Licensing options

Hi all,

I've sent a question to Blackboard regarding the cost of licensing options but still waiting to hear back

so in the meantime just in case someone here knows..

Isn't there an option to have Collaborate incorporated into your own website, ie. an API?

Is this mega bucks?

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  • Hi, Will.  You ask good questions!

    Collaborate and (previously) Elluminate, from my history with the companies (I was employed full time with Elluminate, and now am part-time with Collaborate), were really built for large-scale implementations rather than individual use.  I'm sure that had a significant impact on many aspects of how the both the program and the sales strategies were developed, since the needs around delivering guaranteed huge numbers of minutes to large-scale institutions who are using the product all day, every day, with students ends up being the most important priorities.

    Unfortunately, that means that the business models of selling to individual customers that some other services employ isn't really Collaborate's niche, and isn't our expertise or priority.  And I'm sure that's frustrating to someone who really likes the capabilities that have been developed in the program!  

    I'm asking some other folks at Collaborate to look at this thread, so that there is an internal understanding of your frustration, and also in case there are responses to it that I'm not aware of.  I do appreciate your contributions here on the network to understand and use Collaborate.

    • I am thinking that the bigger organization focus fits in with understanding the closure of LC. The large organizations usually get their upper level training staff trained by Collaborate trainers and then they take care of support and training in-house from there. Learn-Central attracted some of the instructors in the large organizations, but mostly the smaller ones were active there. If their focus is the larger organizations and those were asked about the benefit of LC, it would make sense that the larger ones wouldn't find LC useful with their own in-house support being seen as providing that for their own people.

      I think LC gave the impression that Elluminate was big on the little guys too because there were so many of us little to medium-sized fish active there. All that activity seemed to show that the largest part of the customer-base were users down near the bottom of the food chain even though it was apparent there were larger fish in the water too.  I think understanding this now and it gives some perspective.

      Some day we will be up there with the big fish because I know what we are doing has a bright and big future. Though, I don't intend to ever have an in-house support attitude. I love to share with the entire community and love mixing with all the fish in the sea. I think the community is a very important part of what makes Elluminate/Collaborate special. It benefits all of us whether we are small or large in the grand scheme of it all. :0)

  • Thanks Tammy, Ouch!!

    • We are at the small organization level. Many, many entrepreneur instructors have come to me over the years and I have given free training to them to help them get started using Elluminate. The vOffice ran about $500 dollars a year which was a perfect level to get a new business run by a single-proprietor off the ground. I am completely baffled at Blackboard's decision to discontinue that level. It was a perfect rung on the ladder for these single-proprietor start ups.

      But then, I have been baffled over and over again by the decisions being made since Blackboard bought Elluminate. The closing of LearnCentral was supposed to have been because a poll showed that customers felt BB should focus on their LMS offering. The thing is LearnCentral Elluminate/Blackboard users were not invited to that poll. We got word after the decision was a done-deal. I think the impression that it gives to the loyal fan-base coming in from Elluminate is that what matters to BB are their LMS customers. This sort of thing happens though. When one corporation buys out another, the purchase was to make the parent company stronger. Sometimes the bumps along the way is that the bought company's fan-base is ignored compared to feeling very important like they did before the buy-out. I have seen it at Adobe too. If you are in the market for an LMS it can be a great combination within the single company (Blackboard Learn or CourseSItes plus Blackboard Collaborate). You can feel right at home being assimilated. ;0)

      Anyone reading this thread that is in the market for an LMS, take a look at the Collaborate/CourseSites combination. You can get a free 30-seater (maybe that was 20-seater) Collaborate online classroom and up to three course's for free.  The two are integrated tightly, you cannot get in to Collaborate without going through the CourseSite's course page. For an instructor wanting to use this with students though, it is a great opportunity. It isn't as good a fit if you are not using it as a teacher or if you already have an established website or LMS other than a Blackboard offering.

  • As far as I know, there is the vClass level that is about $2000/yr. This would be your department level or small organization level offering. It is one room that is shared by the people on the organization. It is multi-moderator so that everyone can log in with their own customizable log in. You don't get access to the server backside. I don't think there are any significant APIs for this one. Even the Moodle API is designed for server-side access that is only available at the next level up.

    Server side access level is about $15,000/yr level. This is aimed at larger organizations and the people in the organization get their own assigned rooms instead of needing to share one room. The APIs that I am aware of are at this level.

    They used to have a vOffice level, but that was discontinued. I am under the impression that people who were already using the vOffice level before it was discontinued are being given the opportunity to renew for another year so they have time to adjust to the level being discontinued.

    • Tammy, can you please tell me how many students a $15,000/yr cover?

      I'm trying to understand how much it will cost to have a site-wide license for 2K or 10K students.


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