Novell chooses SkillSoft in e-learning deal


14 May 2003

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SkillSoft, which is currently struggling through financial reporting turmoil caused by its acquisition of Irish e-learning firm SmartForce, has been selected by Novell for a major e-learning deployment.

Novell is launching an enterprise-wide, multi-modal learning initiative that will give its 5,700 employees online access to IT and business skills courseware, books, and other information resources.

The web-based learning solution incorporates approximately 1,800 IT courses spanning a wide variety of technologies and related topics, certification support and mentoring services; 150 business skills courses covering business law, strategic planning, marketing and other topics; and more than 2,600 IT books and 1,600 Reference Point white papers on emerging technologies. As well as this, SkillSoft’s SkillPort will be used by Novell workers to search all learning resources for particular topics so they can choose the resources most appropriate at any given time.

“The integration work we’ve performed with Novell enhances our vision for comprehensive anywhere, anytime access to relevant learning resources,” said Chuck Moran, CEO and president of SkillSoft. “Both of our companies are committed to removing information barriers and giving employees efficient and seamless access to the tools needed to do their jobs.”

Two weeks ago SkillSoft informed the Security and Exchange Commission, the US stock exchange watchdog, that it would be delaying its annual Form 10K financial filing due to legal actions over alleged dodgy sales and accounting practices at SmartForce, the Irish e-learning firm it acquired more than a year ago.

The recent legal actions in which SkillSoft became embroiled have been taken by at least three US law firms that have filed class-action law suits against SmartForce and two of its executives, Greg Priest and William McCabe, on behalf of investors who lost money on shares they acquired between 19 October 1999 and 22 November 2002.

By John Kennedy