Partnerships & Alliances (July/August 2020)

The latest training industry mergers, acquisitions, partnerships, and more.

>> Learning Technologies Group plc (LTG), a global leader in the workplace learning and talent industry, entered into an agreement to acquire all intellectual property and assets relating to Blackboard’s Open LMS platform.

>> Cornerstone OnDemand, Inc., a global leader in people development solutions, announced the closing of its acquisition of Saba Software, a global leader in talent experience solutions and a portfolio company of Vector Capital.

>> Totara announced that its owners entered into a purchase agreement with Sydney private equity firm Five V Capital, under which Five V will acquire a majority ownership interest in Totara. Totara builds employee engagement, learning, and performance management technologies that enable large multinational corporations, government entities, and mid-market companies to deliver enterprise-level talent and workforce experiences. The operations and management of Totara will remain unchanged, with Richard Wyles continuing as CEO.

>> Joining forces with blockchain technology developer Velocity Career Labs, 14 industry leaders from across the human capital management (HCM) and education markets came together to launch the Velocity Network Foundation. Together, the vendor-neutral, nonprofit organization will define, deploy, and champion the Velocity Network: a globally accessible, open-source, blockchain-powered “Internet of Careers” that aims to solve some of the most critical challenges for the future of work while addressing the growing need for data privacy and security. Founding members include: Aon’s Assessment Solutions, Cisive, Cornerstone, HireRight, Korn Ferry, National Student Clearinghouse, Randstad, SAP, SumTotal Systems, SHL, Ultimate Software, Unit4, Upwork, Velocity Career Labs, and ZipRecruiter.

>> Torch Leadership Labs, which provides high-impact, premium executive coaching through its online Torch software platform, formed a strategic partnership with Everwise, a learning and development platform that provides employees with peer support, mentoring, and facilitated learning. Now, as one company under the Torch brand, Torch will combine forces to offer an end-to-end suite of leadership learning and development software for executives, employees, and HR leaders. The new combined company will expand tools for employees merging technology, human coaching, social learning, and mentorship for individual employees. 

>> Dale Office Interiors developed a new service and app in partnership with Dutch tech company iotspot to help businesses return their staff to the office safely after the COVID-19 lockdown. The app provides bespoke desk-booking solutions, enabling businesses to safely introduce staff back into the office post-lockdown. The app gives employees the option to view the available space in their office from home and book desk space ahead of time.

>> Grace Hill announced that Kingsley Associates will join it, uniting one of the property management industry’s leading talent performance solutions with one of the real estate industry’s leading customer insights and benchmarks solutions. The resulting offering will enable real estate teams to turn customer insights into clear-cut actions for elevating property performance and reducing risk. 

>> Two of the co-founders of edtech startup Degreed, David Blake and Eric Sharp, launched a new startup named Learn In that pairs education, development, and training for employees with company sabbaticals. With Learn In, companies can offer employees a “learn in”—a sabbatical paired with a top-tier education or training program intended to facilitate professional growth for employees. The Learn In model provides an alternative to the layoffs and furloughs now occurring in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The company launched with seed funding from Album, GSV, and Firework Ventures (a new future-of-work-focused fund). Village Global and angel-investor Michael Levinthal also participated in the round. 

>> Learning solutions company eLearning Brothers acquired industry innovators Trivantis and Edulence. Trivantis developed rapid authoring tool Lectora and virtual reality course builder CenarioVR. Edulence created learning management system (LMS) Knowledgelink.

 >> Capgemini announced a global partnership with Coursera to offer high-quality learning to its employees. Via Capgemini’s new internal digital hub, “NEXT,” employees will gain access to 4,000 courses on the Coursera platform across business, technology, data science, and personal development, taught by top university and industry educators. 

 >> CompTIA, a global leader in training and certifications for technology professionals, and its partner, Learn on Demand Systems, are extending access to eLearning labs from six months to a full year for CompTIA educational partners and their students who are seeking to earn technical certifications from CompTIA and using Official CompTIA Content to prepare. Learn on Demand Systems, a global leader in hands-on live learning, is the exclusive lab provider for Official CompTIA Content curriculum. These labs provide learners the ability to hone their skills in a virtual environment to gain skills and experience necessary for success on CompTIA’s performance-based certification exams and their future job roles.

>> The National Association of State Workforce Agencies (NASWA) launched Meridian Knowledge Solutions’ Meridian LMS (learning management system) as its new learning platform. NASWA is a national organization of state administrators of the publicly funded state workforce system based in Washington, D.C. Their mission is to enhance the ability of state workforce agencies to accomplish their goals and be a leading national advocate for workforce development policy.

>> MindTickle, a leader in sales readiness technology, formed a partnership with Sandler Training, a sales, management, and leadership training organization, providing sales organizations with personalized training to improve customer engagement and drive revenue growth. Sandler Training content for sales and sales managers now can be tailored with a data-driven approach to further develop their skills and readiness, leading to faster time to profitability and ongoing quota attainment.

>> LMS365 formed a partnership with LiveTiles, an intelligent workplace intranet platform for SharePoint, Azure, and Office 365. Joint customers will gain the benefits of a native learning management system that’s built into Microsoft Office 365 and incorporated into their digital workplace. This move brings together two of the largest Microsoft 365 independent software vendors, who collectively help more than 1,700 organizations achieve modern digital workplace and learning experiences within Office 365, SharePoint, and Teams. The partnership brings together LiveTiles’ intelligent workplace capabilities with LMS365’s learning management to extend customers’ Microsoft 365 investments and offer enhanced customization. 

>> Mimeo, a global provider of online managed print and content distribution, formed a strategic partnership with Highfive, a video communication software company, to provide customers with an easy videoconferencing solution alongside their print and digital materials.

>> Turning Technologies acquired Knowbly, an e-learning company known for its interactive authoring tool. With this acquisition, Turning Technologies is poised to expand and accelerate its flagship TurningPoint product to new and existing clients.  

>> Game-based learning platform Kahoot! launched an integration with Microsoft Teams that allows its 75 million daily users to play Kahoot! games simultaneously or at their own pace from directly within Teams. Kahoot! also is launching more functionalities for organizations of all sizes in a new corporate learning platform, Kahoot! 360, targeted toward e-learning, virtual events, employee engagement, internal communications, and remote presentations.

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