Partnership with Beida-Online, Affiliate of Peking University, Designed to Bring Business Skills e-Learning to Chinese Business Market
NASHUA, N.H., Jan 14, 2002 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- SkillSoft Corp. (Nasdaq: SKIL), a leading provider of e-learning courseware and ReferenceWare for business and IT professionals, today announced the release of 27 business skills courses localized for the Chinese market and covering areas such as project management, customer service, and leadership. The ongoing localization initiative is the result of SkillSoft's strategic alliance agreement with Beida-Online, a joint venture of Peking University and Jade Bird Group, a major Chinese IT company. Under the agreement, Beida-Online, which is headquartered in Beijing, has distribution rights to all SkillSoft courses and other products in China.
Localizing courses for use by Chinese corporations involves translation from English to Mandarin and incorporation of appropriate imagery and examples relevant to the Chinese market. Localization work is shared by Beida-Online, which handles all development work, and SkillSoft, which provides the development tools, methodology, and quality assurance. Plans call for a significant number of SkillSoft's 1,000-plus business skills courses to be localized for the Chinese market over the calendar year.
"Chinese businesses are eager to learn more about business. Our company sees e-learning as an efficient way to help Chinese businesses of all sizes learn the business skills required to compete in today's global business market," said Ni Jinlei, president and CEO of Beida-Online. "We evaluated other e-learning content vendors as potential partners and chose SkillSoft because of its extensive course library and excellent industry reputation."
In addition to SkillSoft courses, Beida-Online also offers its own courses, developed through the use of information resources available through Peking University, China's oldest and most prestigious university. China's largest web-based training provider for professionals and businesses, Beida-Online counts among its customers Lexmark (China), Industrial Bank of China, and Ping An Insurance. In a recent survey conducted by the China Internet Statistics Center, a majority of respondents predicted that on-line training would be the biggest Internet business in China, outpacing on-line shopping and B2B commerce.
One of the largest in the industry, the SkillSoft business skills library encompasses areas such as such as management, leadership, communication, project management and customer service, as well as business subjects such as e-commerce, finance, marketing, sales, and strategy. SkillSoft courses were among the first to be designed purely for web-based delivery. Incorporation of learning object architecture and job aids into each course gives learners the ability to search and find the specific information required for "just-in- time" job performance support. SkillSoft's library currently contains more than 12,000 learning objects -- self-contained sections of information about specific topics requiring about five- to ten-minutes of learner time -- and 2,500 job aids such as checklists, outlines, and samples.
"We are very proud of our partnership with Beida-Online. Beida's belief in the business value of web-based training is a perfect match to our own philosophy. They also share a similar commitment to quality," said Chuck Moran, president and CEO of SkillSoft. "As companies throughout the world begin to compete on a global scale, the demand for business skills training will continue to foster the widespread adoption of e-learning."
With more than two million user seats, SkillSoft is a leading provider of comprehensive, integrated e-learning solutions for Global 2000 companies and government organizations. Customers receive comprehensive learning and performance support solutions for their workforce through SkillSoft's business skills library, comprised of more than 1,000 courses for global business markets, of which over 550 are in U.S. English. The library, which also includes more than 12,000 learning objects and 2,500 job aids, encompasses a wide array of business skills, such as management, leadership, communication, project management and customer service, as well as business subjects such as e-commerce, finance, marketing, sales, and strategy. SkillSoft complements SkillSoft courses with SkillSimulations, Web-based simulations designed to reinforce skills newly acquired through specific courses. SkillSoft courses can be managed and tracked through SkillPort, an e-learning management platform that offers rapid implementation at a cost-efficient price point, or through third-party learning management systems.
SkillSoft recently acquired Books 24x7, which offers subscription clients detailed online searches to more than 1,700 unabridged IT and business books. Books24x7's patent-pending technology platform gives users the ability to perform multi-tier searches of the company's ReferenceWare lines: ITPro, BusinessPro and OfficeEssentials.
Additional information about SkillSoft is available by calling (603) 324-3000.
SkillSoft, SkillPort, RolePlay, Search-and-Learn, SkillSimulation, and ReferenceWare are trademarks of SkillSoft Corp. All brand names, trademarks, or registered trademarks are the property of their respective holders.
Safe harbor language: This release includes information that constitutes forward-looking statements made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions 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 competitive pressures, changes in customer demands or industry standards, adverse economic conditions, loss of key personnel, litigation and other matters disclosed under the heading "Future Operating Results'' in the Company's most recent Report on Form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The forward-looking information provided by the Company in this press release represents the Company's estimates as of November 2001. 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.