Earlier this month, I was invited to attend the annual Anthology/Blackboard conference, entitled Anthology Together. This was my first time attending an Anthology or a Blackboard conference. The conference took place at the Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort in Orlando (Florida) from July 11th to July 14th, 2022 and had about 2,200 total attendees. I must say that the attendees were happy to be at the conference and being back out in the world.
While attending presentations and meeting new and old connections, the name of the conference (Anthology Together) kept reminding me of the post we did on the merger announcement, especially about how the two companies would be able to leverage their user base to upsell the other products.
During the course of the conference, Anthology released three press releases on its vision for an integrated ecosystem, new adoption statistics for Blackboard Learn Ultra and an update on their client base. In this post, we would like to offer more ListEdTech statistical insights on these press releases.
Anthology’s Intelligent Experiences
At the time of Anthology Together, Anthology announced a “new product vision to enhance student success, support institution goals by connecting data to deliver meaningful insights.” It is called Intelligent Experiences (iX). “The Anthology iX approach will create interactive moments by breaking down data silos and combining insights across critical systems to inform more relevant engagement between staff, faculty and learners.”
One thing Anthology mentioned was how data can help students succeed. During the presentation, Anthology emphasized that Intelligent Experiences (iX) could potentially be used by students to understand their study journey better. If we push the idea further, imagine if students could see how they compare to others. We are not talking about hallway conversations but rather access to see how your grades/participation/progression/output compares to others in the classroom or even across all course sections. This gets even more important when online classes are involved.
Anthology Expanded Partnerships with its Clients
Anthology also explained in another press release that more than 200 higher education institutions, K-12 school districts, and business and government organizations had deepened their partnerships with Anthology since the company merged with Blackboard last October.
When gathering new data on Anthology’s products, we noticed that the upselling strategy employed by Anthology since the merger seems to work. As shown below, we see several Institutions adding new products.
At the conference, Anthology announced that it has over 4,000 customers in the HigherEd sector. In the ListEdTech database, we have data on 3,575 clients (89% of Anthology’s client base). This number surpasses our objective to gather 80% of the product implementations for each product and company.
Blackboard Learn Ultra
Anthology was also proud to announce “a 46 percent increase in the number of courses designed using Blackboard Learn Ultra, and a 30 percent increase in the number of institutions deploying Learn Ultra courses, year over year.”
ListEdTech’s numbers show that these important augmentations are in fact mostly product upgrades, not new sales. The numbers of courses designed using Blackboard Learn Ultra is simply the consequence of having more users on this platform.
During one of my meetings, I learned that cloud implementations now represent over 85% of all active Blackboard implementations. In our database, our numbers indicate 75%. We can explain this discrepancy by the way we gather our data. Since we can only confirm institutions with direct links to the product, our numbers will always be lower.
Disclosure: Anthology is a subscriber of ListEdTech’s portal. This post represents ListEdTech’s data and opinion. Anthology was not implicated in this post’s writing.