The top headline for January must surely go to Capita announcing their purchase of Brightwave (though LTGs deal with Ruistici is not far behind). Corporate activity and consolidation within the e-learning market is not new, but if we take the Capita announcement along with other recent news items, then we should perhaps pause for a second, and look at what might be coming our way.
When I hear that a corporate oursourcer has taken over one of the bigger names in our community, and then look back a few weeks to see that LTG (not short on having done their own bit for market restructuring over the past 24 months) had formed a strategic alliance with KPMG (another corporate outsourcer) and signed a contract with the Civil Service that’s described as potentially “transformational”, I begin to see the potential for a shake-up of the UK e-learning market.
The first thing that comes to mind is for a more rigorous approach to costing projects and a bigger focus on revenue generation. I’m sure this won’t be one of the marketing messages, but with the experience gained in years of outsourcing contracts with many public and private sector organisations, I’m sure Capita will bring a new perspective to this side of the Brightwave business model. Instead of a quick phone call to a developer leading to a change in a course, can I suggest the first thing it may now lead to is an additional invoice.
Analyst firm TechMarketView report that Capita is the biggest player in the outsourcing of Council services, which will give Brightwave a huge advantage over many of their competitors, whilst at the same time, increasing the attractiveness of the wider Capita offering.
How will the likes of Serco, Fujitsu, and Northgate react to Capitas' purchase of Brightwave?
a) look to develop in-house teams to build L&D and talent management systems
b) look to buy an existing provider from within the market just like Capita
c) cross their fingers and hope the Capita strategy doesn't work