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Blackboard Inc. and IBM Enter Strategic Relationship to Develop Cognitive Solutions and Manage Infrastructure Operations

ARMONK, N.Y. and WASHINGTON, June 29, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Blackboard Inc. and IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced a collaborative agreement for IBM to manage Blackboard's datacenters and cloud infrastructure. The two companies will also work together to develop innovative educational solutions, taking advantage of IBM Watson's cognitive computing technology and Blackboard's broad capabilities suite.

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Under the agreement, IBM will manage much of Blackboard's technology infrastructure, including the company's 28 global data centers and its existing public cloud footprint.  IBM will also provide support for Blackboard's expanding use of the public cloud. Blackboard will leverage IBM's expertise and software to offer customers some of the most flexible, reliable, security-rich and resilient environments available.

"Working with Blackboard builds on our ongoing commitment to education, to learning, and to creating an environment where our clients can continue to focus on developing innovative solutions to the challenges faced by educators," said Philip Guido, IBM General Manager of Global Technology Services for North America. "By working with us in this transformative journey, Blackboard is accelerating its ability to deliver agile solutions via the cloud that enhance the educational experience."

In addition, IBM will also work with Blackboard to migrate its applications from its datacenters to the public cloud.  This will lead to continuously improving service for Blackboard customers and enable Blackboard to more rapidly develop and deliver comprehensive learning, collaboration and communication capabilities to improve the educational experience for teachers, administrators, learners and their families.

"I'm excited by the new opportunities working with IBM will bring to Blackboard customers," said Blackboard Chairman, CEO and President Bill Ballhaus. "We will continue to focus on what we do best – delivering the best educational technologies and solutions that benefit learners – while we work with IBM to help ensure our customers' systems are  protected and secure.  At the same time, this broad agreement enables us to expand our service into new markets, and develop cutting-edge technologies together with IBM Watson."

IBM and Blackboard will work collaboratively to develop cognitive educational solutions utilizing the capabilities of both companies to advance learner success. The companies will combine Blackboard's expertise in developing innovative education products used by millions of people around the world with the power of IBM Watson's cognitive computing technology. The new solutions will offer greater support for teachers and students to address their collaborative needs in the classroom and help students complete and achieve their educational goals.

IBM will also add Blackboard solutions to its portfolio of education offerings. IBM has assisted education institutions in transforming their student experience and outcomes using cloud, analytics and social products and services. Blackboard offerings will become a key part of IBM's capabilities to support client's transformation agendas.

Learn more about Blackboard and IBM's innovative work to inspire the world to learn at BbWorld 2016. BbWorld is one of the largest annual education technology conferences in the world, bringing together educators, administrators and industry thought leaders to network, share successes and challenges, and build action plans addressing critical education needs. This year's conference will take place July 12–14 at The Venetian in Las Vegas, NV.

About Blackboard Inc.

Blackboard is the world's leading education technology company. We challenge conventional thinking and advance new models of learning in order to reimagine education and make it more accessible, engaging and relevant to the modern-day learner and the institutions that serve them. In partnership with our customers and partners in higher education and K-12 as well as corporations and government agencies around the world, our mission is to help every learner achieve their full potential by inspiring a passion for lifelong learning. For more information about Blackboard, follow us on Twitter @Blackboard

About IBM

For more information about IBM, visit:

D'Anthony White, Blackboard Inc.

Scott Cook, IBM

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SOURCE Blackboard Inc.; IBM

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