Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems Signs Agreement with SkillSoft for IT and Business Skills e-Learning

January 7, 2003

NASHUA, N.H., Jan. 6 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — SkillSoft PLC (Nasdaq: SKIL), a leading provider of e-learning courseware and referenceware for business and IT professionals, and Northrop Grumman Corporation’s (NYSE: NOC) Electronic Systems sector, a leader in the design, development, and manufacture of global defense electronics, today announced a five-year agreement that gives the sector’s employees access to SkillSoft’s entire library of IT and business skills e-learning courseware.

The sector-wide training initiative spans information technology, business and management, Microsoft Office and other desktop tools, as well as technical certification training for Cisco, Microsoft, Novell, Java, and other areas. The hosted learning solution gives employees the ability to access, track, and manage learning activities virtually any time, and from any location.

“Breadth and depth of content, scalability, certificate programs, and our positive relationship with SkillSoft were among the reasons they were selected as our global supplier of e-Learning content,” said Roger Andreas, manager of information technology and applications training for Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems. “The SkillSoft content that is now available will greatly enhance, supplement, and possibly replace much of our existing traditional training sessions. This will enable more focused training and will provide around-the-clock, around-the-world support.” SkillSoft also has recent agreements with Northrop Grumman’s Information Technology sector and corporate headquarters.

“We’ve found the benefits of e-Learning to be very powerful,” said Pat Sherod, executive director of organization and workforce development for Northrop Grumman’s Information Technology (IT) sector. “SkillSoft’s courseware has tremendously expanded our training curriculum, reduced training costs, and brought us a significant return on investment. We also now have a learning solution available to everyone in our sector, regardless of where an employee is located.” Approximately 23,000 employees in the Northrop Grumman IT organization have access to SkillSoft courseware for ongoing IT skills development and training in areas such as health and safety, environmental regulations, and business and interpersonal skills.

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 currently has more than 2,800 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 1,600 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 2,800 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 40 certification programs.

ITPro and Business Pro Referenceware: More than 2,500 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: First Union, Clarica (Canada), Fluor Corporation, Verizon, U.S. Army, Deloitte Consulting, Raytheon, IBM, Internal Revenue Service, Lockheed Martin, Microsoft, Army National Guard, Dell Computers, Qwest, Department of Transportation, NEC America, British Telecom and Wells Fargo.

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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.

Safe Harbor: 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 the SkillSoft’s most recent Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q and its proxy statement/prospectus dated August 5, 2002, each as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The forward-looking information provided in this press release represents the company’s estimates as of January 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.


CONTACT: Linda Galloway of Apollo Associates, +1-203-790-1591