By guest blogger Kevin Connors
In an effort to provide more personalized and more effective student support services, Blackboard has acquired Perceptis, a leading online student help desk provider.
While financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, this marks Blackboard’s second purchase of the year after previously acquiring MyEdu, a startup that designs and provides user-friendly platforms for learning management systems. At the time of that purchase, MyEdu had already raised $20 million in venture capital funds.
The acquisition of Perceptis, meanwhile, is meant to enhance Blackboard’s ability to provide timely, 24-7, year-round IT support to students. The Greenville, S.C.-based help desk provider already serves over 1.4 million students throughout the U.S., and together, Blackboard and Perceptis will provide services to students at more than 500 institutions.
While Blackboard has provided help desk services in the past, schools that contract with Blackboard believe the addition of Perceptis will improve the student experience online. In a press release, Gloria McCall, vice president at Kentucky Community and Technical College System, says the acquisition highlights Blackboard’s “commitment to being first in class” in online support services.
Blackboard’s educational tools are currently used in 75 percent of colleges and universities, as well as half of K-12 districts. Yet with increasing competition in the ed-tech sector, the company’s recent deals for MyEdu and Perceptis reflect a recognition that they must continually provide greater value to the schools they contract with, and ultimately, better experiences for the students who use the platform.
Much like a major league baseball team that trades for extra starting pitching before a big playoff run, Blackboard has added Perceptis and MyEdu to try to stay ahead of its competitors and provide timely support to students who need access to reliable online coursework and studies.