rSmart is a commercial service provider specializing in providing consulting services, hosting, and training and service for the open source course management system Sakai.
It is no small thing to have an agreement announced between rSmart and Sungard, maker of the student information system (SIS) Banner. Banner has about 80% of the SIS marketshare in the US.
Yesterday a deal was announced where SunGard entered into a development and support agreement with rSmart for an integration of real-time enrollment data from their system to Sakai. Or at least rSmart’s distribution of the open source Sakai CMS platform.
Sungard began an Open Digital Campus initiative in October of 2009 basically acknowledging that higher ed needs more flexibility to implement solutions to meet our evolving needs, and that, Sungard will sell more to us if their solutions / services and pricing support our growing number of ‘alternate’ solutions.
Blackboard, meanwhile, has still been in the how-do-we-maximize the higher ed culture to sell more. Finally, in April of this year, we saw the announcement of a Sungard Blackboard partnership that we hoped would lead us to an out-of-the-box yet extensible solution for real-time integration between the flagship products of both companies, the CMS and the SIS.
Blackboard would’ve done well to similarly announce the ability to ‘plug-in’ best of breed tools, perhaps even those developed by the Sakai community, to their Blackboard Learn product.
The Chronicle of Higher Ed, Sept 28th, “rSmart and SunGard.”
The Chronicle of Higher Ed, April 8th, “Blackboard Makes Nice with SunGard, Polishes its ‘Darth Vader’ Image.”
Blackboard Press Release. April 7th. “Blackboard and SunGard Higher Education Partner To Better Serve Joint Customers; Initiative Will Improve Interoperability of Widely Used Campus Platforms.”