Educational Technology

This year’s D2L Fusion conference in Houston carved out a space somewhere between the carnival atmosphere of InstructureCon in Keystone and the subdued feel of BbWorld in Orlando (note: we plan another post on each of these conferences to share more details of our observations). This  was the perfect note to hit for where D2L is in its evolution as an educational technology company. A number of things seem to be falling in place for D2L ((Disclosure: Blackboard, Instructure, D2L, and Schoology are subscribers to our LMS Market Analysis service. Blackboard, Instructure, D2L, and Pearson are sponsoring participants in our Empirical Educator Project.)) with its LMS product, but we will have to see if the recently expanded management team will be able to address the ongoing challenges that D2L faces with customer experience and expectations.

Like Blackboard and Instructure, D2L is in the middle of a transition partially driven by financial considerations. In D2L’s case, the issue is that the two rounds of $165 million aggregate funding in 2012 / 13 lead to expectations of larger market gains. In August of 2017 we shared that “D2L is on a roll, racking up significant client wins in higher education, and the company shows real signs of change in its ability to truly listen to and empathize with customers.” Two months ago we described D2L’s concerted effort to move customers to the cloud and some promising improvements surfacing in the new Daylight user experience. Despite these improvements, however, D2L has lost some marquee customers such as the University of Wisconsin system to offset some of the wins, and the company has remained steady or made slight gains in North America, European and Latin American LMS market share.

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