E-learning firm aims at government

Responding to government agencies' growing demand for e-learning solutions, Blackboard Inc. recently launched a government solutions group.

Blackboard, based in Washington, D.C., offers a suite of enterprise software products and services that support an "e-education infrastructure" for schools, colleges, universities and other education providers, said James Watt, manager of the government solutions group. The new group was announced Nov. 15 but government solutions have been a company focus since January. Watt said the group will serve federal, state and local agencies seeking to provide online education programs for their employees.

Currently, the group has two full-time employees but draws on Blackboard's marketing team, sales engineers and technical support staff as necessary. Adding more full-time workers is on the agenda and could be done before the end of the year, Watt said.

Blackboard is a member of the PricewaterhouseCoopers team that is leading the eArmyU program (www.earmyu.com). The Agriculture Department, the U.S. Courts and the state of Mississippi also are clients.

The Coast Guard has signed on since the government solutions group was formally announced, and additional federal customers will be added by the end of the year, Watt said.

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