Emerging Trends in LMS / Ed Tech Market

Phil Hill, Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment, Aug 09, 2011
Commentary by Stephen Downes

“. . . [Blackboard’s] position of being a safe bet is now gone, they are picking up only a handful of new LMS clients, while they are losing hundreds of LMS clients per year. The theme behind these observations is that Blackboard’s future prospects ‘are having and will have a major impact on the overall LMS and educational technology market, affecting educational customers as well as technology vendors and their investors. If you misread Blackboard’s strategic direction, you might misread the upcoming changes in the educational technology market.’ ”

Put another way, as Lou Pugliese commented in a post by Michael Feldstein on the LMS Market – ‘Typical disruptive markets (Clay Christiansen) are repeatable events exist where (a) over-served customers consume a product or service but don’t need all its features or functionality (b) there is broad based industry concern about the effective use of overly complex, expensive products and services (c) features that are not valued and therefore are not used and (d) decreasing price premiums for innovations that historically created value but in the current market are now irrelevant. The street will eventually see it this way no matter how you NPV a business’s customer base. . . . I would argue that there is an exact parallel here and the education market is not immune to the same disruption experienced in other markets.’ “

“What I believe we are seeing in 2011 is a transition to a market no longer dominated by Blackboard and other players’ reactions to Blackboard. This new market that is emerging will look quite different from the market we have seen for the past 6 – 8 years, and we should no longer view this as an evolving market, but instead view it as a market being disrupted, with new competitors and new dynamics.” . . .
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