Click2learn transfers commercial custom development to NIIT and establishes NIIT as reseller of the Aspen platform
BELLEVUE, Wash. & NEW DELHI, India–Jan. 22, 2002–In a move that will
provide customers with the most comprehensive and technologically advanced learning
and knowledge solution to date, Click2learn (Nasdaq:CLKS), a leading provider
of enterprise learning platforms and NIIT, a global IT education leader and
one of the largest knowledge solutions providers in the world, today announced
that they have entered into a strategic development and technology alliance.
Under the terms of the multiyear, multifaceted alliance, NIIT and Click2learn
will jointly develop learning and knowledge solutions for the marketplace using
Click2learn’s Aspen platform and NIIT’s knowledge services.
NIIT will acquire the assets of Click2learn’s custom development business and
will be Click2learn’s exclusive commercial custom development partner. The alliance
also establishes NIIT as a reseller of Click2learn’s highly acclaimed Aspen(TM)
Enterprise Learning Platform and ToolBook line of products.
In addition, the Aspen platform will be used by NIIT in its development projects
by its over 500 developers worldwide and for its internal corporate university,
which serves 3,500 employees worldwide. It will also be the foundation for its
commercial e-Learning initiative Netvarsity.com that reaches over 500,000 students.
"NIIT’s large footprint, scalable infrastructure and rich experience will
provide our customers with the rapid, cost-effective content solutions they
require while allowing Click2learn to focus our resources squarely on the Aspen
platform," said Kevin Oakes, chairman and CEO of Click2learn. "This
alliance is truly a win-win. Click2learn gains a strategic partner for its custom
development business and a global reseller for Aspen, while NIIT gains a significant
competitive edge for their solutions offering with the addition of Aspen and
ToolBook. Even more exciting is that together we can provide value to our customers
through a fully integrated technology and services offering and better leverage
our combined customer base."
"When you team the industry’s leading platform, Click2learn’s Aspen, with
one of industry’s largest custom developers, NIIT, together we become a significant
force in the market in all meaningful measures, including revenue, customer
base, depth of products and services offered, and technology leadership,"
said Vijay K. Thadani, CEO of NIIT. "NIIT’s global reach will help serve
Click2learn’s large customer base, including more than half of Fortune 100 companies."
Click2learn has completed over 300 e-Learning platform implementations, which
represents an active user base of well over 3 million users. Click2learn’s broad
customer base spans multiple industries and includes over half of the Fortune
100. NIIT has been recognized as one of the top 15 IT training companies in
the world by IDC, and was on Forbes list of 200 best small companies outside
USA. The company has grown rapidly in recent years, reporting $237 million
(USD) in revenue for 2001. NIIT has operations in 38 countries and includes
global companies such as British Airways, Prudential Insurance, Gateway, Pearson,
Computer Associates, Goldman Sachs, Hewlett Packard, IBM, ING Group, Microsoft,
NETg, Office Depot, Oracle, Sony, Sun Microsystems and World Bank among its
global client base.
"Click2learn and NIIT have demonstrated unrivaled leadership and vision
in the e-Learning and training markets," said Cushing Anderson of International
Data Corp. "Teamed together, they create a global enterprise with unequaled
depth both in terms of world-class learning technology and custom content development.
They will be a formidable force in the global learning market."
The Aspen Platform: A New Model in Enterprise Learning
Described by industry analysts as the new model for enterprise learning technology,
Click2learn’s Aspen platform is designed to facilitate the capture, management
and dissemination of corporate knowledge to improve productivity and business
performance. The platform has an open architecture and is made up of three modular
but independent components that are designed to work as an integrated system.
The Aspen Learning Management Server (LMS) is used for competency management,
skills-gap analysis, tracking of assessments and resource management for either
e-Learning or instructor-led training. The Aspen Content Development Server
(CDS) is used to rapidly author highly effective e-Learning content and manage
large, team-based content development projects. The Aspen Learning Experience
Server (LXS) meanwhile, delivers a personalized learning experience to improve
knowledge transfer and facilitate knowledge exchange with a community of peers
Click2learn will transition all current commercial custom development projects
and related assets to NIIT over the next two months. Click2learn will continue
on-going custom development work for government contracts.
