Spending on LMS Will Grow to More Than $1.8 Billion in 2013 

Bersin & Associates, a provider of research-based membership programs in human resources (HR), talent and learning, announced new research that estimates global spending on learning management systems (LMS) will grow 10.4 percent to more than $1.8 billion in 2012-2013—down from the growth rate of 14.7 percent in 2011-2012.  

 “The LMS market continues to be one of the most complex and dynamic in the industry and, with over 500 providers, buyers need help more than ever before,” said Josh Bersin, chief executive officer and president of Bersin & Associates. “This annual study delivers a combination of detailed data and practical wisdom that makes it the definitive guide through this market maze.”  

Summarized in a Bersin & Associates complimentary WhatWorks brief, “Learning Management Systems: Finding Your Way Through the Maze,” the findings show that despite on-going consolidation in the market, customers find it an increasingly complex and difficult market to navigate.  

The Learning Management Systems 2013 report is a foundational part of Bersin & Associates’ Learning & Development Practice. The study found that as features commoditize and providers multiply, with growing numbers of easy-to-implement Software as a Service (SaaS)-based systems and flexible pricing models, LMS buyers face an extensive number of available choices and differentiating providers grows harder even though basic functionality is fairly common.  

Other critical insights that leaders need to consider:

  • Slower market growth and the commoditization of LMS features make this a buyer’s market. Much of the overall growth of the 2012 global LMS market is coming from outside of North America and in small and midsize companies. Between 2012 and 2013, the study predicts relative growth will slow to 10.4 percent from a relative growth rate of 14.7 percent in 2011-2012. Slow growth of the global economy, saturation of the market for large and global enterprises, a proliferation of providers with easy-to implement SaaS-based systems and flexible pricing models will contribute to a slowing of growth. These factors, along with the commoditization of LMS features, will give buyers an edge in this market.
  • This is a global market with no clear leaders. With more than 500 providers worldwide, none of whom has greater than nine percent market share, emerging providers may have similar or greater capabilities than market leaders. A buyer no longer needs to stick with a major global provider. A buyer may find the right solution in their own backyard.
  • New social capabilities are reinventing the learning management market. Nearly half of large organizations are purchasing social platforms at the departmental level to learn about them and to test their effectiveness. These social capabilities are not yet integrated into mainstream platforms. Organizations that understand the most effective social applications for their strategy will be best equipped to evaluate next-generation providers as they integrate these capabilities. 

The full report, Learning Management Systems 2013: The Definitive Buyer’s Guide to the Global Market for Learning Management Solutions, is available for $1,995 for a PDF. For more details go to www.bersin.com/lms

Mobile Messaging to Nearly Double in 5 Years

A new report from analyst firm Juniper Research forecasts that global mobile messaging traffic will reach 28.2 Trillion annually by 2017, nearly double the 14.7 trillion messages that will be sent this year, 2012. (“Mobile messages” = SMS, MMS, IM, email, RCS/RCS-e and social media messages.)  

Growth in total traffic will be primarily driven by the use of instant messaging services, which will comprise over a quarter of all traffic annually in five years’ time according to Juniper’s analysts. So-called OTT (over-the-top) services such as eBuddy, iMessage, Nimbuzz and Whatsapp are already having an impact on mobile network operators’ messaging businesses, as smartphone owners find instant messaging a cheaper alternative.  

Nevertheless, revenues from traditional operator services—SMS and MMS—will continue to dwarf those of instant messaging. Many IM services are operated by hardware vendors and Internet brands driving consumers to their primary products, while those that are monetized directly are reliant on in-app advertising.  

Other key findings:

  • RCS/RCS-e deployments face a number of challenges despite positive early movement.
  • SMS traffic will remain the largest type of messaging traffic as mobile subscribers continue to embrace its ubiquity, reach and reliability.
  • Social messaging and email will also add to the momentum toward IP messaging.  

Download free whitepaper at www.juniperresearch.com/reports/mobile_messaging_markets

John Wiley to Buy Online Education Company Deltak for $220M 

Publisher John Wiley & Sons is buying online education provider Deltak.edu for $220 million to diversify its offerings and speed up its digital learning strategy. 

