IBM Goes Live with Virtual Classroom

October 1, 2002

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Oct. 1, 2002 — IBM Corporation today launched the first module of its next generation e-learning software, IBM Lotus LearningSpace – Virtual Classroom. Built on proven IBM Lotus collaborative technologies, Lotus LearningSpace – Virtual Classroom is an easy-to-deploy, cost-effective e-learning system that enables real-time collaboration between instructors and learners. With e-learning playing a crucial role in solving business problems and shortening product development cycles, Lotus LearningSpace – Virtual Classroom can help organizations rapidly implement, and benefit from, an e-learning solution.

Lotus LearningSpace – Virtual Classroom is IBM’s first e-learning offering for both new and existing customers in need of virtual classroom capabilities. It is an ideal solution for organizations that need to frequently and efficiently train geographically dispersed employees, partners and suppliers on critical matters such as compliance with industry regulations, new product introductions and business transformations.

The Credit Union National Association, Inc. & Affiliates (CUNA & Affiliates), a not-for-profit trade group, has teamed with hosting provider Berbee Information Networks over the past year to deliver popular and engaging synchronous training eSchools to its credit union members across North America. Both organizations have been eagerly participating in the beta program for Lotus LearningSpace – Virtual Classroom.

“LearningSpace – Virtual Classroom promises many features that will prove highly valuable for delivering live online training. We are excited about the possibility to do more in-depth course management, be able to reuse content elements across courses, conduct real-time course assessments and generally be able to enhance our current session delivery model,” says Angela Prestil, manager of Distance Education at CUNA & Affiliates.

Modular in design, Lotus LearningSpace – Virtual Classroom’s standards-based architecture can help protect IT investments by enabling easy integration with existing lightweight directory access protocol (LDAP) systems and with the learning management system (LMS), currently planned for availability from IBM Lotus by year end 2002.

Built on Lotus Collaborative Technologies

LearningSpace – Virtual Classroom is built on Lotus collaborative technologies such as IBM Lotus Sametime, the company’s instant messaging and Web conferencing platform. LearningSpace – Virtual Classroom offers whiteboarding and application sharing that provide students with virtual “hands on” training and allows users to conduct real-time sessions with many collaborative capabilities, including awareness and chat features that allow students to interact with each other and with the instructor.

The advanced administrative features of Lotus LearningSpace – Virtual Classroom allow instructors to develop class outlines, track attendance and certify completion of courses and to secure immediate feedback on the effectiveness of courses to help ensure that learners are consistently involved and learning within existing budget constraints. Additionally, the record and playback capabilities can allow students and instructors to archive sessions for later use.

“Virtual Classroom quickly demonstrates to the customer the impact of e-learning in an easy-to-implement, relatively low-cost, low-risk way,” said Susan Lawler, Global Offerings Manager, IBM Mindspan Solutions. “Developed by the leader in workplace collaboration, Virtual Classroom offers customers the breadth and depth of technology innovation and support that is designed to accommodate their e-learning needs as their organizations grow.”

Product Availability

Lotus LearningSpace – Virtual Classroom is planned for availability on October 14, 2002 through Passport Advantage, IBM’s worldwide volume licensing program for distributed software and will be based on a per processor licensing model. The IBM Mindspan Solutions family of offerings provides organizations with a full range of e-learning resources, such as planning and design services, content creation tools and technology and delivery capabilities.

IBM Mindspan Solutions

IBM, the worldwide leader in e-learning solutions, leverages IBM’s world-class e-learning technologies, services expertise and content to help organizations meet mission-critical business needs while reducing expenses, improving productivity and enhancing competitive advantage. Through both customized and off-the-shelf offerings, IBM has delivered e-learning solutions to more than 2,000 organizations in over 55 countries. More than 3.5 million licenses of the learning technology platform, Lotus LearningSpace, have been sold. IBM Mindspan Solutions also plays a key role in the new IBM Dynamic Workplaces initiative. For more information visit

About Lotus Software from IBM

Lotus software from IBM sets the standard for truly innovative software and services that reflect the brand’s unique representation of the new ways individuals and businesses work together to achieve success. Lotus software is further redefining the concept of conducting business through practical Knowledge Management, e-business and other groundbreaking ways of connecting ideas, thinkers, buyers, sellers and communities around the world via the Internet. Lotus software is marketed in more than 80 countries worldwide through direct sales and extensive Business Partner channels. Please visit