SkillSoft unveils plans for Netq customers

E-learning giant SkillSoft has revealed some of its plans for customers of fellow provider NETq, which it acquired recently.

It intends to put its own content on to NETq’s two learning management system (LMS) platforms by October 2007. It also plans to make NETq’s content available on the SkillSoft and SkillPort platforms.

However, a SkillSoft spokeswoman said: “There is no intention to migrate advanced SkillSoft products – such as SkillView competency management – to the NETq LMS platforms. To gain access to these advanced offerings, customers will need to migrate to SkillPort or a third-party LMS that supports the appropriate OLSA (Open Learning Services Architecture) web services.”

An OLSA is designed to enable e-learning customers to create their own programmes.

Eventually, SkillSoft – which took over SmartForce’s SkillPort platform when they merged in 2002 – will offer a single, unified LMS to its customers.

SkillSoft also plans to drop some of NETq’s “low margin” and “low growth” product lines, including instructor-led training and boot camps. NETq’s virtual instructor-led training offering has been re-branded as SkillSoft Live Learning.

Its takeover of NETq means SkillSoft has added more than 1,000 courses to its repertoire. It now offers 6,000-plus programmes online. SkillSoft paid Canadian publisher Thomson $270m (about £150m) for NETq.

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