Press Releases & Coverage

SkillSoft Launches Next-Generation Open Architecture Initiative at Perspectives User Conference

Open Learning Services Architecture (OLSA) Aims to Dramatically Simplify Process of Creating Learning Programs That Integrate Multiple Content Types and Learning Services, Improving Flexibility and Speed-to-Learning

LAS VEGAS, May 3, 2005 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- SkillSoft (Nasdaq: SKIL), a leading provider of content resources and complementary technologies for integrated enterprise learning, today announced a groundbreaking architecture initiative that will enable customers to create powerful learning programs that blend multiple types of content resources and learning application services into more seamlessly integrated learning solutions in less time and with less effort than is possible with current systems.

With its announcement of Open Learning Services Architecture (OLSA), SkillSoft becomes the first major provider in the corporate e-learning market to commit significant resources to delivering a service-oriented architecture that leverages existing learning system standards, XML and emerging Web Services standards to deliver advanced learning solutions in flexible and innovative ways to customers using the SkillPort(R) platform and other learning management systems and Web portals.

"Existing learning architectures have focused on integrating small learning objects in creating learning content in the context of a single learning management system," said Mark Townsend, SkillSoft's vice president of technology. "We think it is time to go beyond that and look towards integrating learning systems to create greater value-added learning solutions quicker and with less effort on the part of our customers."

SkillSoft's announcement is in line with emerging technology and market trends, according to Josh Bersin, a leading industry analyst. "Even customers who are happy with their current learning platform often feel constrained by the inability to easily integrate new, valuable learning technologies into their existing systems. Ideally, customers would like to be able to 'mix and match' the best-of-breed features of multiple systems. SkillSoft's OLSA is an important step in delivering to the greater level of open integration needed by many customers."

Work on major elements of OLSA has been underway for several months. First areas of functionality targeted for availability leveraging OLSA are SkillSoft's Search-and-Learn(TM) technology and its Learning Program and KnowledgeCenter(TM) learning structures. The new architecture will provide higher levels of flexibility to the more than 1,200 companies currently using SkillPort. Additionally, the effort will allow customers using third-party learning management systems to access innovative learning content and technologies from SkillSoft. The OLSA initiative is part of a technology leadership vision that SkillSoft will continue to enhance over the next two to three years.

Support for New Content Offerings Highlighted

In a related press release, SkillSoft announced plans for its KnowledgeCenter(TM) portals for IT developers, content-centric portals focused on building and maintaining the skills of Microsoft VB. NET and Visual C#.NET developers. These KnowledgeCenter offerings are first examples of the new, more robust learning products that the new architecture will allow SkillSoft's experienced course development organization to begin producing.

"We are very impressed with SkillSoft's OLSA initiative, particularly the Search-and-Learn capability and the new KnowledgeCenter concept. OLSA will be a critical platform for those of us trying to push the envelope of integration and innovation," said Deloitte National Director, U.S. Education and Development Joe Gibbons, a SkillSoft customer. "We are constantly looking at new ways to deliver learning that will make it more relevant, easier to use and more productive for our practitioners. The line between content and technology has blurred, and the value of the content is often a function of the delivery technology. We look forward to exploring OLSA within Deloitte and accelerating the trend of aligning learning with important strategic initiatives and individual job roles."

Elliott Masie, a recognized authority on e-learning and founder of the e- Learning CONSORTIUM & Learning 2005, noted that OLSA is another important milestone in the ongoing standards movement. "OLSA leverages the progress that has been made to define standards for content objects through SCORM and AICC. It also illustrates why we need to continue evolving standards to support ongoing innovations in our industry."

About SkillSoft

SkillSoft is a leading provider of comprehensive e-learning content and technology products for business and IT professionals within global enterprises. SkillSoft's multi-modal learning solutions support and enhance the speed and effectiveness of both formal and informal learning processes and integrate SkillSoft's in-depth content resources, learning management system, virtual classroom technology and support services.

Content offerings include SkillSoft's business, IT, desktop and compliance courseware collections and BusinessPro(TM), ITPro(TM), OfficeEssentials(TM), FinancePro(TM), EngineeringPro(TM), GovEssentials(TM), ExecSummaries(TM) and ExecBlueprints(TM) collections from Books24x7(R). SkillSoft's complementary technologies include SkillPort(R), the company's learning management system with its powerful Search-and-Learn(TM) technology and premium add-on modules, and SkillSoft(R) Dialogue(TM) virtual classroom, a tool that allows customers to create and deliver effective blended learning programs using custom content and off-the-shelf learning resources. For more information, visit http://www.skillsoft.com.

SkillSoft, the SkillSoft logo, Ahead of the Learning Curve, SkillPort, Search-and-Learn, SkillChoice, Books24x7, Referenceware, ITPro, BusinessPro, OfficeEssentials, GovEssentials, EngineeringPro, FinancePro, ExecSummaries, ExecBlueprints, Express Guide and Dialogue are trademarks or registered trademarks of SkillSoft PLC in the United States and certain other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Content provided is for information purposes only and is subject to change without notice. SkillSoft has no obligation or commitment to develop or deliver any future release, upgrade, feature, enhancement or function described in this press release except as specifically set forth in a written agreement.

This release includes information that constitutes forward-looking statements made pursuant to the safe harbor provision of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Any such forward-looking statements involve risk and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include competitive pressures, changes in customer demands or industry standards, adverse economic conditions, loss of key personnel, litigation and other risk factors disclosed under the heading "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations -- Future Operating Results" in SkillSoft's Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended January 31, 2005, as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The forward-looking statements provided by the Company in this press release represent the Company's views as of May 3, 2005. The Company anticipates that subsequent events and developments may cause the Company's views to change. However, while the Company may elect to update these forward-looking statements at some point in the future, the Company specifically disclaims any obligation to do so. These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing the Company's views as of any date subsequent to the date of this release.

Contact:
     Linda Galloway
     Apollo Associates
     203 790 1591
     lgalloway@apolloassociates.com
 
"Safe Harbor" Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: Statements in this press release regarding SkillSoft Corporation's business which are not historical facts are "forward-looking statements" that involve risks and uncertainties. For a discussion of such risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements, see "Risk Factors" in the Company's Annual Report or Form 10-K for the most recently ended fiscal year.