Business Headlines

Blackboard Launches New, Expanded Corporate Partnership Program

WASHINGTON, Oct 27, 2008 /via PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX News Network/ -- Blackboard Inc. (Nasdaq: BBBB), a leading provider of educational enterprise technology, announced today the launch of the Blackboard Alliance Program(TM), a new partnership program that will expand opportunities for partners to work with Blackboard and support its user community.

Currently, Blackboard counts more than 130 commercial partners that have developed more than 150 different products in addition to hundreds of other academic and open source applications that have helped members of Blackboard's user community customize and enhance their Blackboard(R) platform. The products range from lesson capture tools to lesson planning software to technical services, and are available to Blackboard users through the Company's Web site as well as from individual partners.

The Blackboard Alliance Program will establish three new partner levels-in addition to the Blackboard Building Blocks(R) program-offering new and existing partners a range of opportunities to work more closely with Blackboard to bring their solutions to market.

"We are excited about the potential for this program to dramatically improve collaboration in our partner community and ultimately benefit the millions of learners, instructors and administrators who use Blackboard solutions every day," said Matthew Small, Chief Business Officer at Blackboard.

The Blackboard Alliance Program expands on the success of the long standing Blackboard Building Blocks program, which includes the Blackboard Developers Network(TM) (BbDN) program, comprised of more than 2,000 commercial and academic members who have developed hundreds different extensions and customizations for the Blackboard platform.

Blackboard also announced charter partners at each of the program's new levels, including:

  -- Blackboard Strategic Partner(TM): Dell(TM) and Presidium Learning Inc.
  -- Blackboard Premier Partner(TM): Echo360(TM) and Wimba Inc(R).
  -- Blackboard Signature Partner(TM): SoftChalk LLC(TM) and Respondus, Inc.

The unique structure of the program provides partners with new opportunities to target specific markets served by Blackboard, including the higher education, K-12, international and corporate and government markets. Partners at various levels will benefit from increased technical support, customized Blackboard events packages, access to Blackboard marketing and sales resources and integration into Blackboard product distribution channels.

"SoftChalk is very proud to be a charter partner in the new Blackboard Alliance Program," said Sue Evans, CEO and co-founder of SoftChalk, a company that specializes in software to support lesson planning by teachers. "We have worked closely with Blackboard for many years, and we expect that the new program will enable us to more effectively reach and support teachers and instructors."

"Our partnership with Blackboard allows us deliver our offering in a new way, so that we provide not only campus wide lecture capture to institutions but also personalized convenience to faculty members who can turn their office, home or class into an academic studio at the click of a mouse," said Fred Singer, CEO of Echo360.

For more information about the Blackboard Alliance Program, please visit For more information about Blackboard, please visit

About Blackboard Inc.
Blackboard Inc. (Nasdaq: BBBB) is a global leader in enterprise technology and innovative solutions that improve the experience of millions of students and learners around the world every day. Blackboard's solutions allow thousands of higher education, K-12, professional, corporate, and government organizations to extend teaching and learning online, facilitate campus commerce and security, and communicate more effectively with their communities. Founded in 1997, Blackboard is headquartered in Washington, D.C., with offices in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia.