Integration Marks Development Milestone for SkillSoft and SmartForce Merger; Gives Learners Unified Access to Unabridged Content from 3,000+ Books and Off-the-Shelf Courseware
NASHUA, NH – January 7, 2003 – SkillSoft PLC (Nasdaq: SKIL), a leading provider of e-learning courseware and referenceware for business and IT professionals, today announced that its development team had completed integration of Books24x7 Referenceware (SM) content, which includes more than 3,000 unabridged IT and business books and reports, with the MySmartForce e-learning platform. With this integration, those companies licensing both Books24x7 content and the MySmartForce platform can offer learners unified and direct access to e-learning courseware, books, and reports. The integration work is one of the planned development milestones related to SkillSoft’s merger with SmartForce in September 2002.
“This integration work is one of several major integration projects begun shortly after the merger between SkillSoft and SmartForce was finalized in early September,” said Lee Ritze, vice president of marketing and professional services. “Our goal with all of these projects is to give customers the ability to leverage the strengths and assets of the newly combined organization.” According to Ritze, the completion of additional integration projects will be announced early in 2003.
“We know the integration with Books24x7 will be of great value to those customers using MySmartForce,” said John Ambrose, general manager of Books24x7, a subsidiary of SkillSoft. “For instance, a learner taking a course on Java programming fundamentals might want to obtain more information about a particular programming issue. By performing a search of Books24x7, he or she could quickly find a relevant passage in the book ‘Java Database Programming Bible.’ Now the learner can enhance the learning experience by referencing any title in Books24x7 through the MySmartForce e-learning platform.”
Books24x7’s ITPro and BusinessPro libraries include unabridged content from more than 3,000 IT and business books and reports, with 20 to 50 new titles added each week. Books24x7’s unique patent-pending search engine gives users the ability to perform online, multi-tier searches of specific books, as well as the entire collection. The MySmartForce e-learning platform complements the SkillSoft’s IT and business skills libraries by managing and tracking learning activities conducted by learners.
SkillSoft is a leading provider of e-learning courseware and referenceware for business and IT professionals. SkillSoft products and services are designed to accelerate the ability of today’s workforce to master the business and technology skills required for competitive success. The company currently has more than 2,800 corporate customers worldwide and more than 4.5 million licensed users.
SkillSoft focuses on meeting the comprehensive business skills and information technology learning needs of professionals in Global 5000 organizations through a comprehensive range of content-focused, e-learning solutions, including:
Business Skills Library: More than 1,600 courseware and simulation titles encompassing professional effectiveness, management/leadership, project management, sales & customer-facing skills, business strategy/operations, finance, human resources, safety/health and financial services industry. Courses feature strong visual design; a focus on instructional objectives at the application and analysis levels; learner interactivity and reinforcement through RolePlays, SkillSimulations, and case studies; and pre- and post-course assessments with prescriptive learning capabilities.
IT Skills and Certification Library: More than 2,800 course titles encompassing software development, operating systems and server technologies, Internet and network technologies, enterprise database systems, web design, and desktop computer skills. The IT library also supports more than 40 certification programs.
ITPro and Business Pro Referenceware: More than 2,500 unabridged IT and business books and reports are available to online subscribers through SkillSoft’s subsidiary, Books24x7. A unique, patent-pending search engine gives subscribers the ability to perform multi-level searches.
SkillSoft customers include organizations such as: First Union, Clarica (Canada), Fluor Corporation, Verizon, U.S. Army, Deloitte Consulting, Raytheon, IBM, Internal Revenue Service, Lockheed Martin, Microsoft, Army National Guard, Dell Computers, Qwest, Department of Transportation, NEC America, British Telecom and Wells Fargo.
SkillSoft, SkillPort, RolePlay, Search-and-Learn, e-Learning for the Knowledge Economy, NetUniversity, and Accelerated Path are trademarks and/or servicemarks of SkillSoft Corporation. Books24x7.com and Referenceware are servicemarks of Books24x7, Inc. All brand names, trademarks, or registered trademarks are the property of their respective holders.
Safe Harbor: 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 any future results encompassed within the forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include difficulties in integrating the organizations of SmartForce and SkillSoft, competitive pressures, changes in customer demands or industry standards, adverse economic conditions, loss of key personnel, litigation and other matters disclosed under the heading "Risk Factors" in the SkillSoft’s most recent Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q and its proxy statement/prospectus dated August 5, 2002, each as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The forward-looking information provided in this press release represents the company's estimates as of December 2002. We anticipate that subsequent events and developments will cause the company's estimates to change. However, while the company may elect to update this forward-looking financial information at some point in the future, the company specifically disclaims any obligation to do so. This forward-looking information should not be relied upon as representing the company's estimates of its future financial performance as of any date subsequent to the date of this release.