Allied Domecq QSR Signs Agreement with SkillSoft for e-Learning Learning Solution

April 13, 2003

NASHUA, N.H., April 9 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ —

SkillSoft PLC (Nasdaq: SKIL), a leading provider of e-learning courseware and referenceware for business and IT professionals, today announced that Allied Domecq QSR, a quick service restaurant business comprised of more than 10,000 franchised outlets for Dunkin’ Donuts, Baskin Robbins, and Togo’s brands, has signed an agreement for development, deployment, hosting, and administration services in support of the company’s global e-learning solution. The first web-based learning initiative for Allied Domecq QSR, the training initiative will be targeted to franchise management and employees and will address a variety of topics spanning store management, customer service, and product preparation.

The learning curricula, which will be rolled out to all three of Allied Domecq’s brands, will be available through on-site computers owned and outfitted by franchisees with high-speed Internet connections. The training initiative will be funded by Allied Domecq QSR and individual franchisees. The curricula will include courses in quality assessment, customer service, interviewing skills, product delivery, and safe food handling practices as defined by the National Restaurant Association. The courses will be delivered via SkillPort, SkillSoft’s e-learning platform. SkillSoft will also provide hosting services. Allied Domecq QSR’s learning web site is expected to be available to employees July 2003.

“We see our e-learning initiative as a critical component of our company’s strategy to grow and protect its brands,” said Kevin McNamara, vice president of training for Allied Domecq QSR. “Our expansion plans require an efficient way to deliver consistent, brand-specific training to employees throughout the world. With e-learning, we can reach everyone with the right training at the right time, at a cost that’s easily affordable for our franchisees.”

According to McNamara, store employees have been very receptive to CD-Rom training now used at all stores. “Web-based learning offers significant advantages over CD-Rom, including scalability and management efficiencies. We also believe e-learning will be very applicable and appealing to our employee audience,” said McNamara. “And because of its anytime, anywhere accessibility, employees can get the training they need beginning with their first day on the job.”

“We’re pleased to see companies such as Allied Domecq QSR using e-learning to reach wide employee audiences,” said Chuck Moran, president and CEO of SkillSoft. “In many cases, e-learning is the only way companies can cost efficiently reach these employees with relevant, timely training. We share Allied Domecq’s belief in the value of e-learning for all employees.”

About Allied Domecq QSR

Allied Domecq Quick Service Restaurants franchises 10,000 Dunkin’ Donuts, Baskin-Robbins and Togo’s stores worldwide. ADQSR’s complementary daypart branding strategy involves combining its three brands in either combo (two) or trombo (all three) form under one roof. In more than 500 of these stores in the U.S., consumers can enjoy their favorite products throughout the day. Headquartered in Randolph, Massachusetts, ADQSR is part of Allied Domecq PLC, a highly successful and dynamic global business in spirits, wines, and quick service restaurants.

About SkillSoft

SkillSoft is a leading provider of e-learning courseware and referenceware for business and IT professionals. SkillSoft products and services are designed to accelerate the ability of today’s workforce to master the business and technology skills required for competitive success. The company has thousands of corporate customers worldwide and more than 4.5 million licensed users.

SkillSoft focuses on meeting the comprehensive business skills and information technology learning needs of professionals in Global 5000 organizations through a comprehensive range of content-focused, e-learning solutions, including:

— Business Skills Library: More than 1,900 courseware and simulation

titles encompassing professional effectiveness, management/leadership,

project management, sales & customer-facing skills, business

strategy/operations, finance, human resources, safety/health and

financial services industry. Courses feature strong visual design; a

focus on instructional objectives at the application and analysis

levels; learner interactivity and reinforcement through RolePlays,

SkillSimulations, and case studies; and pre- and post-course

assessments with prescriptive learning capabilities.

— IT Skills and Certification Library: More than 1,800 course titles

encompassing software development, operating systems and server

technologies, Internet and network technologies, enterprise database

systems, web design, and desktop computer skills. The IT library also

supports more than 70 current certification exams.

— ITPro and Business Pro Referenceware: More than 3,600 unabridged IT and

business books and reports are available to online subscribers through

SkillSoft’s subsidiary, Books24x7. A unique, patent-pending search

engine gives subscribers the ability to perform multi-level searches.

SkillSoft customers include organizations such as: Siemens Business Services, Novell, American Red Cross, Fluor Corporation, Verizon, U.S. Army, Deloitte Consulting, Raytheon, IBM, Internal Revenue Service, Army National Guard, Qwest, Department of Transportation, and NEC America. For more information, visit

SkillSoft, SkillPort, RolePlay, Search-and-Learn, e-Learning for the Knowledge Economy, NetUniversity, and Accelerated Path are trademarks and/or servicemarks of SkillSoft PLC. Books24x7 and Referenceware are servicemarks of Books24x7, Inc. All brand names, trademarks, or registered trademarks are the property of their respective holders.

This release includes information that constitutes forward-looking statements made pursuant to the safe harbor provision 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 difficulties in integrating the organizations of SmartForce and SkillSoft, competitive pressures, changes in customer demands or industry standards, adverse economic conditions, loss of key personnel, litigation and other matters disclosed under the heading “Risk Factors” in SkillSoft’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended October 31, 2002, as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The forward-looking financial information provided by the Company in this press release represents the Company’s estimates as of April 9, 2003. 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.


Linda Galloway

Apollo Associates LLC

203 790 1591

Dennis Brown

Director of Corporate Communications

SkillSoft PLC

630 707 9024


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/CONTACT: Linda Galloway of Apollo Associates LLC, +1-203-790-1591,; or Dennis Brown, Director of Corporate Communications of SkillSoft PLC, +1-630-707-9024,

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