive solution for managing the complete life cycle of students, administrative outcomes and learning.” About Blackboard
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. With two product suites, the Blackboard Academic Suite ™ and the Blackboard Commerce Suite ™, Blackboard solutions are used by millions of people 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, Asia and Australia. Blackboard Educate. Innovate. Everywhere.™ About SAP
SAP is the world’s leading provider of business software*. Today, more than 34,600 customers in more than 120 countries run SAP® applications–from distinct solutions addressing the needs of small and midsize enterprises to suite offerings for global organizations. Powered by the SAP NetWeaver® platform to drive innovation and enable business change, SAP software helps enterprises of all sizes around the world improve customer relationships, enhance partner collaboration and create efficiencies across their supply chains and business operations. SAP solution portfolios support the unique business processes of more than 25 industries, including high tech, retail, financial services, healthcare and the public sector. With subsidiaries in more than 50 countries, the company is listed on several exchanges, including the Frankfurt stock exchange and NYSE under the symbol “SAP.” (Additional information at )
(*) SAP defines business software as comprising enterprise resource planning and related applications such as supply chain management, customer relationship management, product life-cycle management and supplier relationship management.