LMS Madness, and Why I’m Mad

So by now you’ve heard – Blackboard is buying WebCT, and in 18 months or so there will be one uberproduct. We all saw this coming, but still – wow.

Why am I mad? Because the state of Utah just completed a bid process to license and buy support for an LMS to be used at all state schools. And after phone calls and emails with a company who will remain un-named (why do we protect the guilty?) who assured me they would put in a bid to install / configure / support Sakai for the state, today I heard that they never bothered submitting a bid. I could spit I’m so angry. I could have worked with any of a handful of companies to get this OSS solution in the competition, but I naively believed this vendor’s word that they would put in a bid. And now it’s all said and done, and Sakai wasn’t even in the mix. I actually threw something across the room today when I heard.

Our only hope now is that the whole Bb/WebCT conglomerate madness will force the state to reevaluate its position and open another bid. You can bet I’ll be following up a lot closer with the next vendor I choose to encourage to apply. (And since when do businesses need convincing that a statewide, multimillion dollar contract is a thing they should want???)

I’m seeing double.