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This looks like a wonderful opportunity to jump onboard a real winner of a company. (No...I don't work for them; I don't own any of their stock (yet); my wife, mother, father, son, brother or anyone else I'm related to doesn't work for them, either.)

But...I work for a college that has contracted with eCollege.com to provide the online platform for our courses, and am very impressed by the talent they bring to the table.

This is a young, vigorous company, in a dynamic field. What the profit potential might be is anyone's guess, but...there is money to be made here, of that I am sure.

eCollege.com is based in Denver, CO., and they provide their services for the big universities of that state. Investors may be interested in knowing that the Colorado Commission on Higher Education, back around November 3, 1999, passed some new performance requirments...including distance learning courses (internet and video)will be increased by a minimum of 10% a year until they comprise half of all course listings for the state's 28 colleges and universities.

eCollege is poised to take full advantage of this... and Colorado is not the only state/system to be moving heavily into online education.

I strongly encourage anyone interested in this area to check out eCollege.com, and some of their major competitors (WebCT, BlackBoard, etc.)...

Be sure to visit eCollege.com's web site to get an idea of who they are doing business with...it's impressive.

Just what is their business?

Well, from a layman's point of view...they provide the virtual classrooms used for online education. In the "old model" for higher ed, colleges own their own buildings, and only occassionally rent classroom space. In the "new model" platform providers such as ECLG rent colleges virtual classrooms. This is by far more efficient that each college building its own virtual campus. ECLG makes money by renting individual seats in online classes. Students (or their campuses) pay ECLG up to $45 per credit for each seat in the course.

ECLG has recently developed new partnerships with many colleges previously using other platforms, and stands to greatly expand its income over the next several quarters...especially, I would think, beginning with the Fall Semester of year 2000.

I don't know if any of this helps...but if you are at all interested, be sure to do some foolish "checking."

dogrunner
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I tried to look up"webCt" and Blackboard"..to no avail.Are these public companies? If so, can you provide their ticker symbol?.Thanks.
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I tried to look up"webCt" and Blackboard"..to no avail.Are these public companies? If so, can you provide their ticker symbol?.Thanks.

Missash, webct has not gone public yet. I heard it has merged with another company (i forget the name).
Mary
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WebCT and Blackboard are both private companies but are both far ahead of eCollege in this marketplace as far as user base is concerned. That is not to say however that eCollege is not a good buy as this multi-billion dollar marketplace will be dynamic and chash rich for all companies that survive.

WebCT: WebCT's major investors are Thomson publishing, Chase Manhattan, Meryll Lynch, Bank Boston and SCT Corp among others that are undisclosed. They are being used by some of the biggest online schools in the world such as UCLA, UGA, Berkeley, Stanford, University of Pennsylvania, Yale and so on. It is also being used by Sun Microsystems and a number of other major companies/institutions outide of higher ed such as the US army, but they currently have over 2000 institutions in higher ed using them for online training which is far beyond the numbers that eCollege is seeing. They can be looked at at www.webct.com.

Blackboard: Blackboards major investors are Pearson publishing, Microsoft and KPMG. As you can see, they are also a major player in this market space and have large accounts such as the University of Texas at Austin and University of Denver (eColleges back yard!). They are in head to head competition with WebCT for the locally hosted eLearning market (eCollege is centrally hosted and as a result loses about 90% of the market immediately as most institutions prefer to be self sufficient in order to maintain autonomy) Blackboard also has over a thousand institutions and is being used for coroorate and K-12 institutions as well. Blackboard has also enetered into the business of competing in the campus portal and card systems markets which may prove very lucrative as well. They can be viewed at www.blackboard.com

This market space is one that I would buy into next year as it shakes itself out and some of the big players like WebCT and Blackboard go public. I am watching it like a hawk. The eLearning market is one of the killer aps of the internet age and as a result, many large companies like Oracle, Microsoft and Sun are heavily involved in its future so bank on some big mergers and a lot of activity. Keep your eyes open and you can make a lot of money in this sector! Fools that we are... ; )

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My multi-media specialist is taking both Web CT and Blackboard to use here at our community college. I find his insights useful and he names Blackboard as being the more user friendly.
I sold ecollege for tax purposes and wonder if there is any reason to step back in as their field is being dominated by the private companies?
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The hosted ASP model is one thing that differentiates eCollege from Blackboard and WebCT.
Plus, there revenue per client at $55K is signicantly higher than their competitors. I think good things are ahead. I also like their partnership with Microsoft and standardization on the MS platform.
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Thank you for the information.
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