eCollege’s CEO Oakleigh Thorne Forecasts On Competitive Advantages

March 21, 2001

NEW YORK, Mar 20, 2001 — In an in-depth interview, Oakleigh Thorne, CEO of eCollege(SM) (Nasdaq:ECLG), talks at length about the company’s future.

Thorne gives an overview of the company. “eCollege builds online campuses and courses and hosts those campuses and courses for post-secondary educational institutions. We partner with schools to help them build distance and on-campus education programs on the Internet.”

Thorne explains, “We focus heavily on our services offering, which is different from our competitors. In addition to our service offering, our competitive advantages include easy-to-use tools, faculty training, an efficient development process, cost-effective packages on a total cost of ownership basis, and a highly scalable and reliable platform. We’re the only company in the industry that has built a truly reliable and scalable product offering. Most of the other companies have software solutions that are meant to run on a single server. Because we were built as an ASP, an applications service provider, our products are architected to handle multiple schools with large numbers of students on a single instance of our software, while maintaining our superior reliability.”

“Our system is designed with a session manager that sends students and faculty and their data to different servers depending on how much space is available. So that gives us great reliability, because if one server is down for whatever reason, the system finds the next available server. In fact, we achieved 100% system availability in November and December. We achieved 99.9% for the year 2000.”

“Our platform is scalable, so that as institutions grow their programs, we can grow with them. Again, because of how our system is architected with a session manager, you’re never going to notice any limits in terms of the number of students we can handle.”

Looking forward, Thorne states, “The key for us financially speaking is turning the corner to profitability this fall, and that’s what we’re really focused on. We are on track to accomplish this goal.”

The entire 3,600-word interview is available online at

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Kristi Bledsoe