University of Massachusetts Advances Distance Learning Programs with Live eLearning and Collaboration Platform from Centra

July 29, 2002

LEXINGTON, MA (July 29, 2002) Centra (NASDAQ: CTRA), the leading provider of business software solutions for eLearning and real-time collaboration, today announced that UMassOnline, the University of Massachusetts’ Web-based learning division, has standardized on CentraOne™ to power live, instructor-led, online education programs. After an extensive evaluation of eLearning vendors and a competitive procurement process, UMassOnline will integrate the use of Centra into a hybrid approach to distance education that combines self-paced learning with live, Internet-based sessions for degree and non-degree programs. Videré Conferencing, a leading provider of audio, video and Web-conferencing solutions and a Centra partner assisted in tailoring the solution for the specific needs of UMassOnline.

The University of Massachusetts, a distance education leader for over 25 years, offers more than 30 online degree and certificate programs at the graduate and undergraduate levels. U.S. News & World Report recently ranked its online programs in public health, business administration, and educational administration among the top online graduate programs in the nation. UMass has delivered Web-based education since 1995, and was among the first to offer videotaped engineering courses. UMass is one of the seven founding members of the National Technological University, the first accredited virtual university.

Using Centra, students and business professionals will be able to participate in these innovative educational programs from any geographic location with minimal impact on their day-to-day productivity. Likewise, invited guest lecturers from corporations and other universities across the globe can participate in program delivery without the typical time and expense considerations associated with physical classroom delivery. UMassOnline plans to expand its Web-based curricula with live, online sessions to support programs in Information Technology, Business, Nursing, Public Health, Education and other disciplines. Benefiting from their newfound ability to interact and work together in real time over the Internet, UMassOnline staff members located across the University’s five campuses will also use Centra to participate in internal meetings and workshops.

According to Jack Wilson, UMassOnline’s CEO, “The Centra platform enables a collaborative live-online learning experience and emphasizes our continuing commitment to providing flexible, high-quality programs that address the needs of students and teachers from every background and geographic location. Live, online learning can provide a rich, interactive experience that replicates the highly collaborative environment of the traditional classroom while providing new opportunities for academia and corporations to work together to advance higher education.”

Scalable Software Solutions for eLearning and Collaboration

Leveraging the core capabilities of the CentraOne platform, Centra offers a suite of integrated, real-time Web collaboration applications, content composition tools, and self-service knowledge delivery systems that can be quickly installed on-site using Centra’s rapid deployment methodology, or conveniently accessed through Centra’s secure, full-service ASP. These applications – including interactive Web meetings, virtual classrooms, and large-scale conferences – ensure universal access through firewalls and proxy servers, and deliver full-performance IP audio conferencing, streaming video, application sharing, and dynamic multimedia over low-bandwidth network connections through a standard browser interface.

About Videré

Videré Conferencing, Inc. of Braintree, MA specializes in audio, video and Web conferencing and collaboration solutions for the commercial, education, health care and state government markets. Videré’s expertise includes consultation, design, sales, implementation and support of the leading remote meeting and distance learning technologies. For more information, visit

About Centra

Leading with an undisputed track record of helping millions of users to increase revenue and improve overall business performance, Centra provides Web collaboration solutions that enable the delivery of information in a variety of live and self-service formats, and add value through unmatched capabilities to capture interactions and content, personalize and manage this information, and instantly re-use it across the enterprise. Today hundreds of global organizations across every industry and market sector choose Centra, including Cadbury Schweppes, Citigroup, AT&T, Procter & Gamble, McKesson, Merck, Nationwide Insurance, Sysco, and Stanford University. Centra’s products are bolstered by a vital ecosystem of strategic partners, including PwC Consulting, Deloitte Consulting, KPMG iLS, EDS, Microsoft, Siebel, SAP, Cisco, and SmartForce. Headquartered in Boston’s technology corridor, Centra has sales offices throughout North America, Europe and Asia. For more information, visit