Blackboard Inc. | October 26, 2021
Anthology, a leading provider of higher education software solutions that support the entire learner lifecycle, and Blackboard Inc., a leading global EdTech software and solutions company, today completed their previously announced merger.By bringing Blackboard and Anthology together, the combination will create the most comprehensive and modern EdTech ecosystem at a global scale for education. The company is uniquely positioned to enable deeper insights about the learner so that institutions can deliver unmatched personalized experiences and outcomes across the full learner lifecycle.
The parent company of the newly combined organization will be Anthology, with the Blackboard name continuing as an integral part of its brand portfolio. The Anthology brand represents the collection of the best and signifies the continued focus on creating the next chapter in EdTech. The company will tap its leading global position -- with more than 150 million users across 80 countries -- and a comprehensive portfolio of innovative solutions, to enable institutions to remove the historical barriers between administrative and learning ecosystems and drive learner and institutional success.
Led by Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jim Milton, a team of top-tier executives has been identified across both organizations to lead the combined company. The company's headquarters will be in Boca Raton, Florida. The company also will maintain its global facility footprint including the main Blackboard office in Reston, Virginia.
"The closing of the transaction represents the next chapter for Anthology and Blackboard as our collective offerings can deliver unmatched personalized experiences and insights across the full learner lifecycle," said Milton. "Our combined broad set of capabilities – including teaching and learning, student information systems, enterprise resource planning, community engagement, student success and student engagement – will provide our clients with a full suite of enterprise-level products and services that enable institutions to not only focus on data-driven decisions but completely transform both student and institutional success."
Clients across higher education, K-12 schools, government and business sectors of the combined companies will benefit from:
Accelerated Investments and Innovation in Current Solutions: Anthology will continue to support the solutions of both companies with key strategic investments and a focus on accelerating innovation. It also will ensure that the various solutions integrate to a heterogeneous EdTech ecosystem.
The World's Largest Modern EdTech Ecosystem and Expanded Portfolio of Solutions: Clients will have access to an expanded product portfolio and global reach to meet institutions' learning and administrative needs.
A Commitment to Privacy, Security and Openness: Ensuring the privacy and security of clients' data is a foundational principle and the combined company will continue to meet the high privacy standards globally. The combined company believes openness is a critical element for innovation and will continue to integrate and connect with other solutions.
"With this combination, Anthology is poised to accelerate the data-driven higher ed ecosystem that the market has been demanding. Under the leadership of Jim Milton and the company's proven senior leadership team, Anthology will serve as an industry force to improve outcomes for students and institutions and ensure the advancement of connected knowledge."
Ramzi Musallam, CEO and Managing Partner of Veritas Capital
The combined entity is majority owned by Veritas Capital ("Veritas"), a longstanding technology investor with a focus on companies operating at the intersection of technology and government. Leeds Equity Partners ("Leeds"), a private equity firm focused exclusively on partnering with companies in the Knowledge Industries, holds a minority stake in the company as well as Providence Equity Partners LLC ("Providence"), Blackboard's previous majority owner.
Milbank LLP acted as legal advisor to Anthology and Veritas. Deutsche Bank served as financial advisor to Blackboard, and Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP acted as legal advisor to Blackboard. Debevoise & Plimpton LLP acted as legal advisor to Providence.
Anthology exists to help higher education advance and thrive using modern cloud technology and services that keep the learner at the forefront. Drawing on a fully connected data experience, Anthology solutions create operational efficiencies, provide intelligence for staff and administrators, and empower institutional leaders to support and guide students on a path to success.
The full suite covers admission and enrollment management; student success and retention; institutional and learning effectiveness; alumni and advancement; and enterprise applications and infrastructure, offering solutions to the challenges facing campuses today. Working with more than 2,000 colleges and institutions in over 30 countries, Anthology is constantly discovering new ways to revolutionize higher education.
Blackboard is a leading EdTech company, serving higher education, K-12, business and government clients around the world. We connect a deep understanding of education with the power of technology to continuously push the boundaries of learning. Our mission is to advance learning together with the world's education community, so that all learners, educators and institutions can realize their goals today and prepare for tomorrow.
About Veritas Capital
Veritas is a longstanding technology investor with a focus on companies operating at the intersection of technology and government. The firm invests in companies that provide critical products, software, and services, primarily technology and technology-enabled solutions, to government and commercial customers worldwide. Veritas seeks to create value by strategically transforming the companies in which it invests through organic and inorganic means.
Leveraging technology to make a positive impact across vitally important areas, such as healthcare, education, and national security, is core to Veritas. We are proud stewards of national assets, improving the quality of healthcare while reducing cost, advancing our educational system, and protecting our nation and allies.
About Providence Equity Partners
Providence Equity Partners is a premier global private equity firm with approximately $45 billion in aggregate capital commitments. Providence pioneered a sector-focused approach to private equity investing with the vision that a dedicated team of industry experts could build exceptional companies of enduring value. Since the firm's inception in 1989, Providence has invested in over 170 companies and is a leading equity investment firm focused on the media, communications, education, software and services industries. Providence is headquartered in Providence, RI, and also has offices in New York and London.
