itslearning is a Norwegian learning management system (LMS) provider, and their solution is used by millions of students and teachers across schools, colleges and universities around the world.
The LMS market has seen rapid development and innovation over the last few years, as technology has changed alongside users' expectations and experiences. Where once monolithic systems were the default - with users expected to do everything in one complete system - the boundaries between the Learning Management System and other ICT systems in education have been rapidly moving. It created a tension between the closed messaging systems being created in Learning Management Systems, and the email systems that students were using for their rest of their work. Everybody knew that email/messaging had to be available in an LMS - but the early model of writing a closed email system as part of the LMS wasn't sustainable - because it was becoming increasingly expensive to manage and keep pace with systems students were using outside of this.
itslearning's answer was to offer a full email solution, as part of their learning management system, by using the Live@edu integration. It meant that they could stop developing the internal mail system, and integrate to the standard Microsoft cloud-based mail system already used by many of their customers. This took away the need for itslearning to develop separate filtering and control systems.
Now, when their users login to the itslearning system, they get Single Sign-On to their cloud-based mailbox, and things like email notifications appear within the LMS. And all of the other features of Live@edu are still there - like a 10GB email inbox in the cloud. It makes life easier for teachers and students (and, in some implementations, parents) as they have one single system to use and login, and the system handles the invisible connections.
As well as saving itslearning's customers' money, it also meant that they no longer had to deal with yet-another messaging and collaboration system. And for itslearning, it meant less development was needed to deliver more customer benefits. As their CEO Arne Bergby put it:
|Why reinvent the wheel? We got a highly-used, familiar mail service without having to invent the UI or code the functionality ourselves. Even more, the integration was easy and we spent very little time working on the actual integration steps.|