March 2008

Corporate News

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NIIT enters China

As part of an MoU, NIIT will work closely with the Wuxi government to develop human capital for the emerging IT industry, in the region.

NIIT has also signed another  MoU with Wuxi New District with similar objectives for the district. Through these partnerships, NIIT will set up IT training centres and offer  its industry training programmes,  while the Wuxi government will  provide support for enabling preferential policies at national, provincial and municipal levels.

Indian publishing major MBD to provide customised
e-Content

Publishing house MBD group will invest INR 100 crore (USD25 million) within the next three years to develop customised educational e-Contents for schools, corporate houses and those preparing for competitive examinations. The new initiative would function under the banner of MBD Alchemie. 

“We have already invested nearly INR 30 crore in the last eight months and would invest an additional INR 100 crore within the next three years. From a product-based company, we are reinventing ourselves as a service company,” says Monica Malhotra Kandhari, senior director of MBD group. 

E-learning is considered to be the future in delivering content. According to an estimate, the e-Learning market was about USD7 billion in 2004 and is expected to touch USD28 billion by the end of the current year.

The company will create customised services for well-defined verticals such as content business, technology in education, teacher training modules, campus solutions, retail and technology services among others. The content would be provided through an interactive web portal. It will be a knowledge portal but will be excellent on its user interface, navigation and high level of interactivity. IBM would provide technology support, as agreed under the new partnership between the two industry giants.

“In future IBM will also promote MBD Alchemie services both in India and abroad through our huge network,” says Ramesh Narasimhan of IBM. Students, executives and those preparing for competitive exams could log in and register their name. They could avail services round the clock as per their requirement and convenience. Students can ask questions directly to an expert, interact with teachers and take part in a mock test to hone their skill and capability.

Microsoft India opens Tech Lab at IIT Madras
Microsoft India has inaugurated a technology laboratory at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras (IITM). The IITM Microsoft Windows Technologies Lab has been envisaged as a hub that will harness innovations through research, and provide a  platform for faculty and students to leverage the platform for a variety of research and trainings. T.A Gonsalves, head of CSE, and Will Poole, vice president of Microsoft, inaugurated the laboratory.

The laboratory will offer MS technology for the faculty and students to work with. In addition to helping students with their B Tech and M Tech projects, as well as MS and PhD research, the laboratory will have experts from Microsoft visit the institution  regularly to conduct seminars and workshops. The company envisages  that an integration of research and innovation will in the long term  enable incubations from the Institute  and beyond.

Compiere opens new development center in India

Compiere, which sells open source business products, has announced the opening of a product development center in Noida, India, located near the capital of New Delhi.

The company says the new development center is needed for its recent growth in “capabilities, skills and geographical presence” to address the expanding demand for its Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) products.
 
The center, which is fully operational, is staffed by application software development and test engineers with experience in enterprise application functionality, Java development, Web architecture, automated application testing and customer support. 

Pearson's 2007 profit exceeds analyst estimates on education


Pearson Plc, the publisher of the Financial Times newspaper, reported 2007 profit that surpassed analyst estimates as the company expanded its education business and sold some assets.

Pearson has been selling assets such as foreign-language newspapers to focus on the Financial Times and its education business, which publishes textbooks and provides testing for nurses, business-school students and stockbrokers. Last year, Pearson bought online course company eCollege.com for $538 million and sold its French newspaper Les Echos for 240 million Euros to LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA. Sales rose 4.3% to 4.16 billion pounds. Net income dropped to 284 million pounds ($564 million) from 446 million pounds a year earlier, because of a tax charge stemming from the sale of its Government Solutions unit. Education, Pearson's largest business, will record 'another year of good profit growth,' Pearson said.

International Book Bank recognizes McGraw-Hill Education for book donations

The International Book Bank, a non-profit that ships donated books to developing countries, will honor McGraw-Hill Education, a leading global provider of educational materials, with its first President's Corporate Partner Award at the Book Bank's
20th anniversary celebration on April 12, 2008.

Over the last ten years, McGraw-Hill Education generously donated books to the International Book Bank to help increase global literacy. The books are housed in the International Book Bank's 43,000-square-foot warehouse in Southwest Baltimore, where custom shipments for literacy programs in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, and Latin America, are created and sent from the Port of Baltimore. Dr. Charlotte K. Frank, Senior Vice President of Research and Development from McGraw-Hill Education, will accept  the award at the International Book Bank's event.

SkillSoft survey shows need for more on-the-job training
 
SkillSoft, a leading provider of on-demand e-learning and performance support solutions for global enterprises, government, education and small- to medium-sized businesses, today announced a SkillSoft-commissioned survey indicated that eight out of ten employees would have higher job satisfaction levels if they received more on-the-job training. But, a SkillSoft survey also found, nearly three of those same 10 workers don't even have this opportunity, because they don't have access to any ongoing training in their workplace.

The information came to light as part of a comprehensive survey commissioned by SkillSoft in which more than 200 employees working in entry-level to executive positions in IT, sales and marketing, customer service, finance, human resources and administration were interviewed. Roughly 80% of workers said they would be more satisfied if they were given additional training. Nearly 28% of respondents said they work in companies where there is no ongoing training to help them further develop their skills.

The SkillSoft-sponsored survey was conducted by Infosurv, Inc., a full service market research company. Invosurv's online sampling partner for this survey was Greenfield Online, who developed the first online respondent panel in 1994. More than 40% have been in their field for over 10 years and almost half were from the field of information technology. The study included participants from all areas of the United States and more than 60 % have been with their employer for more than three years.

Year of exceptional growth at Scholar360

Scholar360, a leading eLearning solutions and services provider, reported that 2007 was a year of exceptional growth and innovation. 

In 2007, Scholar360 experienced an increase of over 300% in number of new clients, including most notably, a partnership with UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), a specialized agency of the United Nations. This collaboration enables members in universities in all 50-member  states to collaborate on projects and discuss issues.

Scholar360 was the first LMS to combine social networking  and other Web 2.0 tools (Wikis,  blogs, RSS feeds, communities, live chat, etc.) with the academic features in a Learner Management System.   In 2007, Scholar360 added several  new features to allow for greater flexibility and customization by  clients, crucial reporting capabilities, and full support of the SCORM  2004 standards.

ePals in eLearning Agreements with National Geographic, Intel

ePals Inc., an Internet learning community, and National Geographic Ventures, which creates and distributes digital content for the National Geographic Society, have announced a partnership that will enhance the ePals site with  National Geographic content to create unique learning experiences for classrooms, students and families  around the globe.


Initial topic areas of focus for the new alliance include maps and geography, habitats, global warming, natural disasters, people and culture, great leaders, water and weather. In each area, classrooms and teachers will be able to choose among projects that emphasize collaboration, 21st-century skill building and the use of school-safe communication tools to seamlessly work with learners around the world or down the block.  

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