About Leeds Equity Partners
Leeds Equity Partners is a New York-based private equity firm dedicated exclusively to partnering with management teams in the education, training and information services industries (the "Knowledge Industries"). The firm was founded in 1993 and currently manages $3.9 billion of capital across a broad spectrum of companies within the Knowledge Industries. Leeds Equity seeks to leverage its sector-focused expertise and market insights to create long-term value for its partner companies.
Verizon Sourcing LLC | October 28, 2021
Verizon Business today announced new BlueJeans Meetings enhancements, including a bundle of features to support hybrid and remote learning. Available as part of specific BlueJeans Meetings plans, or for education customers at a special discounted rate, the new BlueJeans Remote Learning feature pack allows instructors to build a custom teaching experience without the overhead associated with hosting traditional online classes.
Despite connectivity, education and delivery challenges faced by universities and corporate training leaders at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, teachers and students are realizing the benefits of leveraging remote learning tools for education. Adopting an engaging approach to online teaching could further improve operations and students’ experiences. Intended for the classroom setting, online instruction or corporate learning sessions, BlueJeans’ Remote Learning features focus on making the teacher a central part of the learning environment and provides the opportunity for educators to bring their own unique style into the remote setting.
“Teachers are telling us they’re lost, and they’re struggling to keep students engaged in today’s live virtual setting. Having to spend time playing administrator and technical support expert is minimizing their ability to think through compelling, interactive ways to deliver the curriculum virtually. By bringing together our comprehensive education, collaboration and training features into one consolidated experience, we’re making it easy for teachers to operationalize their learning environment so they can go back to focusing on what matters most—educating students.”
Amy Jefferson, Head of Americas Revenue and Growth, BlueJeans by Verizon
Simplified, Customizable Classroom Management
By turning on the Teacher Dashboard, BlueJeans provides instructors with all the necessary classroom management tools they need in one place, making it easier for educators to navigate the complexities of virtual teaching environments so they can focus on having fun with teaching. Designed to save teachers time from the administrative duties of hosting a virtual class, these tools provide easy access to arrange students in gallery view or spotlight a presenter, share content, chat and so much more.
Furthermore, going beyond “just meeting” virtually, instructors will now have the ability to build a custom teaching experience that is best suited for their lessons, students and teaching style. This dynamic view intelligently arranges participants on screen, giving full visibility to the instructors of everything that’s happening in their classroom.
Inclusive and Engaging Learning Environment
As a core element of effective learning, student engagement has traditionally been harder to unlock in virtual settings. Optimized for student engagement, BlueJeans’ Remote Learning features allow the entire class and instructor to collaborate and engage with the information being discussed. The always accessible chat wizard, breakout sessions, participant reactions, intelligent highlights and multi-participant whiteboard increases opportunities for everyone to engage during a live teaching session. Key Remote Learning features include:
Customizable Layouts: See your entire classroom in one view along with all the tools needed to effectively run and manage your session.
Flexible Views: View the entire class in gallery view or the way you like. Sort the video layout on participation level, alphabetical or in priority of raised hand first.
Student Rosters: Know your audience. Keep track of who is joining the session and who is in the waiting room (if activated).
Floating Chats: Never miss a beat or simply multi-task with the new floating chat wizard. Continue messaging while sharing content, whiteboarding or annotating.
Teaching Apps: Elevate the effectiveness of remote learning sessions with quick access to all the essential teaching applications, such as Collab Board, Breakout Sessions, Polling/Q&A and Smart Meeting highlights.
Verizon Communications Inc. was formed on June 30, 2000 and is one of the world’s leading providers of technology and communications services. Headquartered in New York City and with a presence around the world, Verizon generated revenues of $128.3 billion in 2020. The company offers data, video and voice services and solutions on its award-winning networks and platforms, delivering on customers’ demand for mobility, reliable network connectivity, security and control.
businesswire | January 11, 2021
Protection business Pacific Prime has declared their most recent association with International Education Solutions (IES), a supplier of inventive answers for global schools in the Asia Pacific district.
Pacific Prime has given inclusion to more than 250 worldwide schools and instructive foundations internationally, acquiring specific ability in the area and an inside and out information on its danger scene.
Neil Raymond, CEO and Founder of Pacific Prime, says: “Schools face a growing number of challenges in today’s post-pandemic world, which makes school risk management and insurance solutions a must. As such, we are very excited about working closely with IES and reaching a wider network of schools through them, as well as sharing our best practices.”
Richard Gaskell, CEO and Co-Founder at IES, says: “IES came about through our re-imagining of what international education looks like in the post-pandemic era. Education is not going to go back to the way it was before the pandemic, and we need to evolve our thinking to support schools and parents with a range of blended solutions. We are very proud to have Pacific Prime as our insurance partner.”
About Pacific Prime
Pacific Prime is an award-winning health insurance broker and employee benefits specialist. The brokerage has grown to acquire a global presence over the last two decades, offering best-value insurance products and services to its individual and corporate clients.
International Education Solutions (IES) is a provider of B2B and B2C solutions for international schools. IES is part of the Canadian International Education Organisation (CIEO) group, which operates schools in China, Hong Kong and Thailand that serve more than 20,000 students.