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Anthology + Blackboard: What This Means for You?

Client webinar walks through merger strategy and looks ahead to the future

The newly combined entity of Anthology and Blackboard—united under the Anthology brand—launched their first joint client webinar to discuss the client benefits to the recent merger, as well as looking ahead to the many new innovation opportunities.

Chairman and CEO of the expanded organization, Jim Milton, was joined by a panel of leaders and product experts from both legacy organizations. Moderator Dr. Mirko Widenhorn, senior director of engagement strategy for Anthology, hit on the most frequently asked questions that have arisen since the merger was first announced, while also fielding new questions from the webinar’s more than 500 live attendees who participated via the company’s virtual classroom solution, Blackboard Collaborate.

“Thinking about the cross-solution innovation that can occur… we really share the vision of what the future can be like,” said Chief Product Officer JD White, Ph.D. when expanding on the main strategy behind the merger, which all parties agree will accelerate the combined mission of driving institutional and learner success. “The connection point between workflows and capabilities between the toolsets is the thing that gets me most excited—how that might impact and personalize the [student] experience and really propel learning and education forward. This is where we can touch the lives of millions and really begin to evolve those experiences.”

The panel went on to confirm the astounding—and fortunate—fact that between the two legacy organizations’ 40+ products, there is little to no overlap. The teaching and learning tools within Blackboard’s expansive catalog provide critical technology to support blended and online instruction at an institution, while Anthology’s wide-ranging solutions supply operational efficiencies, engagement and assessment tools, as well as a deep well of actionable insights geared toward institutional and student success. Bringing these facets together and deriving even deeper insights into the learner’s experience is what Anthology envisions for the future of its product roadmap.

The enthusiasm for future possibilities was palpable but, no one was forgetting the “today” in this equation. When asked what the merger means for current clients, the resounding message across the board was they should expect business as usual, even while the company is working toward bringing new tools and features to life.

“Much of our focus is going to be continuity and the fundamentals of what we offer—we remain committed to delivering on our current product roadmap,” promised Vice President of Product Management Jim Chalex. “There is a ton of energy around understanding what our plan is for these products and what we can do as a combined organization to have it go even faster, getting many more people using them and getting great value from them.”

Additional questions touched on the anticipated integration between products, the status of the upcoming user conferences planned for July 2022, and confirming that there is no shift in either company’s mission, but a doubling down on both.

“At the core of what we do, we like to think of the student,” said Milton. “Our raison d’etre, our reason for existence, is to help you—the institution—transform lives.”

Current customers can reach out to their customer engagement manager for access to the recorded webinar as well as a list of answers to additional questions that were posed in the chat during the live session.

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