Click2learn reports revenues in three categories: Content Services, Platforms,
and Tools. For fiscal 2002, after the transfer of commercial custom development
business to NIIT, the company expects Content Services revenue to total approximately
$4.0 million. The Content Services revenue category will consist primarily of
government content development services, strategic consulting services, and
commissions generated from the NIIT alliance.
Upon completion of the transaction with NIIT, Click2learn expects their higher
margin Platforms and Tools revenue to be the bulk of their total revenue in
2002, thus greatly reducing cost of goods sold and accelerating improvement
in gross margins.
Click2learn expects to record a one-time charge of approximately $2.5 million
for the March 2002 quarter to cover all future facility costs and remaining
expenses related to the custom development business acquired by NIIT. Consistent
with previous guidance, the Company continues to expect positive cash flow on
a pro forma basis for the March 2002 quarter, and positive earnings per share
on a GAAP basis for the June 2002 quarter.
Additional details about the alliance and financial guidance for fiscal 2002
will be provided when Click2learn reports their fourth quarter and year-end
results for fiscal 2001 on Wednesday, January 30, 2002.
Click2learn (Nasdaq:CLKS) is a provider of enterprise software for Global 2000
organizations seeking to capture, manage and disseminate knowledge throughout
their extended enterprise. Using Click2learn’s Aspen Enterprise Learning Platform,
organizations can deploy highly interactive, personalized learning initiatives
to achieve strategic business objectives. Many of the world’s best-known corporations
use Click2learn’s technology and award-winning content development services
to improve workforce performance, educate customers, and publish large volumes
of learning content. Click2learn’s clients include Microsoft, Fidelity Investments,
Wells Fargo, Symantec, Prudential, American Airlines, ADC Telecommunications,
Ernst & Young and the New York Stock Exchange. Based in Bellevue, Wash.,
Click2learn (www.click2learn.com, 800/448-6543) operates offices in the United
States, Canada, and Europe.
NIIT, a leading Global IT Solutions corporation, operates in 38 countries with
Regional Headquarters in USA, Europe, ASEAN and Japan. NIIT has evolved from
a predominantly education company to an IT Solutions Corporation with equally
balanced Software and Training revenues.
The Knowledge Solutions Business (KSB) of NIIT provides end-to-end e-Learning
and Knowledge Solutions. KSB’s competencies in the areas of custom content,
custom technology solutions and custom enterprise knowledge solutions give it
an edge as a unifier that delivers complete learning offerings. NIIT’s Knowledge
Solutions Business was assessed at Level 5 of the SEI-CMM quality framework
in June 2001, the world’s first content development facility to be so assessed.
NIIT was awarded "The Outsourcing Contract of the Year" award by the
Financial Times publication, The Banker, UK in December 2001.
This announcement contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and
uncertainties, including information contained in this document where statements
are preceded by, followed by or include the words "believes," "plans,"
"intends," "expects," "anticipates" or similar
expressions. For such statements, the Company claims the protection of the safe
harbor for forward-looking statements contained in the Private Securities Litigation
Reform Act of 1995. Actual results may differ materially from the results predicted,
and reported results should not be considered as an indication of future performance.
Factors that could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the
forward-looking statements include, the ability of Click2learn to transition
is custom content development business to NIIT, the ability of NIIT to deliver
such services in a manner that meets customer expectations, market acceptance
of Click2learn’s e-learning solutions and competing e-Learning offerings in
markets where NIIT is acting as a reseller, NIIT’s ability to successfully implement
Click2learn’s solutions and increase revenues, Click2learn’s ability to successfully
address technological developments and standards and the risk factors set forth
in filings the Company has made with the SEC.
Click2learn and Aspen are trademarks of Click2learn. All other company and
product names are the trademarks of their respective owners.
Sara Britton, 425/637-5872 (Public Relations)
Jeff Howlett, 425/637-1514 (Investor Relations)