Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Will Oracle acquire Blackboard?

With all the application suite strengthening and Oracle posting a bold Q1 results (30%). Its time to look towards the Educational Institutions and Software.


No long stories, this is pretty simple. A lot of countries are laying deeper emphasis on education. All around the world. Not just US, Europe but just about everywhere. And there is enough market to capitalize. Yet. Oracle can be a very aggressive player and we all know it.

I browsed and saw this interesting post from Rob Reynolds. And this was in Jan 2005. Much before the Blackboard+WebCT merger. See for yourself what this mix-n-match has to say.

But yet again, we're just musing here, right? Right?

Here's some company and culture mergers that might be interesting to see in higher education this year (and please note -- I don't actually expect any of these to really happen):

1. BlackBoard and WebCT -- Wow, wouldn't this be interesting? The clash of cultures is pretty great here although recent surveys show that users view the companies' products as being pretty much the same and as having the same problems. In my book, this may be the only way for these two companies to survive. Unless, that is, Oracle decides to buy BlackBoard too.
2. University of Phoenix and Harvard -- To this I say, why not? The world's largest university and the world's most prestigious. For-profit and private. Talk about a clash of cultures. And think of the cash flow!
3. RedHat and Sakai -- Now we're getting a little more serious. This wouldn't be an actual company merger as RedHat would be to Sakai as it is to Linux -- distributor and provider of commercial services. But, as we've seen with the Linux community, there is a clash of cultures between commercial and open source, even when they are working towards similar goals.
4. Adobe and SafariX -- Finally, why don't we get our collective e-document acts together and have a really good open e-book platform that addresses the developing needs for portability and tight integration with other learning platforms? You probably can't get there from here, at least not with these two groups, but why not give it a try? You never can tell what you might get when you mix things together.

With Microsoft working pretty hard on their Sharepoint and secretly doing presentation in all current Blackboard shops. There will soon be time to look for a bigger umbrella. Read the complete mix-n-match post here.

Like a very good friend of mine says "Cross breeding is good for the genes!"

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