Privately held Deltak.edu, LLC, is based in Chicago and had $54 million in revenue for fiscal 2012. The company works with colleges and universities to develop and support online degree and certificate programs. Its more than 300 employees will join John Wiley & Sons Inc. after the deal is complete. 

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John Wiley & Sons, based in Hoboken, New Jersey, said that the buyout is expected to close by the end of the month. In September 2012, the company reported that its fiscal first-quarter net income dropped 29 percent, hurt by the effects of unfavorable exchange rates and restructuring costs. 

New List of Top 20 Most Popular LMS Software Solutions 

Moodle is the most popular learning management system in the world, according to a report from Capterra. The list, measured by total customers, active users, and overall online presence, lists the top 10 most popular LMSsEdmodo, Blackboard, SumTotal Systems, and Skillsoft round out the top five. Rankings are also broken down by academic and corporate users. 

Capterra says that Edmodo leads in total customers (100,000), while Moodle is first in overall users (60 million). Edmodo also has the most Twitter followers (19,800) and Facebook friends (17,700), while Blackboard is most popular on LinkedIn (6,800 users).  

The Top 20 Most Popular LMS Software Solutions

© 2012 Capterra, Inc.

Blackboard CEO Steps Down  

Michael L. Chasen has announced that he will step down as president, CEO, and director of Blackboard Inc. at the end of 2012. Chasen will be replaced by Jay Bhatt, currently president and CEO of Progress Software. 

Chasen co-founded Blackboard in 1997 and oversaw the company’s rapid growth from just a handful of employees and a few clients to a workforce of more than 3,000 that now serves tens of thousands of clients worldwide. Chasen also oversaw the successful completion of more than 20 acquisitions and the company’s transition back to private ownership in 2011 after its acquisition by Providence Equity Partners for $1.7 billion. In the last year Chasen has led a number of strategic initiatives including the merger with Edline, a leading provider of complementary K-12 technology solutions, and the launch of a new focus on open source supported by the acquisitions of Moodlerooms and NetSpot.

 “I’ve had an incredible experience at Blackboard, and I’m extremely proud of the work we’ve done to support education,” said Chasen. “We’ve been focused on expanding the vision for how Blackboard can support clients and positioning the company for growth, including a concentrated effort to build the company’s internal infrastructure in the last year. With that vision now coming into focus and our infrastructure in place, now is a good time to bring onboard a new CEO to help the company take the next steps to capitalize on the global education opportunity.” 

“Michael has done a wonderful job in creating and growing Blackboard, and the leadership position he created for Blackboard was the primary reason Providence Equity Partners was attracted to the company and acquired it last year,” said Steve Alesio, chairman of Blackboard’s Board of Directors. “We are fortunate to have Jay, with his exceptional experience in the software industry and track record of innovation and leadership, join us to lead Blackboard into its next chapter of growth. He shares Blackboard’s commitment to excellence, and we are excited to work with him to continue to innovate and provide top quality software and solutions to the rapidly evolving education space.” 

Bhatt recently announced that he would step down in December as president, CEO, and director of Progress Software, a publicly traded global software company. Before joining Progress, Bhatt served as senior vice president of Autodesk Inc., where he ran the global architecture, engineering and construction solutions business, and prior to that he was responsible for Autodesk’s Corporate Development, Business Development and Strategic Planning. Bhatt joined Autodesk in 2001 when it acquired Buzzsaw.com, a cloud-based software company where Bhatt served as chief financial officer and head of corporate and business development.  

“I’m honored to join such a talented company and to lead the next phase of Blackboard’s growth,” said Bhatt. “Blackboard has an excellent team and a committed global customer base. Education is a passion of mine, and there is a tremendous opportunity for technology to continue to improve and extend education globally. I’m excited to help Blackboard expand its support of institutions and organizations that are pursuing this important mission.” 

For more information about Blackboard, please visit http://www.blackboard.com.