Educational Technology

Earlier this month Ben Thompson from Stratechery wrote a post, analyzing SAP’s $8 billion acquisition of Qualtrics, that provides insight into the shift in value proposition of the academic LMS. The SAP explanation along enterprise software lines shows the broader shift of enterprise software extending the view of the internal operations of an organization to also include a deeper view of the end users of an organizations offerings – students in the case of the LMS.

Thompson describes how SAP was founded in the 1970s and has a dominant position in Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems that use central databases to provide customers with “a ‘real-time’ view of the state of their company” – essentially showing what the company is doing from an internal view. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) products emerged in the 1990s with the rise of ubiquitous PCs and the emerging Internet, tracking interactions with a company’s customers across time and across multiple locations – essentially showing a view of who the customers are and their interactions. Thompson then describes the challenge that modern companies face.


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